Every year, travelers flock to exotic locales in search of turquoise waters, stunning architecture and an escape from the ordinary- only you don't have to run to Bermuda or Havana to find it. Hidden along Florida’s Gulf Coast along Highway 30A, Alys Beach feels like another world entirely. I completely fell in love with this idyllic town the moment I first laid eyes on it, and I somehow manage to fall in love a little more every time that I go back. I simply can't say enough good things or capture enough photos to even come close to doing it justice, but for the sake of everyone reading this I'm sure going to try.
One of the most charming aspects of this beach town is that you won’t find any hotels. Z-E-R-O. The Gulf Coast is notorious for high rise condominiums and hotels that are packed full of vacationers (ensuring crowded beaches and crazy strong tourist vibes). Alys however, is a tranquil oasis of beautiful homes. Some are privately owned. Some are available for rent. And they all boast stunning Bermudan architecture that will wow you at first glance. You can call 850.213.5555 for more information, or click below to book a rental and make yourself right at home.
George's is a charming beach cottage nestled in the heart of Alys, and arguably my favorite restaurant in all of Florida (the Sesame Crab and Avocado Salad will change your life). Dishes fall into two categories: Behave and Misbehave. The Behave section features organic, spa-inspired dishes, while the Misbehave side touts traditional beach fare like fried seafood baskets and po-boys. The menu is rounded out with a thoughtfully curated wine list and a selection of decadent desserts. Add it to the top of your list and thank me later.
Fonville Press is what dreams are made of. Never would I have guessed that you'd find me spending time during a beach trip sitting at a coffee shop. But Fonville isn't just any ordinary coffee shop. Sure, they offer (delicious) breakfast, (also delicious) coffee, magazines, newspapers, books and snacks per usual coffee establishment. They also go a step further and serve insane desserts that are out of this world, as well as imported and domestic wines and beers (count me in). But what truly sets Fonville apart from any other coffee experience is the breath-taking atmosphere. No matter which way you enter, where you sit, or what the weather is doing- your eyes are in for a treat. With it's bamboo draped awnings, regal potted palms or bright white exterior with vibrant pops of red- let's just say the next time you walk into a Starbucks you'll feel sad. Top it all off with an extremely warm staff, and Fonville is pretty much one of my favorite places on planet earth.
Caliza serves contemporary American cuisine in an al fresco setting that overlooks the town’s stunning pool. Any meal served by candles, soft lighting and Bermudan architecture is perfectly alright with me. It's the perfect place to retreat after a day at the beach if you want delicious food and drink (and polished, friendly service). The menu was created by Executive Chef Kevin Korman and team, and focuses on artisan, seasonal ingredients that are sourced from regional purveyors, showcasing the restaurant’s Gulf Coast locale (the perfect mix of healthy and indulgent!) Try an artisanal cocktail during happy hour at the open-air bar, and I'll dare you to find a setting that you prefer more.
Charlie’s Donut Truck opens early each morning, serving fresh, handmade donuts and pastries. But be sure to get there early (they open at 6:30am) because they likely won't last long! These decadent donuts (like red velvet cake, blueberry cake, sour cream pound cake, and rainbow sprinkle to name a few) are a popular way to start the day in Alys.
The NEAT Bottle Shop offers a curated collection of artisan spirits, wines, and craft beers. Their staff is incredibly knowledgeable and can help you pick out the perfect bottle (of whatever you're in the mood for). They also have high-quality bar tools, mixers, and glassware available for purchase so you can whip up a craft cocktails at your beach house. Not only is it a great place to pick up everything you need for your libation of choice, but it also introduces small batch producers and locally made items to the 30A community. Visit and you'll be inspired to explore the vast world of top rated varietals and craft cocktails.
The Tasting Room (also part of NEAT and connected to the Bottle Shop) lets you discover a new favorite right there in person. If you're wanting to take your experience beyond simply sipping, the Tasting Room also hosts regular events with a variety of wineries, breweries and distilleries.
Alys Beach certainly sets itself apart stylistically, so it's only natural that they have their very own shoppe to mirror that ethos. I popped in to pick up a few different looks to wear during my visit (everything you see pictured is currently available for purchase!) Not only is the shoppe filled with an impressive selection of items you’re sure to love, but the staff is incredibly helpful and warm- ensuring a top of the line shopping experience.
Ann Hartley is a collection from around the world: clothing, jewelry, home furnishings and gifts-- all in one shop. My traveler's heart pitter-patters just thinking about the stories behind these pieces: hand embroidered tablecloths or colonial Mexican antiques from San Miguel. Gorgeous hand embroidered linens and pillows from Marrakech. Bronze sculptures from Mali, fabrics from the Ivory Coast, silk velvet pillows from Uzbekistan—all treasures from around the world. Be prepared to travel across the globe the moment you walk in, and to fall in love with these beautiful pieces.
Alys is brimming with beautiful experiences that are sure to leave a strong impression. So whether you're looking to plan a girl's trip, family vacation or a romantic escape, I guarantee that it will provide you with an unforgettable getaway. If you have any questions about booking, don't hesitate to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.