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Rosemary Beach

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Welcome to Paradise in Rosemary Beach

Nestled between Panama City and Destin near the eastern end of Scenic Route 30-A on northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, Rosemary Beach is a wonderful escape. Relatively new, established in 1995, it is a boutique, neo-traditional town encompassing a 107-acre community featuring 2,500 feet of frontage along the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

Named for the rosemary herb that grows wild in the area and which now frames the town’s sandy paths, Rosemary Beach’s developers desired to create a unique, welcoming and eco-friendly coastal town whose essence centered around the notions of community, neighborhood and convenience.

Everything in Rosemary Beach from the careful arrangement of its public spaces and private homes, to its landscape designs that incorporate native plants and flora and carefully thoughts out design and construction guidelines, are intended to create and preserve a sustainable “green” lifestyle here.

The first thing one notices upon arrival is the harmonious architectural styles—a captivating combination of those you’d find in enchanting locales such as Charleston, St. Augustine, New Orleans and the West Indies. Additionally, there are lot of guidelines relative to purchasing lots and building here that would only apply to a new resident or business owners—like the 50-foot height restriction, phase limitation, specific home type lot designation, retail and residential mixed-use architectural theme, etc. But it’s just these details that for visitors create a special and unique weekend or extended vacation getaway.

Because of its location, Rosemary Beach draws visitors from cities within a 300-mile driving distance (Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa, Birmingham, Nashville, Jackson, Pensacola, Mobile and others), in addition to those who fly in via the Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport (PNS), about two hours west, and now via the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP).

Rosemary Beach visitors have several rental options on either side of Scenic Route 30-A which divides the community from the beach side and the “inland side.” There are spacious lofts, roomy multi-bedroom cottages, quaint carriage houses and large homes, all privately owned and decorated and appoint to reflect the owners’ individual needs, lifestyle and desires. As a result, the décor and design make them feel more like visiting close friends or family, than staying in “a rental.”

One of my favorite aspects is that you don’t have to drive anywhere! Everything, and I do mean everything, in town is within a five minute walk. And if you aren’t walking, you are on your bike, which you can rent from Bamboo Bicycle Company.

For a mere 20 bucks a day on average, Bamboo Bicycle rents a variety of adult and kid’s bikes, scooters, tandems, baby joggers, tag-a-longs, kids’ trailers and wagons by the day or week. We rode to the beach, to dinner, to the pool…it was so easy and relaxing and there are bike racks everywhere around town, including outside of all of the accommodations.

While you’re on the bike, or on foot, be sure to explore the Fitness Trail and Walking Tour. Not only is it a fun al fresco workout, but it’s also one of the best ways to learn your way around.

The meandering trail spans 2.3 miles via an extensive wooden boardwalk and sand clay pathway system. For the directionally challenged, like me, it helps to know that the boardwalks typically run north to south, the sand paths running east to west. Marked with green wooden posts with red directional arrows, the trail incorporates four individually clustered fitness stations comprised of stretching and strength training exercises and exercise apparatus.

Speaking of fitness, Rosemary Beach has a wonderful Fitness Center and all vacation guests have unlimited, free use of the amenities. In addition to the main building with a variety of state-of-the-art cardio and weight machines and free weights, there is a studio that offers daily yoga, spin, boot camp, Pilates and circuit classes (classes are an additional charge) everyday of the week. Complimentary court time at the Racquet Club is also included.

Along the trail you’ll also discover Rosemary Beach’s carefully preserved native landscape, its verdant green spaces and parks, all of the pools, the downtown Main Street Commercial District, playgrounds and of course, the spectacular homes. There is also a wonderful a Butterfly Garden designed to attract butterfly reproduction with carefully chosen native and non-native plant life and interpretive signage with information about butterfly species, their life cycles, and the important of native habitat preservation.

Residents and visitors here can also choose to enjoy the water at any of the community pools or in the Gulf waters at the beach.

The pools here—four in all, the Coquina Pool, Sky Pool, Barbados Pool and Cabana Pool—are not your average community pools, rather fashioned like upscale resort pools, each with their own flavor and flair. At each you will find comfortable padded chaise lounges, stylish outdoor furniture, spacious sun umbrellas, and nice bathrooms and changing rooms. All boardwalks in Rosemary Beach lead to the nine dune walkovers to the beach. The 2,500 feet of Gulf frontage provides ample space to enjoy the beautiful white sand here.

From petite early a.m. or midday nibbles, to relaxed leisurely lunch fare, to creative upscale culinary dishes for dinner, Rosemary Beach offers something to suit everyone’s particular tastes and gastronomic lifestyle. The places here are so good, in fact, that patrons come from all around the area to enjoy their culinary fare.

Among the delicious spots here are Courtyard Wine and Cheese, The Sugar Shak, Dog Man, Sno-Balls, La Crema Tapas & Chocolate, Sugga Pies Cupcake Shoppe & Bakery, Amavida Coffee,  Cowgirl Kitchen, Summer Kitchen Café, Wild Olives, Onano Neighborhood Café, and Restaurant Paradis.

There is so much more to explore and talk about here, but alas, a siesta is calling my name. …

Written by Lysa Allman-Baldwin

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