The Town of Rosemary Beach, Florida

Imagine closing the front door and strolling down boardwalks past masterfully designed cottages, gardens and parks. No traffic, no highways, no rush hour, no crowds and no stress.

This is just the way Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, the internationally renowned community planners of Rosemary Beach, designed it. The multiple neighborhoods of Rosemary Beach are interconnected by a network of pedestrian footpaths, boardwalks and secret pathways that lead to all public areas, including the beach, the Town Center, tennis courts, swimming pools and other community amenities. Cars are restricted to alleyways behind homes and the community’s pedestrian scale ensures that every place within Rosemary Beach is easily accessible by foot.  Nothing is more than a five minute walk away from the Town Center, where shops, restaurants, the Town Hall and Post Office beckon residents to gather, work and socialize.

As you stroll along the footpaths in Rosemary Beach, named for the native species of rosemary herb that lines our sand paths and can be found throughout our community, you will discover some delightful surprises…

Dune Walkovers

Rosemary Beach made a commitment to protect the environment by not building beyond the coastal construction control line, or buffer zone, landward of the beach. In keeping with that commitment, nine dune walkovers have been built providing residents and guests beach access. These walkovers protect the fragile dune system and prevent erosion and washout during storms. The walkovers are unobtrusive, simple and functional, with each walkover containing showers. Two of the walkovers are wheelchair accessible and contain restrooms.

Butterfly Garden

In the Northwest corner of Rosemary Beach at West Kingston Road is an elaborate butterfly garden. This garden was conceived as a display garden that would emphasize the significance of the native landscape. A wooden walkway weaves through colorful plantings that lure butterflies.

Foot Paths

The Rosemary Beach Fitness Trail & Walking Tour is a 2.3 mile trail that utilizes both sand paths and boardwalks to wind through the community’s native landscape, parks and public spaces; and incorporates four fitness stations that include exercise apparatuses for stretching and strength training.


Rosemary Beach’s traditional neighborhood plan is the design of Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, FAIA. Their vision was to create a community that captures the discarded values of 50 years ago, values that have been replaced today by grid-locked, automobile-dependent suburbia. This vision of a new community encourages pedestrian traffic, community interaction and interdependence among neighbors, while relying on strict urban codes and regulations to ensure architectural harmony.

The natural topography of Rosemary Beach was not disturbed during development. Instead, roadways were laid to conform to the natural contours of the land. Developers used pervious, or permeable concrete for pavement, which allows water to filter through to the sand below, thereby eliminating the need for unsightly storm water drains or holding ponds.

To establish and preserve the unique vision and character of Rosemary Beach, the urban planners and architects provided guidelines for the placement, design and construction of all homes and buildings in Rosemary Beach. The resulting Master Plan is an intricate patchwork of different house types, and custom homes built to suit a wide range of individual tastes. There are 12 basic building types which establish the character of each neighborhood and ensure the integrity of the Master Plan. Every home in Rosemary Beach is architecturally unique and is custom designed and built to reflect each owner’s tastes, needs and lifestyle. Yet, every house is an inextricable part of the fabric of the community, reinforcing its coastal character.

With a strict urban code, Rosemary Beach ensures harmony and architectural integrity throughout the community. The use of authentic and time-tested construction materials and techniques relates perfectly to the beach-side environment. Homes, which face pedestrian boardwalks, are finished with wood siding, cedar shingle or stucco (true masonry) with metal or shingle shake roofing. A rich palette of colors in subtle, natural tones distinguishes the houses. The shapes and silhouettes in Rosemary Beach call to mind St. Augustine, the West Indies, New Orleans and Charleston. Deep eaves provide shade from the afternoon sun. High ceilings draw breezes through houses. Gardens, fountain-filled courtyards and porches become outdoor rooms.

There are mulitple large green spaces, small intimate parks and four community pools.