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.

Part 2 Marche Region: Food, Fashion and Travel

For 4 nights, we stayed at Hotel Emilia in Portonovo in Ancona, Italy which sits on the mountain where you have a spectacular view of the coast. It’s a serene spot that speaks beauty and relaxation. I loved to sit out here overlooking the mountains.

An outdoor bar was the perfect place to sit after a busy day.

The pool was beautiful sitting in front of the rooms of the hotel.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the most exciting part of the trip, but visiting Tod’s headquarters seemed to be the highlight for some of us women. Tod’s is the largest shoe manufacturer in Europe and the largest business in the Marche Region, which is publicly traded on the Italian stock exchange. We saw the entire shoe making process; how they check the leather and why these shoes are such great quality. This is the coolest work of art when you walk in the lobby of Tod’s.

Do you think these boots will be the hit of fall 2011?

After the tour, we went to the Tod’s and Prada outlets nearby. This is also a must stop if you’re in the Marche region :). I love these kid’s shoes.

Next, we were off to lunch in the town of San Benedetto del Tronto at Ristorante Mattia with Chef Marco Cameli. I loved his Miami-style restaurant. His specialty is fish since his restaurants sits right near the beach. This clever way to present an appetizer was a favorite. I call this an Italian version of ceviche.

Next was a pasta course with clams and shrimp. I have never tasted a dish so fresh. I loved that the Chefs don’t over-salt their food.

One of my favorite dishes on the entire trip was this fish dish. It’s monkfish cooked in garlic, olive oil, white wine, with fresh tomato sauce and rosemary. I am trying to recreate this one for sure. Delizioso!

And the dessert was phenomenal and nothing like I have ever had before. Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) with Chantilly Cream and Limoncello topped with chocolate.

There’s more to come. So much to say…This region is too spectacular for words.