The local nonprofit organization Scenic Walton Inc., which works to preserve the natural beauty of Walton County and improve the quality of life in the community, is working to raise awareness of the proposed state 30A specialty license plate, proceeds from which would go to the nonprofit organization. The plate, approved in this year's state legislative session, won't be manufactured by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles until 3,000 people have pre-ordered one.


The nonprofit Scenic Walton Inc. has begun promoting a planned state specialty license plate dedicated to Walton County Road 30A, the iconic beachside route. 

Proceeds from the sale of the planned 30A specialty tags, which will cost $33, will go to Scenic Walton Inc. in support of its work to preserve the county's natural beauty and enhance the quality of life not only along the beaches, but across the entire county.

State legislation creating the specialty tag, which can be used on vehicles in place of the standard state license plate, took effect Oct. 1 after being signed into law in June by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Oct. 1 effective date started the clock running on the next phase of the effort to get the tags onto vehicles and the sale…

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Pretty sugar-white and Appalachian Mountains-bred quartz crystals that make Emerald Coast beaches shine also are found on lesser-known islands, cliffs and banks, and the bottoms of fast-flowing rivers north of the Gulf of Mexico.

One of the best ways to explore the beauty of those still somewhat mysterious waterways adjacent to and farther from the coast is by kayak.

Here are some places where you can paddle through paradise while shaking firmer hands with Mother Nature:

Rocky Creek

First, make sure you have a recreation permit from Eglin Air Force Base’s Jackson Guard to access Rocky Creek.

One way to reach the creek is by launching from the shore of Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park just east of Niceville after paying a park…

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Jones and Company will perform at jazz brunch at Hotel Effie's Ovide.

Ovide, the signature restaurant by James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson at Hotel Effie inside the gates of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, has launched a new jazz brunch available every Saturday and Sunday.

Embracing fresh, forward flavors of the Gulf Coast, the menu showcases Acheson’s creativity and passion for distinctive ingredients and cooking techniques by fusing coastal cuisine with a sophisticated French influence. 

The brunch menu offers a collection of new entrees including an Egg White Frittata ($19) served with a combination of slow-roasted tomatoes, kale, goat cheese and gem lettuce salad; Braised Pork Belly ($23) paired with a sunny-side-up egg atop a bed of crispy rice, edamame, scallions and pickled carrots; Short Rib…

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HolySmokes! BBQ Cook-off 2020

Calling Destin’s best amateur barbecue chefs. The fourth annual HolySmokes! BBQ Cook-off will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 13 on the back lawn at Immanuel Anglican Church.

Barbecue tastings, live music, good food and great fun will be available.

Establish your team of two or more members, which may represent a company as long as the company is not in the food industry. Teams are encouraged to create a fun team name like “Burnt Offerings," “May the Sauce be with You” or “Grilluminati” and to serve at least 200 (.75-1 oz.) samples of prepared barbecue meat (chicken, pork, beef, fish, anything goes).

Awards will be given for People’s Choice (first, second and third place) and Most Creative Station (based on fun-factor creativity).

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A new housing development will soon be making its way to Panama City.

Panama City Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to get to work on a new housing development.

It’s called Pelican Pass, it’s a gated community, 60-unit condo, spread across two five-story buildings. The complex will include a marina and 49 boat slips. Officials believe it will help bring more people to the area.

“That’s gonna add to the density downtown. More people walking around, more people get to enjoy what’s coming. So people need to probably sign up for those, I believe they will go really fast,” Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki said.

Panhandle Engineering will help build the condos, president Jim Slonina says they’re ready to break ground and rejuvenate…

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Walton is the fastest-growing county in the state, and people of all ages are relocating to the city of Freeport.

“When I first started we had like three thousand residents here, we now have 9,100,” Mayor of Freeport Russ Barley said.

Born and raised in Freeport, Barley said the city has kept its small-town feel throughout his nine years as the mayor.

“I think they are moving here for retirement, and location to the different military bases and things of that nature,” Barley said.

He said residents of all ages are choosing the east side of town, which is closer to parks, surrounding waterways and the Gulf. Many are even choosing to leave the South Walton beach lifestyle.

“People living in such places like Kelly Plantation and…

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The Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County  (CAA) announces the anticipated official opening of the Watersound Monarch Art Trail (MAT), an outdoor sculpture project created by the CAA with support from The St. Joe Community Foundation. The Nov. 12 grand opening will kick off a weekend of festive events that offer creative education and fun for the whole family.

It is well-known that Northwest Florida is part of the migratory path of the Monarch butterfly, and every fall tens of thousands of Monarchs can be seen enjoying the indigenous flora that lives in Walton County. Since 1992, the CAA has celebrated this natural event with an annual children’s arts and science festival called The Flutterby Festival, and now the Alliance will include the MAT…

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Condé Nast Traveler has published its annual Readers’ Choice Awards with The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach voted one of the top 15 hotels in Florida.

More than 800,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers rated their travel experiences across the globe to provide specifics about the places they can’t wait to return to next. The Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognitions of excellence in the travel industry. The full list of winners can be found here.

“I continue to be so thankful and proud of our Pearl team, who prove daily that sincere and personal service are the cornerstone of everything we do,” says David Merryman, General Manager of the Pearl Hotel. “It’s especially gratifying to be recognized by our guests and…

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Mountainfilm on Tour  is one of SoWal's most popular events, returning to WaterColor Inn & Resort’s Marina Park Amphitheater for its 21st anniversary this Nov. 5-6, with films that reflect Mountainfilm’s motto, “Celebrating Indomitable Spirit,” and use the power of film, art and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.

A two-night outdoor film festival dedicated to educating and motivating audiences about issues that matter, Mountainfilm on Tour at WaterColor brings a selection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and incredibly inspiring documentary films to Northwest Florida.

Marina Park Amphitheater offers a breathtaking outdoor setting against a backdrop of longleaf pines, under a starry sky to enhance the inspiring films. An…

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