If you haven’t been to Northwest Florida (I hadn’t), Highway 30A is a charming 28-mile scenic byway. It runs along the Panhandle coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, from Inlet Beach on the east to Beach Highlands on the west.
And if you have traveled 30A, as they call it there, you will long to return to the sugar-white beaches, sandy dunes and emerald waters.
Along the route are 16 diverse communities, each with its own ambiance and flair. My stay was at the WaterHouse Residences, which overlooks the expansive, pristine Seacrest Beach. WaterHouse Residences is a four-story condominium rental with 17 luxurious three-bedroom, three-bath residences. I was booked in Unit 401.
Ring the doorbell, and the front entry leads to a wide-open great space, decorated in the style of Florida chic and colors of sand and sky. The fully appliance gourmet kitchen has a two-level granite topped island with bar seating on one side and plenty of prep space on the other. The formal dining area can serve a crowd, and the lounging space has lots of comfy seating and an entertainment center. Wood plank flooring runs throughout.
On one side of the unit is the master suite with king bed and an enormous bath appointed with dual vanity, whirlpool tub and oversized shower. On the other side are two guest bedrooms with queen beds and baths. One bath has a shower, the other has a traditional tub. The bedrooms are carpeted, and each has a flat-screen television. The unit also has a laundry room and wireless Internet service.
A furnished balcony runs the entire length of the unit. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy morning tea or an evening cocktail, but the view is mostly architectural. From the 4th floor, I could see a strip of water above the rooftops of the buildings across Highway 30A.
Even though Seacrest Beach is on the opposite side of the highway from WaterHouse Residences, don’t let the geography concern you. Highway 30A is a slow-moving two-lane road in a mostly residential area, and it’s easy and safe to cross. The beach is accessed via boardwalk across the protected dunes. It’s a two-minute stroll to a quiet stretch of sand and sea where you’re sure to watch seagulls at play.
WaterHouse Residences, which is managed by St. Joe Clubs and Resorts, also offers a rooftop swimming pool, spa and fitness center. Guests also have access to the nearby gated Beach Club at WaterSound, another St. Joe property, which has an outdoor pool, restaurant, bar and private beach.
BOTTOM LINE: Families or groups of friends are sure to bask in the comfort, luxury and convenience of WaterHouse Residences.
For information and reservations: 855-666-6219