Scenic Gulf Drive beach access bringing new parking, restrooms and pavilion to Miramar Beach

Special to the Walton Sun/USA TODAY NETWORK

MIRAMAR BEACH — Representatives from the Walton County Board of County Commissioners and the county's Tourism Department gathered Oct. 27 to break ground on the county’s newest regional beach access.

The Gulf-front property, which boasts 400-feet of beach, is at 907 Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach.

“Walton County continues to see tremendous growth given its natural beauty, incredible quality of life and our welcoming community,” says Jason Cutshaw, co-interim executive director of the Tourism Department. “When we have an opportunity to expand beach access for our residents and visitors to enjoy, it’s always a priority.”

At the Oct. 27 groundbreaking were (from left) Brian Kellenberger, co-interim executive director of the Walton County Tourism Department; District 2 County Commissioner Danny Glidewell; District 5 County Commissioner Tony Anderson; District 1 County Commissioner Boots McCormick; District 3 County Commissioner Mike Barker; James Brannon of POLY Engineering; Elizabeth Sconiers, RBM Construction; and Branch McClendon, RBM Construction.

Since August 2016, Visit South Walton has purchased seven parcels to be used as new regional access points, as well as future parking facilities. The Scenic Gulf Drive properties were purchased in 2017 for $5.7 million.

The new beach access will showcase a coastal cottage design mirroring the county’s other beach accesses and will feature 20 vehicle parking spaces, nine golf cart parking spaces, bike parking, a large deck plaza, an ADA-accessible boardwalk/dune walkover, restroom facilities, and a picnic pavilion with dune walkover.

Construction on the approximately $9 million project, which includes the property purchase, design costs and construction costs, is expected to be completed by June 2022.

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Once complete, the Scenic Gulf Drive Regional Beach Access will bring the number of regional beach access points to 10. Work is also underway on two additional regional beach accesses in Seagrove Beach (one across the street from Café Thirty A) and the other at the existing Walton Dunes beach access.

Each regional beach access point includes parking, restroom facilities, beach flag condition information and a lifeguard station.

All regional and neighborhood beach accesses are maintained using bed tax dollars, a 5% tax collected on short-term rentals. Residents do not pay the bed tax unless they are taking a “staycation” in a local rental property or accommodations.

District 5 County Commissioner Tony Anderson told those in attendance that such projects are incredibly important to the county’s economy.

“Walton County is a tourism county,” he said. “We are the envy throughout the state of Florida because the job the Tourism department has done attracting visitors."

For additional information regarding the groundbreaking or the Scenic Gulf Drive beach access, contact Brian Kellenberger at 850-267-4578 or Brian@visitsouthwalton.com.