Fort Walton Beach is a beautiful city in South Okaloosa County, Florida. Having a population that ranges a little above 20,000 people, Fort Walton is known for being a fishing and resort community all the year through. That’s the reason why the city gets crowded and very busy during the summers. The seasonal migration of people to Fort Walton, because of tourism opportunities, gives a boost to the local economy here.
Fort Walton Beach is a family-friendly tourism spot that has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the state of Florida. The place also houses historically valued museums. Also, the stable mild climate throughout the year makes the city even more tourist-friendly. Here are some of the best spots in Fort Walton that never fail to catch the attention of the tourists.
Emerald Coast Science Center
The main agenda on which this facility works is to develop and nurture the interest of young children in science. This is the place that allows children to come and get answers to their scientific curiosities. Emerald Coast Science Center enables children to enjoy scientific developments.
There are many departments here that have high-quality interactive exhibits including robotics, physics, color and light. Kids are allowed to indulge in various unusual activities like fly a model plane in wind tunnel, guide robotic arms, and get close to various animals in their critter exhibits. The facility is often crowded with students on school field trips and on monthly workshops that are arranged for children.
Air Force Armament Museum
One of the fascinating places to visit in the city is the Air Force Armament Museum. This museum presents you the history of aircraft development, guns, missiles, bombs and rockets that were used by the United States Air Force during various wars like World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and several other Gulf Wars.
The most attractive features here are the amazing collection of weaponry and interactive cockpit simulators. Outside the museum in the park, there are 29 models of planes. Some of these planes date back to World War I even.
Indian Temple and Mound Museum
This exotic place pays tribute to the occupation of Native Americans over these lands that extended to over 12,000 years. This was long before the time when European settlers invaded the land and established their colonies. These Native Americans were very cultural people and built mounds to bury their dead people. This museum has artifacts that date back to 1100 – 1550 AD. Tourists love this place that dates back to ancient times. They explore the area, the mounds and an old Indian temple nearby.
Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum
Before the city was named Fort Walton, it was called Camp Walton. The former name of the city was given to it after the Confederate Army encampment that existed here somewhere in the 1860s. However, in 1911, a school made with pine and oak was built here for the children of this area.
The school is reported to have opened with fifteen students and one teacher. Only grades 1-8 to were taught in this one-room schoolhouse. With time the school expanded, the grades taught here were raised to grade 12, and more teachers were hired. The school closed in 1936 when a bigger and better school was built nearby. However, the schoolhouse and its interior are still preserved.
Visitors come to see the primitive interiors and how the classrooms were set up in those days. There are artifacts of the school on display here that will give you a sense how school life used to be in olden days.
John Beasley Park
John Beasley Park is a huge beachfront park between Fort Walton and Destin. The park has two timbered pathways that lead you over the sand dunes all the way to the picturesque beach. The beach here is very quiet and perfect for spending relaxing hours under the sun listening to nothing but waves crashing on the shore and the seagulls. The beach has excellent outdoor showers and two huge pavilions which can be rented for special occasions and beach parties.
Fort Walton Beach Flea Market
One of the best things about the city’s flea market is that it is indoors and fully air conditioned market that has more than 70 vendors. These vendors include food counters, stalls for quick meals and drinks as well. The market is spread under a 14,000 square foot home where the locals and tourists flock in to find an enormous variety of goods including vintage clothing, music, purses, books, jewelry, musical instruments, furniture, art and antique décor items.
Fort Walton Beach’s location near the glittering Gulf Coast lures people from the neighboring and other cities during holiday seasons. The city’s powdery white sand beaches, sparkling emerald waters and lush green golf courses instantly capture the hearts of the tourists. Its various destinations that suit the interest of the children, aquariums and museums also make it one of best family-oriented destination.