This week we visited Seaside, FL, a small town about 30 minutes outside of Destin and Panama City Beach. It started in 1981 with the intention of helping families live a simple, beautiful life. Since then, Seaside has become known for its pastel colored houses, airstream lined town center, and cheerful, family-oriented atmosphere. While we were there, we adventured around the city via bicycles, drank way too much coffee (if there is such a thing), and ran a half-marathon! (Check out the picture on the left. That is on marathon day…we know cute, right?) This was also our first official trip as Grounds for Travel. So on behalf of the two of us, welcome to the adventure. We are excited for you to join us! Below you will find our 48 hour itinerary.
The first day is for the adventurer. This is for the person who is nonstop (*cue the Hamilton soundtrack*) and wants to see all that Seaside has to offer and get the lay of the land. It’s for the person who would rather be spontaneous and adventurous than stay in a hotel room all day.
On your first full day, we recommend renting bikes for the duration of your stay. Bikes are the main choice of transportation in Seaside/Watercolor/Seagrove, and you can get pretty much anywhere on the available bike paths. We stayed in Watercolor, and rented our bikes from the Watercolor Bike Barn, which offers full and half day bike rentals. This will be your best way to get around the town! Click here for more info!
Once you have your bike and are ready to hit the ground running (or biking), we recommend you try paddle boarding at the BoatHouse Paddle Club on Western Lake! Here you can try stand up paddleboarding (SUP), a fun and unique way to spend time on the water. This large, picturesque lake is usually very calm and is the perfect location for both the beginner and the expert paddle boarder. If paddle boarding isn’t really your thing, you can also rent kayaks and canoes if you still want to join in on the fun! Click here to visit their website!
After you’ve gotten your fill of the lake, it’s time to head to the ocean! Hop back on your bike and head towards Seaside’s Town Center. While you’re on your way, be sure to explore the small footpaths in the residential areas around Seaside and Watercolor. As you get closer to the older homes near town center, look for plaques with the fun names of all the houses! See if you can find any of the classic homes with names like “Hurrah!” or “Serendipity”. Also, we’re always big fans of puns, so look and “sea” if you can find any punny house names like “Shore is Fun”. If you keep your eyes open, you may even find the house filmed for exterior shots for the Truman show!
Fun Fact: If you pay attention, you’ll notice a number of peculiarities around the Seaside homes. For example, you may notice that every house’s picket fence is different, there are numerous small footpaths behind all of the houses, and if you look towards the beach from each side street, you will see that they all end in a different styled gazebo. All of these unique touches were added so children could easily find their way back to their homes after a long day at the beach.
Once you’ve explored all around Seaside, it’s finally time to relax! Make your way to the beach and spend the afternoon relaxing on white powder sand among the clear, emerald waves. If you’re lucky, you may even spot dolphins! Be sure to stick around until sunset, I promise it will be worth the wait. After sunset, grab food at one of the airstreams and unwind after a full day of activity.
Now that you have explored all around the coastal town, day 2 is for taking time to slow down and notice all of the beautiful features of Seaside. After a relaxing morning and a cup of coffee from Ama Vida, visit the quirky shops that line town center and pick out a few souvenirs. Trust me, you’ll want something to help you remember every second of this incredible trip. If you’re looking for clothing, The Seaside Style is a must-visit for the classic branded t-shirts,
and nearby is Perspicasity, an outdoor boutique for women’s fashion. If home/kitchen decor is more your style, The Art of Simple has many cute and eclectic accent pieces. There are several other fun stores nearby, but one of our all time favorites is Sundog Books. This exceptional bookstore is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a book to read by the beach, and it also offers t-shirts, mugs (we LOVE our Sundog mugs, they’re all over our instagram!), journals, posters, and more. Right above Sundog Books is another Seaside staple, Central Square Records. This second floor store is a great place to find classic vinyl records, listen to some good music, and get a stunning panorama of town center and the beach.
Pro Tip: Sundog has some of the best Seaside postcards, be sure to buy a few and mail them to friends and family at the famous post office in the middle of town!
Depending on when you visit, there are some additional fun activities you can do with your friends and family. On Saturday mornings, check out the Farmers’ Market, where you will find locally grown produce, fresh baked goods, and artisan breads and cheeses. Also, check out local event listings to see everything that will be happening while you’re in town. There are often theater performances, music concerts, or movie nights in the amphitheater.
This little slice of paradise is truly a perfect vacation spot that never gets old. We hope you will visit here, and make memories of your own. If you do, be sure to tag us on Facebook and Instagram and #groundsfortravel. Thanks for adventuring with us!! We can’t wait to travel with y’all again.
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