Man, it is has taken me a long time to write this post—but my guide to Seaside, Florida is finally here! Seaside is a magical little town in the Florida panhandle on the Gulf side, which is why the water looked so blue in the photos I’ve been sharing! Gerald’s aunt owns a condo in the neighboring Watercolor community (that’s how we found out about the town) and she graciously lets us stay there when we visit.
Seaside is a master-planned community, which is why all of the homes are adorable pastel colors and why the area is so walkable. So walkable in fact, that we didn’t rent a car our first year. We ended up renting one this year because Gerald wanted to play golf and the taxi rates racked up pretty quickly the year before, but it’s definitely not necessary. The area is pretty small and there aren’t very many blog posts floating around out there, so I figured I’d put out my thoughts on the best places to eat, things to do, and of course—where to shop. (P.S. you can shop my look at the bottom of this post!)
The Taco Bar: it’s become a bit of a tradition for us to go to this colorful taco stand on our first night of the trip. Aside from a great selection of tacos, burritos, and salads, the outdoor spot is perfect for people watching while sipping a Corona
Great Southern Cafe: as a vegetarian, I’m not a huge fan of southern food because it isn’t too friendly for us herbivores, but Great Southern gets the mix between veggie-friendly and comfort food just right
Bud And Alley’s Pizza Bar: with a huge outdoor seating area, views of the gulf, and great pizza, this is probably my favorite restaurant in town. Definitely don’t forget to order an appetizer of avocado toast — It’s probably the best I’ve ever had
Seaside Slipstreams: Seaside is full of quirky amenities and the slipstreams are certainly one of them. Lined up in front of the town center, the slipstreams are kind of like mini, permanent food trucks. You can find everything from BBQ to grilled cheese to smoothie stations at the slipstreams—perfect for a quick lunch or casual dinner
Amavida Coffee: I feel like I’m cheating by putting this in my guide because it’s the only coffee shop in Seaside, but whatever. They have a great cold brew and a cute patio where you can enjoy your caffeine!
Bud and Alley’s – okay by now you’re probably wondering if Bud and Alley own Seaside, and TBH I have no idea who they are, so they might. This roofdeck bar is where we always head when we get into town and grab a drink while we wait for our room to be ready. We also end up here at least three other times to watch the sun set because it’s the best view in Seaside. The drinks are pricer than at most of the other restaurants, but it’s worth it for that view!
Beach Club Grill & Rita Bar: located at the WaterColor Inn, the beach bar overlooks the resort’s pool and the beach and it’s pretty much picture perfect. They have a daily happy hour so we liked to head up there after spending the day on the beach or the pool for a drink before we got ready for dinner
Great Southern Cafe: I included this in both food and drink because it has a really good happy hour on the bar patio. The atmosphere here is super lovely and I love people-watching everyone strolling around the town center!
Explore neighboring beaches: the first year we came we never ventured out of WaterColor or Seaside, and I was determined to change that this year. Nestled along Highway 30 A, Seaside neighbors tons of beautiful beaches including standout Rosemary and Alys Beach. It’s definitely worth it to make a trip out to the towns to see their unique architecture and explore the restaurants, but I wouldn’t recommend biking there like we did unless you’re in way better shape than I am and have a legit bicycle—not the “pedal backwards to stop” bikes we were on
Go for a bike ride: contrary to that last point, go for a short bike ride through Seaside or to the nearby Publix. If you have a bike basket or backpack you can stock up on groceries or drinks and it’s way cheaper at the grocery store than at the tiny market in town
Walk around the pastel houses: take a meandering stroll throughout the colorful neighborhoods and take in the sights of all of the adorable homes! Every single house in Seaside is a different design and has its own name and color scheme. The neighborhoods are practically begging to be Instagrammed
Catch the sunset at Bud and Alley’s: every night, the waterfront bar has a contest where diners and bargoers guess what time the sun will set and when the sun finally sets, the team rings a massive bell and the winner gets a free drink. It sounds silly, but everyone gets really into it and you really can’t beat the views from the bar!
DejaVu Boutique: nestled in the town center is a haven for all girls who crave an effortless, beachy boho style. The boutique is totally southern, but sources finds you won’t see in your standard DC retailers. I picked up this off-the-shoulder dress last year and the green maxi you guys loved from Gerald’s UVA reunion there!
Sundog Books: there are fews things I love more than reading a book poolside, so Gerald and I always head here to stock up on beach reads. They have a fantastic selection of books and upstairs is a record store! It’s worth it to go inside just to grab a magazine so you can check out the decor
Persipcacity: envision an outdoor farmer’s market — now imagine that instead of produce, all of the stands are selling accessories and clothes. This outdoor market is not only adorable, but stocked with great finds if you want to bring back a souvenir for friends or pick up a pompom beach bag
The Seaside Style: this is probably pretty lame to admit as someone who calls themselves a fashion blogger, but I love souvenir t-shirts and Gerald and I have started picking them up from the places we go to together. I usually opt for an oversized, long sleeve tee and love wearing them around the apartment because they bring back so many great memories. It definitely doesn’t hurt that the Seaside store has fantastic branding and very tasteful color palettes for their products—this is definitely nothing like a boardwalk beach store