On the northern coast of Florida lies a community reminiscent of the Greek Isles with a touch of southern Spain. A whitewashed village of homes transports you out of the norm and lands you in a realm of quiet and class. Architectural details delight the senses as even the gutters of these streets are styled with elegance. I remember breezing by Alys Beach in the car and knowing I had to go back and photograph it.
I put my early rising body to good use and headed out one morning just as the sun rose above the white minaret-like structures that mark the entrance to Alys Beach on 30A. You can’t miss the town as it’s easily the most recognizable stretch of road with these impressive sets of pyramid topped butteries guarding its entrance from each direction.
Alys has easy parking along its flawless tall hedges and I parked my car to head out into the neighborhood. Even at 6:30AM there was movement in the nearby park. Donuts were being sold out of a food truck, so I grabbed one and enjoyed a little bit of sweet as I weaved through the streets.
There is no shortage of white in Alys and very few pops of color are in the area. The intentional designs and simple curving architectural details supply all the ornamentation needed. Nature and the town harmonize with each other throughout with abundant parks and creative green spaces. I passed shady courtyards with curving stairwells, nooks with ivy and corners with agave growing in the sea of alabaster. Sculptural art elements danced between buildings and colorful window shutters kept the sun from penetrating inner sanctuaries.
I followed cobblestone pavers around the town, over bridges and beside skinny Italian-like cedars. Alys Beach prides itself on sustainability and the stone paths allow rain water to run through to the earth and the whitewashed walls help keep homes cool. I finished my circle of the city with a stop at Fonville Press for breakfast. Even the partnering playground was a work of art with green hills, slides, musical instruments to play and large white serpents to sit on. I enjoyed my truffle parmesan eggs served in cast-iron with toast while savoring the sun on my last morning in Florida.
If you are traveling to the South Walton area of Florida, make a stop at this dreamy town by the sea. Relax into its small serene streets or rent a bike from the nearby stand. It’s the perfect way to spend a morning while soaking in the splendor and style this part of Florida has to offer.