Visiting Seaside, Florida
80 Acres of gorgeous New Urbanist design. That's how you can describe Seaside, Fl at it's minimum. However, this absolutely stunning Coastal-American town along the 30A coastline is brimming with community and intentionality!
In 1946, J.S. Smolian purchased 80-acres of scrubby beach property. His intentions for the land was to establish a summer camp for his employees and family to use and enjoy. Although the camp never came to be, Smolian did bring his family to vacation on the property for many years, and eventually passing down the property to his grandson, Robert Davis, in 1978.
Robert Davis was an award-winning builder/developer when he inherited the land, and he set about planning how to develop the 80-acres. He was inspired by the development of Northwestern Florida which included wood-framed cottages which both effectively withstood the coastal weather and contributed to the "life by the sea" feel. From this early inspiration, Davis went on to design and develop the world's first New Urbanist towns!
What this means for when you visit is that you will notice that the town is a laid out in a way that encourages walking, and discourages car-traffic within the town itself. Downtown Seaside is truly the heart of the town, where the town gathers for many fun events, including Northwest Florida's most unusual food market!
When you walk, or bike around Seaside, you get a sense that time has stood still. The world and all it's urgent pressing's seem to fade as you watch multiple generations get back to the basics.
The town is also full of wonderful sights to see and do! Outdoor community events provide opportunities to make new friends, and delicious restaurants are perfect to reconnect with old ones! Plus, there are tons of shops and boutiques to rummage through. The town is so picture perfect, that is was selected to be the set of "The Truman Show"!
Whether you stop by on a tour of the towns along 30A, or you are looking for the right town to settle down, you will adore Seaside. It has a little something for everyone. But it's primary draw is how it encourages you to set down your phone, turn off your email notifications, sit back and breathe.