Family Friendly Guide to Okaloosa County, Florida
Okaloosa County boasts calm turquoise waters and soft, white sand, that have plentiful seashells to find. The quaint town of Okaloosa Island offers an array of boutiques to shop at and restaurants specializing in seafood. And the bigger cities of Destin and Fort Walton Beach, offer theme parks, boat tours, and alligator shows. Whether you want to take your family on a dolphin cruise, visit the Gulfarium, or catch some fireworks after a day on the beach, there is something for everyone in Okaloosa County.
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Where to stay in Okaloosa/Fort Walton/Destin, FL
Henderson Beach Resort
Relaxed hotel along a white-sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico with polished rooms and suites.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
The Island Resort at Fort Walton Beach
The Island Resort at Fort Walton Beach offers a picturesque seaside getaway with luxurious accommodations, stunning ocean views, and a wide range of recreational activities.
Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach, an IHG Hotel
Located directly on the white sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, this casual 152-room beachfront resort features beachfront lazy river pool and tiki bar.
Unlock perks by contacting our team of advisors to book your trip.
Things to do in Okaloosa/Fort Walton/Destin, FL
The Gulfarium offers several up close interactions with various marine animals. The Gulfarium offers great live entertainment, offering, live, educational shows about the marine life they have. They also one-on-one personal encounters with certain animals for an additional price.
Big Kahuna Island - A water park featuring rides for kids of all ages. Big Kahuna water park offers thrilling water slides for those action lovers, and for the little ones, they have a great kiddie land filled with water slides catered just for them.
Cattywampus Boat Tours offers boat tours geared for snorkeling, dolphin watching, and sunset cruises. They are fair priced and family friendly.
Fudpuckers - You read that right! They offer meals, alligator shows, teen nights, live music, and more!
Buccaneer Pirate Cruise - Climb aboard a genuine pirate ship that's family friendly! During this 2 hour cruise, crews will be trained in all things priates, how to swab the deck, pirate songs- even sword fighting!
Crab Island - Visiting Crab Island is an experience like no other! You'll have to book a boat to get there, but once there, you'll enjoy a day of relaxation in crystal clear water that is no deeper than your waist. Enjoy vendors on boats, who'll have everything you'll need so you can spend the whole day, enjoying this island paradise!
Visit the pier on Okaloosa Island - This iconic pier is great for walking out and exploring to Gulf of Mexico, or for a low fee, you can rent some fishing equipment and bait and spend a few hours testing your luck.
The beach - Of course you can spend the day at any of Okaloosa County's beautiful, soft, white sand beaches! You can spend hours, building sand castles, searching for seashells, or wading hundred of yards into the crystal blue water of the Gulf of Mexico.
Places to eat & drink in Okaloosa/Fort Walton/Destin, FL
Okaloosa Donuts if you like donuts, you love these! They have their regular flavors, and then they have specialty flavors like chocolate cheesecake and smores! They also make specialty coffees to help get you up and going in the morning.
Sunset Bowls - This food truck offers the freshet ingredients in order to create made to order fruit bowls, acai bowls, and smoothies.
The Sound Cafe - Welcome to the hippest coffee shop in Okaloosa County! The Sound Cafe offers a plethera of espressos, lattes, smoothies, along with breakfast sandwiches. Stick around and they'll make serve you're favorite beer, IPA, or mixed drink, while you watch live music.
Stewbys Seafood Shanty - One of Okaloosa County's best kept secret is Stewby's Seafood Shanty. All seafood is caught daily and served fresh on your plate. Your choice of fried or grilled shrimp, oysters, or fish of the day is served with hushpuppies and a side. And the best part is the well-portioned serving size for the price.
AJ's Oyster Shanty - Aj's boasts serving the freshest oysters in Okaloosa County since 1984. They have specialty drinks with unique names and ingredients, sure to tickle anyone's fancy, and the food is absolutely outstanding.
The Crab Trap - Sit back and take in some of the prettiest views of the Gulf of Mexico while enjoying the fresh, local seafood that is offered at The Crab Trap. Appetizers start at just $1.99, and meals are offered at a market price. Drinks come in all shapes and sizes, but my favorite happens to come in tiny bucket, that I am able to keep as a souvenir.
Fudpuckers - This unique experience is fun for all ages! Fudpuckers offers a family friendly restaurant with all-American favorites to fresh seafood. Fudpuckers allows guests to view their alligator show at "Gator Beach," offers live music, and hosts a teen night.
Coyote Ugly Saloon - Just like the movie! Coyote Ugly Saloon is open daily from 7pm-4am. Girls who decide to brave the crowd and dance on the bar get free shots! Take your shot and enjoy the show along with a few more drinks!
Lucky's Rotten Apple - Here you can enjoy your favorite adult beverage, while playing pool inside, or enjoying the night air outside. The staff always smile and makes the customers feel welcome, and the vibe is always upbeat.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Florida.