Beach Week Day 5: Rosemary Beach, Florida

*This post contributed by Travel Editor Carolanne Roberts

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If you know Rosemary Beach, you’re saying aaaaaaah right now and nodding your head as those-in-the-know often do. If you don’t—and it’s still something of a secret, even in Southern reaches of Florida—then you’ll want to this place the rest of us rank high on our Beaches to Sigh For list.

This resort community is first an eye-pleaser, in calm colored tones slathered over Caribbean, East Indies, and Lowcountry cottage styles. It’s a jewel along that stretch from Panama City to Destin, the strip known as 30A (for the highway that connects the dots of beaches). It’s nice to know that this is a proud example of the New Urbanism approach—which means a town easy to navigate on foot. But you think less about theory and more about ease when you stroll to the white sands of the beach, ride your bike like a kid again, and generally enjoy staying put without feeding your car even a whiff of gas. I love the little shops—from shoes to shabby chic d├ęcor—and the food (see below), the friendly new friends I always make, and the total escape from care. Last time I actually coaxed my e-mail to work—then shut it down when I realized one thing:  Who needs it? I’ve got Rosemary!

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Best Food
Onano comes to mind (dinner-only, a bit pricey, good to celebrate your arrival or departure), but so does the informal Cowgirl Kitchen with its Drunken Cowgirl pizza (the vodka sauce doesn’t get you sauced). Summer Kitchen lures us for eggy breakfasts, then turns into Blue by Night for flip-flop easy dinners. Wild Olives, a deli/eatery, is sandwichy and provides a sit-outside view of life along 30A.

Don’t Miss
Sunset on any Rosemary Beach boardwalk. Grab your wine and go early enough to appreciate the drama of the sun’s many stages of slinking away. It’s the place you often meet the folks you’ll go to dinner with—honest.

Best Dash by Bike
Pedal less than a mile west down 30A (sidewalks provided) to Fonville Press at Alys Beach, the all-white resort village next down the road. It’s a delightful setting for coffee and morning goodies/wine at Happy Hour. Great selection of style books, magazines, and dreamy tomes of faraway places.

For more, including photos and play-by-play on Rosemary rentals:  www.rosemarybeach.com.

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COMMENTS

  1. Just Plain Jane

    Your descriptive words and beautiful pictures go hand in hand and work so well together that it makes this Californian want to visit Florida and that desire rarely ever happens to me.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:22 pm
  2. carol smith

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    June 24, 2008 at 11:32 pm
  3. neiljones022

    Golden in the morning sun, silvered by moonlight, Grayton Beach has consistently been ranked among the most beautiful and pristine beaches in the United States. The beach provides an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing, and surf fishing. Visitors can paddle a canoe or kayak on scenic Western Lake to get a closer look at a salt marsh ecosystem. A boat ramp provides access to the lake’s brackish waters for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. A nature trail winds through a coastal forest where scrub oaks and magnolias, bent and twisted by salt winds, have an eerie “Middle Earth” look. Hikers and bicyclists can enjoy over four miles of trails through pine flatwoods; the trail begins across from the park entrance on Highway 30-A. Options for overnight stays include modern cabins and a full-facility campground. Located near the town of Grayton Beach on County Road 30A, south of U.S. 98.
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  6. Lila

    I want to be that person who is relaxing underneath the tie-dye umbrella! I love it! And you’re right, as soon as I started reading, I was nodding my head and saying ahhh Rosemary beach!

    February 22, 2011 at 10:31 am
  7. Lila

    I want to be that person who is relaxing underneath the tie-dye umbrella! I love it! And you’re right, as soon as I started reading, I was nodding my head and saying ahhh Rosemary beach!

    February 22, 2011 at 10:31 am