Fort Walton Beach is a small city in the southern part of Okaloosa County in Florida. The city was founded in 1937 and offers a feeling of a small village with modern amenities found in large cities. With a population of around 20,000, this city has been a tourist destination and is mainly known for its wide beaches. There are activities suitable for families, and its climate is fairly good all year round. Among the main attractions in Fort Walton Beach include its Historical museums and the science center. Most of the tourist attractions in Fort Walton Beach are very close to one another. That makes it very easy to see most of them at once. If you are planning a visit to Florida's Fort Walton Beach, below is a list of the 20 best things to do in Fort Walton Beach as you enjoy your stay here.
20. Tour the Okaloosa Island
Okaloosa Island is a three-mile barrier between the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay and hosts many wildlife species. People spend time here for the island's white sandy beaches lining the eastern shoreline. According to Florida Smart, this island offers 3 miles of white sand and green waters to relax in. However, the Eastern section of the island is open and hosts national parks. Several sections of the island belong to the military. As such, these sections remain undeveloped in their original state. Parts of the island are restricted, while others offer free passes.
19. Take a trip to Pensacola
When the weather is not good enough, or you feel the urge to change scenery, take a trip to Pensacola. The city has so much to offer, especially for sightseers. You will enjoy seeing the Old Pensacola ancient village, which is among the initial settlements in the U.S. when you are slightly out of town, make a stop at Fort Pickens of the era of the civil war. Try climbing its old walls and see the largest cannons in the world then. Ensure finishing your day by enjoying dinner at the Grand Marlin Restaurant. You will enjoy some of the best seafood in this region.
18. Visit Fort Walton Beach's Landing Park
This is a relaxed and lovely landing park which is a good place to visit, especially on Friday Nights. You get to enjoy movie nights and concerts. Twice every month, the landing hosts the Saturday Farmers Market as well. People looking to make new friends or who feel somehow loose should head down to the Park. There will always be something happening here.
17. Experience Military History at Air Force Armament Museum
This museum is the best place to spend some days for people interested in military aviation and history. Exploring this museum will expose you to so much knowledge about the history of rockets, guns, and bombs. The museum has been loaded with weapons that the U.S. Air Force used during the Korean and Vietnam War II. One of the unique sites in the museum includes the interactive cockpit simulator. You will also enjoy seeing the vintage aircraft displayed in the museum.
16. Visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
According to Florida Panhandle, this Park opened in 1955 and is an aquarium in its league. It pays special attention to educating its visitors about marine life. Visitors to this Park enjoy dipping their hands into pools filled with friendly stingrays. If you are courageous enough, go ahead and touch the juvenile alligators and feed the loggerhead turtles. Arrangements can still be made for a visitor to shadow animal trainers. You can as well enjoy a delicious breakfast within the dolphin enclosure. Kids will be kept busy by the thrilling kids-oriented reptile safari. This is a great chance for them to learn about lizards, turtles, alligators, and snakes.
15. Explore the Indian Temple Mound Museum
The main reason why this museum was constructed was to commemorate the original American population, which occupied these regions for about 12,000 years. Ensure to catch a rare glimpse into the habits and lifestyle of ancient Americans. You will get to understand how they lived in the past. This was an agriculture-based society, and the museum presents artifacts to back up these facts. In the museum, you will see more than 1000 unique items narrating the Native American population saga before the European settlers came in.
14. Visit John C Beasley Park
According to Myokaloosa, this is an old park dating from 1960, and this was three years after its namesake, John C. Beasley, passed on. One of the reasons why you need to visit this Park is that it isn't crowded and has the right amount of waves for young swimmers. Here, you will enjoy splashing around the beach or simply relax on the white sand for a fast tanning session. Picnic tables have been made available for people who would love to enjoy snacks in the Park.
13. Take your kids to the Wild village adventure zone
This is a good place for kids to experience some great fun. Kids will be thrilled to run around the vast area stretching over 3000 sq. ft. This wild adventure zone has a dinosaur theme, allowing the kids to enjoy the fantasy vibe. Additionally, the adventure zone has a 3D movie theater where seats twist and turn in action. Make sure that your kid navigates the challenging obstacle course. The course is protected by some laser lights, which produce a loud siren in case one of them is cut off.
12. Roam around the Downtown arts and the entertainment district
Shopaholics should not miss this place as there is a haven for shopping for different items here. This place hosts so many boutiques packed with amazing antiques, gifts, and jewelry. On top of that, there is a farmers' market where you can lay your hands on fresh produce locally from the farm. This market similarly features some beautiful handmade items. Food lovers will later sit in one among the many restaurants to enjoy tasty food from the available cuisines.
11. Go parasailing at the Fort Walton Beach
People who are yearning for a fast adrenaline rush ought to try parasailing at Fort Walton Beach. This thrilling adventure sport will leave you with so many memories. Here, you will enjoy the fun of gliding in a parachute as you are harnessed to a speeding motorboat. Don't worry about your safety as you parasail here since the company responsible for this has all the safety measures. Opt to parasail as a lone ranger or bring a companion on board. A single session will last from half an hour to one hour.
10. Food lovers should pay a visit to the Flea Market
This indoor market in Fort Walton Beach has been well air-conditioned. According to FWB, there are more than 70 different vendors and a food counter for people looking to enjoy fast food and drinks. Lying on a 14,000-square-foot area, visitors and locals alike have the chance to access a changing array of goods. Among the items you can expect here include vintage clothing, music, purses, books, and jewelry. Most vendors also sell antiques. Collectors must stop here for Hummel figurines and silver and gold jewelry.
9. Have fun at Explore Zone 60
This spot is great for families, friends, or groups to have fun trying to unpuzzle riddles and escape the rooms. Every escape room has a thrilling theme, and it is upon you to make crafty clues to help you escape the rooms within the set time. To solve the puzzles, great teamwork is mandatory. Visitors get to choose between the Mystic Mansion and the Mummy's Bomb escape rooms. These two will test you fully and offer so much fun simultaneously.
8. Golfing at the Fort Walton Beach Golf Club
This golf club is an amazing green expanse with more than 18-hole courses. You will enjoy spending a few hours as you enjoy golfing in this breathtaking environment. Test your skills on the challenging Pines course, where a pine forest covers a large area. If you would love to try a shorter course, the Oak course will be good for you as it is only 6400 yards. After successful golfing, relax at one of the superb restaurants around for some wholesome food. Please ensure to shop quality golf gear in the in-house shop for golf.
7. Enjoy a massage at Bodywork and Massage by Jam
A session in this place will be a good way to enhance your experience at Fort Walton Beach. People with heavy stress are advised to book a session at Bodywork and Massage by Jam. According to Healthline, massage helps relieve stress and combat the ailments brought about by stress. Since people have different needs, the massage will be tailored to individual needs.
6. Explore the Ratchet Hatchet
Guests looking to learn a new hobby should visit the Ratchet Hatchet for Axe throwing. Traditionally, axe throwing was left in lumberjack competitions. However, the sport has risen, and so many people are participating in throwing axes at a target. Every participant is briefed on the sport and the required safety instructions. This will be a great way to spend fun hours with family and friends in Fort Walton Beach. Besides, you get a chance to exercise while having fun.
5. Go shopping at the Uptown Station
Shopaholics will enjoy shopping to their heart's contention in Fort Walton Beach's Uptown Station. The place was packed with at least 60 shops and shop vendors. Their fashion store has so many colorful items for buyers. If you wish to decorate your homes in the Fort Walton Beach style, purchase some upholstery here. Sports enthusiasts will also enjoy shopping for affordable sporting items at the Uptown Station. Better still, the place hosts quality eateries where you can taste some sumptuous cuisines.
4. Enjoy the Cattywampus Catamaran Cruise
This one is a special boat that you will enjoy being in. You will enjoy the dual-hulled boat that takes 43 people once to the Gulf of Mexico Majestic waters. Daytime tours include the Dolphin Cruise, allowing passengers to head snorkeling in the beautiful waters. While here, snorkels will catch the visuals of the amazing marine life. You can as well collect beautiful shells and sand dollars here.
3. Have fun at the Goofy Golf
Since 1958, Goofy Golf has been in operation and has always been a favorite among locals for cheap and priceless fun. The place prides itself on its two 17-hole courses sharing a common 18th hole. The final hole has been dubbed 'the snake's mouth. This is among the oldest golf courses that you will find in the country. People have tried their luck with some shots of golf since 1950.
2. Visit the Buddhist Temple
While at Fort Walton Beach, make a stop at the Buddhist Temple. Whether religious or not, it is worth paying a visit to the temple. You will see the Buddha's golden statues, among other things. You should also ensure to chat with the locals and attend their Thai Festivals. According to Breakers FWB, you also get a chance to taste yummy Thai treats such as coconut cakes.
1. Gather some knowledge at the Emerald Science Center
Located on the Memorial Parkway, the Emerald Science Center is a good spot for kids and adults interested in science. Here, you will enjoy many interactive and educational programs. Guests have appreciated exploring different fields, including robotics, color, and general physics. Kids are also invited to fly model planes, especially those with aspirations to become pilots in the future. Weekly features in the science center include story time and hands-on experiments.
Written by Liz Flynn
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