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countless picturesque seaside
communities. Coastal sand dune
lakes are rare and exist in only
five places in the world, includ-
ing Madagascar, New Zealand,
Australia, Northwest Florida
and Oregon.
These lakes are called dune
lakes because the water peri-
odically blows out into the gulf,
mixing fresh water with salty
ocean water. This mixing of the
waters provides eleven distinct
natural habitats within Deer
Lake State Park: swamp, marsh,
estuarine tidal creek, depres-
sion marsh, basin swamp, beach
dune, scrub, sandhill, coastal
dune lake, blackwater stream
and estuarine tidal creek.
The ecosystem created by
this meshing of the waters also
provides a delicate habitat for
migratory birds, butterflies and
loggerhead turtles. It didn't take
me long to realize that I was in
a very special place.
Dining at gourmet restaurants
in the evening was a wonderful
way to cap off each day! There
are a couple of fabulous ones
to choose from. Restaurant Par-
adis was a favorite, offering un-
derstated warmth and elegance,
along with excellent food and a
full-service lounge. Dishes such
as Ahi Tuna served with coconut
and baby bok choy and snapper
served atop Queso Blanco po-
lenta with a tequila lime sauce
are examples of why this restau-
rant has received outstanding
Onano was another favorite,
with intimate indoor and outdoor
dining and a view overlooking
the Western Green. I sat outside
with my friends on this balmy,
Western Lake, a coastal dune lake.
The Pensione Inn.
incredible evening and enjoyed
wonderful dishes served up from
the recipes of northern Italy.
In an ever-increasing complex
and complicated world, simplic-
ity is now what I search for more
than ever in my personal life and
when I travel. Rosemary Beach
is awash with solitude. It is un-
spoiled and untrampled and a
great place to soothe your soul.
I would go back in a heartbeat.
Rosemary Beach Cottage
Rentals: (888) 855-1551, or
Bamboo Bicycle Company:
(850) 231-0770, or visit www.
Yolo Board: (850) 622-5760,
or visit
Ann Nelson is a freelance writer
residing in San Diego, CA