Okaloosa Island Guide: Top Things to Do and What to Pack

Okaloosa Island sits south of Fort Walton Beach in the Florida panhandle. The area measures only 875 acres, however visitors have plenty to do. Plus, there are beaches. Some even claim they are best beaches in Okaloosa County. If looking for a new destination or it’s been awhile, here’s a quick Okaloosa Island guide.

Okaloosa Island Guide to Fun Activities and Attractions

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The Beaches

Due to the size, it’s easy to access white-sand beaches in Okaloosa Island. The area offers seven access points, however Jerry Melvin Beachwalk ranks among the most remote. Visitors will find this path between Pelican Isle and The Nautilus.

For amenities and gathering spots, check out John Beasley Park on Miracle Strip Parkway. This attraction has dune walkovers, large pavilions, picnic tables, restrooms and ample parking. Or tour the most popular access point, The Boardwalk at Okaloosa Island.

The Boardwalk at Okaloosa Island

Regulars and locals consider The Boardwalk at Okaloosa Island a must. For years, the boardwalk has served as a gathering spot with restaurants, shopping and beach-loving events.

The boardwalk houses six restaurants serving seafood, burgers, tacos and sweet treats. Even better, most sit on the beach, providing endless waterfront views. Don’t miss The Crab Trap, Lobster Tail and Al’s Beach Club. Those who want souvenirs will find local shops selling fashion, trends and gifts. In the summer, stay after dark to see fireworks shows.

Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier

Enjoy fishing and wildlife? Head to Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. The attraction welcomes anglers to rent equipment and fish for popular Gulf species. The team even posts daily Okaloosa Island fishing reports.

The pier extends over 1,200 feet into the Gulf of Mexico where visitors catch tuna, mackerel, redfish and tarpon. Additionally, anglers enjoy a more affordable fishing option with amenities such as refreshments, beer, snacks, sandwiches, and ice cream. At night, take a leisurely stroll to see the sunset and moon reflect over the water.

okaloosa island guide fishing pier

Okaloosa Island Guide: Outdoor Attractions

While the boardwalk and pier offer fun activities, families also enjoy other attractions in Fort Walton Beach. It sits less than 10 minutes from Okaloosa Island, and guests have access to fishing charters, local tours, museums, escape games and adventure parks.

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

This family-friendly attraction aims to care for local marine life while connecting people to the community. General admission to Gulfarium Park grants access to demonstrations, exhibits and shows. For an extra cost, book an up-close animal encounter. The whole group will see dolphins, seals, sea lions, penguins, gators and turtles.

Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone

At Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone, located on Okaloosa Island, play the arcade and laser maze, enter the 4D theater, play mini golf, climb the ropes course, and reverse bungee jump.

sand castle lessons fort walton beach

Sand Castle Lessons

Ever wondered how sand sculptures build such elaborate creations? Learn special secrets and tips with SandCastle Lessons. Perfect for a group activity, lessons last two hours and include building a sandcastle around 3.5 feet tall. Don’t forget the camera.

Indian Temple Mound and Museum

Dating from the 1960s, Indian Temple Mound and Museum provides a glimpse into Native American history and American settlement history. Browse over 1,000 artifacts showcasing 12,000 years of Native American living. See bone, stone and clay, prehistoric ceramics, and learn about European explorers, pirates and early settlers.

Okaloosa Island Guide: What to Pack

Okaloosa Island gets over 200 days of sunshine per year. No matter when vacationing in Okaloosa Island, prepare for moderate and warm temperatures, occasional rain showers, and lots of time on the beach.

In order to stay prepared, pack plenty of sun protection, beach gear, an umbrella and comfortable clothes. It’s also important to take sun breaks and stay hydrated, so everyone has a successful trip.

After reading this Okaloosa Island guide, learn more about Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island.