Florida’s Gulf Coast Treasure
Natural beauty meets striking design in the New Urbanist haven of Alys Beach, Florida
photo: Courtesy of Alys Beach
On the edge of the Florida Panhandle lies a coastal retreat unlike any other, a place where life and leisure are thoughtfully curated to the last detail. In Alys Beach, distinctive architecture and meticulous design give way to an otherworldly escape where gleaming structures and a calm cerulean shore preside over all. In driving distance from a number of Southern cities, the New Urbanist paradise along 30A feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle, its air of tranquil luxury second to none.
For residents and visitors alike, each day is defined by a sense of balance: between luxury and simplicity, relaxation and excitement, natural beauty and innovative design. From the lively town center to the quiet shore, Alys Beach is crisscrossed with pedestrian paths, creating a sense of community that draws friends and neighbors outdoors. It’s no coincidence, then, that the locale is centered on alfresco experiences, from breezy dining at the waterfront Beach Club to picnicking in immaculate green spaces.
Though not a resort, Alys Beach can feel nearly as lavish, as locals and their guests have access to fine communal amenities. At ZUMA Wellness Center, for example, residents can tune in to both physical and spiritual wellness with expert-led classes, state-of-the-art tennis courts, an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, massage therapy, and more. And for a beachfront getaway no more than a stone’s throw from home, the multistory Beach Club is a waterfront gathering place exclusive to homeowners. With one of the community’s most breathtaking Gulf of Mexico views, the club is designed as a place to connect and unwind, whether joining neighbors for a cocktail on the terrace or passing a lazy afternoon beside a glimmering pool. With access to a pristine stretch of shore, the Beach Club represents one of the region’s most coveted memberships.
Of course, the beach itself is the community’s crown jewel. Not unlike the Caribbean, Florida’s Gulf Coast is known for crystal-clear water and miles of soft white sand. Those who like their space need not worry about claiming a peaceful spot on the sand; access to the Alys Beach coast is limited to homeowners and vacation renters, meaning quiet, uncrowded days await all year long. And despite its calmer nature, the beach is not without excitement—with catamarans and paddleboards available to rent, offshore adventures are found in spades, while the Beach Club’s top-notch food and drink service will deliver snacks and sips directly to the lounge chair of those preferring dry land.
No beachfront destination is complete without a charming downtown, and with its array of fine shops and restaurants, the Alys Beach town center delivers on beauty and balance. While each business offers something unique, a shared passion for the finer things in life connects the robust community of merchants, from the beloved home decor shop, Mast, where fresh-cut flowers are always in stock, to the beach essentials and resort-chic attire at the Alys Shoppe. And when it comes to dining, fresh cuisine and locally sourced ingredients are plentiful. Dotting Alys Beach, a diverse array of restaurants cater to every occasion, be it a basket of fish tacos via Beach Club service, a post-workout coffee or smoothie from Raw & Juicy, a wine and tapas spread at NEAT Tasting Room and Bottle Shop, or dinner at a resort-casual spot like George’s.
Amid the community’s dreamlike scene, it’s easy to see why many visitors make a home of their own in Alys Beach. Whether custom or semicustom builds, townhouses, or condominiums, opportunities for ownership are abundant, each pairing bold features with familiar comforts. Thanks to a group of approved builders and the experts at Alys Beach Construction, a consistent thread of quality and design runs through Alys Beach, creating a harmonious collection of homes and shared spaces. Always a seamless process, becoming a resident can take many forms. In the Somerset program, for example, buyers can work with the community’s expert sales, construction, and design teams on stunning semicustom homes, while buildings such as The Selene & Easterly house luxury Gulf-front condominiums that are move-in ready. Wherever new owners land, walkable neighborhoods are designed with connectivity in mind, fostering friendship between neighbors and easy routes to the shore.
In Alys Beach, the pace of life is blissfully slow, centered on the pleasures of each moment. From a dip in the Gulf to an evening stroll against a pastel sky, each day on the shore holds a treasure of its own, amounting to a place that’s anything but ordinary.
Learn more at alysbeach.com
Southern Motorcycle Diaries
Memories, mishaps, and meals from a Richmond boutique owner’s sixteen-city tour of the South
Small-Town Feel, Big-City Flavor
Find out why Birmingham, Alabama, is one of the most exciting food cities right now
An All-Ages Escape to Bluffton, South Carolina
Families receive a five-star welcome at this Palmetto Bluff retreat
In Partnership With
Best Southern Soup Recipes
A roundup of classic and modern dishes to celebrate the season—from gumbo to bisque and everything in between
Five Unique State Park Stays in the South
From cozy Texas cabins to a yurt in Virginia, these lodging options show how state parks have been upping their games
Food & Drink
Southern Kitchen Essentials According to Nathalie Dupree
In her downsizing move from Charleston to Raleigh, the celebrated Southern chef got down to the basics