There I was enjoying a light breeze as the sun soaked into my skin and my toes wiggled in the silky white sand. Lounging at the beach is the epitome of leisure for some, and I, for one, am definitely a fan. The beach of my dreams this particular weekend was Rosemary Beach, a 107-acre waterfront community with a serene setting and small town convenience.
With a New Urbanism approach, Rosemary Beach is an intimate mix of residences and public spaces. The town is focused on neighbors, families and friends living in a community that is not dependent on cars or overgrown with restaurants or retail spaces. In fact, the layout was meticulously designed to encourage a 5-minute walk to the center of town, which boasts clothing boutiques and souvenir shops, as well as, delightful eateries, ranging from flip-flop casual to glamourous gourmet.
One of my favorites was Onana Neighborhood Café. Everything on the menu looked downright mouth-watering. The tiramisu is a must have; I promise you wont regret it. After a bite to eat, I recommend trotting down the boardwalk to the turquoise water, swimming pools, tennis courts and more. You’ll find something to do in every nook of this charming seaside town.
During my recent trip, as I walked through town, I reveled in the stunning mix of architecture surrounding me. The details and silhouettes mimic the styles of St. Augustine, the West Indies, New Orleans and Charleston. The homes feature high ceilings, cozy beach decor and phenomenal outdoor spaces such as gardens, courtyards and porches perfect for enjoying the warm Gulfstream breeze. Likewise, sipping coffee on the balcony of my rental Buchart Carriage House was a no-brainer.
While the varied architecture makes the town pleasing to the eye, it is also environmentally friendly. All homes and commercial spaces were constructed with natural materials and are covered in gorgeous natural shades of water-based stain. Even the roadways were designed to encourage walking and cycling through pedestrian lanes, footpaths, boardwalks and secret pathways. Eliminating the car while on vacay works wonders; it instantly allows you to slow down and absorb your surroundings. And trust me, you are going to want to spend your time wandering around and exploring.
Undoubtedly, the setting is pristine, but more importantly, the town exudes an air of relaxation and enjoyment. Whether you are a lucky resident or a vacationing rookie, Rosemary Beach is sure to be a destination filled with memories.
If you go:
- If shopping is on your mind, stop by Bombara Surf Shop, Pish Posh Patchouli and Hissyfits for some unique items.
- For the ultimate sugar rush, pop into La Crema for tapas-style chocolate.
- Enjoy the artistic brilliance of Tommy Crow, a local photographer, in his gallery/workspace on Main Street.
- Rent a beach cruiser from Bamboo Bicycle Company for the length of your stay.
- Take a peek at the vacation rentals at www.RosemaryBeach.com, or call 866.348.8952 for more information. Daily rates start at $188 for spring and fall; $213 for summer and spring break; $172 for winter.
- Rosemary Beach can be reached through three airports. Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (approx. 30 minutes by car); Northwest Florida Regional Airport (approx. 1 hour by car) and Pensacola Regional Airport (approx. 2 hours by car).
This trip was sponsored by Rosemary Beach Cottage Rental Company though the views and opinions in this review are completely my own.