Trip Imagined

Why Seaside, FL May Be America’s Perfect Beach Town

When you think of beach time, you think of Florida. Beautiful sunny weather, sandy white beaches up and down northwest Florida, and blue ocean waves are everywhere. Along the scenic 26-mile stretch known as Highway 30A, there is one particular gem to be found: the quintessential beach town Seaside, FL. Here you will find a perfect blend of gorgeous rental cottages, delicious restaurants, and delightful shops where local shopkeepers live above their stores. Seaside is all about sugar white beaches, a relaxed old-Florida feel, and a beautiful waterfront community that is the heart of Highway 30A. You may come for the beaches, but Seaside has so much more to offer than that.

Seaside, FL is the original planned 30A beach community; it’s compact and built around a cohesive look and feel. Unlike other parts of Florida, Seaside does not contain high-rise condominiums or massive resort hotels. No tacky theme parks are in sight. Here time stands still from the quaint rental properties perfect for a family to the uncrowded beaches that are only a few steps away from your door. The white picket fence homes are built around a cluster of shops, restaurants, and art galleries that are perfect for your vacation getaway from it all.

You also won’t find any motels or hotels in Seaside – this is vacation rental country with many beachfront cottages available to vacationers. Book a Seaside vacation rental from The Homeowner’s Collection, a local collective that manages more than 65 of Seaside’s cottages. Here you will find more than an ice machine and a hotel pool…here you will experience the magic of Seaside. All the vacation rental properties are decorated in a luxurious, beachy manner that is perfect for quality family time on the beach. You can find anything from a cozy rental for two to a sprawling beach house that sleeps up to twelve. Every cottage is unique, decorated with families in mind and the perfect home away from home.

The main reason Seaside is America’s perfect beach town is its walkability. Park your car because everything is accessible by foot or bike: the beaches are steps away, the central square is less than a 5-minute walk from anywhere in Seaside, and there is much for a family to do while here. You live like a local in this beachfront community and experience life at the beach from an intimate perspective of an insider. Enjoy the town’s unique, locally owned boutiques, shops, and art galleries while taking in the natural sights and sounds of Florida’s best in flora and fauna. Stop for a bite at one of their local restaurants and enjoy anything from food trucks to fine dining – whatever you are in the mood for at mealtime. And if you prefer to make your own meals at your cottage, that’s okay too – every cottage comes equipped with a full kitchen. There is also a grocery store within walking distance of the properties, so you can make breakfast, lunch, or dinner a true family event.

The main attraction is the beautiful, sunny beach, of course. Seaside has the largest private beachfront access along the entire Highway 30A corridor, which is one of the best reasons to stay close by in town. Walk along the beach before your morning coffee because it’s only a few steps away from your front door. Bask in the warm ocean waters while your kids play in the sand. For a special treat, ask Cabana Man to provide comfortable lounge chairs and signature blue umbrellas for you to enjoy while reading your favorite novel, or splurge and have him provide a private beach cabana for you and your entire family. If you like a little more aqua adventure, Cabana Man also offers kayaks, boogie boards, and standup paddle boards for you to use on the water.

Seaside has the perfect casual beach town atmosphere for you and your family. The best part is that you not only have direct access to private beaches, you also have a safe, family-oriented environment to enjoy your vacation without worry or stress. Everything is very family-friendly and child-safe. You can easily walk from one side of Seaside to the other, which allows for an intimate connection with the Seaside community, shopkeepers, and locals. Take your kids for a Hawaiian shave ice or frozen custard at the popular Frost Bites, the only vintage Jetstream in Seaside that serves cold treats. Another must-see is the Modica Market, which is family-owned grocery that has been in Seaside for 15 years and was featured in Jim Carrey’s movie “The Truman Show” in 1998 (much of the movie was even filmed in Seaside). Their motto is “Life is short – eat dessert first” and how can you argue with that while on vacation?

If history and architecture are of interest to you, Seaside provides that as well. Founded in 1981, Seaside is a planned community designed to reinforce the sense of communal togetherness that the designers felt had been lost from American life. Its architecture references the building styles from 100 years ago, and the whole place feels like a step back in time. There is a unique mix of the old and new in Seaside…its intimate charm is apparent around every corner, but the town is also credited with founding a global town-planning movement known as New Urbanism. It was also the first green project of its era, using xeriscaping before the term even existed. Local, native plants explode with beauty and greenery all around you. Now more than 30 years later, Seaside has become one of the most influential urban developments of the last century.

There’s no place quite like Seaside, FL, and you will feel that with every step you take in the quiet, unique, luxurious beach town. Northwest Florida may have some of America’s best beaches, but none of the competing communities have the style and casual sophistication of Seaside. It’s truly the perfect destination for your family, friends, and kids to experience the best of life at the beach.