The panhandle of Florida, that is, the Gulf of Mexico, was once known as "The Redneck Riviera", but my word, how that has changed!!! These beaches have sugar-fine sand and crystal clear water and have sprouted some of the most beautiful and innovative beach communities. There are still old beaches that have evolved into billboard laden areas full of fast food, but the area now boasts delightful and wonderful concept communities. Our most recent find is Alys Beach. It calls itself the crown jewel of the Emerald Coast and I can't argue with that! As you travel down the Scenic Highway, 30-A, you know you're at Alys Beach when you meet these interesting structures.
Then you enter the most interesting community with pristine manicured landscaping and a distinct Mediterranean feel.
There is no arguing that it is total luxury. The homes have the most awesome details and design. They are all sparkling white and have been awarded the designation "fortified for safer living", due to the construction requirements. This even qualifies them for special insurance rates. That can only be a good thing at the beach, right?
It is a green community with passive heating and cooling.
This was probably my favorite home. That pale turquoise in the canvas awnings was echoed in a lot of the details of the house. I had to give myself a real talking to in order not to window peek, I'll tell you!!!
The concept of New Urbanism is it's premise. You can walk to all of the amenities. What a beautiful walk it is, too!
Most of the homes have these rain chains to funnel the rain into useful areas.
All of the chimneys have different details and the facades are unique in every way.
This is the most traditional home we saw.
I took so many photos of the wonderful details. Love this fountain!!!
I'm sure that it was not a surprise that this beautiful redbud tree was perfectly positioned to show off it's beauty against this wall. The plants are all drought resistant native plants and flowers.
This is Lake Marilyn which graces the middle of the site. This bridge is lit at night and is just magical.
Some of the fountains are unlike any I've ever seen.
This is the Calize pool and restaurant area. This curtained area leads you into an area inspired by a Greek agora. It is all paved by Dominican limestone and fitted with arched colonnades and so many interesting details. We had such fine food and great service there.
Imagine the breeze blowing the canopy of these loungers. I love the way the shadow of the palm tree is captured in the foreground here.
These are the private cabanas. I didn't get a picture of the incredible oval main pool. There is also a lap pool and several decorative water features.
Mr. Pressed Pants especially loved these large driftwood equestrian statues.
Across the road, is the beach, and still more incredible architecture that left me speechless!
And the best part of all..........the pristine beach. And I've got the sunburn to prove it!