On the Florida Panhandle between Panama City Beach and Destin is the master-planned community of Seaside. Robert S. Davis inherited the land that became Seaside from his grandfather with hopes of converting it into an old-fashioned beach town. Seaside was one of the first cities in America to use New Urbanism design, which promotes walkabilty between neighborhoods and offers several different types of housing.
Waves crash into the Gulf Coast and visitors can swim and play in the clear waters of this Northwest Florida beach destination. The main beach in Seaside is accessible under a tall gray structure that resembles a cross between a pyramid and lighthouse.
Seaside offers visitors with a sense of community and the family-friendly feel is everywhere. The city is home to one of the best beaches on Earth and gained popularity as the filming locadtion for "The Truman Show" starring Jim Carrey.
It's prime location on the Gulf Coast makes Seaside a popular place for visitors. There are three swimming pools, six tennis courts, a world-class croquet lawn and nature walks. Water activities are an obvious must when staying in Seaside. You can have just as much fun as the kids with sand volleyball, sandcastle building, sunbathing, swimming, fishing, snorkeling and a number of other water adventures.
Kids will love a vacation to Seaside where they can learn how to surf and go kayaking, snorkeling, skimboarding, boogie boarding and paddle boarding at Kidz Beach and Surf and Skim Skool.
If you'll be visiting Seaside in March, sign up to be a participant in the Seaside Half Marathon and 5k Race. Runners from all over the country flock to Seaside for the race and each participant receives a medal upon completion. The half marathon will pass through the neighboring communities of Watercolor, Grayton, Blue Mountain Beach and Santa Rosa Beach. You'll run along coastal Highway A30 and take in beautiful views of the water as you progress through the course.
Seaside is very much about creating things and celebrating artists in the community. The whole family will love a trip to The Repertory Theater. It was founded in 2001 and welcomes more than 25,000 visitors every year. The Emerald Coast Theatre Company performs there and is the only professional company on the Emerald Coast. they perform everything from fun kids shows to plays for adults.
In November Seaside hosts the Seeing Red Wine Festival, a nationally-known event. There are testing tents and wine samples from around the world with the option of purchasing your favorites to take home with you. The festival is held on the streets of Seaside and is one of the community's favorites. Tickets for Seeing Red are $120 per person and get you all the wine, food and music you could ever want. Special chefs will also be there to offer demos and samples of some of the best hors d'oeuvres you can find at local restaurants. Other wine events in the Seaside area include Vine to Wine at Seascape Golf, Beach and Tennis Resort, Al Fresco Reserve Tasting in Ruskin Place, Taste of the Beach After Dark in Santa Rosa Beach and Taste of the Beach and Charity Auction in Destin.
Things to Do in Seaside
Shopping: Art galleries, clothing, accessory shops and specialty stores are all over Seaside. Galleries include Fired-Up Pottery Painting, The Justin Gaffrey Studio and Newbill Collection by the Sea. You're guaranteed to get the retail therapy you were looking for with a visit to local stores such as Deja-vu on the Beach, Jahaza Belle, Seaside Class and Seaside Kids. Specialty stores include The Art of Simple, Amore by the Sea and La Vie Est Belle.
30A Songwriters Festival: If you visit South Walton and the Seaside during the 30A Songwriters Festival, you can enjoy live music from a variety of genres providing entertainment. There are more than 200 performances during the course of the three-day event. This is the only festival of its kind in the area and draws in thousands of attendees every year.
Deer Lake State Park: This park has the same name as a coastal dune lake within the same boundaries. Coastal dune lakes can only be found in the U.S. along the Gulf Coast. There are rare plants such as lupine, spoonflower, pitcher plants and one of the largest populations of Curtiss' sand grass in the state. Visitors to Deer Lake State Park will find this dune ecosystem and animals including migratory birds and butterflies. The beach is easily accessible via boardwalk and has beautiful views. Activities at Deer Lake State Park include swimming, fishing, hiking, picnicking, wildlife viewing and lounging on the beach.