Lose yourself in a tropical retreat when you visit Alys Beach, a charming town designed in the bright, breezy style of Bermuda. Spacious courtyards adorn the beautiful Alys Beach vacation rentals, creating a spot for kids to play and families to gather after dinner. Child-friendly attractions abound in this friendly community and the surrounding towns, so you can fill your vacation with high-energy adventures or leisurely, relaxing activities.
1. Head for the Ocean
Start your trip to Alys Beach with a visit to the town’s clean, beautiful beach. Every vacation rental in town lies within a quick walk of the ocean, so you don’t have to hunt for parking. Rent beach chairs and umbrellas, or simply bring a blanket and soak up the sun. Kids can build castles in the fine white sand and swim in the gentle waves. Bring floating toys or boogie boards for an active afternoon.
2. Go Biking
Get a feel for Alys Beach with a bike trip around town. If you’re not traveling with your own bikes, head to the Alys Beach Bike Shop. This friendly spot carries beach cruisers for adults and kids, as well as bikes with training wheels for your littlest riders. Once you’re geared up, pedal through town until you hit the paved bike path that parallels Highway 30A. From there, you can reach the area’s most beautiful beaches and coastal dune lakes.
3. Take a Nature Walk
Introduce your little ones to Florida’s beautiful flora and fauna at the Alys Beach nature preserve. A wide path meanders through this 20-acre park, bringing you past a wide range of ecosystems. As you walk, look out for colorful butterflies, and try to spot carnivorous pitcher plants, which feed on insects. The Marsh section of the preserve is a great place to see water birds and a variety of unusual plants.
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4. Visit the Amphitheatre
Join Alys Beach residents for an evening at the Amphitheatre, and open-air spot that hosts concerts, plays, and outdoor movies throughout the year. Pack a picnic and arrive early to get a good spot. If there aren’t any performances during your vacation, come in the evening to hang out and relax. The wide lawn provides a convenient spot for kids to play while adults keep watch. Let your kids join local little children in rolling down the sloping hill. If it’s warm, cool off in the large fountain on the end of the lawn.
5. Explore Green Spaces
Spend an evening exploring Alys Beach’s many public green spaces with the kids. Wander through parks, play a game of catch on the grass, and enjoy watching community life go by. Performers often set up camp in the town’s common spaces to entertain the crowds, so keep your eyes an ears open for live entertainment!
6. Grab a Donut
Feel like a local by joining in one of Alys Beach’s favorite traditions: Charlie’s Donut Truck, a converted bread truck that brings freshly baked donuts into town each morning. Try a handmade 1920s-style pastry, or allow your little ones to start the day with an indulgent filled donut. The truck carries many different flavors, so it’s easy to please even the pickiest eaters. Sales start at 6:30 a.m. and go until the donuts are gone, so it’s a good idea to arrive early for the best selection.
7. Pick Blueberries
If you’re visiting Alys Beach in the summer, enjoy an unexpected treat with a berry-picking trip to Lake Marilyn. Look for Somerset Bridge, and head for the paths on either side. Here, rows of blueberry bushes bear fruit, creating on-the-go snacks for locals and visitors. After your kids eat their fill, head down to the lake shore to explore the hills and walk by the calm waters.
8. Check out Camp Helen State Park
Take a day trip from Alys Beach to Camp Helen State Park, which lies just 3 miles away. Bring your fishing rods to use in the park’s lake or the Philips Inlet. Look for migratory birds and sea turtles on the beach, borrow binoculars from the visitor center and go birding, or explore the on-site historical district. When you’re ready for a swim, hop in Lake Powell or the ocean to cool off.
9. Paddle Lake Powell
This inland lake is calmer and gentler than the ocean, making it a good choice for kids and new paddlers. Rent kayaks or canoes from one of the local outfitters, and head to the Lake Powell public boat ramp near Lake Powell Estates. Launching is fast and easy, thanks to the shallow water. Paddle around the shores to hunt for birds, or head under Highway 98 into the Philips Inlet to see where the lake empties into the ocean.
10. Explore a Coastal Dune Lake
Get a close look at a rare coastal dune lake at Deer Lake State Park. A wide boardwalk with tall rails winds through the park, providing a safe spot for kids to run. Enjoy the views of the lake, and be on the lookout for rare plants, such as spoonflower and Florida lupine. The park is also a good place to see wildlife, including coyotes and Florida black bears.
11. Try Paddleboarding
Test your balance with a paddleboard rental from the Alys Beach Bike Shop. Launch your boards from the beach and paddle along the shore. Look out for the bottle nose dolphins that play along the coast, or try gentle surfing on your way back to the beach. The wide boards accommodate a parent and a young child. The older kids can manage their own boards. Although the water at the beach is usually gentle, always strap your little ones into PFDs for safety.
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