Diane Carroll: A Visit to Alys Beach

July 26, 2011

The summer heat waves have hit, and those lovely waterfront locations in New England Home’s Land Meets Water issue are looking especially inspiring. While a trip north is always a summertime treat, my family and I recently headed even further south to the Florida beaches for a Gulf of Mexico getaway. Yes, going further south may seem counterintuitive, but the Gulf breezes and architecture evoking an island state of mind combine to beat the heat.

One of our favorite destinations is beautiful Alys Beach, with architecture inspired by Bermuda and Antigua. The European-meets-Caribbean aesthetic, with its pristine white rooftops set off by colored shutters and accents, is cool and crisp against the blue sky and the emerald waters.

Designed by the New Urbanism pioneers Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, Alys Beach is geared toward meandering down sidewalks and pathways on the way to the beach, stopping for an iced coffee at the neighborhood gathering place…

playing at the park or watching an al fresco movie in the evening on the greenbelt…

and–my very favorite–gathering at the idyllic Caliza Pool for a dip in the water or a siesta in a shady cabana.

Ready for a dip in that pool right about now?

Designed to mimic Bermuda’s whitewashed limestone and traditional slate roofs, stucco-over-block and cement roof tiles capture the island feeling while the white exteriors reflect sunlight, keeping buildings cooler. After your dip, there are plenty of places to seek refuge from the sun.

I can attest to how lovely those long benches and the breezy ceiling fan are for a post-swim nap!

Stay cool, enjoy some waterfront time, and pop on over to the At Home in Arkansas blog for some more summertime inspiration.

–Diane Carroll
A veteran design journalist, Diane Carroll is Editor in Chief of At Home in Arkansas, a highly successful statewide design publication that she and her staff have transitioned into a regional design resource with a thriving online audience and strong social media presence. Previously, Diane served as a regional editor and ongoing contributor for a variety of residential design publications, including Metropolitan Home, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies’ Home Journal, Renovation Style, Kitchen and Bath Ideas, and a wide range of specialty magazines.