I looked back on my blog and it’s been since 2009 that I’ve been to Seagrove Beach in my previous life before Mark. If you’ve read my blog for all these years, you might remember it was a fave from my early years of blogging and I shared the trips I took there. It’s a gorgeous area to stay and wow, I have to say it’s grown so much in all those years since I’ve been there. I’ve been to Destin a few times in between, but really liked Seagrove because it was a little less crowded and off the beaten path. That’s sort of changed now though, with all the growth on 30A.
I blame it on social media, that the whole country has now discovered 30A and all the beauty it has and offers for vacationers across our nation. Everyone loves a pretty beach and these Gulf beaches can hardly be rivaled anywhere else. It used to be that the whole Southeast would go to the Gulf beaches, but now the secret is out and everyone comes from far and wide. I sort of hate that, but it was inevitable I guess.
Mark and I went down for a 4 night stay last week. We were going to take Daisy with us, but then I decided to ask my former roommate and friend, Rhonda, if she wanted to house sit and Daisy sit for us and she was happy to do so. I paid her too, but she said it was a definite treat for her to come and stay and enjoy the backyard.
I looked for a pet friendly condo and found one very near the beach in Seagrove. It turned out to be right next door to Dunes of Seagrove which I shared many years ago that I’ve stayed at. Dunes is older but has been kept up to date pretty well and the condos are spacious with balconies that have water views, many of them. But the place we stayed this time, Beachfront II is an older condo unit with 3 floors, probably built in the 70’s. The one we stayed in had been updated as best as it could be, but it still had an older feel. There’s a pool and the grounds were perfect for anyone traveling with pets, so I would still recommend it for that reason. The drawback was the Queen bed wasn’t that comfortable and the person staying above us made a lot of noise walking around for 2 nights. They got up two mornings at 6 am, stomping around like an elephant, so that made for an annoying couple of nights. Other than that, it was a decent place to stay, so I’ll share it with you if you’re looking in that area for a pet friendly place to say. Cindy was very nice to work with and when the TV didn’t work the first day, she got it fixed by the next day. But the cable company that’s used didn’t get a lot of stations so it was sort of a bust on TV watching too. Here’s theAir BNB Condo we stayed in.
But the weather was stellar, no rain at all. Sunny days with 90 degrees every day we were there, blue skies and beautiful sunsets. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The only drawback on the beaches when we were there were biting flies. I have never had that before, but evidently they are yellow flies that are seasonal and they bite, leaving red marks. That was annoying too, but I found some spray at a local store that really helped called BigShot.
I’ve got lots of pics to share so I hope you enjoy. It was a wonderful beach trip and we enjoyed it a lot. I’ll share the beach and where we ate today and then I’ve got lots of beach cottage pics to share in the areas around Seagrove that we biked to. Biking is super popular on 30A and they have wide sidewalks along the road so that it’s all connected and accessible by bike. That makes it really nice too. We rented bikes while we were there and enjoyed getting up in the morning and riding bikes around, exploring the areas around us.
When we go to the beach, Mark and I just like to relax, enjoy the beach and plan our days around what big meal we are going to eat that day. We take breakfast and lunch items with us so we only eat out one big meal a day, either a late lunch or early dinner. We can’t eat two huge meals out when we are traveling, it’s just too much.
The first day we arrived, we tried to go to one of my favorites spots to eat, Seagrove Cafe and Market, but they were closed on that Sunday, we we went later in the week. We were really hungry by mid-afternoon when we arrived so we went to a place close to where we stayed, The Old Florida Fish House. It’s been there as long as I’ve been going down to Seagrove and it’s good, but not our favorite.
I got a grilled grouper sandwich with cole slaw and it was delicious. Mark got fried shrimp and he enjoyed his too. I’ll share all the places we ate while there.
After checking into our condo. we headed down to the beach to sit and enjoy the sun and sand, as we intended to do a lot of. It was 90 degrees every day with a breeze so not bad at all. Perfect weather for us!
There were plenty of people down there and I’m sure many schools were on break last week, as there were plenty of kids and teens to be seen. It’s a busy place on 30A and that’s why we don’t go in the summer months or during spring break. No thanks! We wait until there are less people and the rates go down a bit. I couldn’t get over how it’s changed so much in over 10 years, but it definitely is still growing. We got on 30A from the Panama City side coming in and drove through Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach and those developments have really filled out and grown. Now there is hardly any woods left, all along 30A, it’s all developed so much. That’s going to be the detriment to the area, I fear. Too many people make it difficult to get around. I can’t imagine what summer is like. We didn’t have long waits for restaurants because we didn’t go during peak times, so that was nice. It looked like there were plenty of people everywhere though.
I looked back at some of my old pics of the beach here and it was was less developed back then. The dunes were higher too with more sea oats and fencing back then to protect the dunes.
It’s changed some, but still a beautiful beach. Another thing we found out that’s changed so much in the last 10 or more years. The condos and home owners along the beach are fighting to have rights to the beach, so that’s an ongoing saga we heard. So there were signs posted where we access the beach to the right and left of where we set up. The signs indicated that it was private on either side so everyone had to stay in one small area and the condo owners and I guess homeowners had private access that wasn’t supposed to be open to others. We also found out that tents aren’t allowed in the front row “prime real estate” of the beach. One day we got a tag on our beach umbrella that looks like a small tent because it has 4 tails that touch the ground and are anchored. They told us to take out two of the tails and let them dangle and that we would be OK to stay then. Rules, sheesh! I don’t remember any of that from 10 years ago.
Before the beach got crowded for the day.
Our first night sunset. We went out every night with our chairs to watch the sunset and every one of them was gorgeous. Different, but all gorgeous!
Great way to unwind from the day and enjoy God’s beautiful creation.
That’s Dunes of Seagrove right behind us, the place I’ve stayed at least 3 times. You can find it online in rentals if you’re interested. I’d say any of the condos with a beach view would be great. Behind that dune is the pool and it’s pretty too. Our condos were nothing spectacular from the outside and are to the right of here, but with an easy beach walk.
Remarkable colors that deepened as the sun continued to go down.
Sunset is my favorite time of the day.
Here’s our tent umbrella that Mark found. I’ll link it for you again if you’re interested. We’ve really enjoyed it. It’s easy to put up, like an umbrella and then you add stakes or sand to the pockets to help hold it down in wind.
And it has a sun screen you can attach on whichever side the sun is coming through. It’s a great little tent umbrella, perfect for 2 people. Here’s our beach cabana from Amazon. (affiliate links)
I shared a video the first night and someone told me that was Luke Bryan’s house in the background (the country music star). She sent me a pic of a magazine article and sure enough it is! He has a cigar bar nearby in Watersound and we rode down on our bikes to that area. It’s a gorgeous house!
That’s it from a distance, just down from where our umbrella was.
Our second night out we went to Angelo’s Steak house, a Panama City favorite. Mark has been going there since he was 17, so had to go back for one more steak. Who knows if we will get back that way again, we have lots of places we want to travel. Gus the big bull is still out front.
I got steak kabobs and Mark got a tenderloin and we both loved our meal. So good!
Got home in time for another beautiful sunset.
We took our bikes out two mornings and made our way by Eastern Lake which was right by our condos. I’ll share more pics of the beautiful cottages and houses in another post.
Someone told me that Eastern Lake is unique in that there are only 2 lakes and oceans that meet in the US and this is one of those spots. It was gorgeous! The lake is on the left.
And you can see a channel of water connecting the two.
Beach in the distance on the left.
It was such a gorgeous stretch of sugar white sand. That sand is the best!
We just stood there taking it all in and taking pics. Mark took at panorama shot that turned out gorgeous, it’s below!
It was such an unspoiled area and pristine.
I took selfies to remember the day.
This trip was all about seafood and casual living. We didn’t dress up at all, of course, no one hardly dresses up around there. It’s casual beach living at its best.
So our next meal was at Seagrove Market and Cafe. They’ve been around for over 20 years I think and it’s one of my favorites down there. Casual, good seafood and fried is their specialty even though you can get grilled and blackened too. I got the fried grouper and shrimp basket with fries and cole slaw. It was our favorite meal of the week. So good! We didn’t get to Dewey Destin this time, but this made up for it. Equally as good as Dewey! It’s a little fancier than it was 13 years ago, but equally delish.
Mark got the broiled shrimp basket and it was so good too. I had a taste of his.
Another sunset for the books.
This one was extra stunning.
Our last day on the beach.
Enjoying the views, the seagulls and sea breeze. The spray I found helped with those biting flies. It’s called Big Shot. (affiliate link) I’m sure other things might work too, but this one was natural (deet free) and I found it close by. It definitely helped keep them away and they really bit our legs.
Our last time out, I took Mark to Red Bar, another staple restaurant at Grayton Beach. He wasn’t as impressed as I was, but it was good food. I should have waited until the dinner menu was available, but we ended up doing a late lunch.
The Red Bar burned down in 2019 and got rebuilt in 2020, so I was happy to see it back. Surprisingly, it looks exactly the same as the old one and I would never know it had burned down. Just walking inside it was THE SAME as before, but improved I’m sure. They do live music and serve some good fare at the Red Bar.
I got a salad and seafood gumbo, but if I was going on the weekend, I’d get either their crabcakes or fish of the day with a delicious sauce they add with mashed potatoes.
Mark got the mahi grilled sandwich and he liked it a lot.
The last sunset for us of the week. It was the least colorful, but still beautiful.
Sunsets are different every night, but so fun to take in. I just love them!
We also rode our bikes to get ice cream the last night. This place was very close to us, no one was in there and the ice cream was delicious! We enjoyed every bite!
So that’s a look at our little beach getaway and I hope you enjoyed and got ideas of your own. We love this area (me more so than Mark, he doesn’t like crowds). He still loves St. George Island and I do too, but it’s not the same since his family isn’t getting together like they used to. That’s what happens when families get so big and start adding lots of kids.
I’m sure we’ll be back to Seagrove again one day, but we really want to start going on more trips to places we haven’t been. It’s a wide wide beautiful world out there and we aren’t getting any younger!
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
Let’s pray the storm doesn’t destroy the area. I’m in Foley about 10 miles from Gulf Shores and we are watching it closely. I love going over to the Destin area but the traffic is terrible. Looks like y’all had a nice relaxing time.
Mary Tilley Choi says
I am going to have to insist that you remove this post right away! We need to keep this area a secret for a bit longer! Ha! Ha! We have a condo on Miramar Beach. This area has the most beautiful beaches. I am with you though, I can’t go down during the summer months. Way too many people. Thank you for sharing some new restaurants for us to try!
I love the gulf and it’s beautiful beaches. Wish I could go more than I do. Your pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
Beautiful! Thank you for posting pics of the Red Bar! I heard it burnt down and am so happy to hear that they rebuilt and you are correct-it does look the same!
Lynn Campbell says
So glad to see the Red Bar has been rebuilt and is back as good as ever! I really enjoyed this post as I used to live in Panama City and had a good friend who lived in Seagrove Beach. I would load up my bike and go out to her house and we would ride the biking trail the length of 30A. She lived very close to the lake so I am glad to see it looks virtually the same after a number of years. I LOVE that whole area – it’s beautiful and relaxing!
Carol C says
Absolutely beautiful! We love Orange Beach, AL! You live life to the fullest 😊
Toni Gorrell says
Beautiful photos, Rhoda! Glad you had a great trip! Loved Mark’s Ocean Springs shirt! Another area we love but nothing like Florida!
Sue R. Davis says
Looks like y’all had a great relaxing vacation. In July, our 2 adult children ( their spouses and children) invited us to go with them to Santa Rosa Beach. It was the most beautiful vacation me & my husband had ever taken. This was the first time they had invited us to accompany them. Just watching our 2 grandsons play for hours in the beautiful sand was a sight to behold.
I love your ear rings!
Thanks for sharing with us. I read your blog everyday. Enjoy every moment with your new husband…I, too met someone ( this is my second marriage) and he treats me like a queen. We are all so very blessed!
there is nothing like beautiful sunsets when you are with the one you love. I enjoyed reading about your views and suggestions on where to stay and where to eat. Thank you for taking the time.
MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says
Thanks, Rhoda, for sharing your trip with us! Your sunset pictures are absolutely beautiful! So glad that you and Mark could get away for a few days. I bet your little Daisy was glad to see you when you arrived back home! How nice to have a friend able to come and stay with Daisy.
Beautiful pictures. I have been to that area. I want to go back. The white sand is soooo pretty.
Loved seeing and hearing about your trip. The FL gulf coast is my favorite place to be, and once upon a time we would go twice a year. But it has been over 10 years since we’ve gone. I would probably be shocked at how it has changed…and maybe not for the better. The covid thing caused FL to be overwhelmed with transplants for some reason. 😉
Mary S says
I love seeing your travels. Just retired, and we are ready to start going places! I’m a Midwesterner though, so beaches are a pretty major trip. Honestly, I really wish I could live on one!
You should try Pinnacle Port..we bought a condo there a couple years ago..it is a private beach and gated community..it also was built in the 70’s and very well maintained
Hi, Jan, I have stayed there before a few years ago. It was nice as well, but I still like the Seagrove area the most.
Becky in 'Bama says
Thank you for sharing your beach time. Our last trip was cancelled due to a hurricane, and we have no idea when we will get back to that part of the world. Your sunset photos are breathtaking; to see God’s paint brush is a reminder of his greatness. August, September and October are the best months to see the sand. You visited some of my favorite places. We made the mistake of going to the Red Bar on a Saturday evening. LOL. The food was good, but the wait was a bit overwhelming, and too cool to wait outside. Always enjoy traveling vicariously through you and Mark. Happy Autumn!
Sue Jones says
My husband and I fell in love with the upper Peninsula in Michigan, also Sleeping Bear dunes we are northerners and I although like the ocean views hate the sand and biting flies and the thought of sharks . Enter this little bit of Heaven… dunes but shade galore and you would think you’re looking at the ocean, but no salt in your eyes. Sand thats white in diff. lakes and black in others. We also go in the off season so no swimming but we only wade anyway.
That sounds delightful! I’ve never been to Michigan, but heard really good things about the lakes.
I agree …Love the sand dunes on Lake Michigan and some of the beaches at the top of the thumb on Lake Huron…Would take it anytime over Florida..