The Beaches of South Walton

Meanwhile, golfers can enjoy 72 holes of golf on four championship courses, including the Raven Golf Club, Burnt Pine Golf Club, The Links golf course and Baytowne Golf Club. The Hank Johnson School of Golf provides private and group instruction for players of all skill levels, as well as golf retreats and special clinics.

Located adjacent to the Baytowne Marina is the The Village of Baytowne Wharf, a 28-acre pedestrian village surrounded by a lagoon. Here, guests can find a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants and nightlife venues. Recommend your clients grab a bite at Another Broken Egg Cafe, which serves gourmet breakfast all day, as well as sandwiches, daily specials, soups, salads and desserts. They can also check out Rum Runners, a casual Caribbean-themed restaurant that features daily specials such as lobster ravioli, ahi tuna, rum-infused coconut shrimp and Caribbean shrimp pasta.

Thrill-seekers will definitely want to try the ziplining in the village. “The zipline runs 52 ft. above the ground and takes adventurers 650 ft. from tower to tower, giving great and very fast views of the Baytowne Wharf area,” says Louthain.

There’s also an events plaza used for annual festivals and concerts. In fact, if your clients visit in the springtime, they can check out ArtsQuest.

“ArtsQuest, a week-long celebration of the arts (sponsored by the Cultural Arts Association), is held each May featuring gallery tours, artists at work, performances, road races, a fashion show and champagne shopping tour,” explains Louthain. “The week of festivities culminates in a vibrant, 2-day arts festival at the Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin. Recognized as one of the finest art festivals in the Southeast, the event promotes world-class artists and their works and includes exciting performances and entertainment.”

Louthain says that “…as learning vacations [experiential travel] grow in popularity, a retreat to the Beaches of South Walton affords travelers cultural, natural and historical experiences. Hands-on learning is gained through the area’s state parks. Guided tours are offered or one can explore on one’s own to view endangered species, indigenous flora and fauna and the area’s rare, coastal dune lakes.”

also look out for… Located in South Walton County, Alys Beach is South Walton’s newest community, offering luxurious accommodations with a distinct Mediterranean feel. Here, guests can relax on a long stretch of white sand beach or lounge poolside at the full-service Beach Club and Spa. Alys Beach is also home to a 20-acre environmental preserve trail system and wetlands.

When complete, this resort community will offer over 600 villas and courtyard homes, as well as a number of restaurants, parks, pools and shops. Other planned amenities include a tennis complex with five clay courts and outdoor amphitheater.

activities clients won’t want to miss • Active travelers should check out Balance Health Studio, located in the heart of Seagrove Beach, which offers innovative fitness classes and programs including yoga, spinning, boot camp and group and individual personal training.

• Guests can experience the area’s thriving arts community via a gallery tour or at an art class with a local artist. Donna Burgess, 2008 Artist of the Year and local watercolorist, offers daily and weekly classes at her studio in the Market Shops at Sandestin.

• For shopping, your clients should check out Grand Boulevard Town Center, featuring stores that include Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Bahama, Wine World and Fusion Art Glass Gallery.