How To Spend the Perfect Day in Alys Beach, Florida—Highway 30A's Most Stylish Community

From shopping to fried shrimp at George's, here are the best things to do in this scenic town.

Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Four gleaming minaret-style towers welcome visitors to Alys Beach and a stretch of the scenic highway flanked by towering palm trees. The appeal of this area is clear: stucco homes so white they could blind you at high noon; secluded courtyards cozied up within their walls; the pool at Caliza Restaurant, which looks like it's straight from Bermuda; and a curated collection of shops and eateries that would feel right at home on the cobblestone paths of Capri.

After a few days of cabanas and cocktails, you'll leave feeling refreshed. In case the sophisticated surroundings tempt you to put on airs, remember that this beach town was named after its original developer's wife. That's like naming your firstborn after your mama, and we all know it doesn't get more relatable—or Southern—than that.

Here are the best things to do, see, and eat on a day spent in Alys Beach, whether you're dropping in from a nearby beach town on Highway 30A or staying right in the midst of the coastal beauty.

Start your day with old-fashioned pastries from Charlie's Donut Truck

The converted Sunbeam bread truck can be found in the Alys Beach Amphitheatre every morning, chock-full of sprinkled, chocolate-glazed, and even bacon-covered confections that owner Charlie Mingus and his bakers cut and glaze the traditional way: by hand.

More health-conscious vacationers can stop by Raw & Juicy for smoothies and nourishing bowls.

Robbie Caponetto

Take advantage of the Alys' 20-acre nature preserve and trail

Grab your bike and get peddling. The northern portion of Alys Beach is devoted to a 20-acre nature preserve practically made for morning bike rides. Seriously, there's an elevated wooden boardwalk that will take you through most of the trail and give you the best view of your natural surroundings. Cozy up by the lake, and bring your beach read for some quiet time.

Grab a not-your-ordinary drink at Neat

Next door, cool off with a drink at Neat. The cocktail bar is minimalist by design, with a ever-changing monthly menu of snacks and specialty drinks featuring ingredients like crème de violette and celery bitters. The offerings gently goad you to trade in your usual order for something bespoke and delicious.

Neat Bar
Robbie Caponetto

Put your name down at George's for coastal cuisine with Southern flair

George's at Alys Beach, a shingled beach cottage-turned-restaurant that sits right off the manicured highway, might not necessarily fit the Bermuda-inspired style of Alys Beach, but it certainly touts buzz words fitting of the posh locale. Locally sourced, organic produce builds its menu separated by Behave and Misbehave items: dishes like grilled local fish and forbidden black rice falling on the Behave side, and fried shrimp with hush puppies decidedly on the other.

While George's does not accept reservations, nearby Caliza Restaurant does. Overlooking the stunning Caliza Pool, this spot welcomes you with an open-air bar that will make you want to postpone your reservation for a drink or two. Additionally, newly opened The Citizen is a seaside tavern that can seat big groups more easily and has a brunch menu to boast about.

Caliza Pool
Robbie Caponetto

Shop 'til you drop at Alys Beach's local merchants

Follow the green space, and you'll eventually land on a string of boutiques where colorful caftans and breezy scarves beckon you inside. Head to Merit by Willow for "elevated accouterments," Barefoot Princess for all things Lilly Pulitzer, and Mast for dreamy beach home décor.

With all the things to do, spots to eat, and places to see, Alys Beach is a perfect fit for both a day visit or a weeklong stay.

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