Welcome To Fort Walton
Fort Walton is a small city situated in the Florida Panhandle that’s famed for its white beaches, emerald seas and golf courses aplenty. It also boasts a fantastic range of wildlife spotting opportunities as well as family-friendly attractions such as parks, museums and aquariums in the bustling downtown area. And when the sun goes down there is a host of new attractions, with an eclectic group of restaurants and lots of other nightlife that make this charming city a firm holiday favourite.
Highlights of Fort Walton
- Great for: Good, old-fashionend beach life with a quaint seaside vibe
- Famous for: Its major Air Force base - and the Air Force Armament Museum
- Closest airport with direct flights: Atlanta International Airport is 317 miles to the north
- Why we like it: One of Florida's most under-rated beaches, with plenty to do
- Itineraries featuring Fort Walton:
Fort Walton Location
Weather in Fort Walton
Average temperature (°C) and average rainfall (days).
Hotels in Fort Walton
Relax in the perfect idyllic oasis that is the WaterColor Inn & Resort. Guests can enjoy being surrounded by pristine beaches and natural woodland while exploring everything the area has to offer on land and at sea.
Things to do in Fort Walton
History Of Fort Walton
Air Force Armament Museum
The only facility in the U.S. dedicated to the display of air force armament is located near Eglin Air Force Base’s main gate in Ft. Walton Beach. Outside, you’ll discover an impressive collection of 25 reconnaissance, fighter and bomber planes, including the fastest plane ever built – the SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane. Inside, you’ll find more than 1,500 artefacts from World War I to today, including interactive displays such as a fighter cockpit simulator. Free admission.
Baker Block Museum
This living history museum in Baker was once a general store but is now awash with antiques, period displays, and tools. It also has a post office, mill, log cabin and blacksmith shop from days gone by. Admission is free.
Florida has a rich and diverse history with African American landmarks and legacies dotted all around the state. This museum honours the Carver-Hill school, built in 1954, and chronicles the history of the African-American community in the area. It’s also a key site for many community events in the city.
Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park & Cultural Center
This group of museums and attractions consists of the Fort Walton Temple Mound, the Indian Temple Mound Museum, the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, the Garnier Post Office Museum and the newly opened Civil War Exhibit War. That means there’s plenty to keep even the most insatiable history buff entertained.
Perhaps the most interesting of all the attractions is the Indian Temple Mound Museum, which has a number of archaeological finds relating to the prehistoric traditions of Native American cultures in the south-eastern states.
Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida
This fascinating museum houses a range of exhibits depicting the Native American history of the Okaloosa and Walton Counties area. Some of the exhibits, such as the projectile points and stone tools, date back 12,000 years and there’s pottery that’s more than 4,000 years old.
Fort Walton Culture
Downtown Fort Walton Beach Arts & Entertainment District
Located just three minutes from Okaloosa Island, just across the Brooks Bridge, is an eclectic mix of restaurants, a bakery and a paint your own pottery gallery, where you can create some artwork of your own. There is also a range of stores, sports bars and souvenir shops so you can bag a bargain.
Emerald Coast Concert Series
Founded in 1960 as an annual series of public concerts that attracted some of the best dance and musical acts from across the US, this group now consists of volunteers who put on performing arts shows for residents and visitors to the Emerald Coast.
Emerald Coast Science Center
A trip to this unique and inspiring museum is an excellent way to while away a few hours with the kids. With more than 200 touchable and workable exhibits, as well as an air cannon, a discovery room, animal presentations and more, this is just the spot if the sun fails to shine.
The Emerald Cork
You can paint the town red or whatever colour you like at the Emerald Cork painting party studio. Enjoy a unique and really fun night out by joining a local artist as they recreate the evening’s featured masterpiece, whatever that might be. You even can take a few of your favourite beverages along to enjoy a painting experience like no other.
Fort Walton Beaches, Parks & River Cruises
Blackwater River Paddling Trail
This designated paddling trail winds through the unspoiled Blackwater River State Forest. With coffee coloured waters, white sandbars and a thick canopy of trees over the river, this scenic spot is the perfect place for camping, picnicking and relaxing with family and friends.
Blackwater River State Park
This is a popular destination for kayakers, canoeists and fishing enthusiasts and offers an excellent range of opportunities for outdoor activities of every kind. With soft sand underfoot, the river is perfect for swimming and paddling, while the shaded campsites just a short walk from the river banks are an excellent place to stay the night. There are also more than 600 acres of undisturbed forest to enjoy, with trails for hikers of every fitness level.
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
This 357-acre state park is a popular choice for walkers, campers and fishermen and is noted for its diverse animal life and mature sand pine forest. Visitors can fish along the saltwater shoreline in Rocky Bayou Aquatic Preserve or within the freshwater Puddin Head Lake.
Shoal River Paddling Trail
The gold-tinted Shoal River is every nature lover’s dream. You’ll be able to paddle easily upstream as the river winds its way through the sandy hills and broad sandbars. All this is surrounded by a forest of maple, birch, oak and cypress trees.
Yellow River Trail
Due to its high elevation, the upper Yellow River can flow quickly with high sand banks and hardwood forests framing the waterway. As you progress further downstream, the river deepens and slows as it passes through cypress and gum swamps, making this a great place to experience the ecological diversity of the area.
Named after Timpoochee Kinnard, the most influential Indian Chief of the Euchee Indians, this paved trail runs parallel to the beautiful beaches and emerald seas of the Gulf, offering stunning views and taking in seven nearby beach communities. As you stroll, you’ll be able to enjoy the sight of migrating birds, trees and the beautiful wildflowers.
Health, Wellness & Spa Tourism In Fort Walton
Brava Day Spa
Located in the Historic Downtown area of Fort Walton Beach, this is the premier spa in the area offering an excellent range of treatments.
Dragonfly Yoga Studio
If you like nothing more than a little peace and tranquility during your time away then the Dragonfly Yoga Studio and its wonderful staff is the perfect place to find it.
Samana Healing Clinic
With yoga and massage therapists specialising in reiki, LED light therapy, sports massage and energy work, this is a fantastic opportunity to heal all kinds of ailments, whether it’s muscle pulls, back pain or old injuries that haven’t healed.
Stress Busters Massage Therapy
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle and want some quality ‘you’ time, these relaxing surroundings, without the usual trappings of a health spa, are a great way to get back to basics. The Stress Busters commonly work with those struggling with stress or suffering from pain.
Wendy Ballasch Sports & Therapeutic Massage
If you’re looking for a real sports massage delivered by an expert who has worked with Olympians, triathletes and professional wrestlers then Wendy is the person to see. Her treatments include MPS therapy, Kinesio Taping and orthopaedic massage.
Sports Activities In Fort Walton
Emerald Coast Golf Courses
With ten championship golf courses to choose from, scratch players and hapless amateurs alike have a fantastic range of options that make the most of the surrounding woods and wetlands.
The 4 and a half star Kelly Plantation Golf Course is a tremendous example of what golf courses on the Emerald Coast have to offer. The Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club is another firm favourite in the area and is rated as one of the top courses in Florida, while the Walton Beach Golf Club, with its tree-lined fairways, features an array of water hazards to challenge even the finest swing. All of the golf courses on the Emerald Coast have pro shops and restaurant facilities onsite.