alys beach florida

Best Things to do in Alys Beach in 2024

The Florida panhandle is home to Destin and Panama City. And tucked between the two of those cities you’ll find 30A. Part of Florida’s Emerald Coast, 30A refers to several different coastal towns along the stretch of the 30A highway. Each town is small and charming in their own way. You’ll want to explore all of them and they’re located pretty close to one another which makes it easy.

Alys Beach, of course, is one of those small towns along 30A. And it’s one of my favorites. Seaside and Rosemary Beach are my other two favorite 30A towns.

gorgeous white architecture in alys beach florida

What is Alys Beach Like?

Alys Beach is known for its Bermudian inspired architecture that has a white clean aesthetic. No two buildings are quite the same, each with unique charm. It’s really, really beautiful and I could wander the streets there all day long (and I do!)

Alys Beach is one of the newer communities along 30A – it was created in 2004! I actually didn’t know this until we visited but it’s still being developed. The development is on the edge of town so it’s not really noticeable in the main areas of town where the restaurants are.

community space in alys beach florida

Most homes in Alys Beach are pretty big. That combined that with the luxury that you’ll find in Alys Beach doesn’t exactly set the stage for a budget friendly destination. Frankly, Alys Beach is an expensive place for vacation rentals.

Something I really loved is that I felt like I was among the ultra-rich yet I didn’t feel out of place. While the people who own homes there might be way above my tax bracket, the majority of people we saw wandering around were visiting just like us. So it was a fun way of immersing ourselves into the lifestyles of the rich without feeling super uncomfortable.

Alys Beach is close to Rosemary Beach, giving you easy access to both towns.

alys beach vacation rental

Start Your Morning With Donuts

If you’ve ever visited 30A in the past, you might have enjoyed Charlie’s Donut Truck. Charlie’s Donut Truck is now a storefront, Charlie’s Delights. They have fresh, handmade donuts. They have some great flavors such as red velvet, blueberry cake, and more. They can sell out fast, so if there’s a specific flavor you want then it’s a good idea to get there early.

We didn’t make it to Charlie’s Delights until around noon so there weren’t a ton of options available but we were just glad that there were any left at all. We got glazed donuts and they were delicious! Next time we are definitely going to make it a priority to get there earlier.

Check Out Healthier Options

For a healthier option, Raw and Juicy is highly recommended for smoothies, bowls, and juices. They also have coffee and craft cocktails with the option of ordering to go. We didn’t eat here, but we got coffee to go and it took a long time to get the coffee – around 30 minutes. Everyone who recommended Raw and Juicy to me promised that this is a fluke and that this place is a must visit so I will give them another try.

raw and juicy restaurant in 30a

Take in the Architecture

Alys Beach’s unique style makes it a perfect place for wandering around. I could spend all day wandering the streets of Alys Beach. And actually, we did! Wandering the streets of Alys Beach was one of my favorite things from our 30A vacation. The white buildings all look similar and yet they are each so unique. I also loved the community courtyards and the little outdoor spaces uniquely incorporated at each house.

gorgeous streets in alys beach florida

Gulf Green

I had seen pictures of Gulf Green prior to our visit to Alys Beach and we naturally stumbled on it while we were wandering around town. Gulf Green is basically a large open area of grass. It’s gorgeous and we enjoyed having the space to ourselves while our son practiced walking. It also leads the way to one of the (private) beach entrances.

gulf green in alys beach

Fonville Press

Fonville Press is a cafe with a coffee shop and food options. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also serve alcoholic beverages. If that isn’t enough, they also have a market (Fonville Press Market).

fonville press alys beach florida

But I think what initially draws most people to Fonville Press is their aesthetic.

fonville press alys beach 30a florida

Relax at the Beach

Alys Beach is a great place for a beach vacation and having a beach day is one of the best things to do in Alys Beach. No matter where you stay in Alys Beach, you’ll be close to the natural beauty of the beach.

Like many Gulf of Mexico beaches, you’ll love the powdery white sand and calm, crystal blue waters.

the beach at alys beach florida

Like many of the beaches in 30A, the beach in Alys Beach is private. You will need to make sure you are staying somewhere that gives you access. Most places will as long as you are staying in Alys Beach but it’s worth mentioning if that’s a priority for your 30A vacation. If you can access the beach in Alys Beach, you’ll find plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a beach day. You can also get your beach chairs set up as well as kayaks and paddle boards.

Rent a Bike

Adjacent to the 30A highway is a wide sidewalk that makes it easy to walk or bike in town and also to other towns in 30A. It’s a popular way of getting around 30A. Golf carts are another popular way of getting around. Some vacation rentals come with bikes and/or golf cart included.

renting bikes in alys beach florida

Nature Trail

While you have your bike, grab it and head to the trail; it’s one of the best places to get into nature. The Alys Beach Nature Trail is located in the northern portion of Alys Beach. It is a short and easy 0.75 miles among a 20-acre nature preserve. You can bike or walk through the elevated wooden boardwalk that winds through the wooded wetlands. There are some signs along the boardwalk if you want to learn more about the ecology of Florida’s environment as well.

Alys Beach Amphitheater

The Alys Beach Amphitheatre is located right in the center of Alys Beach. Of course, it’s a popular spot for local events such as outdoor concerts and other live music. But even if there isn’t an event, the perfectly sculpted lawn serves as a bit of a playground. If you have kids, it’s a good place for them to run around or throw a ball.

ampitheater in alys beach florida

Go Shopping at Alys Shoppe

Aly’s Shoppe is a luxury boutique carrying resort-type clothing and other items. It’s a fun place to splurge on some new beachwear or at least do a little browsing.

Visit the Park

If you’re visiting Alys Beach with kids, you’ll enjoy the park next to Raw and Juicy. It’s just as fancy as the rest of the town. I’ve never seen a park quite like it with its modern aesthetic that matched Alys Beach perfectly. The park is small but has hills to run, modern white sculptures to climb, a couple swings, and a slide. It’s right in town yet somewhat hidden. When we visited, it was packed so I didn’t get an aesthetically pleasing picture like I saw when researching our trip but it’s worth a stop if you have littles.

Eat Dinner at a Local Favorite

Since Alys Beach is still growing, there aren’t as many dining options here as there are in some of the other 30A communities. But there are two great restaurants in Alys Beach. Both have great reviews and are sought after places to eat in 30A.

The Citizen is a newer restaurant in Alys Beach. It’s an upscale coastal restaurant with a seasonal menu and they also serve amazing craft cocktails. The Citizen is also open for brunch.

George’s is the longest standing restaurant in Alys Beach. George’s is a seafood restaurant open for lunch and dinner. It’s a popular place but if there is a long wait, you can grab a drink and enjoy views of the Gulf on their viewing deck while you wait.

Both The Citizen and George’s are great options if you want to eat some fresh seafood on your trip to 30A.

alys beach 30a

Grab a Drink at NEAT

NEAT Bottle Shop and Tasting Room has craft cocktails as well as a large wine and local beer list. They also have a snack menu which they are consistently updating and changing.

Events

There are a lot of events in Alys Beach. If you happen to be in town during any events, they are worth checking out. Here are some of the bigger events in Alys Beach:

30A Wine Festival is a 5 day event with events and workshops for wine lovers. The proceeds benefit the Children’s Volunteer Health Network.

Digital Graffiti showcases digital art projected onto the town’s white walls. The art comes from artists around the world.

alys beach florida

Alys Beach captures the essence of luxury, relaxation, and natural beauty. Whether you’re staying in Alys Beach for a week or just visiting for the day, Alys Beach is worth visiting! I find it to be an enchanting town along Florida’s Gulf Coast.