If you know us well, you know that we vacation together (with our husbands) in Rosemary Beach at least once a year (usually twice)! Rosemary is the perfect vacation destination for us. It’s a gorgeous, idyllic town at the end of 30A that looks like a fishing town on the coast of Spain, or Greece, or somewhere NOT within 400 miles of Atlanta. Absolutely breath-taking!
Rosemary has cobblestone streets, locally-owned restaurants with open-air courtyards for dining, everyone rides bicycles with baskets and best of all, it’s nestled on the sugar-white sands and emerald blue coast of Florida’s Gulf.
Since we’ve been vacationing here for over 3 years, we’d love to share some tips and places to visit for your trip to Rosemary! Here’s our Best Of Rosemary Beach:
1. Best Coffee: Amavida Coffee on Barrett Square. This local local coffee shop has the best selection for every type of brew. Amavida aims to build relationships with better trading conditions that promote the sustainability of their customers, farmers, suppliers, employees and environment. This approach positively impacts the lives of coffee farmers and their communities. Props to business owners that value the right way to do things!
- 2. Best Breakfast: Summer Kitchen Cafe was the first restaurant and commercial business in Rosemary Beach. It started in a little red shack – just a walk up window serving the initial few people working, living and building at Rosemary Beach. They have THE BEST breakfast burritos! Oh, and I can’t forget to mention, the MOST DELICIOUS bloody marys. I fondly remember spending honeymoon mornings with David sharing a single breakfast at SKC because everything else in the area was out of our budget. #humblebeginnings. Now SKC has a larger space just across the street from The Pearl and is just as delicious as ever!
Also, the Donut Hole, just outside of Rosemary on highway 98 has a killer breakfast. Their menu is huge but the guys would highly recommend the Corned Beef Hash (FRESH corned beef) and we girls would highly recommend their donuts (of course!).
3. Best Lunch: The best beach-day lunch (hands down) is at Cowgirl Kitchen. They have outdoor as well as indoor seating (like all places in Rosemary do) but you have to take whatever seating you can get at Cowgirl Kitchen. They are always busy during lunch time but it’s worth the wait! The Shredded BBQ Chicken Taco Salad is TO DIE FOR! Like, we literally crave it alllll the time and wish we could recreate it at home. The nachos are a really great snack as well!
4. Best Happy Hour: Around sunset, one of our favorite things to do is visit the rooftop of The Pearl for cocktails. Not to mention, their happy hour prices are amazing! You have to try the Frose — it’s only $4! Of course we would order and love Frose! 😉
5. Best Bike Rental: Before I go into where you should rent your bikes from, let me tell you how important it is that you rent bikes while you’re in Rosemary. Your primary mode of transportation will be bikes. How fun is that?! But seriously, you’ll bike to breakfast, you’ll bike to the beach, you’ll bike down 30A and maybe even to dinner! It is very important that you rent bikes from the best vendor, though. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND bike rentals at Salt Air 30A (at The Hub). They are the sweetest family-owned business with an amazing story. Matt and his wife, Michaelanne, are so passionate about what they do and aim to create an outstanding experience. Not to mention, Michaelanne has designed a GORGEOUS shop. The coolest thing about their bikes is that they’re custom designed (Heron Bicycle Co.) so that they don’t rust and they’re super light-weight. Oh, and best of all, THEY DELIVER the bikes to you! So call before your vacation, let them know where you’re staying and they’ll have the bikes ready for you upon your arrival. Worth e.v.e.r.y penny!
6. Best Dinner: This one is tough. There are so many great places for dinner in and around Rosemary. One of our original and all-time favorites is Restaurant Paradis. They have an award-winning wine list and their menu is a great mix of local seafood and prime steaks. If it’s date-night, or a special evening with friends or family, this is a great spot. Insider tip: start your experience off with a Martini – best martini in the area! Our second favorite dinner is at Edward’s. Edward’s has an open-air courtyard for dining with an exposed kitchen. They also show classic black and white films via projector onto the wall of the next building – such a sweet touch! Their house musician is a fantastic saxophonist: Ike. Ike has been there for (at least) the last 3 years and we always look forward to his serenade over dinner.
7. Best Cocktail Experience: NEAT in Alys Beach is an easy bike ride away. Neat is a small cocktail lounge and specialty retail shop for any level mixologist. The space is small, though, so be ready to make new friends over a very interesting cocktail. 🙂
PS: Planning your vacation rental WELL AHEAD OF TIME is a must! We use VRBO/Homeaway to rent either a condo or house IN Rosemary (don’t bother with rentals outside of Rosemary….it’s just not the same experience). Rentals on the Gulf side of 30A can be expensive however staying on the inland side of 30A is just as great and are much more affordable. We have so many tips and tricks for preparing for your vacation (from house-hunting to packing to meal planning, etc.)…we’ll save that for a separate post. Stay tuned! 😉
If you’re planning your trip to Rosemary now, one last tip…TAKE US WITH YOU!!!!!! 🙂