Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in an area where others come to spend a weekend or vacation? It would seem like every day would be a vacation, right? The reality is, for many, the expensive tourist destinations are not on their agenda. Expensive restaurants are the exception not the rule and certainly visiting boutiques or gift shops become less of a priority. The way to make the most of living in a vacation area is to live like a local, discovering the less expensive or even free things to do with the family. In Santa Rosa, Florida along the Panhandle, one of the ways to do this is to become familiar with their public parks. If you want to spend a day or afternoon “living like a local” while visiting Santa Rosa Beach, plan a trip to Kellogg Bayfront Park.
From birdwatching to picnicking and even standup paddleboarding, there is no shortage of ways to have fun at Kellogg Bayside Park in South Walton. This waterfront destination offers breathtaking views of Choctawhatchee Bay, as well as the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular scenery from the vantage point of a canoe or kayak.
This serene park would not be possible without the generosity of the late Pat Kellogg. A prominent educator and volunteer who was passionate about the natural world and the Santa Rosa Beach community in general, Mrs. Kellogg was heavily involved in several local organizations, including Sharing and Caring of Fort Walton Beach.
Mrs. Kellogg’s hope, in donating land to the Choctawhatchee Audubon Society, was that this space would eventually be transformed into a nature preserve. She wanted future generations to enjoy the beauty of Choctawhatchee Bay, just as she’d done during the many years in which she resided in the region.
These days Mrs. Kellogg would be thrilled to see a variety of visitors leisurely exploring her namesake park. Just a few minutes at this South Walton enclave can prove surprisingly restorative. For this reason, many people visit on a regular basis in hopes of catching a few moments of peace and quiet.
For others, this is a preferred picnic location, as multiple tables are situated in open areas that provide excellent scenery. Even without a meal, there’s something to be said for sitting on one of the available benches and simply taking it all in. While the park’s vistas are always beautiful, the view is that much better during sunrise, when a lovely glow and an array of colors take over the bay.
Those who desire a more active experience are encouraged to use the park’s water access area to enjoy their favorite outdoor pursuits. Canoers and kayakers can often be spotted in the waters surrounding the park, which provides access to the water via a boat ramp. Other amenities include a water spigot, a water fountain, and a shower.
Kellogg Bayside Park may not be fancy, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth skipping. If you’re on the hunt for a peaceful South Walton getaway for a picnic or a kayaking excursion, look no further than this Choctawhatchee Bay gem.
– Don’t forget the basics…suntan lotion, bug spray, comfortable shoes and perhaps a hat.
– While kayaking and canoeing are encouraged, both can be inconvenient. The gate for driving in the park is locked, which means that water vessels must be personally toted from the parking area. While Walton County Parks can technically be called with requests to temporarily unlock the gate for driving in boats, most visitors end up transporting their canoes or kayaks on their own.