It Happened One Night

The Emerald Coast is known for its spectacular sunsets, playfully buoying on the Gulf’s horizon before silently slipping away in a brilliant red-hot blaze. And on most evenings, as the daylight so stunningly gives way to dusk, the beachgoers pack it up and retreat from the shore and many locals pack it in and make their way home from work.

But that doesn’t mean the energy of the Emerald Coast fades to dark as well. An entirely different persona emerges for this eclectic collection of beachside communities at dusk and lingers throughout the night.

The Emerald Coast’s night shift, if you will, is full of activity, with more workers – and players – than you might imagine. Some of these night owls are seen in plain view and some are seemingly hidden away, yet equally as important.

At Emerald Coast Magazine, we wanted to know the area’s other half, the people who, after dark, continue to drive our economy, protect our wellbeing, enjoy our resources and amenities and prepare Walton and Okaloosa counties for the coming day. What’s more, we wanted to give a journalistic snapshot of what they do and what happens in our area overnight – which led to the making of what we hope to be a unique and revealing essay.

On one random Thursday night this summer, five teams of equally curious and creative writers and photographers set out to capture the overnight life of the area. Twelve hours and hundreds of photos later, we were ready to tell the story, just as the most amazing sunrise began to illuminate the Emerald Coast.


Photo slide shows coming soon!