COMMUNITIES: WaterColor Resort
Do you have a happy place? You know… a place where you can let go, relax and just be? If you don’t, look no farther because I have a suggestion – the Florida Panhandle and the scenic 20 mile route which runs parallel to the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico. From the moment you glimpse the sand and smell the salt air, you know you have arrived. This beautiful stretch of earth, which is affectionately known the world over as “30-A”, is tucked in between Panama City Beach and Destin. Once you’ve been there, you’ll know why people go back year after year to experience the laid-back vibe, funky beach bars, artsy villages, innovative cuisine and incredible architecture (30-A happens to be the birthplace of New Urbanism).
The icing on the cake though has to be the landscape and the beaches. From the gorgeous blue-green water, sugar white sands, rare coastal dune lakes, state parks and thousands of acres of protected habitats, 30-A puts you in touch with nature. Known as “The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” and frequently compared to the Caribbean, it’s a place you have to experience so add it to your vacation bucket list!
Click this link for the “Life Shines (The 30-A Song)” in our video archives:
To give you some background and for full disclosure, I have to say that I was blessed to have grown up just a little over an hour away Vacations and day trips were the norm for my childhood. We all have many fond memories of these beaches which have played a large part in the life of my family dating back to the early 50’s. My paternal grandfather and his uncle purchased a cottage and it was a beach cottage in the truest sense of the word… wooden structure, large screened front porch to enjoy the views and the breeze, nothing fancy but functional. Pop, who passed away before I was born, said that land was $50 an acre then. Not quite sure if this is true or family lore but it is a good story. We have often lamented that he should have bought acres and acres of beachfront property but back then that was a lot of money!
This whole area was virtually undiscovered then by the flocks of people that visit today. My mom lived in Panama City Beach briefly as a child and remembers taking picnics to the beach. She said you had to fight your way through the brush to get to the paths leading to the beach. But soon enough this area was discovered and with it came a whole new era which takes me to the present day.
Now, my own family likes to head to WaterColor Resort at Santa Rosa Beach for our family vacations. Situated on both sides of 30-A, this resort has it all… the ocean front Beach Club, fabulous dining such as Fish Out of Water, an awesome kid’s camp plus pools, tennis, golf, shopping, outdoor movies and more. There are a variety of rental options for lodging and once you get there you really never have to leave.
Sure, we head into Destin and Panama City Beach for the water parks, goofy golf, go-carts and arcades but WaterColor serves as command central while we are there. For the most part, we park our car, rent bikes and head out. We fish, paddle board, swim, collect shells, build sandcastles, sunbathe and catch up on our reading. Most importantly, we catch up on our family time. And I think that is perhaps the best thing about WaterColor… we get to slow down and be with each other because isn’t that what a good vacation is all about?
To learn more about WaterColor Resort, visit www.watercolorresort.com
Win a two night stay at WaterColor Inn & Resort, click here for details.
This stunning 499-acre resort is nestled between the majestic Gulf of Mexico and a rare coastal dune lake framed by a longleaf pine forest. Thoughtfully designed by famed architect David Rockwell, WaterColor seamlessly marries modern conveniences with the nostalgia of an unassuming beach town from days gone by.
This ultimate beach retreat features a cozy boutique inn as well as lavish beach houses and charming cottages. Pebbled footpaths lead the way to picturesque parks and gardens, a boathouse, tennis, spa, shops, restaurants, a fitness center and, of course, a private sugar-sand beach.