Seaside, Florida

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Seaside, Florida
unincorporated community
Coordinates: 30°19′12″N 86°08′16″W / 30.320118°N 86.137705°W / 30.320118; -86.137705Coordinates: 30°19′12″N 86°08′16″W / 30.320118°N 86.137705°W / 30.320118; -86.137705
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Walton
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 32459
Post office at the center of Seaside

Seaside is an unincorporated master-planned community on the Florida panhandle in Walton County, between Panama City Beach and Destin.[1] Being one of the first cities in America designed on the principles of New Urbanism, the town has become the topic of slide lectures in architectural schools and in housing-industry magazines, and is visited by design professionals from all over the United States.[2] The town rose to global fame as being the main filming location of the movie The Truman Show. On April 18, 2012, the American Institute of Architects's Florida Chapter placed the community on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places as the Seaside - New Urbanism Township.[3]


Seaside Chapel, a community landmark designed by Merrill, Pastor, & Colgan in 2001.
Beach of Seaside

The idea behind Seaside came from 1946, when the grandfather of future founder Robert S. Davis bought 80 acres of land along the shore of Northwest Florida as a summer retreat for his family.[4] In 1979 Davis inherited the parcel from his grandfather, and aimed to transform it into an old-fashioned beach town, with traditional wood-framed cottages of the Florida Panhandle. Davis, his wife Daryl, and architectural partners Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ), toured the south studying small towns as a basis for planning Seaside.[5]


Individual housing units in Seaside are required to be different from other buildings, with designs ranging from styles such as Victorian, Neoclassical, Modern, Postmodern, and Deconstructivism.[6] Seaside includes buildings by architects such as Léon Krier, Robert A. M. Stern, Steven Holl, Machado and Silvetti Associates, Deborah Berke, Gordon Burns & Associates, Thomas Christ, Walter Chatham, Daniel Solomon, Jeff Margaretten, Alex Gorlin, Aldo Rossi, Michael McDonough, Samuel Mockbee, David Mohney, Steve Badanes, Walker Candler, and David Coleman.[7]


30A Songwriters Festival[edit]

During the Annual 30A Songwriters Festival, produced by the Cultural Arts Association of Walton County, singer-songwriters from all over the U.S. perform in venues along Scenic Highway 30A and at a few venues in Seaside itself.[8]

The Seaside Half Marathon and 5k Race[edit]

The Seaside Half Marathon and 5k Race is held each year in March, and attracts runners from all across the U.S. This is quickly becoming one of the region's premier running events. The 5K Run is limited to the first 800 people that register and the Half Marathon is limited to the first 2200 that register.[9] The top three runners from each age group receive a prize, and every runner in the half marathon receives a medal upon completing the race. Participants are allowed to walk in either race.[10]

Organizations and Institutions[edit]

Escape to Create[edit]

Escape to Create aims to celebrate artists and serve the community through Multi-Disciplinary Artist Residencies, Visiting Artists and Scholars, Arts and Cultural Programs, and Educational outreach.

Seaside Farmers Market[edit]

On Saturday mornings the Seaside Farmers Market offers fresh local produce, dairy products, baked goods, and native plants.[11] Demonstrations in cooking and gardening are also held on a regular basis.[12]

Repertory Theater[edit]

The Repertory Theater (REP) was founded in the spring of 2001, and serves more than 25,000 people every year.[13] The plays are performed by the only professional theater company on the Emerald Coast, and includes everything from family shows to sophisticated adult shows.[14] High school students who live in the area can intern at the Seaside Repertory Theater. The program is intended to teach practical knowledge by working with the staff and get to be in charge of their own production.[15]

Seaside Neighborhood School[edit]

In 1995 a group of parents and other community members from towns in Walton County, met and discussed how they could improve education within the county. Their discussions focused on making a densely populated school with grades five to eight.[16] In 1996 Seaside Neighborhood School was established and became one of Florida's first charter schools.[17] The school initially consisted of 50 students and one classroom. In 1998, architect Richard Gibbs designed three white buildings which became the school's site.[18] In order to maintain the small enrollment of children that attend the school, a limited number of students are accepted into each grade. If enrollment exceeds the limit, students names are drawn randomly from a lottery. After the limit has been reached, they continue to pull out names which then creates a school year waiting list. If someone withdraws from the school then the first on the waiting list will be accepted. Children of employees, Board Members, or siblings of current attendees of the school are automatically admitted. In 2013, Seaside Neighborhood School founded a collegiate high school, called Seacoast Collegiate High School. In its inaugural year, it served 80 students in grades 9 and 10. Grade 11 was added in 2014 and grade 12 will be added in the fall of 2015. In August of 2014, Seaside Neighborhood School also introduced a fifth grade class.[19]


External links[edit]