A gem on the Gulf Coast, the town of Seaside is a vacationer’s paradise. With its white sand beaches, a plethora of outdoor activities, and exciting nearby attractions, you are sure to have an unforgettable time! A city of just over 32,000 people, this New Urbanism-inspired town is sure to deliver an authentic and unique experience – with plenty of small-town charm.
Whether it’s a family getaway or just some time for yourself, you’ll find plenty to see and do. In our ultimate guide, we will give you a rundown of all the best activities, attractions, and restaurants in the area.
Read on to learn how you can plan the best vacation and make the most of your time in this beautiful beach town!
A New Urbanism Paradise
What draws many to the shores of Seaside is its New Urbanism-inspired design. This South Walton coastal town was designed as a “pedestrian paradise,” harkening to the days of walkable small towns with a tight-knit community feel.
Ever seen The Truman Show? From the moment you arrive on the beach or stroll through the central square, you’ll understand why this was the perfect backdrop for Jim Carrey’s 1998 hit movie. Not only are the pastel homes lining the streets an homage to the movie’s setting, but the entire town also has a sense of familiarity as though you’ve stepped into the past. White picket fences, green park benches, and colorful flowers adorn the pedestrian-friendly streets.
Visit Airbus Row – the main strip that runs along the waterfront. You’ll find an eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, galleries, and more here. Stop by for lunch at Barefoot Bar-B-Que for a taste of Americana on the beach, and finish your day at Heavenly Shortcakes & Ice Cream – the perfect spot for a refreshing treat!
A Foodie’s Favorite Destination
It’s a foodie’s dream come true! The Village Market has been a staple in the area since 1949, offering fresh produce and local specialties. But it’s not just the traditional restaurants that make this destination a foodie paradise. The thriving food truck scene offers an array of delicious options for those looking for something different.
Head to Highway 30A in Seaside, and you’ll find something unexpected and delightful: an array of vintage Airstream trailers, each offering mouthwatering delights. Founded by Robert Davis, these mini restaurants are perfect for those who want a simple dining experience. Here is a list of the Airstream food trucks and what they have to offer:
- Barefoot BBQ serves hormone- and steroid-free barbecue that will bring back fond memories.
- Frost Bites offers Hawaiian shaved ice, homemade frozen custard, freshly squeezed lemonade, and cold drinks.
- The Melt Down on 30A specializes in classic and unique grilled cheese sandwiches – so whether you have picky eaters or little ones, this is a great spot to hit!
- Raw & Juicy has organic juice smoothies, raw food, and healthy beach snacks, including an excellent black bean and avocado salad.
- Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs features unbeatable hotdogs that are perfect for the beach, and are made from quality family-farmed pork and pasture-raised turkey hot dogs.
No matter where you stop, the Airstreams of Seaside will have something to tantalize your taste buds. And with simple menus and a fun atmosphere, it’s a great way to experience the area in a unique and exciting way.
You can also find a variety of sit-down restaurants that will make everyone on your trip happy. KC’s Sandbar & Grille serves local seafood and other delicious fares, while the Great Southern Café is a great option for casual American dining with something to please everyone.
And if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, be sure to check out the Rum Runner’s Dueling Piano Bar & Grill. Chow down on some truly delicious bites while enjoying a show you’ll never forget!
What To Do In Seaside, Florida
Once you’re energized from a delicious meal, it’s time to get out there and explore all that the area has to offer. From the white sands of its pristine beaches to the unique attractions and activities, you can quickly fill an entire vacation.
Visit One Of South Walton County’s Beaches
At the top of most visitor lists is a day at the beach. From Dune Allen to Inlet Beach, there are plenty of options for a day in the sun. Seaside Beach is one of the most popular in the area, is easily accessible, and offers plenty of amenities like public beach pavilions and nearby shops. It’s also known for its pastel-colored beach houses and iconic whitewashed post office.
Seagrove Beach, located just to the east is another popular spot in the area. It’s a great place for beachcombing and spotting wildlife like dolphins, sea turtles, and bald eagles. While you’re there, be sure to grab a bite from one of the great restaurants nearby.
Grayton Beach State Park
Grayton Beach State Park is another excellent option for those looking to explore the area’s natural beauty. This park offers stunning views of white sand dunes and crystal-clear waters. Plenty of activities are available such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, and more.
Santa Clara Beach
Santa Clara Beach is another great choice for those looking to soak up some sun while still being close to town. This beach features many beach pavilions with plenty of amenities like picnic tables and grills, so you can make a day out of it.
Inlet Beach is located just east of Rosemary Beach and offers stunning views of the Gulf Coast. With its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, this beach is perfect for swimming or simply relaxing with friends or family.
Blue Mountain Beach
Blue Mountain Beach is another spot near Seaside that offers breathtaking views of the Gulf Coast as well as plenty of activities like fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more. This beach also has several public access points so you can make a day out of it if you’d like!
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park is located just west of Santa Rosa Beach and offers visitors stunning views from its three miles long stretch along Highway 30A. With its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, this park is perfect for swimming or simply relaxing with friends or family while taking in some incredible scenery!
Rosemary Beach is located just south of Inlet Beach and provides visitors with stunning views from its boardwalk that runs along the 30A highway. The town of Rosemary also offers the urban-lifestyle experience with various shops, restaurants, and kiosks.
While this beautiful beach town is perfect for anyone, families especially love coming to this part of the Emerald Coast for the many activities and attractions that are available. It’s a great destination for families looking for a fun and relaxing vacation. With its beautiful beaches, quaint shops, and plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained, there’s something for everyone here.
Check Out The Farmers Market and Post Office
One of the best family-friendly things to do is to visit the Seaside Farmers Market. Here you can find fresh local produce, handmade crafts, and delicious snacks. The market is open every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm and is located right in the heart of town.
The Seaside Post Office is another great spot for families to explore. This historic building dates back to 1836 and offers visitors a glimpse into the past. Inside you’ll find old postcards, stamps, and other memorabilia that will make your trip even more special. The historic post office is a key element to the New Urbanism feel, and kids will love it.
Head To Town Center
Sundog Books is a must-visit when you’re in town. This independent bookstore offers an extensive selection of books for all ages and interests – perfect for keeping the kids entertained while offering tons of great reads for mom and dad.
If you’re looking for some culture during your visit, be sure to check out one of the many art galleries or amphitheaters. From live music performances to art exhibitions, there are always events and concerts taking place in the city.
And don’t forget about the Seaside Town Center! This vibrant area features an array of restaurants, boutiques, and stores that feature many local products and souvenirs. Whether you’re looking to pick up a unique gift or just enjoy some time people-watching, the Town Center is the perfect spot for any outing!
Check Out Modica Market
Modica Market is a family-owned and operated gourmet grocery store that has been serving Southern hospitality since 1989. Located in downtown, this quaint market offers a wide selection of fresh meals as well as a ton of ingredients to go.
The Modica Market bakery is especially popular among customers for its delicious selection of freshly baked goods. The staff is friendly and helpful, always willing to assist customers with their needs. Visitors to the store can also find a large selection of wines to choose from.
A Little History
Robert S. Davis is the founder and co-developer of Seaside, Florida, a small beach town located on the Gulf Coast of Northwest Florida. He grew up vacationing in the area with his family and developed an affinity for the subtropical climate and beachfront living. After majoring in history at Antioch College, he became an award-winning builder/developer in Miami in the 1970s.
In 1979, Robert and his wife Daryl Rose Davis purchased 80 acres of land along the shore of Northwest Florida to create what Time Magazine would later describe as “the most astonishing design achievement of its era.” The couple envisioned a town where life slows down and people have time to be together, which led to their development as a new urban community that emphasizes walkability, sustainability, and community engagement.
Top Places to Stay
With so much to see and do, it’s essential that you pick the right place to stay! Not only will you want a comfortable vacation rental to return to each day of your trip, but you’ll also want quick beach access and an easy drive to the various attractions of the area. Fortunately, you can find the perfect place to lay your head at night with Florida Cabins for YOU!
Our premier Seaside, Florida, rentals offer all the amenities you need in a home away from home. With a variety of rental homes, townhomes, and condos available in this beach community, we can help you find the perfect place to stay that is close to all the action! Our customer service team is friendly and ready to help you find the perfect fit for your beach vacation needs.
With access to the hottest attractions and restaurants in Seaside, why look anywhere else? Book your stay with Florida Cabins for YOU today and get ready to enjoy your dream vacation in comfort and style! We can also provide assistance with booking activities, planning your itinerary, and much more – all you have to do is ask! So don’t wait any longer – plan your dream vacation with CFY now!