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Trip Report

Atlanta
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456 posts
96 reviews
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Trip Report

DH and I were in the area last weekend, the last before the Summer Rush that is Memorial Weekend. We were traveling from Atlanta and it is just a little over a 5 hour drive. But, alas, we couldn't make it til lunch so we stopped in Defuniak Springs at a restaurant called Bogey's. They close at 2pm to get ready for dinner at 5pm, so we just made it. We sat at the bar and a nice gal from Michigan took care of us. I had the fish sandwich which was Mahi. It was huge and delicious with good cole slaw. DH had the tuna salad and he said it was very good. So it turned out to be very nice even though we were eager to get down to the Gulf. We had rented a small one bedroom at Hidden Villas which is just across an access to the beach. It was very small but a good location and had everything we could need including beach equipment and bikes.We had a lovely walk on the beach although we were greeted by signs that said private beach, walk on the wet sand. Ecological, I suspect, not rude. That night, Thursday, we met a friend who had retired here at 30A Cafe for $5 Martini Night. We walked into a busy restaurant with a smallish bar and enjoyed our friend and some libations. We later had a pizza and salad which was just ok. Good bartenders. Friday, the next day we put those bikes to good use and traveled all around this beautiful area. We went all over Seaside and down to Grayton. We got back to the condo and headed for the beach. Just lovely! We had a nice lunch at very busy Bud and Alley's. We paid quite a bit more than in Defuniak Springs, lol, but the view was well worth it! That night our plan was to go to the Red Bar and enjoy the food and music but could not find a parking spot!! We, being oh so flexible, like Gumby, decided to do our Saturday plan and head down to Rosemary Beach. This was our first time here and boy were we impressed! We had drinks at the rooftop bar at the Pearl Hotel with our bartender Troy. I had a delicious Cucumber adult beverage that Troy said was going off the menu but he would still be able to make. DH is my DD so he had a virgin Pina Colada which Troy made but was appalled. Later we had dinner at Edward's which was fantastic. Great service by Tatiana from Moldova. The next day, Saturday, we biked up to the Farmer's Market at Seaside. I'm sad to report I didn't think much of it but the activity was nice. People running around having fun. We had a late breakfast at Great Southern Cafe. It was wonderful. I had Green Tomato Benedict with crab cake but the crab was just a little too much, although tasty. Being the genius that I am I noticed that our waiter had a similar accent to our waitress the night before and sure enough he was also from Muldova and knew Tatiana. He was wonderful, too. We went back to the condo and got ready for the beach and had a delightful day. The waves were really rolling and the water was clear. That evening, Saturday, we were going to go back to Red Bar and try for a parking space but DH was not up for looking again and he was so impressed with Rosemary Beach that he wanted to go back and so we headed back to our rooftop bar at the Pearl but, oh no, they had a private function so we went to the bar downstairs and it was so nice with a great view. We had dinner at the bar at Restaurant Paradis and it was a wonderful experience. We talked with a young couple from Idaho!!! They make great French 75s and our food was exceptional! Great time! Sunday morning we packed up and were out by 10am on our way back by way of Panama City Beach to visit a friend and take her to lunch at Runaway Island which was very nice and rather inexpensive after Rosemary Beach. It was truly a memorable weekend and I wish I was still there.

Mentioned in this post
Atlanta
Atlanta
Georgia
DeFuniak Springs
DeFuniak Springs
Florida Panhandle, FL
Michigan
Michigan
United States
30A Suites
30A Suites
95 Reviews
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Grayton Beach
Grayton Beach
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Bud and Alley's
Bud and Alley's
459 Reviews
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
The Red Bar
The Red Bar
1,273 Reviews
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Rosemary Beach
Rosemary Beach
423 Reviews
Rosemary Beach, FL
The Pearl Hotel
The Pearl Hotel
401 Reviews
Rosemary Beach, FL
Great Southern Cafe
Great Southern Cafe
1,491 Reviews
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Red Bar
Red Bar
214 Reviews
Grayton Beach, FL
Restaurant Paradis
Restaurant Paradis
332 Reviews
Rosemary Beach, FL
Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach
Florida Panhandle, FL
Chanticleer Eatery
$$ - $$$, Steakhouse, American, Cajun & Creole
Cafe Thirty A
$$$$, American, Seafood, Contemporary
13 replies to this topic
Apalachicola...
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3,427 posts
110 reviews
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1. Re: Trip Report

Nice trip report! Better to bike or walk to the Red Bar imho (if you’re close enough).

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The Red Bar
The Red Bar
1,273 Reviews
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Texas
Level Contributor
167 posts
29 reviews
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2. Re: Trip Report

Wow, this is new: "We had a lovely walk on the beach although we were greeted by signs that said private beach, walk on the wet sand." I haven't seen that before and I hope I don't.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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32,097 posts
6,325 reviews
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3. Re: Trip Report

What a nice time

Thanks for your TR.

United States
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6,942 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Trip Report

Nice report, although I can’t agree with you about Great Southern Cafe. Our service and food were so bad recently, we will not be back. The rest of your report sounds great though.

KathDep, you may be seeing more of those Private Beach signs after July 1.

Mentioned in this post
Great Southern Cafe
Great Southern Cafe
1,491 Reviews
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Texas
Level Contributor
167 posts
29 reviews
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5. Re: Trip Report

We don’t vacation here anymore, but it’s concerning.

Apalachicola...
Level Contributor
3,427 posts
110 reviews
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6. Re: Trip Report

I also saw the private beach signs. It has nothing to do with ecology and everything to do with property rights. The new law goes into effect July 1 but under the Florida constitution you can walk or sit at the high tide line which won’t necessarily be “wet sand.” (New law makes beaches private with exception of county and state parks).

Mentioned in this post
Florida
Florida
United States
SDT
Key West
Destination Expert
for Key West
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11,964 posts
154 reviews
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7. Re: Trip Report

djaaay, were you able to set up your beach chairs even though the signs say private? If homeowners, hotels and condos aggressively enforce this rule, I can’t imagine how areas of Florida will remain appealing for beach vacationers who can’t, or don’t want to spend the money for beachfront lodging.

Mentioned in this post
Florida
Florida
United States
United States
Level Contributor
6,942 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Trip Report

KathDep, it's a Florida state law taking effect July 1st, not for just the panhandle. Expect to see it on other Florida beaches where there are privately owned properties.

I know signs are beginning to go up on Anna Maria Island too.

SDT, I agree that it might upset tourists. I guess public beaches will be more crowded.

Mentioned in this post
Florida
Florida
United States
Atlanta
Level Contributor
456 posts
96 reviews
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9. Re: Trip Report

We did set our beach chairs up and lots of people were there. I don't know who was staying at the property and who wasn't. How did such an elitist law ever get voted in?

Apalachicola...
Level Contributor
3,427 posts
110 reviews
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10. Re: Trip Report

You can read about it online but it started with two well known politicians who own beach estates there. And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

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