Idyll-by-the-Sea® One in Seaside, Florida|
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Seaside, Florida is located on the Florida panhandle midway between
Fort Walton Beach and Panama City. Click on lower numbers to zoom in.
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|Idyll-by-the-Sea in Seaside, Florida||Zoom
The Beaches of South Walton
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Seaside is the kind of place that is all about reconnecting --
reconnecting with your family, your sense of time, your ability
to relax, your sense of community, your enjoyment of the simple
things, and your sense of self. It is about taking the time to
watch a sunset, to stare up at a night sky full of shimmering
stars, to speak to your neighbors, to take long walks and to
talk with those you love.
Many folks I know ask me "Why Seaside?" To answer that, you have
to know about the community in which my mother was fortunate enough
to be raised --
Washington Grove, Maryland.
You have probably never
heard of it, but you have heard of dozens of communities like it
across the country. Washington Grove started life at the turn of
the century as the site of a Chataqua -- that most Victorian of
convocations that involved a coming together of people interested
in spending their summers escaping the heat of the cities and
enriching their lives through a sense of shared community and
Yahoo also has information about Washington Grove.
Many of these Chataqua sites started as tent sites and grew to
house "cottages" as time wore on. As such, their placement to
form the town is key to encouraging the sense of connectedness
with neighbors. In Washington Grove, the oldest lots were actually
platted as tent sites, and the houses are very close. Within a few
years, larger house lots were sited such that all the fronts (and
broad front porches) of the houses faced on broad "Avenues," which
were for walking only. The rear of the houses faced on "Streets,"
which served the service functions of the houses. Architecture
took its cue from the time, too. Some cottages are cute little
Victorian "A" frames, with all kinds of gingerbread trim. Some
"cottages" got quite grand as the community transitioned into a
summer refuge and then a suburb of growing Washington, D.C. My
grandfather's twin sister, Aunt Helen, lived in the same house in
Washington Grove throughout most of my life -- her house had been built
by the architect of Union Station and has all sorts of leftover
pieces and parts from that grand public building down in Washington,
D.C. There was the General Store where my mother would stop
everyday on her way home from school to get an ice cream. Summer
concerts and classes were held in central meeting halls and on the
lawn around a concert gazebo.
Growing up going to Aunt Helen's house for all the holidays always
gave me such a feeling of community. We would always visit all the
friends and neighbors on the "Avenues" that my mother had known
growing up in the Grove. At New Year's, everyone would go out on
their porches and bang pots and pans at midnight to ring in the New
Year -- you'd hear a cacophony of joyous racket throughout the community
as neighbors greeted one another. When a neighbor needed help, everyone
pitched in. My mother's friendships forged during all her years
growing up in the Grove remain some of her strongest. And everyone
spoke to one another, looked after one another, and knew each other's
children and family. You felt that overwhelmingly warm, cocooning
feeling like you were "home."
That feeling, that feeling of "home" was exactly what I felt when
I first came to Seaside. The sense of how the place is designed
is so very intrinsic to promoting this feeling -- just like it is in
Washington Grove. Broad porches, a mandate in the Seaside
architectural code promotes neighborliness, as does the proximity
of the houses, and the "walk-ways-only" that link the backs of
all the cottages. The encouragement to walk around town, and the
center of town with it's "General Store"
its picture-perfect little post office, its pedestrian-friendly
shopping and eating areas, and it's
where concerts and community events are held, all join forces to
create that wonderful sense of belonging. Seaside feels like home.
Here is a Seaside, Florida town map. Idyll-by-the-Sea
is located about 1000 feet (one fifth mile) from the
within the town map to view a panoramic camera shot from that location.
|Seaside, Florida Town Map
- The Beaches of South Walton -
Information on the beaches area like Recreation (Golf, Tennis, Nature,
Water Sports), Dining (Casual, Fine, Seafood), Shopping, Events, etc.
- Yahoo Information on Seaside, FL -
Local Web Directory with information on Business & Shopping, Health,
Community, Real Estate, Entertainment & Arts, and Travel & Transportation.
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This website and all photos: Copyright © 2000-2015 Carol Irvine