WALTON COUNTY — Two scenic beachfront communities cracked the top 20 on a recently published Architectural Digest list of "The Top 50 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America."
Alys Beach was ranked No. 3, while Seaside trailed behind in the 18th spot.
The list includes visually stunning towns with less than 10,000 residents.
“We looked at easy access to nature, the presence of historic or design districts, and topography that’s appealing in its own right — whether it’s a beach or mountains, or maybe a riverside perch,” the publication states.
The ranking noted the "New Urbanism village," with its "whitewashed buildings and Bermuda-style architecture with courtyards, fountains, pools and popped-out shutters."
Seaside, also an example of "New Urbanism," was called darling in its description. It was also noted as starring in the setting of "The Truman Show," a film starring Jim Carrey.
"Brightly colored cottages are a short walk to the downtown, with Airstream food trucks, an indie bookstore, art galleries, and seafood eateries," the description said.
Alys Beach sent out a media release to announce its ranking.
“We are so grateful and proud to be a part of Alys Beach’s formation since the beginning and see it recognized in the magazine’s list of the most beautiful small towns in America,” says Alys Beach Town Architects Marieanne Khoury-Vogt and Erik Vogt. “To be included on such a list after only little more than a decade of existence is truly an honor.”