My phone blew up all week long with questions you guys had about our Watersound vacation rental home on the Emerald Coast of Florida. And let me just tell you, it was just as good as the photos showed it to be. And probably even better.
We pretty much hijacked my brother’s anniversary trip w/ his family. He and his darling wife were celebrating 20 years of marriage and planned to take their 3 kiddos along for the trip. Meanwhile, Simon had been working on convincing me that we really could take Archer somewhere again without me wanting to commit murder or throw myself overboard to swim to shore like last time (see Disney Cruise Debacle™ here). ANYWAY. Simon convinced me when he started showing me photos of different vacation rentals. But it seemed silly that we’d both go to the same place and not stay together. SO! We booked a GINORMOUSE house for all 9 of us to stay in together.
Internet, it was one of the best trips we’ve ever been on. I’ll tell more about what we did in later posts, but figured the house deserved an entire post all to itself. Because it was one of the starring roles in this trip, to be sure.
HOW TO CHOOSE A VACATION RENTAL ON 30A
There are hundreds of places to stay along 30A in Florida and it boils down to how many people you’re going with, what your budget is, and the kind of things you like to do. Last time we stayed in Rosemary Beach, which we loved. We also adore Alys Beach and we’re now fans of Watersound as well. There are also several different places to search for rentals including Airbnb, VRBO, etc. We went with a house that we found via 360 Blue Properties and they have homes in all the major communities. The property at 140 S. Watch Tower in Watersound is what we rented.
PRO/CONS OF WATERSOUND
All these little towns along 30A are charming and have plenty of amenities to keep you busy for a week. Rosemary, Alys, and Seaside, and Watercolor are all walkable with plenty of shops and restaurants/cafes to get to easily. Watersound is more like a big gated neighborhood of multi-bajillion dollar homes (srsly, who can afford this?!). There aren’t any coffee shops but there is The Hub (a big outdoor food truck/music venue) within walking distance. SO – if you love multibajilliondollar houses and don’t mind hunkering down and cooking a bunch, you’ll love Watersound. But on the flip side, the real estate-stalking is INCREDIBLE. SO much eye candy. And the beach is almost totally empty. It was considerably less crowded than any other section of the coastline that we saw. You will have to cross the dunes to get there, either by foot, bike, or golf cart and it’s probably around a quarter of a mile. But they were dreamy and lovely, and none of us minded the distance.
ALL ABOUT THAT HOUSE
This house was so incredible. Since we had such a large group, it was perfect for all of us to be able to spread out. I had wanted to get a house with a pool since we were taking Archer and were planning on having naptime every day. I figured with a lot of downtime, I didn’t want to be stuck twiddling my thumbs every day for a few hours. And as it turned out, we all used the pool morning, noon and night. It was so much fun – we’d hit the beach in the morning, take a dip in the pool before lunch, then rinse and repeat for the afternoon. One night we opened up all those doors and watched a movie from the water. WHAT.
The house was technically 4 stories tall and we easily could have fit my sister’s family of 5 into this house. With a total of 7 bedrooms, we had one room that didn’t even get used. On the first floor were 3 bedrooms all with ensuite bathrooms, a laundry room, another full bath and that living room that opened up onto the pool plus a giant screened in porch with the entrance to the boardwalk/dunes/beach.
Oh! And there was an elevator, but we didn’t use it.
On the second floor: the big beautiful kitchen and dining space, an enormous dual living room area, another bed/bathroom, and then the over-garage apartment which the kids immediately commandeered as Teen Central.
I couldn’t blame the kids for taking over the apartment space. It was pretty heavenly. I was ready to move in too! Everything throughout the house was all white with pops of pale blue and loads of textured rugs. Linen fabric, slipcovers, Sunbrella – it was all super durable.
The third floor was the master suite with its own private balcony, plus another bedroom/bath where we put Archer.
That tub. That shower!
The fourth floor had its own little bar/balcony area and an outdoor dining table where we’d watch the stars at night. I mean SO SO DREAMY, you guys. The dunes were irresistible. We also went down to the beach around 11pm a couple of nights to catch ghost crabs and hunt for sea turtles.
So crazy good, right?! Those accordion doors were AMAZING. That pool was not enormous by any stretch, but it was the perfect size for us.
A view from the balcony on the 4th floor of the neighborhood and the views around the beach.
I cried on the first morning after we arrived. This house would have made my mom so happy. She LOVED finding special, spectacular places for all of us to stay together and it would’ve been right up her alley. We loved being all together with our family.
Ok, pin alllll that gorgeous house inspiration away for later. So much goodness and I’ve been inspired to declutter like CRAZY. More posts coming up on what to see, etc. on 30A.