Lots of fun in Seaside


Article by Grady McGill

Photography by Grady McGill

Need a beach getaway? I get it! You came to the right spot for that! Seaside on Florida’s Gulf Coast’s 30A. The good news is that Seaside is a quick short drive of 5 hours from Atlanta and isn’t that far for cities such as Memphis, Birmingham or even Nashville. Seaside is near Destin, which is 24.4 miles away, and Panama City Beach, which is 38.4 miles. 

Seaside has plenty to offer for everyone of all ages whether solo, a couple or family. There are lots of great beach houses and resorts in Seaside. One of the great things about the town and 30A is you have places that are walkable whether going to the shops, restaurants, grabbing a cup of coffee, getting some ice cream and the beach, of course. There are plenty of bike riders as well. There are wonderful local coffee and ice cream shops in the city. Seaside even has food trucks on the block too and that is worth checking out. If you are a seafood lover they have some great seafood markets you can get seafood and cook at your beach house.


Seaside has lots of rental beach houses along 30A but where we stayed stood out among the others. The cottage was gorgeous with beautiful wood, high-end touches, three bedrooms and bathrooms with a bunch of space in between. It’s right on the beach! My favorite things about it are the porch balcony views, living room and the swings. Let’s go through that, shall we? The three bedrooms are on the first floor with the upstairs wrapped around a big staircase. The living room is spread out with more than one couch and a big TV. The porch has a great view of the beach with a dining table and beach chairs. It’s perfect for gorgeous sunsets views, relaxing or having a glass of wine. 

Next to the master suite is a large screened-in room with two single-bed swings. We spent an entire evening propped up with large pillows, drinking wine and listening to the waves. Talk about feeling relaxed and lazy. Staying at the cottage was everything you can ask for and certainly a real treat for a perfect vacation. Next time we go back — and we will — we will book our cottage again with Cottage Rental Agency. The house was wonderful and when we called them to show us how to use the television remotes they responded within five minutes — on a Sunday morning! That’s real service!

The beach

We all know everyone goes to Florida for the beaches right! While some beaches are public but our cottage house came with a private beach. Access to the beach is through a gate with a code going both in and out. The beaches in Seaside are the perfect spot for long walks, sitting and watching the waves and sunsets and again, just relaxing. What was interesting and made the beach even better was that there were no rocks or shells, just fine white sand. Of course, if you’re a shell collector, that’s not great news, but it was perfect for walking or running barefoot. Another great thing was that you could walk on the beach to some of the restaurants. The surf was a bit rough — the no swimming flag was out — but even so, the water was a bit cold for anyone except maybe someone with a polar bear constitution. 

Food trucks

One of the great things about Seaside is there are food trucks on the town square. They are walkable whether you are staying at a beach house or a resort. Whether you want a quick snack or want to try a food truck simply treat yourself no matter the purpose. The food trucks have great variety of options to choose from such as Barefoot BBQ, Wild Bills Beach Dogs, Frost Bites, Crepes du Soleil and Gyro Hero. My favorite food truck was Gyro Hero because they were really delicious, really huge and that could hold you over a good while. You have to be extra hungry to have one and the good news is you get good value for your money. I also tried Barefoot BBQ, which was good and had a pork sandwich that came with two sides. Barefoot also has fantastic sweet tea and you can get free refills. 

Local pizza and seafood

The first night we got takeout from a local pizza place called Bud & Alley’s Pizza Bar + Trattoria and thought it was deliciously homemade. We had the Tre Carne, which has three meats from pepperoni, sausage and pancetta. 

We mostly cooked at the house for a couple of reasons. One was the cost. We were able to buy incredibly fresh shrimp, scallops, clams and tuna at low prices. We loved cooking in the cottage’s ultra modern kitchen with high end appliances. We did go to a couple of restaurants and cafes but keep in mind we noticed there was very little social distancing being practiced and the wait staff didn’t even wear masks. So that brought us back to Goatfeathers Seafood Market for their fresh seafood and homemade seafood gumbo. We also bought shrimp as well and had it steamed. If you are a seafood lover, Seaside has the freshest seafood, not only at the restaurants but at their seafood markets.

Local brewery 

Looking to try a local brewery? Make sure to visit Idyll Hounds Brewery and try some local beer. Who loves trying local beer when you travel? I certainly do! When I visited Idyll Hounds I tried a few flights of beer with two sours, one pale ale and one light beer. The pale ale is the Palapa, The two sours are the Love Machine and Rosemary Saison. Last, but not least the light beer is the Mists of Avalon. Trying some flights of beer gives you some possibilities you might like before ordering a full draft beer. My favorite — in order were the Palapa, Mists of Avalon, Love Machine and Rosemary Saison.

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