Swimmy / Kimono / Similar Hat / Sunnies

Ahhhh...a week of R&R at the beach.
Doesn't get much better than that.
Greg and I spent the week of our wedding anniversary living that dream in Rosemary Beach, Florida. If you're interested in visiting that area yourself, here's a little recap of our trip.

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So we technically stayed in a condo in Seacrest Beach. But, it's like half a mile from Rosemary Beach. All of the little beaches and towns (Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Alys Beach, Seaside, Grayton Beach) around this area are all kind of one in the same. They're all on the 30A highway and are easy driving distances from one another.
Specifically between Seacrest Beach and Rosemary Beach, almost everything is within walking and/or biking distance.

We stayed in an adorable studio condo in the Villages of South Walton. That worked perfectly for us, but surrounding the condos are tons of adorable beach house properties that would be perfect for larger families. Some are large enough to to house multiple families. The only true hotel that I could find on Rosemary Beach was The Pearl. It is ah-dorable, but it's a little on the pricey side. No worries, though! Even if you don't stay there, you can spend an evening there eating at the restaurants and shopping in the little stores surrounding the hotel. On the night that we walked down to The Pearl,  they were having a Kid's Night festival.

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In front of the Villages is the Peddler's Pavilion: an eclectic mix of tiny shops and restaurants surrounding a stage and little courtyard. Here, visitors can rent bikes, play a little corn hole, and listen to live music each night while enjoying drinks from the Peddler's Pub. There are also a couple of other restaurants and souvenir shops on the bottom floor of the condo buildings.

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Mr. Abbylish (heart eyes)
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When I was booking our trip, I couldn't seem to find any beachfront properties. Almost everywhere that I found to stay (in our price range) required a short walk or tram ride to the beach. We caught a tram from our condo to the beach each morning and opted to walk back in the afternoons because the line was usually long. The walk was only about 10 minutes. Any other time we have gone to the beach, we have stayed in a hotel right on the water, so I was a little hesitant about having to walk. But it really wasn't bad...other than almost getting clipped by a few texting teenagers on bikes. 😂

So, here's how our week went for the most part.
Sleep in, catch a tram to the beach, stay on the beach from about 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (we packed lunches in our cooler), walk back to the Villages, shower and get ready, dinner, drinks, chill, watch Friends reruns, repeat the next day.

Living my best life!
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Yes, we're very boring at the beach.
Let's just say that I knew Greg was the one for me when I found out he could sit on the beach all day with a book in hand and be content.
On this trip, we had access to a private beach with our arm bands from the Villages, and there were a ton of chairs and umbrella for rent from a third party company: La Dolce Vita.
We got our chairs and straight set up camp on the beach each day.

But, anyway...I could have done with a maybe a little more night life and a little less "family friendly." I searched a little bit for some bars with live music or something to that effect, and couldn't seem to find much. Then again, I didn't search very hard.
We were cool with the chill environment at Peddler's Pavilion (regardless of the droves of teenagers seeking out summer romances..."OMG Cooper just added me on Snapchat."), and we ended up spending most nights there after dinner.
We provided our own breakfast and lunch each morning, or rather, the local Publix provided it. We ate out each night for dinner, and here's where we went:

Bayou Bill's
Actually in Panama City, but close to the Publix we went to for groceries on our first night.
We rolled into Bayou Bill's straight off the road. I got fried catfish, and it didn't disappoint.
It's the kind of place you imagine when you think of classic, beach seafood joint.

Market 27
After our first day on the beach, we enjoyed dinner at Market 27, a newer restaurant just steps from the Villages. We started with Goat Cheese Fondue. Amaze-balls. For our entrees, I chose the Chicken and Cheese Melt and Greg chose Shrimp & Grits. Both were fantastic.

A bar and grill where you can watch the game but also enjoy some amazing seafood dishes. We got the tuna dip for an appetizer, Greg ordered fish tacos, and I had the Grouper & Grits, a special that week. We also both enjoyed a grapefruit cocktail that I absolutely can't remember the name of, but it was DE-lish. Our waiter told us that they make all of their own cocktail mixes from scratch.

The Sweet Peddler
We actually saved room for dessert and got ice cream at the Sweet Peddler in the Villages.

La Cocina
La Cocina is also a part of the Villages. I loved it, but I'm partial to Mexican food. I got a few different tacos, and they were very fresh. Same goes for the margaritas and salsa.

This restaurant was recommended to us by a friend, and it was my favorite place that we ate! We went there on our anniversary as it was a bit of a splurge, but it was so worth it. I've never been to Italy, but this has to be what the restaurants there are like. So simple, and yet full of flavor. The waitress recommended the veal meatballs for an appetizer, and they were amazing. I chose the Three Meat Bolognese and Greg got the Angel Hair with Pan Seared Shrimp. I wish I could go back to Borago right this second.

Some other restaurants that I would like to try in the future are
Havana Beach Bar & Grill and Rooftop Lounge
La Crema
Cowgirl Kitchen
Surfing Deer
Wild Olives
Crabby Steves
Donut Hole

Bottom Line:
We had a fantastic and much needed, relaxing week on the beach. I enjoyed sightseeing in a new place and exploring the 30A area. Everything is adorable, and we ate very well.

However, I'm not sure I would ever go back to this area during peak summer season. The Rosemary/Seacrest area is VERY family friendly (read: there seemed to be no other young, childfree couples there). Since it's the middle of July, all schools are out, and the entire area was swarming with kids and teenagers. Not necessarily swarming in a bad way. The area seems very safe so a lot of tweens/teens kind of ran around on their own, biking and hanging out together. Like I said earlier, this would be a great place for a multiple families to vacation together.

Another thing to consider about going to the beach this late in the summer is the HEAT! It was scorching all week, but the ocean was clear, cool, and refreshing. We stayed in the water a lot during the day, and by evening, the weather was downright pleasant.

All in all, it was a week well spent.

So that about sums it all up!

Have you ever visited this area?
Where did you stay and eat, and what else did you do while you were there?
Any other questions about our trip?

Let me know in the comments sections below!


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