This Little-Known Chic Town On Florida's Coast Feels Like A Soothing Caribbean Getaway

Florida's panhandle region is a somewhat underrated part of the magnificent state, as it's packed with hidden gem hotspots. One of these is the luxurious Alys Beach, an ultra-chic planned community set on white sands and crystal-clear waters comparable to the Caribbean. It is located off the 30A Highway, so the city could be a great addition to a Florida road trip route.

Alys Beach is a 40-minute drive from Panama City and about two hours from Pensacola. This scenic coast is perfect for travelers who love beaches but without the crowds of Southern Florida. If you're looking for an upmarket vacation, Alys Beach is the place to go, as it has top-drawer dining and a plethora of prestige accommodations to suit the most perfectionist of tastes. It is also the ideal beach to take young ones, as there are organized activities, outdoor opportunities, and child-friendly places to go while you enjoy a dream vacation. There are also some lovely state parks for them to explore close to the beach community.

Things to do at Alys Beach

Get to know Alys Beach by walking around the planned community and enjoying the pristine white architecture that takes inspiration from colonial-era structures around the world. During Digital Graffiti weekend, which is typically held in late May, artwork is projected onto them as these meticulously designed buildings become a canvas. 

There is also the beach and pretty parks to explore on foot. If you love the ocean, then you can go paddle boarding or kayaking. Beach chairs can be rented as well as bicycles for those who want to explore further afield. Nature lovers can also visit nearby Deer Lake State Park to the north of Alys Beach, which is known for its dune lake and pretty beach, as well as a spot for watching birds and butterflies. On the other side of Alys Beach is Camp Helen State Park. Here, you can freshwater or saltwater fish, as the park is flanked by Lake Powell, which is the largest dune lake in the entire state, and the Gulf of Mexico. 

Scheduled entertainment is also available at the beach amphitheatre, where there are movie nights, concerts, craft activities, workshops, improv classes, and much more family-friendly fun to be had. Alys Beach also has a range of great dining options, from donut shacks to bars serving artisanal cocktails.

Places to stay near Alys Beach

As one of Florida's best family-friendly beaches, Alys Beach offers some wonderful accommodations. Much of the top-rated accommodation in the area is on the Rosemary Beach side of Alys Beach. According to Google reviews, one of the top places to stay is The Village of South Walton Beach, which has earned a 4.5-star rating. It has a pool, a restaurant, beach access, and live entertainment in the summer months. There is even a fountain that dances to music, guaranteed to enamor kids. Reviewers also appreciated the condo community's proximity to delicious eateries and nightlife venues.

Rosemary Beach Inn receives 4.4 stars on Google and it's located just a stone's throw from the beach. The luxury hotel is popular for its indoor and outdoor pools, as well as the tasty free breakfast. Sporty travelers can also access the Rosemary Beach Racquet Club and Fitness Center. Also next to the beach is the four-star establishment The Pearl Hotel, which receives excellent reviews on Google, too. It offers a luxurious experience with rooms filled with custom art, a pool, a spa, and free beach chairs. The hotel also welcomes guests with a cocktail, offers free valet services, and delivers baked goods to your room in the evening. With so many great spots to stay, Rosemary Beach is an ideal family-friendly beach town