Weekend Getaway: Carlton Landing
all photos by me for Carlton Landing
A few weeks ago we were invited to a dinner to learn more about Carlton Landing, the development on Lake Eufaula that we visited two years ago and we haven’t stopped talking about it ever since. It’s a beautiful new lake town envisioned by Grant Humphreys and designed by Andres Duany, of Duany Plater-Zyberk (for those of you not familiar with the New Urbanism rockstars, DPZ designed Seaside and Rosemary Beach). Gorgeous architecture and a walkable lifestyle. Beautiful public spaces. A variety of amenities and price ranges. Our interest was piqued.
We were excited about Carlton Landing when we saw it two years ago, but even moreso after visiting Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach this past summer. I get the vision already – and it thrills me to pieces to think that we could have something so beautifully designed so very close to us. We finally made it back down to Eufaula this last weekend, and it thoroughly rocked our world. Warning: there are a TON of photos ahead!
Simon grew up going to Lake Eufaula as a kid; they had a cabin that the whole family shared for weekend getaways. I had never been, so we scheduled a visit to spend the weekend down there, graciously sponsored by the lovely team at Carlton Landing. Simon keeps tossing around the idea of having an investment property that we could both enjoy and also rent out (would you rent our house?), and we figured this was the perfect opportunity to see how it would fit with our family.
We drove down on Friday afternoon and checked in at the Meeting House with Steve who was awaiting us. He gave us a giant basket of treats and took us right over to our adorable 3-bedroom cottage that was ours for the whole weekend. We had free reign to use the kayaks down at the dock, ride bicycles, soak in the hot tub (wish I’d brought a swimsuit!), roam all over the property, and pick fresh eggs from the chicken coop. Our cottage was gorgeous and so comfy – there were two bedrooms upstairs, with another downstairs, two full baths, a giant kitchen, and a laundry room. We were right next door to another adorable cottage that had some stellar landscaping and gorgeous pool. Charm overload.
But that was just the beginning of the charm overload. I distinctly remember at Seaside and Rosemary Beach the feeling of entering the bubble of each community. There’s a certain feeling you get, like you’re in this perfect little paradise, and Carlton Landing has the exact same effect. You enter the community by driving down three miles through their yet-to-be-developed land to get to the town center. As you come over the hill, you’re treated to this breathtaking south view of the lake.
There’s truly nothing else like this that I’ve seen in Oklahoma. And even though it’s still in the early phases, we both fell madly in love with it. Peaceful, quiet, beautiful, and thoughtfully designed.
Our favorite section is the area that fronts the boardwalk. It’s in proximity to the community pool (below) and will also be right next to the commercial development of the community.
We slept in on Saturday morning until 7am. HAAAA SLEEPING IN! Because that’s what life with Jude is like. ::sobs:: But! We made cinnamon rolls and coffee, and laid around in our pajamas playing bingo for a few hours before getting our clothes on and heading toward the lake. It was a gorgeous still morning with a chill in the air, and we borrowed a kayak to do a little exploring. Since I haven’t been on a kayak in, um, like 15 years, I let Simon go first and then I took a turn.
We ran into Eufaula town for lunch and then stopped into the Boy Howdy store, a crazy awesome general store on the main street in old downtown Eufaula that sells pretty much anything you can imagine. Need diabetic socks? They got ’em. Want a machete? Yup – only $4.50. And! I bought two white Christmas trees for – wait for it – $30. YES. At first I thought it said $300. And then I looked again and nearly fell over. I think the sales people nearly fell over when I bought not one, but two. They’ll be perfect for my pop up shop this year!
Back in Carlton Landing, we took the official tour to check out all the houses we might be interested in. The majority of them are sold – they can barely get them built and they’re gone already, which is a good problem to have. They’ve also had a fair amount of families move into the community to live there full time since they opened their charter school. And it is the absolute cutest school I have ever seen in my life. Can you even imagine walking home to have lunch and then walking back to school? That’s how it is – kids riding their bikes all over the place, and leaving them out on the front porch.
For us, we probably only need a 2 bedroom house, and preferably over on the boardwalk. I love that there are no streets in the boardwalk area (parking is in an alleyway), so you can let your kid(s) run out and play without worrying about traffic. But I also really love the idea of sitting out on the front porch and chatting with people as they pass by. Almost every single house has a huge gorgeous porch.
I’ll show you the house tomorrow that we’re looking at. Nothing decided yet, but it’s fun to dream!
A wedding chapel is going to be built soon, and you can also visit the Carlton Landing garden where there are a ton of delicious veggies growing, and even a chicken coop. Jude LOOOOOVEd the chickens – and I confess I did too. I have a slight chicken obsession.
And you guys – there’s even a food truck. An airstream trailer food truck.
We ended the weekend on Sunday morning (time change!) watching the most glorious sunrise. Jude and I made one last visit to the chickens – and we had scrambled eggs (courtesy of those chickens!) for breakfast.
We got home within 2 hours, but it felt like we were light years away already. It really was the perfect easy getaway to relax.
I can’t wait to show you more about the houses — but I’m curious. Do you rent vacation houses when you travel? Would you rent a Pencil Shavings Studio lake cottage? 🙂
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