Seaside, FL - (WALB) In Walton County, fairly heavy concentrations of tar balls hit some beaches for a few days several weeks ago. But places like the beautiful beach town of Seaside have been clean ever since.
The water is clear... The sand as white as ever... And the kids? "The waves are usually really good," said Seaside Visitor Charlie Raulet.
Well... they're kids on summer vacation. Who wouldn't be happy. "We have a lot friends here, and I like just hanging out with them and going to the beach and stuff."
But even these kids were a little worried about the oil before they got here. "I heard that it hit Pensacola or something, and so I thought maybe it was going to come down here like during our trip, but it didn't, so that's good," said Seaside Visitor Grace Raulet.
"A lot of people said it would be coming down here, but I haven't seen anything," said Seaside Visitor Grace Hill.
The Raulet family from Atlanta comes to Seaside every year. While they haven't seen any oil... they also haven't seen as many people.
"We kinda noticed it last night when we went out to dinner. No problem with getting a reservation and not a lot of people in the restaurant," said Dawne Raulet.
The idyllic streets and bike paths and elegant rental homes at Seaside are also emptier than usual... but that's good news for visitors.
"It might be the best opportunity folks have had to visit during the summer," said Jon Ervin, Seaside Cottage Rentals PR Dir.
Many property owners are offering deals to get you here. "Folks ask what we can do to help, and it's straightforward. Keep traveling. Keep visiting the places you love."
That's what Charlie Modica is hoping you'll do. "Enjoy. Thank you for your business."
His family has run the iconic Modica's Market at Seaside. "I hope you have a great day. Enjoy your vacation. For 20 great years!"
He says his business is actually up slightly from last year, thanks largely to regulars. "We've seen a lot of the same people. They said they were going to come regardless, and we need more of that."
Folks like the Raulets and their friends. "The water and the sand are more beautiful than any other place we know down here."