Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Fort Walton Beach, FL

  • Published 2023/01/10

Fort Walton Beach, located in Okaloosa County, Florida, is a friendly little city with a population of just over 20,879 as of the 2021 census.

With its warm and moderate climate, this city is a perfect holiday destination to relax and have fun with your friends or family members.

The city lies on the Emerald Coast in the Gulf of Mexico and is home to many fascinating museums and historical sites.

You can also catch a glimpse of the colorful ocean life in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.

Interested to know more about this stunning place?

Here are the 20 best things to do in Fort Walton Beach, Florida:

Pay a Visit to Indian Temple Mound Museum

Exterior of Indian Temple Mound museum

Infrogmation, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Indian Temple Mound Museum was constructed to commemorate the Indigenous American population that occupied these regions for 12,000 years.

You can catch a rare glimpse into the lifestyle and habits of the native Americans and grasp how they lived so many years ago.

These people were an agriculture-based society primarily, and you can see many artifacts in the museum reflecting this fact.

The museum has almost 1,000 exceptional items that narrate the saga of the native American population before the European settlers came to these lands.

Pottery in Indian Temple Mound Museum

Infrogmation, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Have Fun at Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone

Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is perfect for children to enjoy great fun and frolic.

The kids will have a blast running around the vast Arcade area that stretches over 3 thousand square feet.

The dinosaur theme of the wild village adventure zone lets children enjoy a fantasy vibe.

Inside is also a 3D movie theatre, where the seats turn and twist with action.

The kids can then move on to the fantastic laser maze.

Here, kids must navigate an obstacle course with challenges protected by laser lights that sound off loud sirens if you happen to cut off one of them.

Innovative animatronics are spread around this place.

Watching these lifelike machines go about their business is a unique experience.

For slightly older children and young adults, there is an exciting rope climbing course on offer.

Alternatively, you can enjoy the thrill and chill on the one-of-a-kind roller coaster ride.

Trampoline and remote-controlled military-style boats complete the adventure package on offer.

Once these exciting adventures have adequately enervated you, you can sit at the pizza joint and enjoy delectable Italian preparations with refreshing ice creams.

Shop at Fort Walton Beach Flea Market

Fort Walton Beach Flea Market is the perfect place for food lovers to visit in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

It is entirely air-conditioned, and more than 70 vendors display their wares inside the 14,000-square-foot space.

The colorful wares on display here include vintage clothing, books, purses, and several other deco artifacts.

The vendors here are incredibly knowledgeable about the antiques they sell.

Even if you don’t buy one of them, you will still be thrilled with the exciting information you’ll gather.

For seasoned collectors, this place is a gold mine of rare items.

You can lay your hands on impressive human figures, exquisite jewelry, and unique baseball cards.

Fort Walton Beach Flea Market is also into philanthropy; it helps many charities by making donations out of its sales.

One prominent charity among these is the Coast Wildlife Refuge.

Go Swimming at John Beasly Park

John Beasly Park is located between the areas occupied by Fort Walton Beach and Destin Okaloosa Island.

Access this quiet beach area through one of the two Ppathways that meander over fantastic sand dunes to take you to the beach.

Just pull out your beach mats and laze in the gorgeous sun to your heart’s fulfillment.

Alternatively, head into the beautiful waters and enjoy surfing or swimming for hours at a time.

You can wash off the salt and sand with the impressive showers located in the restroom area.

The beach is prominent about the safety of its visitors.

Well-trained and attentive lifeguards are present during the designated hours of operation.

Revisit History at Garnier Post Office Museum

This Cultural Centre is located downtown, behind the Camp Walton Schoolhouse.

You can visit the fantastic Garnier Post Office Museum and have a sneak peek at the way postal services operated many years ago.

In the early part of the twentieth century, the post office of this area operated out of a small mercantile store owned by Mr. Euphrates M Mooney.

A formal post office building was only constructed here in 1918, and Mr. Mooney continued to serve as the postmaster.

You can explore a number of exhibits related to postal services from the early years of the century.

Alternatively, you can also participate in one of their educational programs.

Play a Round at Goofy Golf

The grounds of Goofy Golf

Infrogmation of New Orleans, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can try your hand at collecting precious birdies on the green grounds of Goofy Golf.

This place has two 17-hole courses that share a common 18th hole.

This final hole has been interestingly named the snake’s mouth.

You can also meet the 23 feet tall mascot on these grounds, the model T- Rex that goes by the name “Honey.”

It is one of the oldest golf courses in the country, and people have been trying their luck with a few shots of golf here since the 1950s.

Explore the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park lets you enjoy the sight of the rich marine life and educates you through exciting interactions with the animals.

You can watch young alligators in action, feed loggerhead turtles, watch African penguins, and even go snorkeling in waters teeming with stingrays and sharks.

You can enjoy playing with the bottlenose dolphins, friendly seals, and sea lions.

The place also serves delicious breakfasts to start your day.

Kids can participate in a special reptile tour where they can touch lizards, snakes, and alligators.

See the Different Animals at Emerald Coast Science Center

Exterior of Emerald Coast Science Center

Ecsciencecenter, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Emerald Coast Science Center aims to kindle the scientific spirit in young children in an engaging way.

Children can spend countless hours through the high-quality interactive exhibits and engaging educational activities this place offers.

Explore fascinating aspects of robotics, light, and physics in a fun and playful manner.

Some great activities for kids here include flying and landing a model plane in a long wind tunnel and operating some robotic arms.

Plus, one can interact with certain animals, like snakes.

Visit Uptown Station

Shopping lovers can enjoy shopping to their heart’s content at the Uptown Station in Fort Walton Beach.

This place is packed with more than 60 amazing shops and food vendors.

You can pick up a colorful item from one of their fashion stores.

Perhaps you would like to decorate your home in Fort Walton beach style and buy some exquisite upholstery.

Sports buffs can also focus on high-quality, affordable sporting items.

You can head into one of their salons and massage centers and pamper yourself with refreshing massages and spas.

Finally, the place is lavishly packed with toothsome eateries where you can taste sumptuous world cuisine.

Choose from delicious Korean food, sushi, burgers, or the tremendous frozen yogurt this place is known for!

Play Golf at Fort Walton Beach Golf Club

Fort Walton Beach Golf Club is an impressive green expanse with two beautiful 18-hole courses.

Here, you can spend hours enjoying a relaxing game of golf in the pristine environment.

Parasailing at Fort Walton Beach

Parasailing at Fort Walton Beach

Anton Gorlin /

To enjoy a true adrenaline rush, you must try parasailing at Fort Walton Beach.

You can do so with the many parasailing companies in the city, which will let you enjoy the pleasures of this sport safely and professionally.

You can capture these moments by buying a photo package, where crew members will capture high-quality snaps of your experience.

Walk around Downtown Fort Walton Beach Arts & Entertainment District

You can roam around Downtown Fort Walton Beach Arts & Entertainment District, a haven for shopping and food enthusiasts.

The many boutiques in this area are packed with aesthetically pleasing antiques, jewelry, and gifts.

You can also visit the farmers’ market to get fresh local produce.

Additionally, the farmers’ market features beautiful handmade items.

You can, then, sit in one of the restaurants and enjoy tasty food from the many available cuisines.

There are also several fitness centers and spas located in the region.

Enjoy a light workout or have a full-body massage!

Grab Some Beers at Props Craft Brewery

Air Force Pilot Mike Kee set up Props Craft Brewery in 2011.

Kee has been a home-brewing lover since 2003, and the Props Craft Brewery was a natural extension of his passion.

The Props Craft Brewery has a military-themed interior that will delight you.

Their taps are done in the shape of a pin-up hugging a bomb.

From the ceiling, you can catch a glimpse of the iconic propellor hanging down.

The walls are adorned with photographs of the past service members.

Appreciate the Views and Avail Numerous Amenities at the Island Resort in Fort Walton Beach

The Island Resort has been a beachfront hotel since 1966 on Fort Walton Beach, close to Destin.

The family-centered resort on the Gulf of Mexico has been a popular beach holiday spot for many years.

No other resort in the region has the sheer range of services that make a beach holiday as seamless, enabling real, carefree moment-to-moment enjoyment.

The Island, named for its setting, is a metaphor for a place you may stay forever.

Enjoy 600 feet of immaculate sugar-white sand with breathtaking views of the water’s famed emerald-green color.

Plan your trip ahead of time and create lasting memories at the Fort Walton Beach resort, whether traveling with your family or getting married next to a beach sunset.

Shop for Distinctive Items at DeFrance Antiques

DeFrance is a family-run business in the heart of Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Prepare to be delighted and ecstatic as you rediscover lost treasures in their 13,000-square-foot store, uncover the ideal home décor, and repurpose furniture.

It is one of the most prominent indoor flea marketplace and antique shops in the Florida Panhandle.

The store has over 100 booths with just as many dealers, each with a unique design.

They are glad to help you, whether you seek antique, exquisite furniture or hunting out shabby chic gems.

Join their activities, which include sign painting classes, workshops for painting furniture, outdoor markets, and more.

Engage in Water Activities at RMR Watersports

Since 2010, RMR Watersports, a locally managed family business, has offered the Destin Fort Walton Beach region boat rental services.

Create a one-of-a-kind experience renting and riding several unique pontoon boats along with center console boats.

An enjoyable day on the lake with the whole family or a group of friends is possible with pontoon boat rentals.

On the other hand, fishing boat rentals are suitable and excellent for cruising with family and friends.

RMR Watersports supplies fishing boats for any bay fishing desires and fishing boats for offshore fishing.

Feast on Fresh Seafood Dishes at Floyd’s Shrimp House

If you’re looking for a restaurant in Fort Walton Beach that welcomes children, Floyd’s Shrimp House has everything you need.

Situated in Fort Walton Beach, just on The Boardwalk, they’re the best place to get your hands dirty.

Their infamous all-you-can-eat fish and shrimp banquets are known for their vast tastes, large portions, and great pleasures!

Floyd’s Shrimp House has everything from quality seafood to crowd-pleasing staples.

Dive in and let the variety of baked oysters with all the fixings, huge shrimp, fried seafood platters, and all-American fare tantalize your taste.

These dishes will leave even the pickiest eaters appeased.

Have a Picnic at Marina Bay Resort

Thanks to Marina Bay Resort, a good choice for tourists, finding the appropriate family-friendly hotel in Fort Walton Beach is not difficult.

Visitors may visit Wat Mongkolratanaram Buddhist Temple and Emerald Coast Science Center, two of Fort Walton Beach’s main attractions while vacationing at Marina Bay Hotel.

At Marina Bay Resort, rooms include a flat-screen TV, a kitchenette, a frig, and free internet.

Utilize some of the services provided during your stays, such as the picnic area, 24-hour front desk, and concierge.

Additionally available on-site is a pool and barbecue area for Marina Bay Resort visitors.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit Air Force Armament Museum

SR-71 Blackbird in Air force armament

Qwesy, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Air Force Armament Museum is a perfect place to spend a day for those who love military history and aviation.

You can explore and get to know a great deal about the history of guns, rockets, and bombs in this museum.

It is stacked with weapons used by the US Air Force during the Korean War, Vietnam War, and World War II.

The interactive cockpit simulator is a unique site in this museum.

Aircraft on the grounds of Air Force Armament Museum

Serge Yatunin /

Also, four beautiful vintage aircraft displayed here will take your breath away.

The most stunning item in the Air Force Armament Museum collection is the magnificent SR-71 Blackbird.

You’ll enjoy looking at this beauty, the fastest plane ever designed by a man’s hand.

You can cap up your tour by watching the fascinating short documentary narrating the history of the Eglin Air Force base shown in the museum.

Scout vehicle at Air Force Armament Museum

Serge Yatunin /

Try the Cattywampus Catamaran Cruise

The Cattywampus Catamaran is an exquisite boat, which will launch you into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Have a wonderful time watching the friendly bottlenose dolphins naturally found in the waters.

The view of the sunset from this cruise is another fantastic sight to watch.

The soft and cool ocean breeze will leave you amply refreshed.

On Thursday nights, you can also view the fireworks display performed on Fort Walton beach.

Final Thoughts

Fort Walton Beach, Florida’s attractions are diverse, from famous restaurants and comfortable lodging to ancient temples and significant archaeological areas.

You may find family-friendly resorts and activities, including parks, museums, aquariums, green waters, and pristine white sand.

Since many tourist attractions are nearby, it’s simple to see the bulk of them on a sunny morning or afternoon.

With both indoor and outdoor activities, get ready for a trip you won’t soon forget!

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