Steve Larese; Magnolia Grill
important piece of architecture — the
Indian Temple Mound — which is
located on the premises of the
City of
Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park and
Cultural Center
. Erected between
A.D. 800 and 1400 as a sacred ceremo-
nial gathering place, the site wasn’t
excavated until Confederate soldiers
stationed in the area during the Civil
War discovered hundreds of clay pots
and human skeletons buried in and
around the mound.
For some modern history, Kat and
I head to
Magnolia Grill,
which is
billed as a museum that sells food.
Owners Tom and Peggy Rice have
covered its walls with local history and
military items from their family’s col-
lection, as well as from local donations.
“If you hang it on the wall, it means
you’re a collector, not a hoarder,” Peggy
tells me.
In fact, the restaurant itself is a
collector’s item: a 1910 two-story house
erected from a kit that was purchased
from the Sears catalog and delivered
by railroad.
A Movie Ending
Kat and I don’t have the patience for
catalogs, so when it’s time to shop —
and every vacation has that moment
when you must buy something —
we make a beeline for
Silver Sands
PremiumOutlets
, which has a dazzling
selection of designer clothing and
gift shops.
We score some great buys, but take
note that some of your more formal
purchases might have to wait until you
get home to see some use. I’ve already
mentioned the area’s lack of preten-
sion; nearby
Seaside
, our next stop,
takes it a step further with the unoffi-
cial motto,“Where Bare Feet and Sandy
Floors Rule.”
If you’ve ever seen
The Truman
Show
with Jim Carrey, you’ve seen
Seaside. And when you see Seaside,
you’ll understand why it was chosen to
represent idyllic small-town America
in the film.
Located along two-lane Scenic
Highway 30A, approximately 25 miles
east of Destin, unincorporated Seaside
started the new urbanism trend, which
emphasizes centralized pedestrian-
friendly communities. Pastel-colored
homes range in style fromVictorian to
postmodern, and are bordered by
white picket fences. The town wraps
around
Central Square
, a grassy plaza
aptly nicknamed “The Horseshoe”
by the locals. Residents come here
on Saturdays to shop at the farmers
market or enjoy a meal from one of
the food trucks housed in gleaming
Airstream trailers.
“We started four years ago and
have been busy ever since,” says James
Murphy, owner of Barefoot BBQ, as
he hands me a plate heaped with
spice-rubbed pork. The caravan of
Airstreams, a destination for foodies,
serves everything from gluten-free hot
dogs to gourmet grilled cheese.
Later, we stop to buy drinks at
Modica Market, a gourmet spot that
LEFT: Seaside’s quaint shops artistically display souvenirs and giftware.
ABOVE: Talk about being railroaded: The 1910 house that is now the
Magnolia Grill was built from a Sears, Roebuck, and Co. kit and shipped
to Destin by train.
54
INTERVAL WORLD
Spring 2013 IntervalWorld.com
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Santa
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Okaloosa
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