You get one or two weeks of vacation time every year…what are you going to do with that precious time away from the hustle and bustle of work, appointments, and activities? Do you want to stay busy while on vacation and see sights every single day, or do you want a place where you can relax and hang out, enjoying your family and the beautiful breezy weather? If you long for the latter, there is one vacation spot that surpasses all of the others: Seaside, Florida.
Seaside is known for being a small, intimate beachside community that offers the ultimate in relaxing experiences for you and your whole family. Seaside is located in the Florida Panhandle, which offers more than 200 miles of coastline sitting atop the Gulf of Mexico. One strip in particular of delicious white sandy beaches is the Emerald Coast, filled with hidden gems, and offering a more family-friendly alternative to the faster-paced South Florida attractions. In the middle of the Emerald Coast, sits Seaside, which is all about relaxing in the sunshine and enjoying family time.
First off, Seaside, Florida, has no traditional hotels, motels, high-rise condos, or massive resort hotels with amusement parks inside of them. You can only stay in Seaside if you rent a cottage or townhome from local owners, frequently through the Seaside vacation rentals of The Homeowner’s Collection, a consortium of Seasiders whose cottages the company manages. These properties will far surpass your expectations for being beautiful, luxurious, and spacious for the whole family to enjoy, along with the amenities and the different ways in which you can connect to the community during your visit.
While staying in a local vacation rental, you will be just one of the locals for a week or two. Everything in Seaside is available by foot or a bike ride so there’s no need to worry about transportation during your vacation. Even the white sandy beaches are a short walk from your front door! The homes themselves are quaint white picket fence homes that are built strategically around a cluster of shops, restaurants, and art galleries that are all within walking distance. You will live, dine, and shop just as a local would. This was by design when the community was originally built in 1982 – the city planners utilized the 80 acres to perfection, making everything accessible and walkable, and evoking a nostalgic reach back in time.
With activities ranging from beachside water sports to shopping at the locally owned boutiques, there is something for everyone to do while in Seaside. The beautiful sunny beach offers private beach cabanas, lounge chairs, and large umbrellas for your relaxing day near the water, or if you prefer more active water sports you can rent kayaks, boogie boards, or standup paddleboards. Seaside boasts the largest private beachfront access along the entire Highway 30A corridor, so it’s all there for you and your family to explore.
The town square is centrally located 5 minutes from anywhere in Seaside and offers you a chance to shop, dine, or just wander in and out of art galleries and bookstores with your family. There are many unique, locally owned boutiques and shops alongside multiple local food trucks and even fine dining if you are in the mood. If you prefer to cook while on vacation, every cottage comes equipped with a full kitchen (and there is a grocery store within walking distance, of course). The best part about staying in Seaside is that it’s a safe, family-friendly environment that will make your vacation enjoyable and stress-free. Providing year-round entertainment, the Seaside Amphitheater hosts music, plays, and other events that will entice you to spread out a blanket and have a picnic under the stars with the kids. Concerts, festivals, movies, and even live music are available to you and your family almost every day and night.
For the over-21 crowd, there are wine bars and coffee shops aplenty in the quiet neighborhood for you to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of hot coffee. Enjoy eating at such restaurants as Barefoot BBQ, Bud & Alley’s Pizza Bar, Bud & Alley’s Taco Bar, Crepes Du Soleil, The Shrimp Shack, 45 Central Wine Bar, and the Great Southern Café. A great choice for the kids is to visit the local favorite Frost Bites, which offers Hawaiian shaved ice or frozen custard from the only vintage Jetstream trailer in Seaside. Spending time with your family never tasted so good!
So, if you are in the mood for a casual, relaxed vacation spot that you and your family will love, consider booking a cottage in Seaside, Florida. Read a book on a porch swing while enjoying a cool breeze. Watch the kids play in the sand and the surf on the beach. And don’t forget to act like a local because you will definitely feel like one after spending time in such a special place.