Overlooking the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Seaside is one of the first communities in the United States designed according to New Urbanist principles. The Florida city is dominated by striking beachfront pavilions and pastel-coloured houses framed by white picket fences, which provided the film setting for the 1998 Jim Carrey movie “The Truman Show”.
Things to do in Seaside
Relax on the white sandy beach that stretches along the coast of Seaside and connects with the nature trails of Grayton Beach State Park. You can explore its scrub oak coastal forest on foot or opt to go fishing and kayaking in the waters of Western Lake. Just offshore from Grayton Beach State Park is Turtle Reef, a popular snorkelling site that was created in the shape of a turtle.
If you’re after a retail fix, you’ll find plenty of shops in Seaside’s town centre, together with charming cafes, burger joints and ice creameries. On Saturday mornings, the Seaside Farmers Market takes place on the grassy lawns of the Seaside Amphitheater, with fresh local produce, baked goods and native plants all on offer.
From the amphitheatre, you can stroll through the open plaza of Di Bicci Park or visit one of the numerous art galleries, including An Apartment in Paris and the Newbill Collection By the Sea. Di Bicci Park connects with Forest Street Park and the Chapel at Seaside, a charming church that is topped by a 20-metre-high bell tower. This whitewashed architectural icon has become one of the most sought-after wedding venues in Florida.
Getting around Seaside
Seaside is around an hour’s drive from Panama City and 45 minutes from Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the United States. Hiring a car is the most convenient way of accessing Seaside.