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Just Back From: Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach is Florida’s small town go-to for savvy travelers.

Situated on Florida's upper Gulf Coast, this resort area is famous for pristine, white-sand beaches. Add a family-friendly feel, walkable scale, New Urbanism planning and architecture, Southern hospitality, and activities like bicycling, kayaking, and fishing, and there’s no wonder the area is coveted. Unique restaurants, chic boutiques, and cultural attractions line the coastal Highway 30A—one of the most scenic drives in the country.

Rosemary Beach’s laid-back lifestyle is matched by its Gulf of Mexico-facing terrain, with rolling sand dunes and emerald-green water. Vacation like a local with the Club’s newest Rosemary Beach and WaterColor residences: three 4- and 5-bedroom coastal homes with gulf breezes, wide porches, and pools. Here’s your cheat sheet to Florida fun.

DISCOVER

Whether on foot or bicycle, it’s easy to explore Rosemary Beach from your Club headquarters. The 107-acre town was designed to be accessible, community-oriented, and active, with plenty of green spaces. Take a stroll on the beach, rent a kayak, go fishing, or book one of the dolphin boat tours. Cyclists love the 18.5-mile Timpoochee Trail, which parallels Highway 30A and is known for incredible Gulf views and relatively flat topography. Another dreamy spot is the aptly named Eden Gardens Park, where you can explore the historic Wesley House, one of the first homes in the Panhandle, circa 1897.


ONLY AT ROSEMARY BEACH

Northwest Florida boasts a rare ecosystem, including coastal dune lakes created up to 10,000 years ago by winds that shifted the sand and formed shallow basins. The only other places in the world with coastal dune lakes are New Zealand, Australia, Madagascar, and Oregon. At Rosemary Beach, visit this natural phenomenon at Topsail Hill Park, where brackish dune lakes are teeming with both fresh and saltwater wildlife.

SIP & SAVOR

You’ll never go hungry in Rosemary Beach! With one-of-a-kind eateries (no chain restaurants here), Airstream food trucks, and fresh from the Gulf seafood, expect a mix of Caribbean, Mexican, and Southern flavors. Cowgirl Kitchen serves Mexican-themed dishes (including “The Pandemic,” with scrambled eggs, chorizo, banana peppers, bacon, and cheddar cheese), while the vibe at Havana Beach Bar & Grill is inspired by El Floridita—Ernest Hemingway’s favorite haunt in Havana. Summer Kitchen Café began as a tiny food shack in 1999, and still maintains its local cred with crave-worthy fare like smoothies, omelets, smoked tuna dip, burgers, crab cakes, pan-fried grouper, and mimosas. Indulge your sweet tooth at The Sugar Shak, a candy store meets ice cream parlor with fresh cotton candy, oversized lollipops, sundaes, and banana splits.

SHOP

On the south side of 30A, a cobblestone street winds its way down to the Gulf, peppered with independently-owned stores. Find your next beach read at Hidden Lantern Bookstore, an old fashioned book emporium with more than 15,000 titles lining the shelves. Treat the little ones to a gift at Gigi’s Fabulous Kids’ Fashions & Toys, which features art supplies, beach buckets, and clothes. Stylish bikinis and swim trunks await at Bombora Sun & Surf, and if dressing up for dinner, Willow is known for on-trend floral dresses, flowing tunics, and flouncy skirts.

SIDE TRIP TO ALYS BEACH

Just one mile down 30A is Alys Beach, another Gulf gem and planned community. The theme is decidedly more Mediterranean, with white stucco homes, cobblestone streets, and architecture inspired by Greece, Morocco, and Spain. For a delicious dinner, George’s is the go-to spot for drinks and Gulf-to-table cuisine.

STAY

ROSEMARY BEACH & WATERCOLOR

The scenic roadway of 30A stretches 24 miles along the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle, featuring a dozen communities— including Rosemary Beach and WaterColor. The Club’s new Rosemary Beach residence is steps from the beach and boardwalk, while two Southern style WaterColor cottages are tucked away in an idyllic neighborhood. Beach chair set-up service makes it easy to enjoy a family day on the sand—minus the gear schlepping.

Residences: 3 | Bedrooms: 5-6 | Bathrooms: 5.5-6.5 | Sleeps: 10