Experience relaxing Fort Walton Beach: its beaches, oceanfront, sunsets, and more!

With palm trees, white sands, country parks and wildlife trails, Fort Walton Beach is an ideal location for those who love the outdoors. Watch for dolphins, snorkel, take a hike through woods and investigate thousands of years of Native American history.

Visit the biggest draw for Fort Walton Beach: its miles of sea shore. Go to Henderson Beach State Park to swim, sunbathe and observe wildlife. Follow the nature trail through a coastal dune ecosystem and look for migratory birds, reptiles and other animals. During the summer, dolphins and sea turtles can occasionally be seen from the shore. Ride a bike through acres of pine flatwoods at Grayton Beach.

Drive across the Brooks Bridge to lie on the white sands of Okaloosa Island. This stretch of coast is part of Santa Rosa Island. Visit Okaloosa Island Boardwalk to shop, dine or picnic under one of the covered areas.

Away from the sand and sea, Fort Walton Beach has much more to offer. Go to the Indian Temple Mound Museum to see artifacts from 12,000 years of Native American history. Other relics on display are from European explorers, early settlers and local pirates. Gaze in awe at one of the fastest planes ever built, the SR-71 Blackbird. It's viewable at the Air Force Armament Museum along with other aircraft from World War II to the present day. Look at bombs and missiles and play with interactive displays.

Enjoy southern hospitality in the restaurants, bars and cafés of the downtown area. While you are there, browse the shops and flea markets of the Antique District.

Fort Walton Beach is located between Pensacola and Panama City along northern Florida’s Gulf Coast. Reach it by flying into Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. Getting around the city is easy by public transportation, rental car and taxi. For beaches, wildlife and almost year-round sunshine, Fort Walton Beach is a great vacation spot for the whole family.

Known for

Beaches, Sea and Dolphins

Top Hotels in Fort Walton Beach

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Island by Hotel RL
The Island by Hotel RL
3.5 out of 5
Miracle Strip Parkway SE, 1500, Fort Walton Beach, FL
$77
per night
Nov 3 - Nov 4

Nestled on the beach, this Fort Walton Beach resort is within a 10-minute walk of Wayside Park and Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. Wild Willy's Adventure Zone ...

3.7/5Good! (1,488 reviews)

"Beautiful resort and beach. Some rooms are a little dated but still great money spent. Will visit again soon!!!"…"

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2019

The Island by Hotel RL
Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach Destin
Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach Destin
3 out of 5
573 Santa Rosa Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL
$88
per night
Nov 3 - Nov 4

Located in Fort Walton Beach, this beachfront hotel is in the historical district, 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Okaloosa Island Beach, and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Gulfarium ...

3.9/5Very Good! (1,882 reviews)

"Let us check in early. Answered all questions lovely facility"…"

Reviewed on Oct 18, 2019

Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach Destin
The Suites at Marina Bay
The Suites at Marina Bay
2.5 out of 5
80 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL
$55
per night
Oct 22 - Oct 23

Situated on the Strip, this resort is within 3 mi (5 km) of Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, Okaloosa Island Pier, and Fort Walton Beach Park. Air Force Armament ...

3.9/5Good! (458 reviews)

"The property was clean, staff friendly, property a little dated but still pleasant. I will come back."…"

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2019

The Suites at Marina Bay

Popular things to do in Fort Walton Beach

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
Image for Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

4.5/5(217 reviews)

The family will enjoy a trip to Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, a favorite attraction in Fort Walton Beach. Wander the area's beautiful beaches or simply enjoy one of its seafood restaurants.

John Beasley Park
Image for John Beasley Park

John Beasley Park

4.5/5(40 reviews)

If a restful vacation is part of your travel plans, John Beasley Park might be the perfect place to seek out during your trip to Fort Walton Beach. Wander the seaside in this relaxing area.

Indian Temple Mound Museum
Image for Indian Temple Mound Museum

Indian Temple Mound Museum

4/5(5 reviews)

Discover the fascinating history and culture of Florida’s Pensacola people at this national historic landmark and accompanying museums in Fort Walton Beach.

Top activities in Fort Walton Beach

Half-day Family Fishing and Crab Island Tour Combo
Image for Half-day Family Fishing and Crab Island Tour Combo

Half-day Family Fishing and Crab Island Tour Combo

$113

Board the Crown Jewel at 7am, and fish for a variety of species in the Bay for 2 hours. Then, we'll take a break, head to Crab Island and spend 2 hours relaxing and swimming.

Flats Boat Fishing with Captain Ed from Ultimate Outdoors TV
Image for Flats Boat Fishing with Captain Ed from Ultimate Outdoors TV

Flats Boat Fishing with Captain Ed from Ultimate Outdoors TV

$219

Rise early, board the Kingfisher at dawn, and fish for a variety of species in Choctawhatchee Bay. Captain “Extreme” Eddie Brochin from Ultimate Outdoors TV will be your guide. Up to 2 passengers can fish for 675 dollars total.

Pontoon Boat #2
Image for Pontoon Boat #2

Pontoon Boat #2

$53

We provide a boat with all the safety equipment and life jackets that are needed as well as a full tank of gas. We provide rules and regulations and all the safety equipment that is needed for a fun and safe trip.

The Scream Machine - Sunset Cruise (Crab Island Pass)
Image for The Scream Machine - Sunset Cruise (Crab Island Pass)

The Scream Machine - Sunset Cruise (Crab Island Pass)

$50

Start out at the docks, then a brisk ride out to Crab Island, where you can take in the spectacular scenery and maybe catch a glimpse of the local wildlife before the sun sets. Make a reservation, and I'll meet you at the docks. Say hi to Greta the S

Catamaran Boat Chater in Destin
Image for Catamaran Boat Chater in Destin

Catamaran Boat Chater in Destin

$42

Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Pass By: Destin Harbor, FL 32541-7391 Sailing, dolphin watching, swimming all in Choctawhatchee Bay

6 Hour Fishing Trip (Center Console)
Image for 6 Hour Fishing Trip (Center Console)

6 Hour Fishing Trip (Center Console)

$190

Itinerary Come catch enough FISH to feed the family for months on the MATANZA! This Catamaran Hull provides a much more stable, smoother ride than others vessels! Glacier Bay’s boats are know as the Cadillac of the water and you’ll know why after you fish with us! Our boat is equipped with the best fishing equipment and most experienced Captains.

Reviews of Fort Walton Beach

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
506
5 - Excellent 54.584681769147785%
4 - Good
337
4 - Good 36.353829557713055%
3 - Okay
66
3 - Okay 7.119741100323624%
2 - Disappointing
10
2 - Disappointing 1.0787486515641855%
1 - Terrible
8
1 - Terrible 0.8629989212513485%

5/5 - Excellent

Vicki

Oct 20, 2019

The Beaches and water are the best around!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 16, 2019

This little town is a gem just outside of Destin. It offers a beautiful coastline, and the people are friendly.

4/5 - Good

Visitor

Oct 14, 2019

Only stayed here cause it had availability and was close enough to drive to the beach. Not a first choice hotel but will do in a desperate pinch

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 14, 2019

Tons of activities if the beach isn't enough for you!

5/5 - Excellent

L.Hartson

Oct 12, 2019

The beaches were very clean, the sand was soft and the atmosphere was wonderful. There were a lot of jellyfish during our stay and even though it made swimming more challenging, it was a beautiful sight seeing jellyfish blooms of thousands.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Oct 10, 2019

Very clean wide beach with beautifully soft white sand.