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18 Awesome Things To Do in Fort Walton Beach Florida (2023)

Fort Walton Beach, Florida is the perfect destination for a relaxed and family-friendly beach getaway.

Located along the Florida Panhandle, Fort Walton Beach is neighbored by Pensacola, 30A and Panama City Beach. The location boasts picture-perfect white sand beaches, plenty of thrilling activities, an array of seafood restaurants, and colorful shopping districts.

Whether you’re looking to spend your days lounging in the sun or exploring all that the area has to offer, you are sure to find something for everyone in this collection of the best things to do in Fort Walton Beach Florida!

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Whilst in Florida, you might also like to check out:

Fun Things To Do In Fort Walton Beach Florida

1. Visit Okaloosa Island Pier

Address: 1030 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Okaloosa Island Boardwalk is a perfect spot for beachgoers looking to take in the beauty of the Florida Gulf Coast. This waterfront attraction offers stunning views of the coastline and plenty of activities and entertainment options for visitors.

Along the boardwalk, you can find unique shops, restaurants, and arcade games, as well as an array of outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, and parasailing. After a day at the beach, you can enjoy the many restaurants or snack-bars in the area offering fresh seafood and other delicious dishes from the local cuisine.

It is also a great place to pick up souvenirs to remind you of your time spent at Okaloosa island fishing pier!

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Okaloosa Pier at sunset is just one of the things to do around Fort Walton beach

2. John Beasley Park

Address: 1550 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

If you’re longing for the tranquility and beauty of a beach holiday, but don’t quite want to put in the effort to get off the beaten path, we’ve got just the spot for you!

John Beasley Beach Park is located right on the Emerald Coast, offering breathtaking shores with all the laid-back vibes of a beach vacation – minus any of that pesky noise pollution or crowds!

There are plenty of restaurants and bars within reach, easy ocean access, pavilions and changing rooms. So come and soak up some sun in this cozy paradise – it’s time to get beachin’!

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Things to do near Fort Walton beach

3. Crab Island

Crab Island, located in the northern part of Destin, Florida, is a unique and picturesque spot that provides an unforgettable experience.

It’s a popular destination for locals and tourists alike to spend the day enjoying various activities such as jet skiing, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and more! The shallow waters around this area are perfect for those who don’t know how to swim, as well as kids.

Crab Island is also home to an array of marine life and you can get a close-up view while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

The island can also be accessed by boat or through one of its many floating platforms, making it easy to enjoy all that it has to offer. Truly, it is a place that should not be missed!

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Fort Walton attractions, Image: MyCrabIsland

4. Ross Marler Park 

Address: 1275 Santa Rosa Blvd, Okaloosa Island, FL 32548

Ross Marler Park is a stunning beach park where visitors can lounge on the white sand beach, swim in the crystal-clear water, and join in an array of watersports.

There are also two boat ramps for those who wish to explore further out into the waters and a swimming area safely enclosed by ropes that shields swimmers from recreational boaters. Further inland, visitors can find a walking trail, playground, and picnic areas (and grills) perfect for a relaxing day by the shore.

All in all, Ross Marler Park provides an idyllic beach experience that should not be missed!

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Free things to do in Fort Walton beach

5. Gulf Islands National Seashore

Address: 1 Gulf National Sea Shore Dr, Okaloosa Island, FL 32548

Head to the Gulf Islands for your next wild and wonderful adventure! This park stretches through Mississippi and Florida, and is full of activities that will get your heart pumping.

Go bird watching in one of the maritime forests, explore a gaping bayou, or simply soak up the sun on one of the white shore beaches. Most of this area is underwater, so you can even try out some scuba diving if you’re feeling daring! Plus, with so many areas to explore, there won’t be any shortage of natural beauty along the way.

When life takes us outdoors, the Gulf Islands are just the place to be, no wonder it was the most visited US National Seashore in 2019.

TIP: The National Park can also be visited further along the Panhandle from Pensacola, Florida.

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Fort Walton Beach Florida things to do

6. Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone

Address: 1306 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

With six exciting themed attractions, you’re guaranteed to have a blast at Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for an extreme roller coaster or an avid arcade fan seeking out the latest virtual experiences, Wild Willy’s entertainment center has something for everyone. From an arcade, movie theater, slides, rope course, mini golf, bumper boats, and an all time classic: laser tag!

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Fort Walton beach Florida attractions, Image: Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

7. Harborwalk Village

Address: 34 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541

With its natural beauty and stunning views, Harborwalk Village is an excellent things to do in Destin for anyone seeking a truly immersive Floridian experience.

This marina village features gorgeous waterfront views, excellent dining & shopping, boat tours to explore the waters, snorkeling, and live music on weekends. If you have enough of the water, check out the Mirror Maze, Critter Gorge Shooting, or the Destin Zipline. Think of any activity and you can probably do it here, at Harborwalk Village.

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Places to visit in Fort Walton beach, Image: HarborWalk village

8. Mister E’s Escape Room

Address: 9 Walter Martin Rd NE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

If you and your friends are looking for something fun to do, Mister E’s Escape Room is an awesome choice!

Perfect for birthday parties or just a casual weekend activity, this interactive adventure combines clues, puzzles, and other challenges to help you unlock the secrets within. Get your mind ready to take on a thrilling escape game that will keep everyone engaged for hours in the Run Away Steampunk Train or the Blackbeard’s Chest Room.

It’s sure to challenge even the sharpest of minds as you and your friends work together in order to succeed – so go ahead and try it out today!

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Fort Walton beach family activities

9. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Address: 1010 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is the perfect way to explore incredible marine life without having to venture too far.

Visitors can observe dolphins, alligators, seals, stingrays, penguins, turtles, rays, sea lions, and over 200 species of fish in their natural habitat. Interactive touch pools provide a chance for a more hands-on encounter with these intriguing creatures. And guided tours offer a deeper insight into their fascinating lives under the sea level.

Whether you come for a stimulating family adventure or just to soak up some majestic views of the marine world, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is sure to make your experience unforgettable!

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Fort Walton beach tourist attractions, Image: Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

10. Navarre Beach Pier

Address: 8579 Gulf Blvd, Navarre, FL 32566

The Navarre Beach Pier is a sight to behold. From the moment you arrive and see the bright blue waves crashing against the shoreline, you know you are in for an unforgettable experience.

The pier stretches out 1,545 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, providing visitors with stunning ocean views.

As you take a leisurely stroll along its wooden planks, admire the local fishermen as they try their luck at reeling in a big one! Enjoy the sunshine that warms your face and bask in the relaxing atmosphere as seagulls soar overhead. All kinds of sea life can be discovered if you take the time to look closely!

No visit to Fort Walton Beach would be complete without exploring this extraordinary pier.

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Fort Walton beach sightseeing

11. Sea Turtle Conservation Center

Address: 8740 Gulf Blvd, Navarre, FL 32566

Visiting the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center is sure to be an exciting experience for all ages.

The many interactive exhibits offer an up-close view of everything from sea turtle skulls and carapaces to life-sized profiles of the amazing animals, a map showing locally tracked turtles, and information about artificial reefs. Even better, special events like Trash Bash beach cleanups, Shark School – to educate youngsters about sharks – and a scavenger hunt for kids ensure that visitors have lots of fun while learning about preserving these majestic animals.

Before you leave, make sure to explore their wonderful gift shop for souvenirs of your visit and to support the center!

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Things to do near Fort Walton Beach Florida, Image: Always On The Shore

12. Fort Walton Beach Landing Park

Address: 139 Brooks St SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

When you’re craving a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of life, allow us to suggest The Landing.

Located just behind Fort Walton Beach’s charming downtown strip, this waterfront park provides an ideal setting for relaxation and a picnic with its boat ramp and dock, as well as a fishing pier perfect for anglers.

Whether taking in breathtaking views or engaging in peaceful activities by the water, The Landing is your go-to destination! Hidden amongst an abundance of lush oak and magnolia trees, you can find a large playground. The Landing is also a hub for amazing annual events, including the recently launched summer concert series – Concerts at the Landing.

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Fort Walton beach excursions, Image: Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

13. Emerald Coast Science Center 

Address: 31 Memorial Pkwy SW, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

The Emerald Coast Science Center is an awesome place to spend the day!

Kids and adults of all ages can explore fun and interactive science exhibits that touch on ecology, physics, astronomy, engineering, natural science, and more. From an animal encounter area with lizards, snakes, and miniature pigs to a thrilling astronaut training mission to a simulated hurricane experience. There is also a chance to experience what school was like in the early 20th century by visiting the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum.

And with ever-changing themed events like craft days and educational seminars throughout the year, there’s always something new to explore!

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Things to in Fort Walton beach Fl, Image: Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

14. Indian Temple Mound Museum 

Address: 139 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

The Indian Temple Mound Museum is a must-see for anyone visiting the area!

The museum highlights more than 12,000 years of history, featuring an ancient temple mound built by Native Americans. There are many bone and clay artifacts, and exhibits on site for visitors to discover more about this fascinating culture.

The museum and grounds are compact, making it possible to take in all the exhibits and investigate the schoolhouse and mound within just 2-3 hours.

If you’d like something unique to do in Fort Walton Beach Florida, then this is a great choice!

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Places to go in Fort Walton beach, Image: Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

15. Stewby’s Seafood Shanty

Address: 235 Santa Rosa Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Step into Stewby’s Seafood Shanty and let yourself be taken away by the best seafood restaurant you will find in Fort Walton Beach.

The menu is loaded with mouth-watering options – from shrimp to creamy chowders, while the atmosphere inside the shanty is inviting thanks to the friendly staff and casual tables.

Whether you’re in town on vacation or just want to treat yourself to a good meal, Stewby’s Seafood Shanty should be your first stop!

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Fort Walton beach attractions for families, Image: Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

16. Props Brewery

Address: 255 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE #19, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

If you are a craft beer enthusiast, this spot should be on your must-visit list.

Visit the brewery and you can enjoy a hand-selected list of thirst-quenching brews with notes of juicy hops and unique malt flavors. Have some delicious classic bites like tacos, burgers, and fries alongside your favorite beer.

The friendly atmosphere with a WWII aviation theme invites everyone to share conversation over their beer of choice accompanied by some chill tunes. Take your experience even further – take home a 6-pack souvenir or fill a growler to savor later at home.

Stop by Props for an unforgettable time filled with laughter, drinks, and good vibes all around!

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Things to do in Fort Walton beach for adults, Image: Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

17. Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill

Address: 20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541

From the moment you step foot into Fudpucker’s Beachside Bar & Grill, you’ll know it’s unlike any other beach bar in Florida.

Featuring an array of activities to enjoy, there’s something for everyone of all ages. Not only can guests get their pictures taken with live alligators, but also write their names on walls covered with messages from people across to globe! You’ll want to take a walk around and check out the games they have available followed by purchasing one of their infamous t-shirts as a souvenir.

Once that is done, the night (or day) is far from over – look forward to entertainment programs like comedy shows and magical performances that truly capture your imagination.

Fudpucker’s is the best place to get away and make lasting memories; you’ll never want the time spent here to end!

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Things to do in Fort Walton Beach Destin, Image: Always On The Shore

18. Bay Cafe

Address: 233 Alconese Ave SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Exploring the warm crystal waters and soft white sand of Fort Walton Beach is not complete without a visit to Bay Cafe.

This waterfront restaurant provides the perfect spot for gathering with friends and family to enjoy a french inspired meal. Whether you are craving jumbo shrimp cocktails, succulent crab claws, or flavorful grilled fish tacos – Bay Cafe has got it all!

If you’re in the mood for a delicious entree or are just looking to unwind and admire the view of the bay with a refreshing cocktail, Bay Cafe is an unbeatable choice!

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Family activities Fort Walton beach, Image: Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

That’s the Best Fort Walton Beach Attractions

Fort Walton Beach Florida is a vacation paradise perfect for those looking to enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Whether you are searching for beautiful shorelines, thrilling outdoor activities, or nightlife, Fort Walton Beach has something special in store for everyone. From the picturesque views of the Navarre Beach Pier to the bustling Props Brewery – there is no shortage of fun Fort Walton things to do!

Whether you’re looking for an unforgettable day trip or a weekend getaway, the memories made here will last a lifetime. So pack your bags and get ready for a vacation you won’t soon forget!

wayne kask always on shore


Wayne is the creator of Always on the Shore and loves to travel, take photographs, and write about the best attractions, beaches, restaurants, and resorts in Florida and the Atlantic Coast. You can find him at instagram/wayne.kask/ 

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Top things to do in Fort Walton beach Florida