Kev and I are coming up on wedding anniversary #8 this June, and I’d love to take a breather and sneak off somewhere (inexpensive and close to home) with him for a couple of days.

Back in ’04, we honeymooned a few hours down the road, on the Florida gulf coast. We stayed in a cute, little cottage (that’s no longer for rent- boo) in a town called Seaside…


Remember Seaside from movie The Truman Show? It’s such a pretty little community…

There are small, colorful cottages, like this one, that Jim Carrey’s character called home in the movie…


Looks like the front door got a new coat of paint after “Truman” left town…

Kev and I had so much fun wandering around, looking at all the houses while we were there. We only snapped this one, quick pic (can you believe that?) of the cottage we stayed in…

The bedroom and bathroom were located on the first floor, and the living room and kitchen were upstairs, and if you squinted reeeeeal hard, you could see the tee-tiniest little sliver of the sea from the balcony on the second floor.

We went back to Seaside for our 5th anniversary and stayed in one of their “Motor Court” cottages…



I took all kinds of pictures on that trip, but then (accidentally) deleted them because I thought Kev had already transferred them to our computer. Key word: thought. Oops!

I did, however, find some more inspiring Seaside pics while Googling  last night…


(via, and via)

Get a load of this big guy…


It’s porches must be facing the ocean…*sigh*…


Here’s a peek at the kitchen…


…and here’s one of it’s bedrooms…


 Something tells me that one isn’t available for rent OR in our price range- ha!

Anywho, we’ll be in Atlanta for the Haven Conference a couple of days right before our anniversary this year, so I’m on the look out for a quiet little (budget-friendly) place for us to chill out in somewhere close to, or in between here and there. Maybe a pet-friendly lake cabin somewhere in Alabama?  Drop me a line if you know of one!

PS- Speaking of weddings and photography, Kevin published a new post up over at the ShootFlyShoot blog yesterday!

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  1. says

    Isn’t Seaside incredible? We have stayed there a few times over the years and absolutely adore it! Would love to go back and take my girls. Your wedding photos are gorgeous. Timeless and classic.

  2. says

    Have you tried looking on VRBO Vacation Rentals By Owner ? We live on the west coast and there is always something and you deal directly with the owners. Just a thought, and Happy Anniversary.

  3. says

    We use to live near there and it’s one of my FAV places to go. BTW, we are headed that way in a couple of weeks for Spring Break. There’s the coolest toy store there that we take the kids to. Plus, there a GREAT antique warehouse just down the road that I have to visit often. Believe it or not, Seaside was actually failing financially until “The Truman Show” was filmed there. People couldn’t believe it was an actual place and not a Hollywood film lot! That’s why they had to build the Watercolors Resort and why Rosemary Beach nearby has exploded as well. It’s a great place for a vacation (or to live :D ).

    • Jaime DeArman says

      We love Seaside too. We live in Birmingham, but got married nearby and go down often. Carolyn, where is the antique warehouse? Is it the one in Grayton?

      • says

        Nope! I couldn’t remember the name so I took a “drive” on Google Maps to find it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen cars whip by me so fast on 98 before. Hope I didn’t freak anyone out when I went the wrong way on the road, LOL!

        The name is called Bienvenue Antiques and here is their address:
        Bienvenue Antiques & Interiors
        11840 US Highway 98 W, Destin, FL 32550
        (850) 837-5122

        It’s 2 huge warehouses full of “stuff” to die for! There is also another warehouse in Panama City Beach that gets a lot of her stuff directly shipped from the England countryside. Her husband goes over and ships crates of the stuff back over here because it’s so cheap to buy it there. Some of the stuff they just find thrown out on the streets since no really likes antiques over there. She has hundreds of those stain glassed windows hanging from the ceiling. Don’t remember the name of it either (must be getting old, lol!), but it’s on the north side of 98, right on the road. I think it’s near the “Man of the Sea” museum there. I was too tired to “drive” that far down on Google Maps.

        Happy Antique-ing!

        • Jaime DeArman says

          Thanks so much! If we don’t go down to 30-A in a few weeks, we will be down in May. My sweet husband will have to bear with me because I can’t wait to check out both places!!!

          Be careful driving on Google Maps! LOL!

          Layla, we got married at Inlet Beach which is past Rosemary Beach (but off of 98). You’d probably love the house. It’s called Anna’s Veranda. It’s a renovated Victorian that they moved from Marianna, FL. We stayed after for our honeymoon as well. Seaside has been in our hearts for 20 years now. All of 30A is special in our opinion. It can get crowded during the busy season, but in the quiet times there isn’t anywhere I’d rather be!

  4. says

    Seaside is so super cute! We almost rented there for a month. Well, almost doesn’t count, doesn’t it. We ended up choosing something more private. The homes are pretty close together. But oh so charming.

  5. says

    Ahhhh I’ll be headed to 30-A over Spring Break and I cannot WAIT!! Best place on earth, that little strip of coast.

    Debbie at Refresh/Restyle has a house on Lake Martin. Maybe she’s rent it to ya! :)

    • Layla says

      1. Have SO MUCH FUN on Spring Break! and 2. Criss-crossing my fingers Debbie’s lake house is available for rent- that would ROCK! :-D

  6. Rebekah says

    I love Seaside! I went there many years ago when my grandma lived in Niceville. I miss the Gulf Coast…happy memories. :)

  7. Sabrina says

    Seaside is my “happy place” and we go about every other year. We’re going to Charleston and Savannah this year, so I’m going to miss the beautiful beaches of Florida! :( But I’ll visit Folly Beach and Tybee Island, so that’s a plus!

  8. says

    So my family owns a lake front cottage way up here in Maine if you are so inclined to come for a visit! ;) It’s at the end of a long dirt road with water on 3 sides. *ahem* My vote for coastal get-aways that are not free though is Charleston, SC hands-down. Love love love it there!! Happy ‘met’-aversary!

    • Layla says

      Ooh- your cottage sounds awesome! :-D
      And thank you for the “met-aversary” wishes! Hard to believe we met NINE years ago, today. Time flies!!!

  9. Jenny says

    We are going to Seaside in 3 weeks!!!!
    I can totally relate with your love of that beautiful town.

  10. says

    I guess every state along the ocean has a town named Seaside! Unfortunately, Snookie and The Situation ruined NJ’s! (For the record they are NYers!) I will keep my eyes open for you.
    How did you and Kevin meet? So glad you did! :)
    Your Friend,

  11. says

    We married in Seaside 6 years ago, ceremony was in the Chapel. Beautiful place to be anytime!!!! Happy Anniversary to you, hope you can get back there soon. We would love to get back each year but it is pricey :) If you are going to be in Atlanta, we are NE Georgia & close to Lake Lanier Islands. They have nice cabins / cottages you can rent. If I think of anywhere else, I will get back with you. Most of my family lives in Prattville, small world!

  12. says

    Do you think you’ll do another adoption update soon? I’ve been praying for your little family and I’m hoping that things are working out for you and Kev during the process! I know it took my parents a good three years before we were finally able to take my youngest brother and sister home from Russia, but it was so worth it and I can’t imagine life without them now :)

  13. says

    I am on the west coast and never been to Seaside. It looks soooo cute! No offense to the big house, but I love the little beach towns that have been kept small.

    • Layla says

      Ooh, you might actually dig Seaside then, Carol. It’s super quaint! No hotels or chain businesses, and you can ride your bike from one end of town to the other! :-D

  14. Christy says

    If you are gonna be in Georgia you could always go to Tybee! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Mermaid Cottages and most of the cottages will welcome your fur babies.

    • Layla says

      Hey Christy! We’re actually looking to try a new place this year, but we love Diane and her Mermaid Cottages, too! :-D

  15. Susan says

    Happy anniversary you two! I’m also from Bama and now reside in the burbs of Atlanta. Can’t really think of anything in between, and lake Lanier does have some cute cottages, however my favorite staycation place is about an hour past Atlanta (if you’re willing to drive a little further) at Reynolds plantation. You can rent a nice cozy cottage and have the luxury of the ritz next door…has to be the most remotely located ritz there is….it’s where Carrie Underwood was married :) they have some listings on vrbo if you want to check it out…I think you’d love it :)

  16. says

    omg how beautiful!!! all these cottages make me wanna pack my bags and leave manana! oh and your wedding photos are just adorable. Congrats on your anniversary!

  17. Lindsey says

    I love it! We got married in Seaside TOO! We haven’t been back there in the last five years so it’s nice to see the pictures. Sitting in the hammock in our beachside honeymoon cottage has always been our ‘happy place’. And eating at Criollas…don’t get me started. Congrats!

  18. Shauna says

    Savannah isn’t really THAT far past Atlanta, and don’t those Mermaid gals owe you some favors ?? ;) My Step-Brother-In-Law also has a house on the shore in Alabama…a little bigger than you need, but give me a holler and I could maybe finagle a discount if it is available.

    (Also good to keep in mind for future family vacations with your parents and siblings!)

    • Layla says

      Hey Shauna! We’re actually thinking we’d like to try a new place…somewhere between our house and Atlanta, so we can swing home and pick up Max before we check in! :-)

  19. says

    Too funny Layla. My 20th Anni will be just a few days before Haven, too.
    In fact, we are prolonging our Anni celebration until I get back. I wasn’t going to go but Hubby knew I really, really wanted to. So are celebrating the following week.

  20. Kate says

    I know everyone love it but I found Seaside positively frightening in its fake perfection. I don’t know why – I didn’t expect to feel that but it felt like walking through Disneyland – only people actually lived there. I know – I’m weird!

    • Layla says

      Aw, I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience in Seaside, Kate. Obviously it’ll always hold a special place in my heart, and I look very forward to visiting again someday! :-)

  21. says

    Hi, Try and plug in Seaside, FL. It’s a great way to find rooms, apts and homes around the world. And inexpensive, in many cases. Enjoy your blog, Layla… and Kev’s photos. (We’ve been shooting, writing, styling houses for many-a-year, and are very impressed by your style!)

  22. says

    I have always wanted to go to Seaside – heck, I’m pretty sure I’ve always wanted to LIVE in Seaside!

    We enjoyed a great vacation a few years ago perched in a cabin on the side of a mountain in Blue Ridge GA, a couple hours from Atlanta. No sea, but it was marvy! (Cuddle Up Cabin Rentals)


  23. says

    Seaside has always been one of my favorite places to visit! It’s such a unique little town. :) I love the daybed in the last photo! I want one!!

  24. says

    My mom and I used to vacation in Seaside each summer. I miss it so much! She would always rent me a bike and I loved just riding around the town. Seaside is so quaint, perfect, and relaxing. I want to go back SO BAD!

    • Layla says

      You’re making me want to book another cottage at Seaside this year! What a charming comment, Taylor! Thank you for leaving it! :-)

  25. says

    Seaside has gotten a little too crowded and touristy IMO (I’m a local). It’s lost some of its quaintness from everyone coming to see how quaint it is! LOL! I much prefer Rosemary Beach. Still lovely and charming but not quite so busy. And it makes for beautiful photo backdrops. I take all my 30-A brides there for formals and do many engagement sessions there as well.

    Happy anniversary to you both!

  26. says

    I know you said you were looking in Alabama possibly, but have you ever been to Hilton Head Island (SC, nice community) or Savannah (larger and absolutely beautiful)? They are both fantastic towns, and very romantic :)

    Oh, and no more than a 4 or 5 hour drive from Atlanta. It’s an easy drive that I’ve made a few times myself.

    • says

      Oh, I meant to say I also know several people who go to Sanibel, FL every year and rave about it! It’s not too far from Fort Myers, I believe.

  27. says

    I have a place @ Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. If you want to head farther north you can use it as long as you “TLC” it up for me!
    I’ll be celebrating my 30th in June.

  28. kelly in georgia says

    Oh Seaside…love it…stayed there many times, but we haven’t been back in several years. I was afraid they had changed so much of the cottage style to European in the shops…but the beach is still to die for. A couple of weeks ago we stayed at a bed and breakfast in North Georgia (about 1 hour and 15 minutes from the outlet place with the Pottery Barn outlet). It was called Glen Ella Springs – not cottages but the rooms were precious and the food was good. It is very private (and romantic!). Interesting little shops there in Clarkesville. You might want to consider it.
    If you are willing to drive to Highlands, NC, I love the Inn at Half Mile Farm….even better than Glen Ella.

  29. Laurie Miller says

    We visited the Pan handle in Florida a number of years ago and stumbled upon Seaside. I loved everything about it!

  30. cheri says

    Oooh… Love your wedding pictures! Love your blog! Love Seaside! :)
    Happy Anniversary! May you have many more happy years together.

  31. Amanda D says

    oh I love Seaside! my husband and I also really love Pensacola. We are going for our “3rd honeymoon” (or is it 4th? I forget…tee hee) in just 6 more weeks…and I am longing for it now!

  32. Ashley says

    Oh Layla! I am about to blow your mind! I have the PERFECT location for your anniversary (my hubby and I had our 2nd here) and I bet you will be shocked you have not heard of it. Serenbe, GA! Its a planned “green” community. A designer from my town (Florence, AL) was their creative director and did all their crazy cool street signs, lightpoles, bike racks, etc… You can either stay at the Farm or the Lofts in “downtown”. There are a few fabulous restaurants to eat at in the town and you can travel to the real town a little away if you want more selection. Its only about 30 minutes Southwest of Atlanta. AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING! Have fun looking at all the cute homes! Oh and they usually have a few open on Sundays!


  33. Lea says

    I live about 30 minutes from Seaside. I love to go out there with my husband on his motorcycle and ride around. It is such a beautiful place.

  34. says

    We stayed at the Village Inn Bed and Breakfast in Stone Mountain Village one year for our anniversary. It was super quaint and had antiques galore. It’s within walking distance to the downtown area there at the village and it has several cute shops to browse. Check it out!

  35. says

    That town is lovely and I had no idea it wasn’t a set in the movie because it looked so perfect! That makes it appeal to me even more because we LOVE visiting towns where movies were shot. It’s a sickness really. I hope you find a great rental!

  36. says

    The Truman Show is one of my most favorite movies EVER. I totally didn’t realize it was filmed in Florida. That looks like such a quaint little community.

  37. says

    I love Seaside! I haven’t ever stayed there but I have stayed at one of the areas next to it so I still got to enjoy the shops and restaurants. Bed and Breakfast or cottages make the perfect getaway for anniversaries. Congratulations on your upcoming eighth.

  38. says

    Seaside (and anywhere along Hwy 30A) is a favorite of mine! My hubby and I are going with another couple for a long weekend in May. (Staying on Seagrove Beach, only a 1/2 mile walk to Seaside and MUCH cheaper.) And we’re going back in October for our 4-year anniversary with our furbabies, and hopefully staying at this pet-friendly cabin on Eastern Lake (only 3 miles to Seaside!):

    Enjoy! I hope you find the perfect getaway spot for your anniversary! :)

  39. Kris says

    Such a cute town! We happened upon it a few years ago while going from Panama City Beach to Destin. Stopped at the Pizza Bar on the way back and LOVED the food. We ate there twice that week. We never explored the town as we were there at night but now I must put this on our vacation to do list!

  40. Amy Roemer says

    We vacationed in Seaside in 2005. We loved walking/biking around looking at all the cottages. My favorite cottage name was “Julie Got Her Way”.

  41. Rachel Carey says

    Check out a little town in Germany called FUSSEN. I do believe that the neuschwanstein castle may have something to your liking!

    How would you redecorate it *lettered cottage* style? Hmmmmm

    • Layla says

      Well, as much as I’d like to see that castle, my fear of flying will probably prevent me from ever seeing it- LOL! I’m a road trip girl all the way! :-D

  42. Tammy Barnes says

    Layla, Happy Anniversary (Kevin too!)

    I live about 45 minutes from Seaside, I think you should check it out for this year’s anni too, it’s probably only 4 hours or so from ATL. Have you been there since they’ve lined the main street with the Airstream Buses? Oh, so charming. Lunch at Bud & Alley’s Taco Stand cannot be beat!

  43. Tammy Barnes says

    Dang, I’m back for more Seaside promo. You know… you could always rent a bike with a basket for Mr. Max.

    The thing I forgot to say is this: Seaside… once you go, it becomes a part of your soul. You shouldn’t deny your soul the happiness that Seaside brings.

  44. amanda says

    Oh Seaside! I’ve been going with my family since I was kid and there were just a few little houses built. We went several times a year as a child and now we take our kids (maybe just one a year!). But we love it so. I always leave so inspired by the architecture and design and the gulf breezes. Just wonderful!

  45. jamie says

    one of my other favorite blogs {clover lane} has gone there for a few years with her family {five soon to be six kids}! it’s on my list of places to go!!

  46. says

    Hi Layla! Happy Anniversary!

    What about Tybee? I thought I read that you’ve stayed there before, but I think it’s pretty close to ATL. You’d likely know better than I. I think Jane Coslick has some places there for rent?

    Good luck!

    • Layla says

      Thank you, Chrissa! Yes- we LOVE Tybee (and Jane is a very good friend!), but we were thinking of mixin’ it up and going somewhere new this year! Still researching our options, but I have a couple promising ones in mind already! ;-)

  47. Kary Ross says


    Here’s a cute little place for 1-2 adults that is only a bit down the 30-A strip from Seaside. It’s called 3 Mermaids and we have been here each year to enjoy the sand and surf! They list it thru and too. And thru April 11 it’s only $140 a night.
    It’s designed the same as your honeymoon cottage too! The beach access is directly across the street. Perfect place and perfect for us! I think you and Kev would love it! Here’s a link to it:

    The owners are a lovely couple Charlie & Kendra. Give ‘em a call! Tell them Kary & Robert sent you!


    • Kary Ross says

      It’s approximately 7 blocks from Seaside and I forgot to mention that they have bicycles and grilling facilities, a cool hammock to hang out in and last year they allowed folks staying there to use their swimming pool. Peace, Love & 3 Mermaids!! We leave July 4th for our visit this year! Yay!

  48. Nick says

    We honeymooned there in 2006…but by default. We had planned on soaking up the sun in Cabo, but Hurricane Lane had other plans. And we’re glad he did! We stayed at WaterColor and spent every evening in Seaside. Fortunately, we’ve been back almost every year and just got to introduce our twins to our favorite beach spot! My favorite memory from our last trip was eating bbq from an Airstream and hanging out in/on/around the amphitheater.

    Anyhow, Seleta (a blogger friend of my cousin Andrea, has an incredible home in Seaside. I like to check out for her shots from around town.

    • Layla says

      I loved reading your comment, Nick! We ate BBQ from that Airstream, too! :-D
      Off to check out Seleta’s blog!

  49. says

    Happy Anniversary! I hope you have many more happy years together!
    I love Seaside also. I did two posts on it after a visit last year (one was on shopping and the other was on the awesome town). I included pictures of the Post Office and that way cool motel sign. I was happy to take way too many pictures of that sign.

    Hope you find a great place to celebrate!
    Marsha (in Prattville)

  50. Sharon Spiller says

    Layla, Have you ever tried Mentone, Alabama? There is an old hotel that has been converted to a bed and breakfast. I think it would be pretty close to Atlanta. I’ve been there on a day trip but have never stayed the night. It is one beautiful view on top of sand mountain. There’s also cabins at Mt. Cheaha. Happy Anniversary!

  51. says

    I got nothin for you in the South but if you ever wander over to So. Cal, keep my # handy because you guys have a standing invitation to stay at the cottage. I don’t even need any remodeling ideas, I’d just love to show you two around my cute little beach town. It’s the least I can do for the hours of entertainment your blog and videos have provided me.

  52. MimiG says

    I’ve stayed at “Popsicle Cottage” a few times in Seaside. Love the atmosphere. Of course, Destin and Ft. Walton Bch are almost equally fabulous too!

  53. Debbie says

    Hi! Having grown up in Alabama and then returning to live here again 18 years ago, we go to the beach at least once a year. Seaside is great! We felt free to our daughters roam on their own. We have also stayed at Destiny by the Sea (Sun Palace is huge!) which is a gated community, Seagrove, all over Destin and Gulf Shores and lots of places in between. I polled our office – all are quite thrifty – Courtney says Rosemary Beach, Trey says Ellijay, GA, Brent couldn’t decide between Panama City, FL and Wind Creek on Lake Martin, Steve says a rental houseboat on Lake Martin or Lake Lanier and I say a bed and breakfast on Lookout Mountain, GA (or TN!) so we can eat at Rembrandt’s Cafe, The Yellow Deli and Aretha Frankenstein’s. But anywhere you go together is wonderful!

  54. says

    Wow! It has been many many years since my husband and I took a trip up to to check out this new community called Seaside. What an inspiring place. I have already gotten lots of ideas for my on beach house from the pics you posted. Thanks, kathy

  55. Marianne in Mo. says

    Have to say, I wasn’t that impressed with Seaside when we stayed in Rosemary Beach a few years ago. I found it too gimmicky. Did love the homes there, and took a photo of the cute church that turned out rather nice! Rosemary was much more value for the $$ and less crowded. Granted, we were there in July, thanks to my SIL only being able to get leave from the A.F. then ( we went with all the kids and families ) but had the beach and the development pool mostly to ourselves. We had a 3 level home that slept 10 for a week @ under $2000!!!
    Happy Anniversary, and I know wherever you are it will be perfect!

  56. Nana says

    Try Calloway Gardens, but don’t stay in the gardens. The Pine Mountain Chalets are much more affordable to rent, with biking and swimming a canoeing available.

  57. Ashley says

    I just drove thru Seaside today! We were camping with the family a little further west on 30A and couldn’t resist a quick drive by. How funny to see the pics on your blog when I got home this afternoon.

  58. Mary Lynn Brackin says

    Happy Anniversary to the two of you! I have enjoyed your blog so much and feel like I know you already. I have a cottage at Compass Lake, which is about 30 minutes from Panama City, off of 231. It is a very pretty lake and a restful place to stay. You are welcome to stay there for a few days if you would like. We don’t rent it out and would love for you to use it for free. I think it would be your style~it is decorated in the cottage style with lots of slipcovers and painted furniture. If you are interested let me know and I can send you some pictures.

  59. says

    I’ve seen that bedroom with the nook on Pinterest a ton! Cool to know where it really is! :) I haven’t seen an ocean in over 15 years. :(

  60. Julie W says

    Lake Lanier is beautiful. Also Fort Mountain is gorgeous and I found this place but it says no pets but pet accommodations available nearby?
    I am from Rome, Georgia so I have to recommend that, it has a wonderful downtown. Red Top Mountain and Lake Allatoona might be good places to look also. Just an hour and a half/two hours from Atlanta is the Clayton and Dillard area which are also wonderful.. You can sort by pet friendly on this website for Lake Hartwell Just a few ideas for you=)

  61. Jenny M says

    We just bought a cute little cottage near Gulf Shores, AL. We LOVE the Fort Morgan area and would love to have you visit!!

  62. Lauren says

    We just got married in January in Fort Morgan, AL, and we were able to take our dogs & have a very quiet section of the beach. It’s far away from public access beaches, so it was a hidden jewel. I’d check out VRBO for little rentals in that area…we stayed at the Enchanted Dunes but had 20 people with us, so you probably won’t need that much space!

  63. says

    Unless I win the lottery, I will never be able to afford to live in Seaside, but I console myself with the fact that I can visit it every year on the way to stay at my mother-in-law’s winter place north of Orlando.

    I had the chance to visit again a couple of weeks ago during Spring break, and it was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it – I think I prefer visiting in November, when it seems to be a lot quieter.

    Good luck with finding a nice place for your anniversary.

    First time commenter on your blog. :)

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