M. and I decided to spend Thanksgiving at the beach. All of our children either had plans to spend the holiday with in-laws or were unable to travel home, so we decided to spend it with my siblings and their spouses along the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida.
We were lucky enough to snag a deal in our favorite condo complex right on the beach for less than $100 a night so any apprehension we were feeling quickly became a no-brainer.
We enjoyed beautiful sunsets from our balcony, fresh seafood in local restaurants and some lively card games with my siblings.
We explored nearby areas such as Grayton Beach, Seaside, and Rosemary Beach all located within a few miles of each other.
Grayton Beach seemed to be laid back and had an eclectic kind of hippie feel. We weren’t sure where to go, but stumbled across this cute little village (Shops of Grayton) and took a quick walk around. We stopped in Twin Oaks Farm Stand (the blue building below) and would definitely revisit. It was a very small restaurant and store with an assortment of jams, jellies, brines, beef and chicken stock, eggs, and an array of healthy food choices to enjoy a quick breakfast or lunch.
We drove along scenic highway 30A and stopped at the bustling, although charming, upscale town of Seaside. This area was VERY crowded. People were everywhere in spite of what it looks like in the photos I took! They had a few gourmet food trucks (actually vintage Airstream trailers) from which mouth-watering aromas ascended in the air, unique $hops, and cute little water stations for your canine companions.
After a leisurely stroll around, it was back in the car and we drove toward Rosemary Beach. Unfortunately, I did not take any photos of this lovely town since we decided not stop. There had been a Thanksgiving 10K run that morning and parking was not to be found. I managed to locate some photos on Google that reflect what we were able to see.
Rosemary Beach presented a similar upscale resort atmosphere as Seaside. There are shops and restaurants in an area of old world charm which included cobblestone streets and gas lamps. Many of the homes, either directly on the beach or within walking access, ranged in size from cute and cozy to quite large and gorgeou$.
I have visited the panhandle of Florida almost all of my life, but had never ventured into any of these towns. Exploring these areas was a nice surprise, a pleasant way to spend some time, and a possible destination idea for a future visit.