What is Shunk Gulley?

Shunk Gulley Santa Rosa Beach

This gulley is not named after an odorous black and white animal with a bushy tail. Look again! This is SHUNK Gulley, which is a new restaurant named for a local family who lived here along the Gulf Coast for many years. It is also near a submerged gulf “gulley” off the coast near some of their former property in Santa Rosa Beach on County Highway 393 at on Scenic 30A in South Walton.

Fishermen discovered this gulley many years ago since it attracted an abundant cornucopia of fish which was, of course, their livelihood. They gave the gulley this name since the Shunk family owned a portion of the sugary dune that rose up from the Gulf at this point and it provided them with a prominent visual landmark above the coast. It is still a favorite spot for anglers to go to harvest much of their bounty. This location is directly across the street from the Ed Walline Public Beach Access, which is where some of the local fishermen used to launch their boats. The town center of Gulf Place is also at this locale and features other restaurants, specialty shops, galleries, free concerts, and seasonal festivals. Many of our South Walton vacation rentals are within walking distance of this new hot spot!

When Thomas Gallion designed and constructed this new restaurant, he realized it overlooked “Shunk Gulley,” so he thought it was the perfect name. It gives credence to the phrase “everything old is new again” and also commemorates some charming local history. His new restaurant at this popular premier location features fresh caught Gulf fish and seafood.

Many divers became aware of this gully that runs off the shoreline from north to south and attracts a legendary amount of fish. Shunk Gulley has joined the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) in their massive environmental project to create artificial reef systems close offshore in Walton County for the preservation these pristine waters by providing a rich, sustainable habitat that helps marine life thrive. They started to build these living reefs back the summer of 2015, many of which are underwater sea life sculptures that are constructed with stacked pedestal platter-like levels embedded with medium sized rocks and pieces of limestone. These underwater marine sculptures have openings designed to provide shelter for a wide variety of fish and promote healthy marine growth. All these SWARA reef sites are intended to be reachable from shore, and four of them are close enough to allow adventurers to go snorkeling. Time Magazine recently recommended it as a top tourist destination as the nation’s first Underwater Museum of Art. Shunk Gulley contributes used oyster shell as part of their sponsorship.

Fresh oysters are one of this restaurant’s specialties along with seafood baskets of all kinds, Poboy sandwiches, burgers for landlubbers, an extensive array of wines, crafted cocktails, and delicious desserts. Shunk Alley has quickly become a hip and happening spot due to the wonderful food, open deck dining with vivid gulf views, and live musical entertainment.

Have fun taking a look at our abundant assortment of wonderful 30A vacation rental properties nearby and add this widely acclaimed restaurant to your list of favorites during your next trip down!