Seaside is a planned community on the Florida panhandle, founded in the 1980s and considered the first “new urban community,” with a focus on walkable neighborhoods built around open squares. It’s now known for its beaches and charming strollable districts — and for being the filming location of the 1998 Jim Carrey movie “The Truman Show,” with many of the buildings used in the film still in place today. Seaside Florida is about a 5-hour drive from New Orleans and a 6-hour drive from Orlando, Florida.
EAT – SEASIDE FLORIDA RESTAURANTS
Lots of towns and cities have food trucks, but Seaside’s Airstream Row features restaurants built into Airstream trailers, the classic aluminum-clad campers.
Those Airstream restaurants include Barefoot BBQ, which serves up classics like pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and chicken, prepared with a rub they call tiki dust, as well as a range of sides. A variety of sauces are available, so diners can apply as much or as little of their favorite topic as they prefer.
Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs
Another Airstream option is Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs, which dishes out American Wagyu beef hot dogs with toppings like chili, queso, mustard and onions. Andouille sausage dogs and jumbo pretzels are also on the menu, as is gelato if you’re looking for something sweet after your hot dog. Breakfast is also available starting at 8 a.m.
A family-owned business focused on Hawaiian-style shave ice, Frost Bites is another dessert option for those strolling down Airstream Row.
PLAY – THINGS TO DO IN SEASIDE, FL.
The Truman Show
In “The Truman Show,” Jim Carrey’s character Truman has, without his knowledge, spent his life as the subject of a reality show. Many locations in Seaside were featured in the film, including the town’s iconic post office, which is still open for those looking to send a postcard or take a picture.
Visitors can also see the exterior of the building that serves as Truman’s house, the park called Ruskin Place that Truman passed on his way to work, and the Coleman Tower, which marks the entrance to Seaside’s public beaches.
The Modica Market, where Truman did his shopping, is also a functioning grocery store, now complete with posters from the movie.
Nearby Destin, Florida, hosts a selfie museum, said to be the first and only pop-up museum in the community. It’s designed with dozens of photo of photo backdrops where visitors can stop and take pictures for their favorite social media platforms.
Destin is also the home to a business offering lessons on building sandcastles that go beyond what you might be used to putting together with your beach pails and extra cups. They’ll come to your beach spot to offer training to help kids and adults alike put their sandy architectural visions into practice.
STAY – LODGING & HOTELS IN SEASIDE, FL.
This former classic motor court-style motel in Seaside has been revitalized and turned into boutique lodging. Complete with custom blocks of tabby concrete, a building material made from clam and oyster shells, the onetime basic motel rooms steps from the beach have been upgraded with amenities like hardwood flooring and in-room mini fridges.
Hibiscus Guest House
Another option for where to stay is the Hibiscus Guest House, with a set of rooms in a variety of classic Florida styles, including three amenable to pets. There’s also an onsite, mostly vegetarian cafe, with options like gluten-free vegan waffles, frittatas and granola.