If you are looking for an absolutely amazing Florida Beach vaction, here is my travel guide to Alys Beach. Alys Beach is strikingly beautiful 158 acre community off of the scenic highway 30A on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. From restaurants, pristine architecture, and stunning white sand beaches, Alys Beach is the ultimate Florida vacation destination.
Our first trip that involved a flight as a family of 3 w baby Phoenix (he was born right before Covid on March 3, 2020 – see his birth story here) was to Alys Beach to visit our family and it was one of the best vacations we have ever had! My cousin and her husband always know the hot spots to go to and boy did they show us some amazing places in not only Alys Beach but also Rosemary beach. I have zero complaints about Alys Beach except that our stay wasn’t long enough!
We got up super early for our first flight experience with a baby on lap in hopes that Phoenix would sleep the whole way to Alys Beach and thankfully he did. We were feeling a little groggy en route from the Panama City Beach Airport until we saw the beauty that exudes from Alys! I am telling you, every inch of this paradise is accounted for and breathtaking. Everywhere you go in Alys feels like an exclusive 5 star hotel but it is also so relaxed like your favorite beach town! Architecture feels like you are somewhere exotic, like in Greece! It is absolutely stunning.
We flew into Panama City airport which is about a 25 min drive to Alys (pronounced Alice, yes I needed this clarification lol) Beach in 30A. 30A is the highway that runs along the beach towns of this area of the panhandle of Florida – includes not only Alys Beach, but also Rosemary, Watercolor, Seacrest, Seaside, Santa Rosa, and Grayton Beach.
We spent our days at the Caliza pool, the beach, shopping at the Alys Beach Shop and Mast, and biking around with the kiddos. One day when it was a little too overcast for sun time, we took the kids to the Alys Beach Playground. They had tons of fun, Phoenix went up and down the slide a few times with Kev and loved it! I never thought I’d say this about a playground but – this playground was super chic.
Restaurants We Loved
George’s: Family friendly. Uses all fresh and local ingredients!
Pescado: Located in Rosemary Beach. We went here for two date nights and it was phenomenal. Love the rooftop ambiance and they make a mean espresso martini. It is the perfect place to watch the sunset!
La Crema: Located in Rosemary Beach. Small plates – so needless to say we tasted just about everything and it was delish. I even got the chocolate covered bacon.
Raw & Juicy (formerly Fonville Press): perfect for breakfast (I love the juice options here!) or lunch in my opinion. The outdoor dining area is super cute!
Caliza Pool Bar: We ate here for lunch most of the week in Alys Beach and it was always lovely. From their jalapeño margaritas to their lunch entrees (shrimp salads were yum!) – you can’t go wrong with the options at Caliza!
The Beach Club: We ate here for dinner one night and the vibe is awesome! I am pretty sure we saw Lady A, the country group. Beautiful view of the Beach Club pool and the ocean.
NEAT: A tasting room and bottle shop with an amazing old fashion!
Regardless of weather, bring shorts to wear under any dresses or skirts ladies! Alys is a big bike community and those dresses will fly all the way up when you get that bike going at full speed. Either that or your dress will get caught IN the bike. For that problem – after learning the hard way – I tucked my dresses into my shorts while biking around Alys until I arrived at my destination to avoid ripping anymore dresses. (It was my Good American Kimono to be exact.)
We went to Alys Beach in March so packing for warm days and chilly nights was my plan of action. I packed long sleeves for the three of us – but would recommend bringing a few more light jackets than I did for our family. The biking can make you extra chilly, especially on overcast days or when biking in the evening to dinner! This was a rookie mistake but luckily the Alys Beach Shoppe has plenty of options if you forgot something outfit-wise.
For packing for Alys Beach for baby Phoenix, I ordered a bunch of things from H&M that didn’t come on time. I was able to get some really cute clothes and shoes from Old Navy last minute to make up for it! I also brought some super cute Ralph Lauren Polo one pieces from my mother in law that were SOO cute and perfect for evenings out.
For myself, I ordered a few new pairs of One Teaspoon Shorts, Tony Bianco black platforms (dressier than my Golden Gooses and easy to bike in!) some fun tops/swimsuits/and dresses from Shopbop, and a new Anine Bing T-shirt & PJS from Revolve (am I the only person that loves new pajamas for travel!?) !
I hope this blogpost is helpful for anyone traveling to Alys Beach and needing some points of reference! If you have the opportunity to travel to Alys Beach or anywhere near 30A, I highly recommend it. XO, Cath