When Kim learned that the Alaskan wild salmon he once sourced was being injected with pig hormones, he switched to Mikuni Wild Harvest, which catches healthy fish from Cape Flattery, Washington. Purveyors all around town share Kim’s attentive mindset.
Just down the way, chef Ed Reese of Edward’s Fine Food and Wine is devoted to local flavors. His menu includes Apalachicola oysters, Florida grouper, and produce grown nearby. Beginning at 5 P.M., the restaurant’s open-air courtyard becomes a stage for singer-songwriters who work the 30A corridor. There’s also the occasional movie night, with a film projected onto a courtyard wall visible throughout the restaurant.
Unlike nearby Seaside and WaterColor, which came first and prided themselves on borrowing features from the houses that originally populated this area, Rosemary Beach imported its architectural style from the West Indies. Just as Caribbean design emphasizes galleries, porches, balconies, large windows, and shutters, so do these homes.
Traditional Baroque gables and gaslights embellish the houses and larger buildings in Rosemary Beach. The native landscape softens the visual impact of the classic architecture, making it feel of a piece.
There’s no one piece of the puzzle that defines this town. Together, the houses, shops, and restaurants, nestled into native landscaping, entice visitors. And then there’s the beach, just over the dunes, which is cool to the touch all year long, a perfect foreground for dazzling nightly sunsets.
Photography by Cocoa Laney
Originally published in Organic Gardening magazine, February/March 2014