South Walton

Savannah Vasquez

People visit Destin and South Walton primarily for the beaches.

But local governments are finding there’s little public access to its No. 1 asset. Now, they’re tasked with buying beachfront properties for visitors to enjoy.

The City of Destin has 13 beach access points. Eleven of those are city-owned, one is county-owned and one is owned by the state. Most of them provide only limited access to the beach creating a problem for visitors who want to enjoy the Emerald Coast.

Spring Run Media

A new art gallery opened in South Walton this summer — but you’ll need to be SCUBA certified to visit it in person.

The Underwater Museum of Art is the brainchild of the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) featuring seven unique, artificial reefs designed by artists. The reefs were deployed in late June and are ready for viewing.

City of Destin

Destin’s Harbor District is a hotspot for entertainment, but finding a parking spot is a bit of a headache.

The city has four public parking lots, but not enough spaces to accommodate the growing number of visitors each year.  There are approximately 300 spots available between the city’s three public parking lots. The Destin Library parking lot is also available after hours.

“It’s a challenge to say the least,” said Mayor Gary Jarvis.

The city’s parking woes are not a new issue. Jarvis said he believes it stems from not enough planning and rapid growth.