With consumer interest in “green” living at an all-time high, Rosemary Beach, the neo-traditional neighborhood on northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, has become a perfect case study in incorporating “green” concepts into the design and function of a community. The numerous aspects of the “green” lifestyle that Rosemary Beach supports are a great way for visitors to incorporate sustainable techniques into their homes, communities and lifestyles—including their vacation choices. In Rosemary Beach, you can enjoy a eco-friendly vacation.
When Rosemary Beach was being developed, architects and developers made sure the community’s natural topography was not disturbed. Instead, roadways were laid to conform to the natural contours of the land and were designed to discourage driving by residents and visitors. Developers used pervious, or permeable concrete for pavement throughout the town, which allows water to filter through to the sand below and eliminates the need for unsightly storm water drains or holding ponds.
The winding, narrow streets are lined by scrub oaks, which were planted along the edge of the pavement and branch out into the roadways forcing the flow of traffic to slow down. As a means of transportation, Rosemary Beach encourages residents and visitors to walk or ride their bikes along the various footpaths and boardwalks to the Town Center, beach, pools, restaurants and shops. Now, that’s a way to lower emissions!
Rosemary Beach also has progressive landscape codes, which designate the use of native plant life to provide habitat for native wildlife. As an added benefit, the native plantings provide root systems that are supportive to the sandy foundation and dune lines, which ultimately provide a natural level of protection against erosion and storm damage. These plants also are low-maintenance and naturally-occurring, and do not require the use of fertilizers or additional watering.
Rosemary Beach also made a commitment to protect the environment by not building beyond the coastal construction control line, or buffer zone, landward of the beach. In keeping with that commitment, nine dune walkovers have been built providing both residents and guests beach access. These walkovers protect the fragile dune system and prevent erosion and washout during storms and are unobtrusive, simple and functional.
Common green areas located throughout the town provide a great place for picnicking, reading a good book, playing an impromptu game of croquet or simply enjoying quality down time for couples, families or friends. These green spaces are professionally maintained with a non-toxic fertilization process. An elaborate butterfly garden is located at West Kingston Road, in the northwest corner of the Rosemary Beach community. This garden was conceived as a display garden that would emphasize the significance of the native landscape. A wooden walkway weaves through colorful plantings that lure butterflies.
Restaurants located throughout Rosemary Beach are also doing their part in going “green.” Amavida Coffee, a Certified B Corporation, runs on the motto “Love for Life” and produces locally roasted, 100 percent natural Fair Trade Certified coffee. Restaurant Paradis uses locally grown products and fresh Gulf seafood, which allows for the menus to change with the seasons. Paradis has become an eco-friendly restaurant by producing its own sparkling and still waters—filtered to 0.5 microns, which allows for trace minerals to remain—and serving the water in signature blue, reusable, glass bottles. The restaurant also uses compostable carry-out containers. Summer Kitchen Café uses sustainable products for its to-go boxes, soda cups, coffee cups, menus, to-go bags and trash bags. Summer Kitchen Café also uses eco-friendly suppliers for its poultry, eggs, beef and paper products.
The closest airport for those traveling to Rosemary Beach is the brand-new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, considered to be the nation’s “greenest airport.” Constructed with sustainable materials, the airport also features a landscape design that does not require supplemental irrigation and is home to the nation’s first LEED Certified airport terminal. In addition to its “green construction,” the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport protects 41,000 environmentally sensitive acres, including 33 miles of the West Bay shoreline and 44 miles of creek and tributaries. The airport also protects a large conservation area of pine flatwoods and wetlands, home to snowy egrets, blue herons, Florida black bears, gopher tortoises and pitcher plants.
For those who desire a vacation experience that embraces “green” living practices, look no further than Rosemary Beach.
Lauren & Brad September 15th
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
Our wedding planner, Jennifer of It’s A Shore Thing, was a lifesaver. I didn’t worry about one little
thing on our wedding day. I was able to enjoy the entire morning, relax and soak in the day without
having to focus on any details. Hiring a wedding planner was the best thing we did. Pinterest also
served as a huge inspiration when planning our wedding. I was able to get lots of fun, interesting and
unique ideas off of Pinterest, that made our wedding feel more like “us.”
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
I relied a lot on vendors that friends and acquaintances recommended. I think word of mouth when it
comes to recommendations is extremely helpful. Do your research, ask questions, and then ask them
again. Look at as many photos of previous weddings for inspiration & ideas and know what you want.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
I personally love color, so we knew we wanted to incorporate lots of fun and bright colors into our
design. We wanted our wedding to have an intimate, yet romantic and fun feel to it. I used lots of
photos and designs from Pinterest as a source of inspiration.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
I think the best decision we made was having our wedding at Rosemary Beach. Everyone was staying
close to each other, there were plenty of things for people to do, the houses were amazing and the
scenery was exactly what we were looking for. Aside from that, we were blown away by our decor,
which we didn’t see until the actual wedding, the food, our music and our photographer. Everything
just came together the day of. We couldn’t have asked for more.
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
Don’t worry about everything being perfect, because at the end of the day, even if a small detail goes
awry, you won’t even notice. You’ll be so focused on your friends and family, that everything will just
fall into place. As long as you can accept that at the beginning of the process, then everything will be
great. Enjoy the process and have fun. Oh, and don’t skimp on a photographer because those photos
will be around forever!
Colorful & Eclectic Rosemary Beach Wedding by: Lauren Grove
Entertainment: B-Boy Productions, Inc.
Event Planner: It’s a Shore Thing
Photographer: Dear Wesleyann
Florist: Myrtie Blue
Caterer: Townsend Catering
4th of July in Rosemary Beach is the quintessential Independence Day celebration filled with stars, stripes and, of course, plenty of sunshine, salt air and sandy toes. Our annual bike decorating contest is a chance to get creative and add a little patriotic flair to the family bike brigade. We’ll have flags and other red, white and blue decorations on hand to jazz up your cruiser. Enjoy complimentary doughnuts and orange juice as we kick off at 7:30 am in North Barrett Square. Ride along in the annual bike parade at 8:45 am, followed by an action-packed Family Field Day on the Western Green. Spend the day making memories in the turquoise water and white sand before concerts on the Western Green fill the air with music from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Feel free to bring your own chairs and blankets. Finally, the much-anticipated fireworks display shoots into sky at 8:45 pm with beachgoers getting a front row seat to all the magic. Come join us! Memories are ready for the making!
People travel from every corner of the country to enjoy the fresh salty air, soft sandy beaches, and cool, emerald waters of Rosemary Beach® on vacation. When planning vacation activities, deciding how to spend the morning is easy to overlook. With the beautiful scenery in Rosemary Beach®, waking up early to enjoy it is always the best plan.
See the Sunrise
Rosemary Beach® is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and there isn’t a better way to start the day than to view the sunrise over them. Grab a blanket, a cup of coffee, and your camera and head to the beach for a spectacular, colorful view.
Enjoy a Book and a Cup of Coffee
If you’re wondering where to get the coffee to take to the beach, Amavida Coffee is a local Rosemary Beach® favorite. Flavorful blends from Ecuador, Honduras, and Bolivia are just a few of the options to choose from. Grab your favorite book and relax with a fresh cup of Amavida coffee to start the day. Iced lattes are a favorite during the summer.
Riding bikes is a favorite family pastime in Rosemary Beach® and is the perfect way to start the day. Bamboo Bicycle Company is conveniently located in the center of Rosemary Beach® and has bikes for all ages to ride around town. Ride up and down the cobblestone streets and wooden boardwalks in search of your favorite breakfast spot.
Getting breakfast is a fun opportunity to scope out what restaurants Rosemary Beach® has to offer and what’s on the menu. Summer Kitchen Café and Cowgirl Kitchen offer a multitude of breakfast options such as waffles, eggs, and omelets to enjoy.
Rosemary Beach® is paradise for tennis lovers who enjoy starting the day with a game. The Rosemary Beach Racquet Club offers tennis facilities, instruction options, and new equipment to maintain an active lifestyle on vacation. With eight clay courts in great condition and all the supplies needed to play, is there a better way to spend the morning?
Notice the Architecture
With influences from the West Indies and the Dutch, the Rosemary Beach® style feels as if it’s pulled straight from a European village. Native plants complement white walls, earthy tones, striking curves and lush surroundings. Courtyards abound and each direction offers a unique view. Even the roofs are a sight to see.
Yoga at the Beach
For beginner or seasoned yogis, Rosemary Beach® is an ideal location for peace and quiet. Finding a location on the beach to spend time alone practicing yoga is the best anti-stress remedy to start the day. If you prefer a group setting, stop in for a class at the Rosemary Beach Fitness Center.
Relax on the Porch
One of the best parts of every Rosemary Beach® home is the porch. After all, there isn’t a better place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee, relax and enjoy the view. Sometimes the most relaxing part of a vacation is doing nothing but taking the time to observe and appreciate the beauty in the community you’re visiting. Wake up, grab a cup of coffee, and lounge outside; enjoy the warm Florida breeze.
Shop the Farmer’s Market
The 30A Farmers Market takes over the East Long Green every Sunday from 9 am – 1 pm (and every Thursday during the summer season) with vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, jellies, desserts, flowers and more. Go early for the best selection and be sure to get enough for the whole family.
Wander Around Town
Meander through the streets of Rosemary Beach®, discovering nature, architecture and shady spots to relax around every turn. You’ll notice community green spaces tucked between houses, park benches to people-watch, family photo ops and places for making memories. Be sure to let the kids make a wish at the fountain in Barrett Square.
Whether you’re enjoying the morning alone, with family, being active or relaxing outside, there are a myriad of options to choose how to begin the day. So wake up, slip on your sandals, and decide how to start your day in Rosemary Beach®.
Sponsored by more than a dozen local businesses, this walk aims to raise awareness of domestic violence with a portion of proceeds benefiting Shelter House and the Rosemary Beach Foundation. Bring the whole family for a fun afternoon, all for a great cause. Don heels, fun tennis shoes and even costumes with your team or your family to strut a mile along the cobblestone streets of Rosemary Beach® and Town Center. An after-party is immediately following with an awards ceremony and prizes. To register, visit Walk Her Way here.
Special thanks to the following businesses: Rosemary Beach Cottage Rental Company, Bombora Sun & Surf, Rosemary Beach Fitness & Tennis, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Rosemary Beach Realty, 30a.com, SoWal, Rosemary Beach Trading Company, Iona’s Flower Market, the Merchants of Rosemary Beach, Bud & Alley’s, Perspicasity and the Hidden Lantern Bookstore.
As Rosemary Beach celebrates its 19th year, it’s fun to see what homes and areas of the town get a slight update. One of our popular vacation rentals, the Butterfly Carriage House, recently underwent a makeover to make the 599 square foot space feel modern, cozy and ready for more beach memories. Check out the before and after photos below and find this season’s vacation specials here .
For more information about renting the Butterfly Carriage House for your next trip to Rosemary, click here or call (855) 612-3853.
What is it about living in a coastal community like Rosemary Beach® that makes it so special? It’s a combination of the many moments that come from everyday activities and the daily inspiration that such a picturesque, Gulf front setting provides. Meandering down wooded boardwalks, flip flops on, beach towel in hand, ready to soak in the sun, feel the salty breeze and dip toes in the surf? Check.
Watching the kids run gleefully along the green, making wishes by the fountain or playing a game of bocce ball? Check. Hopping on a beach cruiser bicycle to pedal to a favorite morning coffee spot or treasured shop? Check.
Being surrounded by strong and beautiful architecture inspired by the West Indies and the Caribbean? Check. Making the daily trip to the beach to end another lovely day by watching Mother Nature’s art show as the sun sinks down over the Gulf? That’s all part of the Rosemary Beach® experience and one we’re lucky to experience every day.
The editors at Florida Travel + Life named our coastal community of Rosemary Beach as one of Best Places to Live in Florida. Read more about what it’s like to live in a beach community and what it’s like to live along Scenic Highway 30A and search for your own slice of paradise with Rosemary Beach Realty.
Thanks FT+L! We love Rosemary Beach®, too!
Rosemary Beach Racquet Club has earned a reputation for hosting some of the best tennis tournaments in the Southeast. This spring, the tennis pros at Rosemary Beach® will again create a fun and competitive weekend within our relaxed, scenic coastal setting.
The 11th Annual Rosemary Beach Open Tennis Tournament will be held May 1-4, 2014. The tournament includes prize money for Open Singles Divisions and every player will receive a t-shirt and complimentary opening night dinner.
With eight Har-Tru courts and talented pro team led by Tennis Director Michael Clark, Rosemary Beach Tennis consistently ranks among the top 75 tennis resorts in the world by Tennis Resorts Online.
Don’t miss the fun! Register for the Rosemary Beach® Open by visiting www.floridausta.com (tournament ID #1531018124). Sponsorship packages still available for businesses who wish to get in on the action.
To book your weekend accommodations, visit Rosemary Beach Cottage Rental Company and select from an impressive selection of rental options, including luxury rental homes, carriage houses, lofts, and flats. Extend your stay and take advantage of mid-week specials at the charming Pensione Inn in the heart of the Rosemary Beach® Town Center.
We look forward to welcoming you to Rosemary Beach®!
There’s something so mesmerizing, relaxing and even therapeutic about watching the sun sink down over the Gulf of Mexico, creating a rainbow of colors in its descent. You can find faithful viewers settling in every day just before the big show watching from the boardwalk or finding a place to settle on the sugar white sand. It’s a South Walton tradition and one that doesn’t disappoint in Rosemary Beach. Enjoy the video below of March’s final sunset and if you’d prefer to view in person, we’re saving a space just for you. Click here for current Rosemary Beach vacation rentals and specials.
Rosemary Beach Foundation donated $6,000 to The Suzy Fund at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast following the Rosemary Beach Girls Getaway The Suzy Fund was established in 2007 to provide free mammograms for underserved women in our community. The goal of annual screening mammograms is to find cancer when it is still in an early, treatable stage.
Pictured above are: Zuma Banks (Rosemary Beach Foundation), Christi Powell (Mammography Tech II), Tinnie Coupe (Mammography Tech), Leonard Olson (Sacred Heart Foundation), Alicia Nirta (Ultrasound Tech), Malayne DeMars (Rosemary Beach Foundation)
We are grateful for the support from the Rosemary Beach and South Walton community. Special thanks to the Girls Getaway chairs Malayne DeMars and Ali Weil.