Gulf Place at Santa Rosa Beach

The Town Center of Santa Rosa Beach

Posted on 1/19/2011

Perched high upon the dunes of Santa Rosa Beach, gleaming in the sun above the gulf below, sits the beautiful beach side community of Gulf Place. Located right on Scenic 30A at the Route 393 junction, this bright village sits right in the heart of the Emerald Coast serving as the unofficial town center of Santa Rosa Beach. Although Gulf Place itself is relatively new, the town of Santa Rosa Beach is not. It was named after the historic, original, bustling Santa Rosa timber plantation that was settled and established nearby on the bay, way back in the late 1800s.

Gulf Place is a colorful collection of retail shops, restaurants and vacation rentals that wrap around an expansive two acre, grassy outdoor amphitheater that can accommodate up to 3,000 people. Besides the views of the gulf beyond, this serves as a focal point for festivals, live entertainment, concerts and art shows throughout most of the year. In fact, it was recently one of the special sites for the highly successful 30A Songwriter's Festival. Multiple pools, tennis courts, lush landscaped grounds, sparkling fountains and a lovely lagoon complete the Gulf Place setting. Directly across Scenic 30A is one of the convenient beach access at Ed Walline State Park.  Showers and bathroom facilities are available here with a long ramp down to the beach below which is wheel chair accessible.

Retail shops at Gulf Place include several clothiers, a hair salon, day spa, pet groomers and an even a pharmacy. In addition, a special art gallery features the work of a unique, eclectic colony of nine local artists. This gallery features beautiful, unusual work including water colors, oils, folk art, pottery, jewelry, glass mosaics, photography and even tie die clothing. During the summer months, mini specialty shops spring up around the town green and amphitheater.

There are several laid back restaurants to choose from at Gulf Place, many with patios offering breezy, sunny views of the dazzling emerald green waters in the distance. Miss Lucille's Gossip Parlor and The Beach Bar are great places to hang out and gab. They serve sandwiches, snacks, homemade ice cream and all sorts of liquid refreshments both on or off the patio. Amore' Pizzeria serves a delicious thin crust pizza with white or whole wheat flour, twenty-five choices of fresh ingredient toppings and three sauces. Other entrees and homemade desserts are also served here in a hip, gulf view environment. The Smiling Fish Cafe is known for their creative coastal cuisine which is available to enjoy al fresco. Lunch specialties include a wide assortment of sandwiches and signature salads. Dinner includes appetizers like oysters rocky, crab meat crepes or sweet chili calamari with entrees ranging from grouper and shrimp to crispy duck! Tortuga's Coastal Cafe is a popular destination for yummy, casual breakfasts where on beautiful mornings you can sip your coffee while viewing the shimmering gulf. Their luncheons include burgers, wraps, burritos and smoothies. Gulf Place also features The Naked Grape which bills itself as a "wine station" that serves over forty-five different, unique bottles of wine as well as over twenty selections of beer.  The walls of wine inside resemble a rustic winery in this comfortable, bistro type setting.

Ocean Reef is pleased to offer several private, vacation rentals near Gulf Place. Two properties are on the main grounds with perfect access to everything. Inn at Gulf Place 204, a luxury studio condo that sleeps six with a pull-out, offering an open living area done in vibrant, chic colors and a kitchen. The adjacent, large covered balcony area has sun sparkled gulf views. Another offering at 407 Gulf Place sits on the top floor with sweeping, shimmering views of the gulf in the distance as well as a large swimming pool, hot tub and fountain enhanced lagoon below. This unit sleeps six due to additional bunk beds in the hallway and a queen sized sofa pull-out for two.

If you want to be right on the beach, we have two offerings which are conveniently located directly across from Gulf Place on Scenic 30A.  Casablanca is a giant, burnt red colored, Mediterranean styled  mansion on the gulf with six bedrooms, eight baths and three living areas!   It also includes a separate guest cottage over a three car garage with a kitchenette. The interiors are spacious with a stunning open foyer, travertine marble floors, high paneled ceilings and elegant accoutrements. The open living room features sweeping panoramic views of the Gulf.  An elegant formal dining area seats eight and with an adjacent wrap around, granite breakfast bar seating another six guests. The extremely spacious master bath is fit for a Roman Emperor complete with columns, a raised tub and a private balcony. On the top floor, a game room beckons those seeking pleasurable diversions with a pool table, wet bar and an ocean viewing balcony. Down below on the main level, spectacular views of the gulf are to be had on a beachfront deck which includes a refreshing pool.

Right next door, (in case you are doing a wedding or big family reunion and need two homes), there is the charming residence known as the Blessings.  This home has large rooms with a soaring, cathedral ceiling in the bright, sunny living area which looks right out onto the jewel toned waters of the gulf. It is accentuated by an open staircase and landing with a large brick fireplace. The adjacent dining area seats eight with more seating at the open breakfast bar nearby. A long, screened-in porch with high ceilings crosses the back of this home along the beach with open sun decks and a heated fresh water pool.  This ocean front residence has a total of five bedrooms, (three of which have private balconies), and four baths. However, between king and queen sized beds, twins, double bunks and pull-outs, this place can actually sleep twenty!

No matter what your needs may be or for whatever occasion, we here at Ocean Reef we are pleased to offer these wonderful options at Gulf Place for your special "home away from home." This heart of the Emerald Coast setting provides a special ambiance which will serve as the perfect pallet to paint your own life moment masterpiece, creating the wonderful memories of tomorrow!

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Casablanca is the ultimate beachfront family compound with an estate-like design incorporating a crisp white coastal exterior with extraordinarily beautiful antebellum styled interiors. This regal beachfront residence can sleep up to 26 guests since it has almost 7,300 square feet of gracious living space and includes a separate Guest House. You're
Casablanca
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