If the pastel cottages and eggshell white chapels of Seaside seem too quaint to be real, that was part of the plan. While the land for the “old-fashioned beach town” project was purchased in 1946, building didn’t begin in earnest until the 1970s. The town looks like such a step back in time to Norman Rockwell-era, idyllic America that it served as the set for the Jim Carrey hyper-reality movie “The Truman Show.”

If you don’t planning on living out a reality show in Seaside, it’s a fun getaway for families to visit. In addition to hanging out on the powder-white Santa Rosa Beach, there’s also surfing and canoeing to do.

On land, the clearly marked biking and hiking trails are easy to follow. Nearby artisanal stands and food trucks will likely attract your attention along the way. Local eateries like Barefoot BBQ and Slick Lips Seafood serve up down-home southern panhandle cooking. The Meltdown is known for its array of innovative grilled cheese sandwiches, including the Cuban McConnell with ham and gruyere. Frost Bites has more flavors of shaved ice than you probably imagined possible.

Santa Rosa Beach

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