Travel Guide: Seaside, FL

Seaside, FL….my happy place.

Situated on scenic Highway 30A along Florida’s emerald coast, Seaside is one of my absolute favorite places to vacation! Known for it’s sugar white sand beaches, colorful charming homes, and delicious eats, Seaside is a destination that should not be missed! Having traveled with my family for years to this beach town that promotes a simple, beautiful lifestyle, I have developed a love and appreciation for the way Seaside cultivates a connection between friends and family and all the beauty this special place has to offer. I encourage you to discover Seaside for yourself and enjoy some of my favorite spots and suggestions!

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Grab and Go:

 Modica Market

A landmark in Seaside, Modica Market is a precious family owned and operated neighborhood specialty market that has served this beach town since 1988. Stop by for gourmet groceries, delicious baked goods, yummy breakfast items, and the best fresh-squeezed mimosas!

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Amavida Coffee and Tea

Amavida Coffee is an Organic, Fair Trade Coffee company that takes pride in their freshly roasted coffee beans, and they should! I am a bit of a coffee snob and I absolutely love Amavida! Stop in for your favorite coffee drink and a breakfast sandwich or pastry!

For a quick bite:

 Raw and Juicy

A health food airstream trailer in Seaside serving fresh juices, smoothies, and raw vegan eats, Raw and Juicy is ALWAYS my first stop when I arrive on 30A! The Raw and Juicy oatmeal bowl topped with seasonal fruit and walnuts is my favorite breakfast in the world, seriously, the world! The Costa Rican bowl and veggie hummus wrap are my go-to for a casual lunch! Take Raw and Juicy home with you by purchasing a bag of Breakfast Blend granola or spicy tortilla chips.

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Bud & Alley’s Taco Bar

Taco Bar is a casual, order-at-the-counter restaurant serving fresh and flavorful tacos, homemade guacamole and yummy margaritas. With outdoor seating, Taco Bar is the perfect setting for an easy, breezy beachside lunch or dinner!

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Meltdown on 30A

Meltdown on 30A is a super popular airstream eatery featuring the finest grilled cheese sandwiches around! Expect a line, as these gourmet grilled cheeses are highly sought after! Our family favorite is the Smokin’ Turkey which is Jack cheese, smoked turkey, bacon, avocado, and Albuquerque sauce! Yum!

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Bud & Alley’s Pizza Bar + Trattoria

Just steps off the beach, stop in Pizza Bar for authentic wood-fired pizzas. Cozy up to a table on the patio or take your pizza to go and enjoy it on the beach! The Margherita with basil and fresh mozzarella is superb! To kick it up a notch, order Margherita & Salami that adds salami, honey, chili flakes, and pecorino!

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Barefoot BBQ

Barefoot BBQ is located in Seaside’s Airstream District and most importantly, OPEN LATE! Seaside is a beach town that celebrates a “new town, old ways” motto! While many of the restaurants close their kitchens around 9:30-10:00, you can grab a tasty late-night snack at Barefoot BBQ! This airstream has mastered southern barbeque and the BBQ nachos are spectacular and large enough to share! Another great thing about Barefoot Barbeque is the “Picnic Packages” portion of their menu! My family looks forward to Barefoot BBQ for our traditional Memorial Day or 4th of July barbecue feast!

For Dining:

 Great Southern Cafe

A Seaside classic located in Central Square, Great Southern is a wonderful choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Known for their delicious mojitos and Grits a Ya Ya, (a step up from the traditional shrimp and grits), this restaurant with awesome patio seating has perfected seafood with southern flair! Stop in for breakfast favorites and beignets. For lunch, try the New Orleans-style seafood gumbo, black-eyed pea hummus, or a Mahi sandwich. On the dinner menu, the blackened fish-of-the-day and southern sides like collard greens and smoked gouda cheese grits are a few of my personal favorites! Save room for dessert and try the key lime pie that tastes as wonderful as its beautiful presentation with a fluffy meringue and tropical flower. Come off the beach for happy hour, offered every day from 4-6 pm, with 1/2 off all cocktails and wine by the glass, $1 off all beers and $10.00 per dozen oysters on the half shell. I highly recommend trying one of their famous mojitos or the frozen peach Bellini! Here’s a tip: Don’t miss a second of sunshine and ask for your drink in a to-go cup to take to the beach with you!

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Bud & Alley’s

Named after the town founder’s dog and the restaurant owner’s cat, Bud & Alley’s has become a popular gathering spot for tourists and locals alike. Have lunch on the rooftop terrace overlooking the Gulf of Mexico or celebrate the end of the day by watching the sunset with a cocktail celebrated by the ringing of a ceremonial sunset bell. For finer dining, make reservations for the main dining room. The crab cakes with mixed greens and lemon butter are some of the best I have ever had and the grilled gulf grouper with baby lima beans & sweet corn succotash, basmati rice and lemon aioli is outstanding!

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Shopping:

Sundog Books

Sundog Books is an inviting, independent bookstore located in the heart of Seaside. Grab a book to take straight to the beach or browse beautiful coffee table books and greeting cards to take home! Don’t miss the chalkboard on the porch as you come in the front door! It is always adorned with a fun and inspiring quote!

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Ophelia Swimwear

Ophelia is a must-stop every time I visit Seaside! This vibrant swimwear boutique offers the latest in swimsuits, cover-ups, resort wear and beachy accessories. With brands like Vitamin A, L*Space, Midnight Swimwear, Beach Riot, and Wildfox (to name a few), it’s easy to find the perfect addition to your beach vacation wardrobe!

Seaside Style

The Seaside Style is the flagship store of the official lifestyle brand for the town of Seaside. Located in Central Square, this store offers traditional Seaside t-shirts or sweatshirts in a variety of hues, reflective of the colors of Seaside. Also here you will find swimwear, beach towels, home goods and décor, or a memento to take home as a wonderful reminder of your time on 30A.

Willow + Woods

Willow + Woods is a gorgeous boutique selling clothing, shoes, and accessories for men and women. Described as “beachy, effortless, and fun”, this chic boutique is a great place to spend some time during a stroll through Seaside.

The Art of Simple

The Art of Simple has been named one of “The South’s Best Shops 2017” by Southern Living magazine. You don’t want to miss this fabulous gift boutique located next to Modica Market on the corner in Central Square. Browse the unique treasures, breathe in the aromas of luxurious candles and beauty products, and simply enjoy this gem in Seaside.

Raw and Juicy Life

An extension of the Raw and Juicy airstream, Raw and Juicy Life is a lifestyle boutique with gifts, beauty products, and garden accessories. There is also a take-away section offering juices, healthy desserts and raw chocolate, and bags of delicious Raw and Juicy snacks such as their granola and kale chips.

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Perspicasity

For a truly unique shopping experience, visit Perspicasity, an outdoor women’s fashion bazaar located just steps from the beach! Colorful accessories, relaxed beach style clothing, espadrilles and strappy sandals are on display in little huts and wicker baskets creating an extraordinary atmosphere as you shop your way through Seaside: think international produce market but with eclectic clothing and accessories of vibrant hues!

Ruskin Place

Walk through the shops of Ruskin to browse art galleries and other unique shops! At the end of this walk, catch a glimpse of the beautiful Seaside Chapel!

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Sweet Treats:

 Frost Bites

Frost Bites, the original airstream in Seaside, is a popular stop for all ages! Take time for a refreshing Hawaiian Shave Ice, frozen custard, or an old-fashioned root beer float! You won’t be disappointed!

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Dawson’s

For delicious frozen yogurt or a decadent piece of fudge, stop by Dawson’s in Central Square. The line for this popular spot is usually out the door but moves quickly!

 Heavenly Shortcakes & Ice Cream

Grab a giant ice-cream cone, a scoop of gelato, or a signature strawberry shortcake from this sweet shop! Heavenly Shortcake is located right in the heart of Seaside and offers outdoor seating to enjoy your sweet treats with family and friends!

To Stay:

 Immerse yourself in the beauty of Seaside and rent one of the colorful, charming homes or cottages.

Cottage Rental Agency

Homeowner’s Collection

360 Blue

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To Do:

 Hit the beach!

Rent beach chairs and access the gorgeous beach from one of nine pavilions!

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Go on a bike ride!

Bikes are the main mode of transportation in Seaside, which is one of the most charming things about this beach community! Many rental homes include bikes, but you can also conveniently rent bikes in the center of town!

 

Go to the Farmer’s Market!

Stroll through the Seaside Famer’s Market for local produce and specialty items! Visit vendors to sample and purchase unique products and tasty treats!

Hours:

Labor Day to Memorial Day – Saturdays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Memorial Day to Labor Day – Saturdays & Tuesdays 8:00 am – 12:00 noon

 

Participate in Seaside’s Half Marathon & 5K

Run Seaside’s Half Marathon & 5K on scenic Highway 30A! The fun-filled race weekend is usually held in late February/early March and includes a “taste of the race” dinner with guest chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, a silent auction, and a post-race party with live music and lunch! 100% of the proceeds benefit the local, neighborhood Seaside School.

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Hang out at the amphitheater!

Bring a blanket, some lawn chairs, and a picnic and catch a concert or a movie for the kids in the palm tree-surrounded amphitheater located in the center of town!

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30A is one fabulous destination with many unique beach communities in close proximity!  Small town beach life is celebrated in each of the amazing surrounding beach communities so make time to sample all this colorful stretch of coastline has to offer! This is the first of a series of Travel Guides featuring the beach communities of 30A and I can’t wait to share more with you!

Always finding joy,

Francie

2 Comments

  1. Love it. Still haven’t been there from your last post. Looks beautiful! Hope to try one day ! My happy place is Bermuda. We haven’t missed a year in 20 years ! A very short fight from NYC and your in paradise. If you ever need a long weekend get away try Bermuda . Thanks for all the great info ❤️ #lovinauntlaurie xo

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