Ain't misbehavin'

{George's Mac n' Cheese }

Earlier this month we spent a delightful week in Rosemary Beach with our friends the K's. This was our third trip to Rosemary. After visiting many other beaches, Mr. Mophead and I agreed that this is it. Maybe some day we will own a house there if all the stars align. Until then, here are some tips:

Where to stay.
Rosemary homes, shops, restaurants and greens were perfectly planned and executed. The community rests on both sides of 30A. If you can afford it, stay on the south side. Beachfront rentals are exorbitant, especially if you're not sharing with other families. No worries. You can find beautiful homes very close to the gulf. This year we stayed at the centrally located Russell Cottage.  Before we take a short tour, I'd like to mention that there was nary a fake plant or flower anywhere in sight. Way to go Russells for not going faux!

{Welcome to Russell Cottage}

{a peak into the lovely courtyard}

Shall we go inside?

The beach butler hall was my fave feature. If you have the luxury of designing a beach house for yourself, do this.

Ice machine, drink fridge, beach towels, blankets, coolers, lanterns, flashlights located on the bottom level to grab on the way to the beach. In theory, everything gets dumped there when you return. Unfortunately, that's not always the case with the Mophead crew.

What's behind the Arabian-style doors?

A lovely laundry room. As much as I loathe doing laundry, Mrs. K and I agreed that both the room and the Miele set (not shown) made the chore a little less tedious. The only thing missing was a genie in one of those brass pitchers to do it for us.

{I dream of a laundry genie.}

I love this trough sink in the kid's bathroom, as well as the galvanized tub re-purposed as a mirror. Another idea to steal for my beach house.

Of course it's all about details. How did they know that I love L'Occitane products?

And, that I often buy wine based on the bottle label. I would have bought this one for sure. Nice hostess gift too!

Check out VRBO for the full house tour.

How to get around.
With the exception of a few big grocery runs, there is no need to drive once you arrive in Rosemary. Seriously. I drove my car twice. Incidentally, don't pack a huge cooler of food for your stay. Publix is less than a 10-minute drive.

Peddlers on 30A is the cutest and best bargain for bike rentals -- $55 a week. Free accessories and delivery. Pub coming soon. What more could you ask for?

Except this. They have pink bikes. You know I love pink. Here's mine parked in our courtyard with a teal basket I personally selected. Cute, right.

Where to eat.
It never takes me long to launch into food rap.

Our hands down favorite restaurant is George's. It's actually in Alys Beach -- a very short bike ride down 30A. (More about Alys in an upcoming post.) I ate there four times. No lie.

The owners are really into frogs. They are everywhere -- in a tasteful way.

{adorable frog sconce}

The restaurant's menu is divided into two dining groups: "be - have" and "mis - be - have."

I managed to behave myself.

{wood-grilled catch of the day -- oh so healthy}

Mr. Mophead and Mr. K did not. I thought the spicy garam masala ribs with Indian mac 'n cheese was  an unusual offering for beach fare, but the men were completely satisfied with their choice.

Also in the misbehaving category -- SVM's famous grouper sandwich. It was voted best in Garden and Gun's "100 Southern foods you absolutely, positively must eat before you die" list. G&G actually gave the credit to George's sister restaurant Seagrove Village MarketCafe. You should definitely check out the G&G list. Bet you never knew you should add rabbit livers with pepper jelly, pig ear sandwich, pork neck bones & rice or fried red snapper throats to your bucket list. Did you?

{George's famous grouper sandwich}

Back to the turf. George's cheeseburger is rated #1 on 30A. I didn't order one, but I will not throw stones. The cucumber salad looks mighty healthy.

{#1 cheese burger on 30A}

You can't go wrong at George's. Just go!

The Cowgirl Kitchen is another good bet for family dining.

It's usually mobbed at dinner time, but you can take out. Go for the gourmet pizzas and salads. Skip the pizza if your kids don't eat anything green. There is the slightest hint of rosemary in the crust, which was visible to the Mophead boy's naked eyes. Don't try to dumb it down. Doesn't work.

New to Rosemary -- or to me at least -- is Cowgirl's Feed and Supply across the street. There, you can find gourmet provisions, gifts, prepared casseroles, appetizers and dips. The chicken salad and crab dip are delish. Skip the pimento cheese.

Sweet treats.
Not surprising, here's where the behavin' went by the wayside for me.

Any trip to Rosemary would not be complete without at least one trip to The Sugar Shak.

Ice cream and overpriced candy abound. I love all the old-fashioned penny candy. After some careful thought, I decided that Bit-O-Honey and Sugar Babies are two of my all-time faves. I have a lot. The grossest candy I came across that brings back horrid childhood memories -- circus peanuts. Seriously, who eats those things?

A word to the wise about shopping at the Sugar Shak. Avoid going at night. It's packed. Don't even think about going there if your child is tired or anywhere close to a potential melt down. The store has two lines -- one for ice cream and one for candy. Do not stand in the ice cream line if you're not buying any. Candy is sold by the piece, not by the pound. That means that every piece of candy has to be rung up separately. And, there is no express line. Poor Mr. K got stuck in the candy line behind a women who bought over $200 worth of candy, which she poured out of several bags that had to be counted one by one. It was a painful experience for him. I don't know if he'll ever go back.

Last, but certainly not least, Charlie's Donut Truck in Alys is the bomb. Pre-order or get there early, like 7:00 am. If not, you will stand the chance of waiting in a long line or being SOL.

 {Like the sign says, they do sell out quickly every day.}

You wouldn't want to deprive your family of fresh donuts. Certainly not the coveted donut kabob -- three donut holes on a stick with sprinkles -- that was a huge hit with the Mophead boys.

Can't wait for our next trip. In the meantime, the beach house and the "hangover car" are still on my wish list. Who knows, you could see me driving down 30A in this next summer.

Have you been to Rosemary? What are your faves?


  1. I've been wanting to go to Rosemary Beach for years! Thanks for all the tips. I hope I'll be able to convince my Mr. K to go there for September break.

  2. Sounds like a great trip! Makes me want to go to Rosemary Beach. We are heading to Seabrook in a few weeks and hope it is nice as this.

  3. Mrs. K here signing in! This was our 1st trip to Rosemary & we loved it! Mrs. Mophead put in the research time & found the Russell Cottage. I knew if the "cottage" passed Mrs. Mophead's muster, it would mine. Disappointed I was not! I was actually quite fascinated with the Meile washer & dryer & found myself making excuses to do laundry. That urge did not make the return trip home. Though Russell Cottage provided our beach chairs & beach cart, renting a beach umbrella was well worth the cost! Next time, I want to have an evening beach bonfire + cocktails,dinner & s'mores. Pricey but looked like much fun when I saw other families & friends hanging out by nighttime beach bonfires. I also read a coffee table book in our cottage about the development of Rosemary in 1995. So very interesting. Each purchaser of a lot had to agree to building a detached two-door garage or carriage house. The design purpose was to "hide" the presence of autos & it worked. Our lovely courtyard. had a wonderfully soothing water feature that could be heard from the 2nd story porch. There was a wonderful farmer's market on Sunday morning which set Mrs. Mophead's & food shopping priorities. The day's priority was the afternoon cocktail nibble we would serve. After that, maybe I gave some thought to my son's breakfast & lunch but not a lot!

    All in all, a Fab destination & a Fab trip!


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