Nestled along the seashores of Okaloosa County in Florida, Fort Walton Beach is a breezy coastal town centered between Destin and Crestview. Of course, summer is the busiest season, as beach-goers flock to the city for fun in the sunshine. But this city offers more throughout the year, as the weather is pleasant, temperate, and perfect for all-season adventures and beach-going.
Aside from wriggling your toes in the sands, working on your tan, and jumping the ocean waves, visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. An attraction since 1955, this park features photographed encounters with beautiful dolphins, as well as informative shows featuring jellyfish, stingrays, sharks, and other amazing sea creatures.
For an afternoon of leisure in the sunshine, take a stroll to the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier on Miracle Strip Parkway. Most people walk the pier, overlooking the clear-blue ocean waters. While others choose to bring their own bait and hooks for a few hours of catch and release from the pier railings.
Or, if you prefer family-friendly fun that your toddler would love, head to John Beasley Park for playgrounds, open valleys, shaded picnic areas, beach side swimming holes, and summer snack shacks.
For history buffs, the Indian Temple Mound Museum is a fascinating look at ancient artifacts that tell the tales of Native Americans. There are hundreds of things to see, as well as stories to hear woven from the myths and legends of different Native American tribes. This temple is part of the Heritage Park and Cultural Center, so you can explore a line-up of historic sites in a single afternoon.
Fort Walton Beach is a popular Florida travel destination for summertime kicks!
There are numerous hotels that TravNow and online reviewers consider the best. Those hotels include Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach, Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Ramada Plaza Fort Walton Beach Resort, and Emerald Coast Inn & Suites. When you want more info about the Florida cities that you love, check back with TravNow.
Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach
Beachfront and beautiful, the Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach on Santa Rose Boulevard is a must-see for week-long vacationers. Sure, you could stay for a weekend, but a week gives you time to really savor the accommodations and local attractions that surround the hotel.
Book in advance for busy holidays or summertime, as vacancies book fast. This hotel is a top-ranked, best of the best kind of place, so you should consider making your reservations weeks, or even months, ahead of time.
Accommodations include ocean views, private balconies, immediate beach access, an on-site restaurant and bar with a lounge area, free high-speed internet, self-serve laundry facilities, dry-cleaning services, a swimming pool and hot tub, and a workout room. The rooms vary, but they feature a suite layout with a full-stocked bathroom, well-equipped kitchen, comfortable sitting area, and cozy beds. This hotel is a favorite for honeymooners, as they have a special honeymoon suite that features an in-room Jacuzzi and a premium view of the Gulf of Mexico. For entertainment, check the “dive-in” movies schedule, where the outdoor swimming pool becomes your movie theatre.
The Holiday inn Express Hotel & Suites
Ranked as high above expectations for numerous online reviewers, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites has long-since been named one of the best of the best hotels in Fort Walton Beach. The hotel, located on Mary Esther Boulevard, is a short walk to the seashore, which means the staff can charge less because the hotel isn’t directly on the beach. It’s a popular stay option for beach goers that are budget-minded, and the accommodations are 4-star.
The swimming pool is heated, the fitness area is well-equipped with modern equipment, and the free breakfast is a hot-and-serve deal with some of your favorite items, like cinnamon rolls, pancakes, waffles, and bacon. Not to mention, the coffee is fresh-brewed regularly, so you can have a cuppa whenever the need strikes.
Start your day with a stroll through Oak Tree Nature Park on East Hollywood Boulevard. Dubbed a hidden gem, the nature trail is canopied by big, beautiful trees, with picnic areas and rest benches off to the sides. You can walk at your leisure, enjoying the sounds of nature, but be sure to wear comfortable sneakers.
Ramada Plaza Fort Walton Beach Resort
Another gem on Miracle Strip Parkway, the Ramada Plaza Fort Walton Beach Resort has been dubbed the perfect vacation destination by thousands of reviewers. Suites are spacious and well-equipped, their restaurant and bar serve up delicious food and drinks, and the swimming pool has a grotto with a waterfall that guests love.
Other features include immediate beach access, an on-site workout room, a hot tub, and room service for days when you want to laze around and watch cable in a comfy bed.
If there were ever a hotel where the entertainment would be to simply walk the seashore, this would be it. The beaches in front of the Ramada are pristine, with pure white sands and clear waters that fall into foamy, gorgeous waves.
Emerald Coast Inn & Suites
Positioned off Miracle Strip Parkway, the Emerald Coast Inn & Suites offers ocean views, comfortable beds, and more luxurious accommodations. The suites vary in size, but amenities are similar in comfort, convenience, and function. The layouts feature a spacious bathroom with cozy towels and lots of toiletries, the bedroom boasts one to two queen-size, plump beds, and the kitchenette is home to a microwave, counter space, and fridge. Other features include a fitness center, shuttle bus service [for a fee], free high-speed internet, and free daily breakfast. You can also lounge poolside, take a dip in the heated waters, or luxuriate in the hot tub.
For dinner, take your friends, family, or just yourself to the Rockin Tacos Grill & Tequila Bar. The cuisine is a mix-up of American and Mexican with Southwestern twists, with complimentary chips and homemade salsa as a starter.
The fish tacos are a local favorite, served with Mahi Mahi or shrimp, homemade slaw, cilantro sauce, and a side of Spanish rice and black beans. Be sure to sample one of their famous jalapeno or pineapple-infused margaritas too!
Try these other top Fort Walton Beach restaurants!
- Stewby's Seafood Shanty - American, Seafood, Gluten Free (GF) Options
- Original Waterfront Crab Shack - American, Seafood, Bar
- Angler's Beachside Grill - American, Seafood, Grille, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan
- Asiago's Skillet - American, Vegetarian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan, GF Options
- Old Bay Steamer - American, Seafood, GF Options
- Floyd's Shrimp House - American, Bar, Seafood, Soups, Vegetarian Friendly, GF Options
- Burrito Del Sol - Mexican, Southwestern, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan, GF Options
- Tijuana Flats - Mexican, Southwestern, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan, GF Options
- The Crab Trap - American, Seafood, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan, GF Options
- Al's Beach Club and Burger Bar - American, Bar, Burgers, Vegan, GF Opti
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