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1 Nov 2021
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Downtown Fort Walton Beach [Plus 10 Fun Activities & Attractions]

From the shores of gleaming Okaloosa Island, to the busy and historical downtown district, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, offers limitless opportunities for family enjoyable and adventure. This fantastic vacation location promotes an abundant history and culture, an appreciation for the arts, and scenic beauty as far as the eye can see. Fort Walton Beach also has lots of remarkable trips, destinations, and things to do, offering something for everybody in your group!

Simply minutes away from downtown, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is one of the leading kid friendly activities in Fort Walton Beach, and need to absolutely be added to your household trip check list. In fact, all ages will enjoy this remarkable aquarium, as it is house to an abundance of remarkable animals, day-to-day programs, interactive exhibits, marine-life encounters, and more! The Gulfarium combines learning and enjoyable, and permits the possibility for an up-close experience with penguins, sharks, dolphins, stingrays, sea lions, and other wonderful animals.

Downtown is the heart of Fort Walton Beach, and ought to certainly be added to your schedule. Whether you decide to walk the streets while shopping at special stores, or wish to feel as if you've been carried back in time at the historic Indian Temple Mound and Museum, you're in for a reward. Keep reading and find what to do in downtown Fort Walton Beach to optimize your time in this quaint and seaside city, and make this getaway one for the books!

A trip to the Gulfarium makes certain to create an afternoon of fun and adventure, as it has actually been amusing households and producing memories considering that its opening in 1955. The Gulfarium is one of the world's oldest marine animal parks, and has had many significant influence on not only the industry, but likewise the community, clinical research, and marine animal care and training. Below are just a few of the many wonderful turning points reached by the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park over the years:

Okaloosa Island Boardwalk and Fishing Pier

Just next door to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk and Fishing Pier, and its place on the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico has actually been drawing in visitors here for ages. Aside from the stunning beaches, this area is the location to be for shopping, dining, and entertainment on Okaloosa Island.

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

The Gulfarium was the first marine park to perform programs underwater using SCUBA equipment.

This aquarium was the first to record a dolphin jumping over 21-feet high!

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park was the first aquarium to successfully raise a stranded infant bottlenose dolphin.

They were the first to develop the artificial milk formula for bottlenose dolphins, which is still being used today!

The Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier sits adjacent to the boardwalk, and supplies scenic views and fun for everyone! Fishing is one of the top things to do here, bring in anglers of all ages and ability levels. The pier has everything you need to catch keepers all day long, consisting of bait, equipment leasings, and momentary fishing licenses. Popular kinds of fish you may reel in on the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier consist of the following:


When deciding what to do in downtown Fort Walton Beach, think about joining in on a picturesque and amazing parasailing excursion! Visitors will soar up to heights of 400 feet in the sky, and delight in the smell of the salt air, the sun and breeze on their face, magnificent scenic views, and the adventure of a lifetime. Not only that, parasailing journeys will permit 3 guests to fly at a time, depending upon weight and age limitations, so this fantastic experience can be delighted in with your preferred people. This is a great way to witness the location's natural charm and question from a whole brand-new viewpoint, in addition to fantastic wildlife like dolphins, stingrays, sea turtles, and more!

Sunset Cruises

Sundown cruises provide something for everyone, from couples on a romantic getaway in Fort Walton Beach, to families in search of the perfect way to end an unforgettable day at the beach! Not only do lots of cruises depart from downtown Fort Walton Beach, they likewise come in all shapes and sizes, implying there's something for everyone in your group. Take it slow and consistent on a personal sailing charter, and take in amazing views on island time, or jet out into the Gulf of Mexico at maximum speed looking for dolphins, enjoyment, and adventure, the alternatives are almost endless! Whichever tour tickles your fancy, be sure to keep an eye out for beautiful sunsets, playful dolphins, pelicans, herons, stingrays, sea turtles, sharks, and more!


King Mackerel




And let's not forget to point out the breathtakingly beautiful views! The pier extends 1,262 feet into the Gulf of Mexico's crystal-clear waters, providing stunning panoramic views. Make certain to keep an eye out for enormous schools of fish, dolphins, stingrays, sharks, sea turtles, and other wonderful marine life listed below. Herons, pelicans, and other magnificent water birds can be discovered strolling down the pier, also. The picturesque coastline and shimmering waters provide exceptional views you need to see to believe!

Pontoon Boat Rentals

Another excellent thing to consider when picking what to do in downtown Fort Walton Beach is its close proximity to Santa Rosa Sound and Choctawhatchee Bay. This makes getting out on the water and making a splash a cinch, and while there are lots of watersports and activities to select from, leasing a pontoon is absolutely a favorite among locals and visitors alike! The area's smooth and scenic waters are ideal for boating, in addition to taking pleasure in some family fun in the sun. If this sounds like just what the medical professional bought, check out these remarkable locations to explore from your downtown Fort Walton Beach pontoon rental:

Paddleboard Rentals and Tours

When looking for something distinct to do in downtown Fort Walton Beach, paddleboarding must certainly suffice! This awesome activity combines relaxation and experience, using the very best of both worlds when it pertains to watersports. Participants will enjoy the serenity that comes with gradually paddling through the location's calm and picturesque waters, as well as the enjoyment of up-close encounters with nature at her finest! With various trips and leasings available, accommodating all ages and ability levels, you can be paddling through the stunning Choctawhatchee Bay in no time!

The Ratchet Hatchet Axe Throwing

Still baffled on what to do in downtown Fort Walton Beach? Why not transport your inner viking and hit the bullseye at The Ratchet Hatchet. The Ratchet Hatchet is an amazing indoor center with several axe-throwing lanes, and a range of tossing axes to select from like viking axes, tomahawks, and even shovels! Axe-throwing is enjoyable for all occasions, and anybody can get involved, as long as they can conveniently hold the axe over their head.

Historic Sites and Museums

If you're looking for what to do in downtown Fort Walton Beach for history enthusiasts, then you're in luck! This city has an abundant history that dates back thousands of years, with a lot of historical sites and museums to display and maintain it. Below are a few of the leading historic websites and museums to go to when in downtown Fort Walton Beach:

Heritage Park & Cultural Center: Located in the heart of downtown, the Heritage Park & Cultural Center is a museum complex that showcases Northwest Florida history dating all the way back to 12,000 B.C. Visitors can check out 5 spectacular museums here including the Indian Temple Mound Museum, Fort Walton Temple Mound, Camp Walton Schoolhouse, Garnier Post Office Museum, and Civil War Exhibits.

Air Force Armament Museum: The Air Force Armament Museum is about six miles far from downtown at Eglin Air Force Base, but is absolutely worth the trek! This incredible museum offers visitors tons of details, displays, and display screens, and includes lots of historic planes, rockets, rockets, and more. Admission is complimentary!

Emerald Coast Science Center: Kids, including kids at heart, will like the Emerald Coast Science Center! This interactive science museum integrates education and enjoyable, offering hands-on exhibitions, robotics, animal encounters, therefore much more.

Shopping and Dining

When deciding what to do in downtown Fort Walton Beach, make sure to make some time to soak up the area's small town beauty. Downtown Fort Walton Beach is home to a range of locally-owned shops, galleries, dining establishments, and tons of fun for the entire family! With that being said, if you've worked up a hunger taking pleasure in all that downtown Fort Walton Beach needs to provide, make sure to get a bite at one of these fantastic area eateries:

Burrito Del Sol

K.C.'s Sandbar & Grill

Taste Tapas & Wine Bar

Maas Coffee Roasters

The Boardroom Pub and Grub


Lots of downtown establishments also display a few of the very best local music and art. In fact, downtown Fort Walton Beach prides itself in supporting local artists, as numerous stores are either homegrown, or are filled with pieces from artists who are from the location. From high end garments, to handmade precious jewelry, downtown Fort Walton Beach uses a range of choices for all sorts of buyers!

Field Trip to Downtown Destin

After exploring all of the delightful things that downtown Fort Walton Beach needs to provide, it's time to head through the picturesque Gulf Islands National Seashore, and over the renowned Marler Bridge to Destin, "The World's Luckiest Fishing Village!" Downtown Destin is simply 6 miles away from Fort Walton Beach, and offers a myriad of magical things to do. Destin is Fort Walton's closest next-door neighbor, and a location for all-ages entertainment, dining, and enjoyable. From catching keepers on a kid-friendly fishing charter, to searching for Flipper on an extraordinary dolphin cruise in the Gulf, a journey to Destin, FL, provides lots of ways to develop incredible memories with the ones you love.