Just like the Hotel California featured in the Eagle’s tune with the same name, the small beachside community where the movie The Truman Show was filmed was a place actor Jim Carey could never leave. After Rorie and Bart’s recent visit to this unusual place they weren’t sure why anyone would want to leave. It’s name? Seaside, FL (pop. approximately 10,000 year round).
We should note that the Russells have had Seaside on their DSTA Tour bucket list for a long time and went there during a recent road trip to the not-so-small-town of New Orleans. Like John Mellencamp sang in his hit tune Small Town, Bart and Rorie “got nothing against the big town”, especially when it’s serving up Po Boys, Muffaletta, beignets (OK, A LOT of beignets!) and some amazing jazz. But Bart and Rorie are all about discovering and sharing unique small towns – and that was their primary mission during this trip.
Seaside, located on the coast of the Florida Panhandle, is an amazing crayola-colored, master-planned community. The town was designed and built in the New Urbanism architectural style to create pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods that encourage conversations over white picket fences and foster a sense of community. And did you know that no two houses on the same street can have the same picket fence?
This sun-drenched, vibrant town of whimsical colorful “cottages” sits on the flour white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. The contrast of the blue sky, white sand and multi-hued homes is a feast for the eyes.
Seaside’s town center, which is the hub of the community, is a hip area with a laid back “no worries” kind of vibe and a great place to people watch. Its locals – tourists, bikers, honeymooners and families – all coexist wonderfully and the people the Russells met couldn’t have been friendlier. The town center features an outdoor amphitheater, flag-flying food trucks, quaint shops, art galleries, restaurants, a coffee shop, an old fashioned bookstore and a gourmet, family-owned market.
Speaking of gourmet food, Seaside’s Modica Market – with it’s endless shelves of goodies, cases of home baked desserts and menu of fresh sandwiches – is where Bart and Rorie fed their appetites, which they fondly refer to as “The Beast”. After circling the deli and dessert cases many times, they finally decided to share a huge sandwich with thickly sliced French bread stuffed with healthy turkey and cheese. They skipped dessert this time, but Rorie thought it was important to show you exactly what she was giving up.
The Russells said goodbye to Seaside with a sense of regret, because their visit was way too short. They vowed, however, to return in the future for a much longer stay so they could get to know the locals better and luxuriate in all this town has to offer.