The Best of Fort Walton Beach! Located between Pensacola and Panama City along North Florida’s glittering Gulf Coast, Fort Walton Beach offers visitors its powdery white beaches, emerald waters, enjoyable golf courses, and much more. The small-town atmosphere includes eleven traditional neighborhoods, seven of which are located along the shoreline, and each with their own distinct personality and charm. Fort Walton Beach boasts all the fun of the major vacation spots, minus the fuss. Home to family-friendly resorts and attractions such as parks, museums and aquariums, it’s not just the calm, green waters and cool, white sand that make this northwest Florida destination a family favorite. Visit the area beaches in Fort Walton Beach and along the Emerald Coast. Read thru our Fort Walton Beach Vacation Guide so you can start planning your trip today!
Fort Walton Beach Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit Fort Walton Beach is in April and May when the water is warm, the sun is shining and the temperatures are comfortable (expect highs in the mid-70s and 80s). If you visit any earlier, you risk cooler weather and chilly water. A summer trip will put you among the crowds and the peak prices. Although you might consider late summer and early fall, the temperatures can be sweltering and accompanied by rain. Average highs reach the high 80s in summer, while winter temps fluctuate between the low 40s and 60s. Some travelers do visit in the winter offseason when rates drop, but they miss out on the area’s top activities.
Best Fort Walton Beach Area Beaches
This 40-acre park is home to fishing pier, a favorite with locals, as well as a generous beach laden with soft sand. You can enjoy people-watching, try to catch a fish, or watch a spirited game of beach volleyball. Amenities include a playground.
John C. Beasley Park
John Beasley Park features showers, pavilions, facilities and picnic tables, as well as a restaurant, beach club, playground, and beach volleyball court. Activities include snorkeling, fishing, and even a little surfing.
Shores at Crystal Beach Public Access and Park
Snuggled against the Gulf of Mexico, this Park is open from dawn to dusk. It features a pavilion, restrooms, showers, picnic tables and limited parking.
James Lee Park
The water is shallow and clear, making it inviting for your whole gang, and there are lots of picnic tables and parking spaces, as well as pavilions, a playground and restrooms with changing rooms. After you work up an appetite playing in the surf, dust off the sand and recharge your batteries at the Crab Trap restaurant in the parking lot.
Henderson Beach State Park
Gleaming white sand characterizes this popular Park, which offers a natural 6,000-foot beach. You can swim, fish in the surf, go biking, camp, walk the nature trail, or just kick back by the waves.
Best Fort Walton Beach Restaurants
Soi Bistro $11 – 30
The healthy alternative, Soi Bistro features an inventive and traditional mix of sushi paired with the largest selection of sake. Prepared with the freshest ingredients, they offer a dining experience full of creative flavors, combined with a casual relaxed atmosphere. Indulge in their signature rolls or Asian inspired dishes. Telephone: 850-586-7645 Web: Soi Bistro.
Stewby’s Seafood Restaurant $11 – 30
STEWBY’S Seafood Shanty is a small take out and drive thru seafood restaurant in Fort Walton Beach. Offering the most affordable and freshest local seafood. You can eat on their enclosed deck or take it to-go. All their seafood is fresh and locally bought. The fish comes straight of the boats in Destin. Average order time is between 4-6 minutes. So if your in a hurry, don’t worry. They’ll have you on your way in minutes. STEWBY’S also offers a drive thru window for your convenience. Drive thru and take some to go or stop by and order from the walk up window. STEWBY’S is always providing the best quality seafood at the best price! Telephone: 850-586-7001 Web: Stewby’s Seafood Restaurant.
Blue Collar Cafe Under $10
Fresh-baked goods, yummy breakfast (their maple bacon makes life better; trust em) and mouth-watering deli sandwiches! Come try Marc’s famous scratch-made bagels–or even better, get a B.O.B. (Breakfast on a Bagel). A selection of fresh gourmet coffee; beans roasted in-house! Telephone: 850-586-7211 Web: Blue Collar Cafe
Rick’s Crab Trap $11 – 30
They offer fresh seafood straight from the Gulf, as well as other favorites, shipped to us fresh. Add in tasty appetizers, fresh salads, great sandwiches and wraps, plus lots of steamed, fried, and broiled entrees. They have something for every taste. In addition to being a family restaurant, and a full service bar, they also LOVE sports. Every night you will find the game on one of their dozen or more TV’s From NFL, NCAA, MLB , NHL and NBA, to soccer from the world stage, they have the sports you are looking for. Telephone: 850-664-0110 Web: Rick’s Crab Trap.
Old Bay Steamer $11 – 30
Old Bay Steamer is an independent, locally owned and operated seafood restaurant in Fort Walton Beach FL. They opened in 1995 on Okaloosa Island just in time for Hurricane Erin. Shortly thereafter, Hurricane Opal delivered a spectacular smack down. Against all odds and pathetic customer counts, they did not perish. Word of mouth and local support, has been the foundation of their success. The Place for Steamed Seafood in Ft Walton Beach FL : Maine Lobster Tails • King Crab • Snow Crab • Royal Red Shrimp • Clams • Mussels • Oysters. Telephone: 850-664-2795 Web: Old Bay Steamer.
Best Fort Walton Beach Bars & Nightlife
TapWorks specializes in craft beer, craft spirits, and elegant wine. They have 60 beers on tap as well as about 25 bottles. They also have an extensive liquor line up that includes the “norm” plus over 30 small batch craft spirits. Their specialty craft drink menu utilizes some of these unique spirits. Their wine list includes over 15 wines that were handpicked by their staff. Telephone: 850-244-1087 Web: Tapworks
Props Brewery & Grill
Props Brewery is the location where great people come to meet, eat, and drink their amazing hand crafted beer. Take the entire family or just go and hang out with friends to watch their brewery in action or catch the game. They are the center of all things sports and craft beer in Fort Walton Beach. So, go out to watch as they craft these amazing beers and most importantly relax, kick back, and enjoy a craft beer in their pub or outside in their beer garden. Telephone: 850-586-7117 Web: Props Brewery & Grill.
They bring Fort Walton Beach many tastes from local breweries and from across the country. They are the original American craft beer bar in Fort Walton Beach and pride themselves in bringing new and different brews to the local crowds and to you, at a price that is way affordable compared to those other guys. So if you’re looking for rare and exclusive American craft beers available in the local area, they are the guys that have them and if you’re looking for big-name, nationally and internationally marketed commercial beers, they have a few. Telephone: 850-226-8336 Web: Salty Duck.
The Boardroom Pub & Grub
The Boardroom Pub and Grub specializes in craft beer, choice wines, and food no one would expect to come out of their closet of a kitchen. Try the Massive Pork Nachos. They offer 80+ beers, a premier wine selection, and healthy food options all day and night. Telephone: 850-200-4741 Web: The Boardroom Pub & Grub
Rick’s Crab Trap
They offer fresh seafood straight from the Gulf, as well as other favorites, shipped to us fresh. Add in tasty appetizers, fresh salads, great sandwiches and wraps, plus lots of steamed, fried, and broiled entrees. They have something for every taste. In addition to being a family restaurant, and a full service bar, they also LOVE sports. Every night you will find the game on one of our dozen or more TV’s From NFL, NCAA, MLB , NHL and NBA, to soccer from the world stage, they have the sports you are looking for. Telephone: 850-664-0110 Web: Rick’s Crab Trap.