11 Jan 2021
Pam and Brittany came to stay with us recently and wrote an article about their vacation experience. Like most people, they marveled over the simplicity of living in Seaside, Florida, as they let the pace of life slow down of its own accord, the way it always does here.
A mother and daughter travel-writing team, and published cookbook authors, the pair stayed in a small, 2-story cottage, Little Feet, which is the guest house to Pitter Patter. The location was a great choice, about a block away from the beach and the same to the heart of downtown.
They enjoyed the sand alleyways that run behind the houses in Seaside, another design feature that keeps walkers in their own world, and out of the bustle. The walking pathways connect all parts of the town in minutes, from the beach to the green spaces, to the events - and to the shops and restaurants.
The boutique shopping with its eclectic, funky wares, serves as part of that discovery adventure, and the art on display in various galleries and locales. Then there's the food, in the abundance of restaurants and eateries.
On their first evening in town, these expert chefs with their fully equipped modern kitchen back in the cottage couldn't resist dining out, completely captivated by the "food trucks" of Seaside - actually permanently stationed Airstream trailers serving a wealth of cuisines, from gourmet to down-home, with outdoor stools and tables to perch and dine.
The beach, as they discovered on the next day's adventure, is entrancing, with sugar-white sand and the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The local beach service, Cabana Man, sets up chairs and umbrellas daily, on what has now become a private beach, for residents and guests of Seaside. This is sustainability at work, as the town strives continually to maintain balance between over-growth and loss of lifestyle.
And it's the lifestyle in Seaside that you remember. With no high-rise development in town (the highest point is the Chapel's bell tower) it's hard to spot what might be called the "attractions" in any other destination, until you realize that the simple joy of walking around, and finding a unique place at every turn, IS the great attraction.
Not that you can't ride a bike, of course, to put that lifestyle on wheels. Seaside is a walking and biking town, designed for ease with this. You can ride clear out of town if you want - Seaside's not very big - and there are many natural wonders close by worth visiting, especially the state parks within a few miles reach, as Pam noted.
That's if you can break away from Seaside. The attraction holds you, wandering, exploring, taking photos - including of the famous Post Office, which remains still the most photographed post office in the United States. And unless you make one of those trips to the surrounding parks, usually the car, once parked, isn't needed again until it's time to leave.
Much of the fun in Seaside is the simple living in the vacation cottage, and Pam and Brittany found Little Feet a new experience. Designed on tiny-home principles, the small-footprint home comprises only 504 square feet but delivers a lot of spaciousness. Like most of the homes in Seaside, this cottage was designed for the lifestyle itself, with floor to ceiling windows, and enough of the small lot left outside the building to be part of the enjoyment.
The house features a front doorway table and chairs seating area, with another patio to the side for grilling and picnics, while upstairs the master bedroom has its own balcony, with quietude to enjoy the sunset that Pam and Brittany found delightful. With nooks to congregate in, and nestled in the shade of trees in the company of the birds and squirrels, the house became the place of ultimate relaxation, just as it was designed to do.
This is typical architecture in Seaside, with relatively small lots and yet leaving plenty of outside for the home to meander out into, and for the light to come in from. A spiral staircase wraps function inside elegance, while two stories of tiny home offer every convenience and appliance, lots of clever storage, and space where it matters - Pam called it perfect for two adults, with room for a couple of kids too.
As the guest house to a larger home, Little Feet is a model to emulate for anyone thinking of building an accessory dwelling on their own property, as so many homeowners in America are now doing. The guest home was designed by Seaside's Town Architect - yes, Seaside actually has such an office, and has since its beginning, serving as a magnet for architects involved in the new urbanism revolution.
Little Feet offers a beautiful bathroom and shower, flat-screens and a sound system to supply the background, and the high-quality comforts that the Homeowners Collection group of homeowners typically supplies its guests: luxury linens and towels, soaps and supplies, and a welcome bag with beach towels, coffee and wine. The simple fun of living and relaxing offered the rest. It's the lifestyle that makes the memories in Seaside.
You can read Pam's article here: Essential Guide to a Seaside, Florida Vacation.