When we first arrived at the beginning of the month, we took a drive down highway 30A along the emerald coast, but didn’t really stop anywhere. I was completely enchanted by Seaside, FL, so on Saturday we took another drive, and this time we stopped to check it out.
The town of Seaside is a pretty new development, with cobblestone residential streets on either side of a small town square.
It’s a master-planned community, that was developed to have minimal impact on the environment. There are no high-rise hotels, only individual vacation rentals and residences . . . and the downtown square, with it’s restaurants and shopping just off the beach is very cute.
We got there right after noon, and with the sun high in the sky, these palm trees were casting shadows on the sidewalk that looked like a painting!
There was a small Farmers’ Market going on, so we walked around a bit, and checked out a few shops.
There were a few cute shops, and if I had a seaside cottage to decorate, I could have gone crazy in one of them . . . but I didn’t.
They could use a quilt shop in this little town . . . just sayin’
At the far north end of town, we found a secluded “Artists’ Park”, surrounded by what looked like studio apartments, like something you would see in a big city – very cool.
My favorite part of Seaside, though, is the cute little Food Court area – all Airstream trailers.
There were a lot of food choices – hot dogs, BBQ, Asian, health food – but we weren’t ready to eat yet, so we just got Hawaiian ice.
OK, it was pricey . . . $6 for a small (I think we pay about $2.50 for the same in Shipshewana!), but it was cool & refreshing on a hot day.
From there, we crossed the street and walked down to the beach. It’s a short walk, and there’s a covered seating area where people seemed to leave shoes, so we did the same. We regretted that, though – the sand was extremely HOT even on the short walk down to the water!
It was a beautiful beach . . . with hardly a speck of anything floating in it. I told Tom it looked like they installed a filter out in the ocean somewhere to make sure that no seaweed made it to shore!
This is definitely the high-rent district, but it’s beautiful!
After our walk on the beach, we continued west on 30A, stopping in at the two other state parks on the beach – Grayton Beach, and Topsail Hill Preserve.
They are both beautiful parks, with nice campgrounds that we could even get our rig into.
We stopped in the Ranger Station at both parks to get information on volunteer opportunities and the contact info of the Volunteer Coordinator at each park.
They both seem like really nice parks, and we know people who volunteer at both of them and enjoy it, but I think our preference might be Grayton Beach – it’s smaller, and seems less commercialized than Topsail Hill Preserve.
When we left Topsail, we were at the end of 30A, and if we continued west we would end up in the chaos of Destin, so we turned around and made our way back toward Camp Helen.
In the evening, after dinner, Tom and I decided to go catch the sunset at the beach. We could have just walked to our beach here at Camp Helen, but it was still pretty hot out, so we drove to Inlet Beach instead. Tom wanted to get the truck out anyway, and it’s right next to the park.
When we arrived, we weren’t sure we were going to see much of the sunset since there was a big cloud covering it, but we hung around anyway, walking down to the state park boundary and back.
As we were making our way back, the big cloud was moving, and we gradually saw more of the sunset.
We saw birds flying overhead, and sand castles on the beach,
and the set-up for a sunset wedding.
By the time we walked to Camp Helen and back, the wedding had started,
and the sky was getting prettier.
We talked with a resident of Inlet Beach as we all enjoyed the sunset.
Beautiful end to another beautiful day!