Sitting on the front porch in sweet Seaside this month, only the call of an occasional gull or crunching under the wheels of a passing biker will break the solitude that comes in the off-season months here along Highway 30-A, in Florida’s panhandle.
This is not the 30-A you know and love from spring breaks spent with sunburned kids, bikes and busy streets. Seaside in the shoulder season promises all you love about the 30-A community: restaurants galore, flat path biking to one of the state parks, long walks on the clean Gulf of Mexico beach, sunset drinks at Bud & Alley’s and a comfortable beach rental to call your own. (Front porch not optional!)
We stayed at Mint 4 Fun, a VRBO property owned by Buckhead resident Christie Derrick, just north of the town square in Seaside and steps from two of the three community pools. The home sleeps 12, sports a huge kitchen and yes, a porch. Make that four porches.
My favorite spot was the big swing on the secluded second-floor porch that runs along the side of the house. It’s a perfect perch for reading or a quiet conversation. Christie and her family have decorated the house with just a few beachy touches, but it’s not packed to the gills, allowing visitors to plop down beach bags, spread out a puzzle or roll out yoga mats for a stretch. The spacious house has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and a cool enclosed tower room for your Instagramming pleasure.
A cute bunk room (for kids or the teens) with a hideaway loft and its own bathroom, a king master, two queens and a twin—each en suite—provide plenty of space for the crew.
Christie provides a large wagon, rolling cooler, a few beach chairs and toys for guests. “Beware,” she says. “There are many listings that claim to be in Seaside, when actually they may be near Seaside, but not in the Seaside community. If you want to swim in the three Seaside community pools, use the Seaside fitness center, play tennis or use the private Seaside pavilions to access the beach, you must stay in a property that is actually in Seaside!”
The beaches of picturesque 30-A are an easy five-hour drive. Whether you’re planning spring break for the gang or have a resolution to spend more time with your oldest and dearest friends, Seaside and Mint 4 Fun are ready when you are. In any season. For your reunion, company weekend or supersized families, check out the Derricks' other property near Seaside: Facebook.com/seasidereunion. Follow them at Facebook.com/mint4fun and find all the booking details at VRBO.com/460725.