Ever since I saw the Coastal Living Designer Show house in Rosemary Beach Florida, I slated it for a "set to jet" destination if the opportunity arose.
Rosemary Beach is an Interior Design "mecca" thanks to a concentrated number of talented Interior Designers in the area including Erika M Powell McPherson of Urban Grace Interiors (the designer behind the interiors of the 2012's Coastal Living showcase home). Her portfolio boasts homes from this area, as well as another leading designer favorite, Tracery Interiors. I have followed their work and IG accounts for years and admired the place they call 'home' seriously, that water and white sugar sand!! Most commonly known as The Panhandle, or The Emerald Isle, recent publicity is making it now known as the 30A, named after the scenic highway that runs through quaint picturesque beach towns, all with views of the stunning emerald water, (which you know our family loves) waterfowl, lush foliage seaside views and sweet southern preppy people....and gorgeous vacation homes.
So, when my family was due for a much needed vacation we considered Mexico, the Bahamas, but hesitated as we wanted an easy vacation, without passports, lengthy flights, crazy drunken Spring Breakers, but in a new and beautiful family friendly area with things to do near by. Tricky in Spring right? We really just needed some sun and to sit and be with one another. We love going to CA, but since we lived there, we were in the mood for something new and different, besides we would easily get wrapped up in visiting friends and then a week goes by and the R-n-R aspect sort of goes out the window. Although the sun was lacking most of the week, we had a really great time. The 4 days of rain were disappointing only because the two days before were so h e a v e n l y, but I wouldn't change all the indoor dancing and card games for those four days of sun, honestly. ;) The surroundings were breathtaking, the people were happy and friendly, and the architecture was like walking into a Veranda Magazine article at every corner. This is a massive post. I went nuts taking all the photos I could when the sun was out, which was mostly while we were riding through the Alys Beach section. I equally love Rosemary Beach, it's is where the action is, it's a little more cottage and lush green with a European flare. Equally unique. I have to say Seacrest is nice and private and great for families with little kids-it's very protected from traffic and they can freely ride around and run and play with kiddies next door.
I am not a travel blog, so I won't dive into the history of 30A, but you can read more via the link. We found a VRBO in Seacrest and rented a beach house there. All the beaches are connected, (Alys Beach, Seacrest Beach and Rosemary Beach) but the sections, architecturally are very different, which was so interesting and gorgeous with the common thread being the beaches and bike paths, ice cream shops, sand, green water, fabulous shops, and pretty preppy people.
I hope you enjoy the photos I am sharing with you today - I highly recommend the 30 A-oh my, there I rhymed. Check out my Instagram feed for more photos!
The sand along the 30A Beaches are soft and oyster white. They are not powdery like the Caribbean, but still very soft and sugary and impeccably clean. The water is normally pale green to deep emerald, but we were there after hard rains, and the water wasn't as green as our week of visiting. You can see more photos of the true color of the water in my Instagram feed. There are also 4 beautiful pools in the area, assigned to their respective VRBO so you have to do a little homework there. The Seacrest Beach pool is NOT heated, fyi. So with our week's cooler weather, it was too cccccold (for me).
Seashell hunting always keeps us occupied. That shirt is from (last year) Rickshaw Designs if you are wondering. :)
We rented in the Seacrest Beach community, about a fast 5 minute bike ride from Rosemary Beach (not this exact house). Here you will find quiet streets to ride your bike. It is tucked away from the center of Rosemary beach and just a 5 minute bike path ride away from shops, candy stores and restaurants-and the beach front! You will find mostly VRBO's here offering rows and rows of beach houses in the urban beach house style. I couldn't get enough.If you stay here you have access to Seacrest Beach. The beaches in Rosemary Beach ARE gated, you need the code or to be staying there to have access.
Need a bike? They have thousands, no need to rent a car here. This particular outfit called "Peddlers" delivers them to you.
We brought our own helmets from home, so rest assured she wore it after the initial ride home from the rental shop).
Seacrest Beach -adorable little rows of beach houses.
We first rode around to Rosemary Beach which is lush and full of trees and gorgeous homes and architecture.
Our sweetie turned 7 so we celebrated at La Crema Tapas and Chocolate. It was amazing food and the kids had an opportunity to try new things in smaller batches.
Now we are off to Alys Beach. This is what the bike / pedestrian path looks like from Seacrest to Alys Beach.
I love the logo of Alys Beach, don't you? We rode for 2 1/2 hours this day-it was sooooo beautiful. It's up there with the best bike ride I have ever had, honestly. All of us on our bikes, perfect temps, the sunset. I am glad we kept on riding, it STORMED the next 4 days.
The sidewalks on the way to Alys Beach are encrusted with seashells. The Architecture in this section of the 30 A is incredible and very different than the other sections of the 30A. It's truly luxurious and is made up mostly of VRBO's, so if you want to try one on for a week, you can!
Alys Beach -here we get fancy and unique. You know me, I love white and unique, so I was in awe (which is why I have a larger collection of photos of this area).
Alys Beach - look at that beautiful vine against the white smooth wall.
That little vine belongs to this house in Alys Beach
Alys Beach - Latitiude + Attitudes , love it.
My husband took this of me standing by a stunning side entry of an Alys Beach residence.
We met the sweetest family from Colorado. Our kids played together for 7 hours they got along so well.
When we returned back to Oregon the following week, our puppy, named Piper was waiting for us. Coincidentally, I ran into this little truck with "you know who's" name on the side.
Isn't this beach pavilion in Alys Beach to die for?!
Shop in Alys Beach - I never went in, I was too afraid I would buy something lol.
Up the 30 A a little further is Grayton Beach. This is a public non-gated beach full of water fowl. Even on a gray day, it is still breathtaking.
Grayton Beach, FL
That storm in the distance lasted 4 days-Grayton Beach, FL.
Follow the 30 A to Sea Grove Beach and you can see where the show the Truman Show was filmed. It looked exactly like the movie..
Seagrove is the home of adorable shops including my favorite toy store named "Duckies". There's also Willow, a lovely clothing boutique for women and Mercer for men. Oh my we were in here forever!
The shoes alone, oh my the cuteness. They no longer sell online, sorry to tell you this, but you may want to give them a call if you see something here.
In rain AND shine, we had a great time together. Thanks for checking out the 30 A with us, we highly recommend it!