By Kristy Gustafson
Let’s face it, nothing quite tops a rooftop. Yes, literally, but for countless more reasons as well. For starters, the views. Especially when you’ve got a backyard like ours! Rooftops are the best way to take in the bird’s eye view of our beautiful emerald coast and all it has to offer. Now add some fabulous bites, sips, live music, and company to the mix, and get ready for an experience that’s hard to beat.
We traveled up and down Scenic Highway 30-A looking for the best rooftops and the results are in. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.
The latest and quite possibly the greatest of the 30A Rooftop Club: Pescado. Rows of Rosemary houses are transformed into your own personal mountaintop as you take in the turquoise Gulf views in true “casual fine dining” fashion. While you’re there, choose from one of their punchy cocktails (pro tip: the “Berry Good Thyme” featuring gin, lavender, blackberry, and lemon is a sure win) and stay for a fresh and flavorful bite from the Raw Bar or one of the family-style options like their Paella Valenciana. And did someone say, Sunday Brunch?
Beneath the black and white striped awnings, a known staple of the beautiful Pearl Hotel of Rosemary Beach, ascend the steps and arrive at the Havana Beach Rooftop. With stunning views of the Gulf in clear sight, this alfresco venue features bistro-style seating and communal tables. The space also includes two fire pits and four cabanas where you can enjoy late-night DJ sets fireside or soak up the warm Florida sunshine by the pool.
Continuing on toward the white pearly gates of Alys Beach, this lavish and architectural masterpiece puts the grand in grandeur. Known for their open-air bar and poolside dining, Caliza’s rooftop is the cherry on top of it all. After you take in the elegant views from above, enjoy a healthy yet indulgent menu with fresh, local ingredients and craft cocktails, wine, and beer to match.
In the heart of Seaside, get ready to take it old school. Bud & Alley’s has been around since 1987, and if their longevity and stellar views don’t draw you in, their famous smoked tuna dip and crab cakes certainly will. Beyond serving up a fresh take on the Southern coastal classics, Bud & Alley’s has become a trusted tradition for generation after generation with exciting changes and expansion plans in full force.
If you’re looking for modern yet laidback vibes and ready to measure life by the dozens, hit up Shunk Gulley. With the lure of classic coastal cuisine and genuine southern hospitality, nothing tops the open-air patio, featuring breathtaking views of the Gulf and our oh-so-famous sugar-white sand. Head back to their rooftop lounge and take in the sunshine, live music, or a night under the stars.