Florida's Emerald Coast is known for its long stretches of untouched, sawgrass-strewn beaches, and starting in July it will be home to the first underwater sculpture garden and museum in the U.S. The attraction will be located off the coast of South Walton, a town of just over 20,000 near Destin on Florida's Panhandle.
The permanent underwater installation, known as the Underwater Museum of Art, was jointly created by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and the South Walton Artificial Reef Association. The museum's summer 2018 installation will feature seven jury-selected sculptures. Preview images and more information about each sculpture are available at the museum's website.
One of the sculptures that will be installed at the Underwater Museum of Art in South Walton.
The museum has a dual purpose, as both a unique way to view art as part of the Cultural Alliance's "Art in Public Spaces" program and as part of a reef replenishment program. The sculptures will act as artificial reef and provide protective marine habitat for marine life.
The museum will be located under 50 to 60 feet of water on a one-acre patch of seabed, about three-quarters of a mile off Grayton Beach State Park. Visitors can book a private trip from Grayton Beach with Fishy Booty Charters. The four-hour trip can include three dives for two divers or snorkelers, or two dives for three divers or snorkelers, stopping at the Underwater Museum of Art. The four-hour trip with Captain Mark on Fishy Booty Tours is $450.