Travel Tuesday: 10 Reasons to Visit Rosemary Beach

For those of you who have heard or been to Rosemary Beach, you know that everything I am about to stay is so true. For those of you who asked on twitter, “Is that near parsley beach”, and had no idea where and what it was, please keep reading. My friend, Candace, who was in Rosemary Beach, recently told me she had told her father, “Rosemary Beach is in my heart.” I can totally relate.

Located in the northwest panhandle of Florida, Rosemary Beach is a neo-tradional beach town located on the eastern end of Scenic Route 30A that was founded in 1995. Rosemary incorporates “green” concepts into the design and function of the entire community.

1. The Accommodations: The homes and architecture are breathtaking, and the decor is described as “New Orleans meets West Indies, Charleston and the Caribbean.” More than 100 rental accommodations are available, and guests can choose from cozy studios, to one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes, lofts, flats and cottages that are gulf-front, gulf-side, park-side, and park-views. Rosemary is a wonderful place for romantic getaways, weddings, snowbirds, family or to work, live and retire.

2. The Restaurants: Rosemary Beach is filled with shops and restaurants. Restaurants in Rosemary Beach are dedicated to the “green living” theme. The Amavida Coffee, a family owned business, motto is “Love for Life”. It produces 100 percent natural Fair Trade Certified Coffee. Restaurant Paradis, Onano, Edwards and Summer Kitchen use locally grown ingredients and fresh Gulf seafood. Cowgirl Kitchen is perfect for the kids, and a great spot for lunch off the beach and to take food to-go. All of the restaurants get high accolades from me. You honestly never have to get in your car. 

3. The Shopping: From antiques and interior design shops to children’s and women’s fashion, the shopping in Rosemary is always a must. Some of my favorites are: Tracery (interiors), Willow (designer clothing for women), Rosemary Beach Trading (gift shop), Bombora Sun & Surf (beach apparel), Moonpize (ladies shoes), and Gigi’s (fabulous kids fashion and toys).

4. The Beauty: The walkways and gardens are picturesque and unique. The arrangement of homes, boardwalks, pedestrian lanes, and footpaths all lead to the amazing town square, tennis courts, swimming pools and the beach.

5. Fitness Activities: Rosemary Beach has an incredible fitness  center, biking and running paths, lap pool, yoga, as well as its amazing tennis facility, The Rosemary Beach Racquet Club. I can’t say enough about the tennis pros, tennis clinics, pro shop and eight wonderful clay courts. If you’re a tennis player, you will spend a great deal of time here.

6. The Pools: Rosemary Beach has four unique pools on the property. The Coquina Pool (pictured above) is a negative-edge pool meant for lounging and relaxing, The Cabana Pool, a family friendly pool area with a Mediterranean design, The Sky Pool, which is the lap pool heated for warm or cooler weather, and The Barbados Pool, designed in French West Indies architectural style. With such different character and design, it is absolutely worth spending time at all of them.

7. The Gardens: Common “green” areas are located throughout Rosemary Beach. Various gardens exist featuring children’s park space, fountains, sitting areas, herb gardens and a butterfly garden.

8. The Spa: Every resort area must have a day spa, and Vivo Spa Salon is located in downtown Rosemary Beach featuring an Aveda hair salon and makeup services, massage, skin care, body treatments and nail service. All services are offered in a “Bali” inspired tropical setting.

9. The Beach: The beauty of the beaches at Rosemary speak for themselves. Feel free to enjoy the umbrellas and chairs, cabanas, hammocks, kayaks, catamarans, surfboards and sea school which offers children classes on surf, sail, kayak and skim boarding.

10. The Views: This view speaks for itself. The beauty here in Rosemary Beach is almost unreal to see with your own eyes and undeniable.

Need a Getaway? Rosemary Beach, Florida

Last week I went on my first nonworking vacation in a long time. I chose one of my favorite spots to take the kids: Rosemary Beach, Florida. It’s a spectacular community that is great for anyone: families, couples, girls trips, guys trips and retired people. The town is adorable, filled with cool architecture, eclectic shops, galleries and wonderful restaurants. Can you say white sand? It’s breathtaking.

From the shopping to the food, there is something for everyone. I couldn’t include them all,  but I thought I would share a few. Gigi’s is an adorable spot with incredible unique toys and baby clothes.

The restaurants in Rosemary are fantastic and diverse. They really have covered the bases: family-friendly restaurants, casual dining, tapas and chocolate fare to fine dining. One of our child-friendly favorites is Cowgirl Kitchen which serves anything from nachos to healthy salads and great pizza (ideal for kids).

My favorite adult restaurant is Restaurant Paradis which has anything from Oysters Rockefeller to the best Ahi Tuna I have ever had. It’s romantic, fresh and divine all in one.

The kids have plenty to do in Rosemary Beach from pools to awesome beaches and plenty of bike riding. Rosemary even has a well organized kid’s camp to give parents a break. Mine were particularly fond of the very famous Sugar Shack and newer New Orleans Snow Balls where they had so many incredible flavors (even pomegranate).

Leigh enjoyed it just slightly. That smile never lies…

Rosemary’s newest addition happened to be one of our favorites. The Hidden Lantern is an old-time English style book store. The layout and books are amazing. Honestly, you could sit and read all day long.

The book store has children’s events for different ages, and a great spot for other events as well. We bought three books and one card as gifts, and we almost didn’t make it out to the beach the morning we stopped in there.

What I really love about Rosemary is that when you come, you really don’t need to leave very often. With great running paths and trails, tennis courts, pools, great workout facilities, Aveda Spa and more, everything is so close and easy to get to (no car needed). Bike riding is huge, and I love this shot of all the bikes parked one morning right in front of the beach walkway.

I highly recommend a vacation at Rosemary Beach. It was a wonderful getaway.

Rosemary has a lot of great events coming up including Rosemary Uncorked in October, writing festivals, girls getaways and more. For more information see Rosemary, see http://www.rosemarybeach.com/

Memorial Day Break: Seashells on the Seashore

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Forgive me. I have been out of touch on vacation and will get back to work as soon as I can with some new recipes and ideas. Things have been so busy, and it’s great to get a breather. I’m so happy that the beaches in Northwest Florida have stayed clear, and they are clearer than ever. My 9-year-old sorted his shells that he found today on a white towel. Honestly, I don’t ever remember the ocean here this clear, and my kids ever finding seashells with such ease.