Fort Walton & Destin is an entertainment hub buzzing with fun activities for all the family. Amazing beaches, incredible marine life, beautiful parks, and Native American history make this area of Florida a stunning vacation destination. Here are 10 of the most interesting things to do in the Fort Walton and Destin area:
1. The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island
Take a walk along the glorious beachfront of Okaloosa Island and take in the breathtaking views of the Emerald Coast. Fresh from a day on the beach? Sandy feet and wet swimsuits are no problem to the various shop and restaurant owners so feel free to take the family on a casual stroll around The Boardwalk without any worries. This popular spot offers some delicious dining opportunities as well as a great array of shopping options for you to find that perfect gift.
2. Gulfarium – Fort Walton Beach Aquarium
Dolphins, penguins, and sea lions are the stars of the show at the kid-friendly Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. This is as an educational facility than as much as an entertainment center as demonstrated by the informative dolphin shows available here. Plenty of other sea life can be seen here too including sharks and turtles, which are showcased at a perfect height for kids to enjoy. There’s also plenty of other animals to see on the Expedition Trial including alligators, tortoises, and birds, making this a great adventure for all the family. Located just a quarter of a mile east of the Brooks Bridge on Okaloosa Island, this is an easily accessible facility by road.
3. Indian Temple Mound & Museum
This incredible piece of Native American history dates all the way back to 850 AD when the large platform mound was built by the Pensacola Culture. Now an archaeological site and a designated National Historic Landmark, Fort Walton Mound is a great place to learn about pre-Columbian culture and brush up on your history knowledge. The museum is a highlight for many with over 1000 artifacts with some dating back more than 12,000 years. There are also some shops selling antiques across the road from the Mound and Museum. This historical site is located between the Fort Walton Beach Landing Park and Marina Bay Resort.
4. Sandcastle Lessons
Ever dreamed of wowing your friends and family with an incredible sandcastle? Lessons in building proper sandcastles are available on a host of beaches throughout the Fort Walton and Destin area which can make for some fantastic photos and memories. This is an activity that lasts roughly two hours and provides great fun and competition for all the family.
5. Golfing in Destin
Destin is home to an array of wonderful golf courses due to its ideal climate and location making it a well-renowned destination for golfers. You can find award-winning golf resorts and even a public championship course in this stunning part of Florida. Destin really is a golfer’s paradise so be sure to bring your favorite attire and clubs and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that you’ll get a hole in one.
6. The Air Force Armament Museum
Boasting over 30 different aircraft including ones from WWII, the Air Force Armament Museum is a must for any avid aviation enthusiast. The foundation is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of artifacts and memorabilia associated with the Air Force. Photography is permitted and encouraged. No advance booking is necessary, entry is free and it is easily accessible on Highway 85, seven miles north of Fort Walton Beach.
7. Emerald Coast Science Center
This is a great opportunity for some educational fun. The Emerald Coast Science Center in Fort Walton Beach offers a brilliant interactive experience for all ages. At the center, you can really get hands-on with science so go ahead and immerse yourself in the various exhibits and activities on offer. Robotics, live animals and space exploration are just three of the zones at this intellectually stimulating center. There’s even a Sea Turtle Sanctuary too for those looking to see some cute marine creatures. All kinds of scientific entertainment are on offer and the center was voted as the “Place to take the kids” in the Best in Destin awards 2021.
8. Henderson Beach State Park
Located in Destin and rated by many as the number one thing to do in the area, a trip to Henderson Beach State Park is an absolute must. You can take it easy on the incredible sugar-white sand beaches then have a picnic with your loved ones. Bicycle rides and fishing can also be enjoyed throughout the park, creating a relaxed vibe in this easily accessible space. The park does close at sunset, but camping and cabin options are available if you are planning to stay more than a day.
9. Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park
One fun attraction in Destin is the Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park which is a perfect day out for all the family. A wide selection of rides and slides can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike at this hub of aquatic entertainment. The adventure park includes a thrilling Sky Coaster ride and a hair-raising Cyclone Twister ride. If you want to enjoy something more tranquil then you can always take part in the tropical mini-golf, which can also be found in the adventure park. Groups are also welcome making this a fantastic option for parties. An easy walk or drive from any hotel or resort in Destin, Big Kahuna is also conveniently located.
10. Crab Island
Last but certainly not least on this list is Crab Island, one of the most talked-about destinations in Destin, Florida. A top summertime attraction, Crab Island is not actually an island anymore but rather a sandbar. Sandbars are always popular with folks who are looking for a good time and one look at Crab Island and it is easy to see why. The shallow waters make it safe for kids and adults alike and mean a variety of activities can be enjoyed by family members of all ages. Snorkeling, paddling, kayaking, and games of water volleyball are just some of the activities you can get involved in. Crab Island is home to a variety of small floating restaurants while you can also find refreshments such as ice cream and fresh coconuts via the mobile food boats. It is only accessible by boat, so why not rent one of our pontoon boats and cruise out with friends and family for a day in the sun.