On my visit last Friday, Seaside, Florida (above, Friday around noon) looked picture-perfect as usual. (Those clouds cleared up by the time I finished my grilled fish.) The water was clear, the sand was clean, and locals said that after an initial scare involving a few pea-size tarballs that were quickly cleaned up, they hadn't seen another trace of oil.
Here on the beach, on June 26, local surfer and Bud and Alley's restaurateur Dave Rauschkolb organized a peaceful international protest called Hands Across the Sand, in which thousands of people joined hands on the beach to send a message opposing offshore drilling and supporting clean energy.
If you have never been to this New Urbanist coastal community, you may recognize Seaside from "The Truman Show," which was filmed there. Its white picket fences, architecturally stunning beach cottages, and community events make it one of our favorite charming small beach towns. It's the kind of place where you can park once and walk to restaurants, shops, and the beach. Better yet, rent a colorful beach cruiser and pedal around.
If you already know and love this beach, make sure to come back to see what's new: The Beach Ready Spa is hosting Thursday "date night" specials pairing treatments with Champagne, and The Studio is a new yoga center offering dance and yoga classes for all ages. Check out this calendar of events for storytelling, art events, concerts, and more.
Like many other places along the Gulf Coast, the Cottage Rental Agency, which rents private beach houses in Seaside, is offering a "no-risk deposit" on rentals, shrinking its 30-day cancellation policy to 24 hours. Check out their rental specials and get updates and ideas for things to do on their Facebook page.