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Seaside is for Lovers

May 17, 2018 by Audrey Johnson

Beach lovers. Art lovers. Food lovers. Movie lovers. Architecture lovers. Welcome home. Seaside was made for you.

The famed new urbanist community has long attracted those interested in architecture. A recent mural pays homage to Vincent Scully, an architecture professor whose work planted the seeds of New Urbanism in students that went on to be the early architects in Seaside. Architecture determines the way you move through a place. How you experience a destination. And Seaside is special because it was well thought out from the beginning. There has always been a plan in place for Seaside, and the passage of time will see it unfold.

Though post offices get moved, new artists take up residence in Ruskin Place, and old shops change their names, people still visit Seaside for a taste of A Simple, Beautiful Life. Seaside was designed with pedestrians in mind. Walking and biking everywhere gives solace to those who love to stretch their legs, feel the sunshine on their faces, and skip along sandy paths. Even movie buffs get their fix retracing Jim Carey’s steps through The Truman Show filming locations scattered around town.

Coleman Pavilion emerges from the shore like a lighthouse, beckoning all to the sand. Along the boardwalk, Dave Rauschkolb’s restaurants, the iconic Bud and Alley’s, Pizza Bar and Taco Bar satisfy hungry bellies. It’s a tradition to have a cold one at Bud’s during sunset, when they ring the bell to signal another successful spin around the sun.

Also on the boardwalk, Cabana (formerly Perspicacity) has minimalist chic women’s apparel and accessories that define beach style in Seaside. Bring a piece of the beach home with a new hammock from Raw and Juicy Life.

The Vincent Scully mural calls you across Scenic 30A into Central Square. Airstream Row lines the highway, with silver light reflecting off shiny round shells. Before food trucks were cool, The Meltdown on 30A was slinging gourmet grilled cheeses, Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs were grass fed, and smoothies were green at Raw and Juicy. (SoWal Insider info: Jennifer Kuntz, owner of Raw and Juicy, oversees the Seaside Farmer’s Market held every Saturday morning on the square.)

Have a cocktail on the porch at Great Southern Café and enjoy some people watching. Grab your beach reads for the week at Sundog Books, then head over to Modica Market for groceries and mimosas. Find apothecary, novelty gifts, and kitchen wares that are truly unique at The Art of Simple. (SoWal Insider tip: owner Michael Granberry’s photography is on display at Great Southern Café.)

Leather and pearls from La Vie Est Belle are the perfect reminder of time well spent at the beach.  Duckies Shop of Fun is, well, just that. Board games, beach favorites, and trending toys (horse head mask, anyone?) entertain the young and young at heart.

For a quiet stroll under the oaks, head back to Ruskin Place, where artists and shopkeepers work on street level and live in upstairs dwellings. Tucked behind Central Square, you’ll find the perfect bathing suit at Ophelia Swimwear, folk art at Red Bird Gallery, and quirky findings at Quincy’s. (Art supplies, too. You know, in case you’re feeling inspired.)

Seaside hosts many wonderful events throughout the year, and many a trip are planned around them. The Seaside School Half Marathon and 5K is held each Spring and proceeds support Seaside Neighborhood School. The Seeing Red Wine Festival goes down each fall. And the Seaside Dance Weekend happens each May. Productions by The Repertory Theatre happen spontaneously on the street during summer, and ticketed stage productions are put on, as well.

Vacation rental companies Sunburst Vacation Rentals, Homeowner’s Collection and Cottage Rental Agency provide respite to those looking for a quaint cottage shaded by magnificent oaks, or magnificent homes vulnerable to the sea.

Thirty-five years in the making, four generations past, the experiential nature of Seaside remains a place where one can simply be. It all began with a dream. Founders Robert and Daryl Davis let their imaginations run wild, and we’ve been in love ever since.

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Audrey Johnson

Upon realizing that life is too short not to follow her dreams, Audrey moved to the beach and became a writer. SoWal’s pristine beaches inspire her to explore further, look deeper, and do better.

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