A schematic drawing shows the proposed layout for a parking lot on Walton County Highway near Walton County Road 30A, a popular tourist route. The lot includes a trolley station as part of an effort to boost public transit.

A parking lot planned for a 2-acre tract on Walton County Road 393 South near County Road 30A could become more than just a parking lot, according to Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) Director of Beach Operations Brian Kellenberger.

The planned lot, a short distance north of the regularly crowded Ed Walline Regional Beach Access on 30A west of Blue Mountain Beach, will include a structure that will serve as a stop for a planned public transit system designed to help get cars off 30A. The two-lane beachside road is a popular route for visitors to the county's beaches that can also get jammed with workers heading to businesses along the route.

Kellenberger expressed optimism Thursday that as it develops, the public transit along…

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In its 33rd year, the ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival is scheduled to return to Grand Boulevard’s Town Center Saturday, October 9th, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday, October 10th, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.

 Usually held over Mother’s Day weekend, this year’s festival was rescheduled due to the pandemic and will be part of National Arts & Humanities Month which was established in 1993 by Americans for the Arts and is celebrated every October in the United States. It was initiated to encourage Americans to explore new facets of the arts and humanities in their lives, and to begin a lifelong habit of participation in the arts and humanities.

ArtsQuest is a juried show that provides an opportunity to view and purchase original art from over 100…

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The Watersound Town Center is growing rapidly. It is quickly becoming the center of life on the eastern end of SoWal and is buzzing with new businesses, events, and activities. Construction of a 48,000sf Publix has begun and several new buildings are complete.

On Saturday, October 2nd a new town center tradition begins with the debut of Watersound Farmers Market with local foods, produce, arts & crafts under the new events pavilion along with food trucks in a park like setting with fountains.

The market will be held Saturdays year-round from 11am-3pm with additional events throughout the year.

Watersound Town Center Farmers Market
170 N. Watersound Parkway
Watersound FL 32461

Source: SoWal

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The Emerald Coast’s official Big Green Egg EggFest cooking competition, Eggs on the Beach, is returning to Seascape Resort in Miramar Beach on Oct. 16, 2021.

Presented by Bay Breeze Patio, the family-friendly event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Seascape Towne Centre and will celebrate the delicious results of cooking on the Big Green Egg while benefitting two local charities--the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast and Food for Thought. Cook teams will be smoking, grilling and baking their favorite dishes on the Big Green Egg while tasters sample the delicious bites and vote for their favorites.

This year’s event will be held in a new location behind the Seascape Towne Center, which features a tiki bar with flat screen TVs…

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Swimply is an online marketplace that connects swimming pool owners who want to rent their pools to guests who want to swim.The fee-based sharing of their backyard retreats by some Destin property owners has caught the attention of City Councilwoman Prebble Ramswell.

“Did you know people are now renting out their backyards and pools by the hour?” Ramswell wrote in the latest edition of her quarterly newsletter, “The Ramswell Review,” that highlights various city issues.

“I have requested the city investigate this commercial use in residential areas,” Ramswell added in the newsletter, which she recently emailed to various subscribers.

Ramswell could not be immediately reached Thursday for comment.

Details on several backyard and/or pool rentals in the tourist hot spot of Destin and elsewhere are available on Airbnb-like websites such as Swimply.com.


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The city of Destin has partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study of the Destin harbor.

The city of Destin has partnered with the Army Corps of Engineers to undertake a Carrying Capacity Study through the Corps of Engineers’ Planning Assistance to States Program.

The Harbor Capacity Study will, among other things, focus on the following three goals:

• Protect the environmental health of the harbor and surrounding waterways.

• Promote safety and enjoyment on our local waters.

 • Promote the economic viability of businesses operating on or along the harbor.

Between July 2021 and mid-October 2021, the city of Destin and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct a number of activities to support the Destin Harbor Carrying Capacity Study. These activities include:

• Counting of parking spaces around the harbor area…

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Divers collect fishing tackle and other debris from around the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier during a cleanup last month. On Sunday, more than 50 divers are expected to perform another underwater cleanup around the pier.More than 50 divers from across the region are expected to put their scuba skills to use Sunday to removing monofilament, fishing tackle and other debris from the underwater areas surrounding the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier.

The pier is partnering with the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Center, Angler’s Beachside Bar and Grill, and Okaloosa County’s Tourist Development Department for the cleanup.

Divers will meet at 6 a.m. at the check-in station in the parking lot of Angler’s and enter the water to begin cleaning at 7 a.m. Divers must be certified, have their own gear and air tanks and will need to sign a release form to participate.

The pier will be closed to fishing until noon for safety reasons, although walkers will be allowed on the pier.

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Officials from Walton County, DeFuniak Springs and the Walton County Economic Development Alliance broke ground Tuesday on a $4.7 million water and sewer improvement project along U.S. Highway 331 aimed at boosting economic development in the DeFuniak Springs and Freeport areas.Ground was broken this week in Walton County for a $4.7 million water and sewer infrastructure improvement project along and near U.S. Highway 331 aimed at boosting residential and commercial development along part of the road corridor and enhancing the Northwest Florida Commerce Park at Woodlawn.

The 226-acre industrial and commercial park is located on the west side of U.S. 331 directly across from West Indian Creek Ranch Road and a little more than a mile south of DeFuniak Springs. The project for which ground was broken Tuesday will include the installation of about 3.5 miles of 16-inch water main along U.S. 331 from Coy Burgess Loop south to the Northwest Florida Commerce Park at Woodlawn, according to a county news release.

Also included…

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To describe the real estate market on the Emerald Coast in the last 18 months as brisk would be an understatement.  It has been red hot.  Since the lifting of the short-term rental ban in May 2020, the market has seen a rapid growth in the number of transactions.  This growth subsequently reduced the amount of available inventory.  The graph below (Chart #1) shows the number of properties listed for sale (orange line) and the number of pended transactions (turquoise line) for each month during the last three years through 9/30/21.

As the chart indicates, the number of pended transactions jumped in June 2020. Most of this increase was from pent up demand from buyers that could not view homes during the COVID shutdown in March and April.  This demand…

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The Brannon - Artificial Reef in Destin, Florida

In 2020, Okaloosa County was contacted by the Brannon Family out of Freeport, FL who wanted to donate a 65ft experimental military “fast response” catamaran for use as an artificial reef.  

The catamaran was originally purchased in Maine and transported by trailer to Freeport where it sat for more than 20 years. 

According to Alex Fogg, Coastal Resource Manager for the Okaloosa TDD, the original plan was to retrofit the vessel and use it as a house boat or other semi-permanent living quarters.

However, the vessel retrofit was never started and the vessel was never placed in the water or ran. Because the vessel was never named, it was eventually given the working name of the BRANNON in honor of Mr. Ronnie Brannon, who passed away in 2021. 

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