30A South Walton Seaside Girls Laying Out Houses 960 Seaside

Photo: Ocean Jewel’s Images

Hailed by Time magazine as perhaps “the most astounding design achievement of its era,” Seaside is credited with founding a global town-planning movement known as New Urbanism.

Founded by Robert and Daryl Davis in 1979, Seaside’s innovative “small town” design was carefully planned by architects Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. With its nine unique beach pavilions, cobblestone streets, quaint cottages, white picket fences, and picture-perfect parks and storefronts, it’s no wonder that The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey was filmed here. Indeed, as Newsweek once proclaimed:

“with its cozy, narrow streets and its jumble of pastel-colored homes, Seaside is probably the most influential resort community since Versailles.”

But in a town that Hollywood (and Southern Living) made famous, life here is very real, even though it often has a surreal quality.

30A South Walton seaside bud and alley 252x252 Seaside

Sunset at Bud & Alley’s

You’ll find kids walking to Seaside Neighborhood School, and the Seaside Repertory Theatre, where actors are busy rehearsing for tonight’s big show. Travel is by foot or bicycle. There’s a town grocer (the famous Modica Market), a book and record store (Sundog Books and Central Square Records), charming art and jewelery galleries, cafes, toy shops, clothing boutiques, a weekly farmer’s market, outdoor concerts, movies under the stars … It’s the way life should be.

Somehow, here, 30A‘s stunning beaches are almost secondary to the blissfully simple lifestyle that permeates the town of Seaside.

No trip to South Walton is complete with hearing the daily sunset bell at Bud and Alley’s, and be sure to sample a fresh strawberry or peach mojito on the porch at Great Southern Cafe.

Click here to visit the official Seaside, Florida website. The resort town also has a thriving Facebook community.

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