Dune Allen, Florida is a place where lake and beach unite. Dune Allen surrounds Lake Allen and Oyster Lake, two of 17 coastal dune lakes, which are unique to this part of the world. SoWal’s 17 coastal dune lakes are so rare that they are only found in the Beaches of South Walton and remote portions of Africa and Australia.
These waterways have the highest occurrences of rare wildlife species in the state, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. Oyster Lake is actually shaped like an oyster shell, and was once filled with oysters (hence the name). There is a lovely walking bridge that transects the lake – it’s a great spot to shoot from if you are a photography buff.
The history of Dune Allen is evident in its architecture. Amid the towering new beach homes are little concrete cottages tucked amid the dunes. These harken back to the days when Dune Allen was a popular holiday spot.
Old timers tell tales of families who would come for picnics along the shores of Oyster Lake to find the water level too high. So, the men would grab their shovels and dig a trench from the lakes edge to the Gulf. The water would rush into the ocean and the families would once again have a pretty shore to picnic. Of course, you can’t do that nowadays. While the lake is usually open year-round to the Gulf at Oyster Lake, digging trenches for better picnics is now frowned upon.
Dune Allen is surrounded by, and is actually part of, Santa Rosa Beach. You reach Dune Allen from US 98 by traveling south on Scenic Highway 393 and then turning right on to Scenic 30A. At the end of 393 is Ed Walline public beach access with parking, restrooms, and picnic facilities, all directly across from Gulf Place condos, shops and restaurants.
If a home is more than you need on your next vacation, the condos at Gulf Place are all located within easy walking distance of the access at Ed Walline. It’s a very low-key, quiet spot to visit where the locals and tourists just seem to want to be left alone to dine, fish and maybe get a little sun.