Seaside has always been a prime destination for family gatherings, spring breakers, bachelorette parties, social media gurus and wedding celebrations. But more recently, there’s been a new group flocking to our white sandy beaches: TikTok stars.
While Facebook is the most popular social media platform worldwide with 2.6 billion monthly active users, TikTok saw major growth, especially during the pandemic, and now boasts one billion monthly active users.
With the rise of TikTok and the large number of viewers on the platform, influencers with thousands to millions of followers seem to have figured out that Seaside offers some of the best photo opportunities in the game.
That might mean performing a choreographed TikTok dance under the Coleman Pavilion, enjoying an ice cream cone in front of It’s Heavenly’s under a cotton candy sky, or posing on the stairs in front of the famed post office in Central Square.
Although there've been plenty of influencers and celebrities that have come to see what’s so special about Seaside, some of these visitors have come to acquire quite the fanbase, including Addison Rae, Haley Sharpe, Ella Mendelsohn, Kelly Ann Schwartz and Mary Margaret Boudreaux.
The Seaside Times spoke with some of these influencers to find out what brought them to the area and what keeps them coming back.
TikTok famous Addison Rae is a super fan. Addison is known for her dancing abilities which have led to a staggering TikTok following of 86.2 million. She last visited our town in June of 2019, where she posted in the must-have Seaside sweatshirt (butter color, in case anyone is looking to twin with her). Addison is originally from Lafayette, La., making for an easy trip to Seaside, but she became a permanent resident of Los Angeles in December of 2019.
Another TikTok sensation, Haley Sharpe, is a frequent visitor to the Seaside area from Huntsville, Ala. Like Addison, she’s known for her dance moves and has grown her fanbase to 3.6 million. Haley has been visiting the Seaside area for several years with posts all over town. One of her most popular posts is in front of “The Truman Show” house where fans were quick to notice the reference.
With 2.6 million followers, New Yorker Ella Mendelsohn is popular on TikTok for her chic style and enviable aesthetic with photos shot around the world, including in Seaside.
Ella told us that she first visited Seaside for a family reunion in July of 2021 and shared that her followers loved her posts by the water and on the nature trails. Ella told us, “Seaside was one of my favorite family trips by far.”
Kelly Ann Schwartz is a Nashville native blogger mom with 27.8 thousand followers on TikTok. Kelly specializes in sharing affordable fashions and places her followers need to visit for their upcoming travels.
Although Kelly is a fan of the entirety of 30A, she specifically highlighted Seaside as a must visit for its “cute boutiques, shops, and places to take pictures; the best gelato sold at It’s Heavenly; and great food trucks and restaurants that are top notch!”
Another Louisiana native, Mary Margaret Boudreaux, has 21.5 thousand followers on TikTok who enjoy watching her content covering shopping finds, days in her life, and how to become an influencer.
Like Ella, Mary Margaret told The Seaside Times that she first visited for a family vacation in 2014, and instantly fell in love. Ever since, Mary Margaret has returned yearly, whether it be with friends or family. She described Seaside as “the cutest beach town area with the best restaurants and food options where she loves to walk around, bike down 30A, and watch the sunrise/sunset on the beach.”
Mary Margaret told us how every time she shares content from her visits to Seaside it’s always in her top performing posts. She believes her audience is drawn to the visual appearance of Seaside and the lifestyle that comes with the town. Mary Margaret shared how Seaside has become her happy place, so much so that she’ll be moving to the area in two months with her boyfriend of six years, whom she started dating in Seaside.
She explained that the “town holds so many memories for us and we can’t wait to start a new chapter there. We even plan to get married in the Seaside Chapel which holds such a special place in our hearts. I can’t recommend visiting Seaside enough. You definitely won’t be disappointed and will leave already wanting to plan your next visit.”
Whether you post in front of Airstream Row, take a nature shot by the Seaside Chapel, or do a TikTok dance at home in your Seaside sweatshirt, your followers are going to notice. Seaside offers beautiful beaches, pastel color schemes and New Urbanist architecture that’s certain to catch a commenter's eyes.