If you've ever traveled to Europe and experienced the way of life in the small towns there, it's difficult to not fall in love.
In many European villages, the town's people walk, not to exercise, but to get to where they are going — market, bakery, shops, cafes — on foot, as is the common mode.
Designers used those European communities as a model for Rosemary Beach.
Founded in 1995, the town encompasses 105 acres and is blessed with 2,500 feet of Gulf front.
The design firm of DPZ of Miami designed it as a Traditional Neighborhood development, meaning, a walkable community. It was their second to design; Seaside was the first. Like Seaside, nothing is more than a 10-minute walk from the center of town.
The town center is anchored by the usual boutique shops — 38 in all, a deli, coffee shop, 10 eateries, and grounded by a multi-function town meeting hall.
There are four pools, eight clay tennis courts, a fitness center, and seven greens. Two of those greens overlook the Gulf.
TNDs have proven to be very popular, and Rosemary is the perfect example of that.
Since its founding in 1995, all but one of its 540 lots have sold.
The average home sells for $1,671,282, or $630 per square foot, giving the community the highest average priced home on 30A.
This year, Rosemary has seen a banner year in sales with Rosemary Beach Realty (RBR) selling the highest-priced Gulf-front home on 30A for $8,343,750.
The phenomenal popularity of the town has pushed RBR to grow to more than four times their sales since opening in 2010.
Linda Miller has been the broker at RBR for four years and says according to "Florida Trend Magazine" the South Walton zip code is the richest in America, and Rosemary is the most affluent in that zip code.
Her clients come from mostly Atlanta, but there is also a healthy mix from Nashville, Dallas, New Orleans, Memphis, and a few from Houston. And, 80 percent of those clients pay cash.
Rosemary is popular because, it is truly a town, said Miller.
"You can park your car and walk. Everything is available by foot; shops, restaurants, everything is here and you don't need to drive," she said.
The town currently is home to 170 full-time residents, who Miller said make up approximately 20-25 percent of the owners.
Most buyers purchase at Rosemary as a second home or retirement home and then put the house on the rental program, she said, which makes for a good investment.
And, many keep reselling.
"They will start with a million-dollar home and keep trading up to get closer and closer to the Gulf. Some of my best friends bought three homes here before they landed the best Gulf-front home on an estate lot with 115 feet on the Gulf for $7,250,000," said Miller.
Ah, living the good life on 30A. Does it get better?