Inlet Beach is located at the eastern edge of South Walton. It gets its name from Phillips Inlet, which separates Walton and Bay Counties at Powell Lake.
Established in the 1920s by the McCaskill Investment Company of DeFuniak Springs, Inlet Beach quickly became an area where young veterans from World War II returned and applied for land offered through a latter-day version of the Homestead Act. In 1947, the Birmingham News ran an article about the Bureau of Land Development giving veterans first choice in a lottery. So many veterans built in the area, it was referred to as "Soldiers Beach."
Inlet Beach is segmented into two sections by US 98. On the south side, Inlet Beach is home to the largest public beach access in all of SoWal. Slightly more than 13 acres of undisturbed, pristine dune make this a breathtaking spot to spend the day. A newly completed restroom and outdoor shower facility is located at the end of South Orange Street and lifeguards patrol the beach throughout the summer season.
A long dune walkover located just around the bend from South Orange is popular with brides. It’s not uncommon to look down and see a few loose rose petals amid the strewn beach sand as you make your way toward the roaring Gulf.
On the north side is a public fishing dock on Powell Lake. Drive down North Walton Lakeshore Drive and you will see the dock on the right-hand side. The dock does not extend too terribly far into the lake, but it is a lovely place to watch the sunrise or cast a fish net.