Scenic Highway 30A is a coastal route that travels 24 miles through Florida’s Walton County. Known as a popular family vacation spot, the strip is dotted with small beach towns, each with their own distinctive personalities. Near the end of the stretch, nestled between Seacrest and Inlet Beach is Rosemary Beach, a neo-traditional community established in 1995. With lush green lawns, sugary beaches, West Indies style architecture and a downtown bustling with high-end shops and restaurants, Rosemary Beach is the ultimate Gulf Coast destination.
Where to stay
The Pearl: Located in Rosemary Beach’s downtown area, The Pearl hotel is steps away from everything the community has to offer. Walk down the sidewalk for food and shopping or out onto the lush lawn for a picnic. The beach is just across the grass and down the boardwalk. Enjoy complimentary sparkling wine at check-in, an adults-only outdoor pool and a full-service spa. The Havana Beach Bar & Grill located inside The Pearl serves handcrafted cocktails and dishes that celebrate the offerings of the coast, sourced within 100 miles of Rosemary Beach. Locals can dine inside the restaurant or in the rooftop lounge; guests can have dinner delivered directly to their suites.
As if the amenities were not enough, The Pearl is easily the most eye-catching building on the square. In keeping with the architecture of the surrounding buildings, the hotel exudes old-world charm, but a step inside reveals modern art and furnishings. The black and white color scheme found in its logo and its iconic awnings is as timeless as a trip to the beach.
The Rosemary Beach Inn: Just across the street from The Pearl is The Rosemary Beach Inn. The boutique hotel has 11 rooms, varying in size to suit different budgets. On the first floor is Summer Kitchen Cafe, the first commercial business to open in Rosemary Beach. It is a cozy and casual spot serving three meals a day, plus beer and wine.
Similar to The Pearl, you will find a stark contrast in the inn’s cheery salmon-hued stucco exterior and its chic, airy interiors. Rooms are stylishly decorated with well-placed windows and pops of indigo against stark white walls and linens.
AirBnb, HomeAway, VRBO: You will find several rentals on these websites as well if you prefer a more private experience.
Where to eat
Amavida Coffee Roasters: For your coffee and tea fix, visit Amavida. You will only find their storefronts regionally, but their organic, fair-trade coffee is sold and consumed far and wide. Inside, you will find everything you have come to expect from your favorite local coffee shop—tables for chatting or checking email, a smattering of baked goods and wall art supplied by locals.
La Crema: La Crema specializes in a unique (or genius) combination: chocolate and tapas. On the savory side, you will find dishes like serrano wrapped figs, lamb lollipops with rosemary and lobster tail over asparagus. For dessert or a midday treat, La Crema serves all things chocolate, including chocolate dipped bacon, chocolate soup and peanut butter and chocolate fondue.
Restaurant Paradis: Restaurant Paradis prides itself on having “the finest libations and the freshest cuisine.” Fine dining meets coastal with a selection of high-quality seafood and steaks. Pair with a in-house infused liquor for the full experience. Enjoy your meal in the elegant dining room, on the rustic patio or in the casual lounge.
What to do
Outdoor Spaces: The pristine shores of Rosemary Beach are enough to keep a family occupied for days. Greens surrounding the square are perfect for picnics and late afternoon playtime. Rent bikes or bring your own for a scenic ride through neighboring communities.
The Hidden Lantern Bookstore: The Hidden Lantern Bookstore is the ideal rainy day escape. The interior features everything you want in a bookstore—wooden shelving, comfortable seating and plenty of titles to peruse.
SEA Contemporary Art Space: SEA is a gallery of contemporary art. You will find pieces from across the country and across the world in this carefully curated space. Stop by to browse before dinner or take a piece home to commemorate your time at Rosemary Beach.