Seaside, Florida is one of three master-planned communities in South Walton County that are centered on the concept of New Urbanism. The other two coastal towns include Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach. All three communities were designed by the same firm, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (now DMZ partners), which pioneered this urban planning design aesthetic that was developed in the 1980s. In fact, if you love architecture, the styles exhibited in this town range from Victorian, Neoclassical, Postmodern, Spanish Revival, etc., which results in one of the most fascinating coastal communities in the United States. The entire town was designed to focus on a communal center, the way cities were planned centuries ago, before the automobile became commonplace and transportation was done by foot or horse-drawn carriage. Of course, there is still room for cars, however they play second fiddle to walking and biking in Seaside.
Around the central square, visitors will find the main hub at Seaside, Florida. Here, the lively palm-lined plaza is surrounded by shops, restaurants, coffeehouses and galleries. Visit Sundog Books to buy a dog-eared copy of your favorite novel and head to the white sands for some reading. Fusion Art Glass is a boutique that sells one-of-a-kind sculpted pieces and Anne Hunter Galleries presents contemporary art and photography. In fact, all of the galleries that surround DiBicci Park are perfect for browsing and each one has its own flair. From modern art to primitive pieces, the prices may sometimes be exorbitant, however if you purchase one, you can always tell yourself that art is a good investment.
As with many other communities between Destin and Panama City, Seaside is flanked by a water on its western side, where the aptly named Western Lake offers plenty of freshwater recreational activities such as kayaking canoeing and paddle boarding. One of the best outfitters for all things outdoor is the WaterColor Bike Barn. Located at the WaterColor Inn, here you can pick up a bike and pedal through miles upon miles of nature trails as well as on the sugar white sandy beaches. Seaside Transit Authority is another bike specialist that rents them by the hour or for the day.
Where to Sleep at Seaside
When night falls, Seaside turns into a sleepy, quiet seaside village without all the hustle-and-bustle found in nearby Panama City Beach or Panama City, however that is the particular reason why so many people flock to the white sands of Florida’s Panhandle, to seek some rest and relaxation with a rental with Paradise Properties.