Just to the west of Panama City is Seaside, Florida, a picturesque and uncluttered town with the quaint look of a late Victorian beachfront village.

If Seaside makes you think you've returned to a simpler time—think comfortable cottages, porch swings, evening strolls—well, that's the idea.

Seaside, Florida, was created in the early 1990s by Miami developer Robert Davis, who wanted to re-create the seaside of his childhood summer vacations (with the addition of many modern conveniences). The result is a planned community that manages to be a traditional, pedestrian-oriented town without being a museum piece. Its white picket fences were evident in the 1998 movie The Truman Show.

At the least, you should stroll through Seaside, or you can take one of the available rentals and stay several days, a week or longer. If you become enchanted by the atmosphere and think you want to move there permanently, take a look at the price tags of the homes: The past doesn't come cheap.

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