When I mentioned to one of my Florida friends that I was wanting to get back to Miami for some badly needed R&R, he sneered. “It’s too touristy and crowded,” he said, sharing with me a beach town I’d never heard of: Rosemary Beach in the Florida Panhandle.
Every winter he and his wife rent the same cottage. They take walks, cook, read, sleep. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
I could see plenty of that going on at this upscale vacation home called Rosemary Beach Capri. The spacious house – a four bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom boardwalk jewel - is smartly styled with dark wood mission-style bedroom furniture, comfy couches in two separate flatscreen viewing rooms, a Wolf range, tile and hardwood floors and WiFi for those of you addicted to e-mail. The cost is $371 a night from Sept. 2 to Nov. 8.
The inside is sleek, no doubt, but outside is where I’d want to be. That outdoor kitchen and heated pool (in a private courtyard, yes!) would be well utilized any time of year. And my fave: A French Quarteresque balcony for watching sunsets and late-night chats.
The 107-acre community, only a 30-minute trip from Panama City-Bay County International Airport and an hour from the Fort Walton Beach Okaloosa Airport, is masterplanned for sure, what, with its town center, 12 basic building styles and network of boardwalks and footpaths, but so what. The beaches are pristine, traffic isn’t an issue and parking is restricted to alleyways.
And like this Rosemary beach villa, houses are painted in subtle colors. You know, just in case you thought every Florida vacation home was flamingo pink or mint green.