Along the Emerald Coast, Fort Walton Beach shares the amazing spring weather that the Florida Panhandle is known for, Fort Walton Beach offers the same beautiful water and sand that other Emerald Coast towns do but with a more laidback attitude. You get the best of both worlds: the hustle and bustle of Destin without the hustle part. Here are 7 reasons you should spend your Florida spring break at Fort Walton Beach.
Fort Walton Beach’s variety of beaches has something for every type of vacationer, making it the perfect spring break destination in Florida. Here are some beaches that give the locals of Fort Walton Beach bragging rights over the rest of the Emerald Coast:
- The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island – Popular destination on the Gulf of Mexico. Lots of activities including beaches, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. Dine at Rockin’ Tacos, The Crab Trap, Floyd’s Shrimp House, and Al’s Beach Club & Burger Bar. Get coffee and dessert at Oasis (you can buy beach gear there too) and Pino Gelato. Daily live music at Al’s. Tuesday movie night, Wednesday fireworks, Thursday evening beach luau party & 8 pm fire performance at Al’s. A five-minute drive from Power Up Watersports.
- John Beasley Park – Large beach park that has dune walkovers to the Gulf, two large pavilions you can rent, picnic tables, restrooms with changing rooms, ample parking. John Beasley Park is named after John C. Beasley, a notable community leader who dedicated time to community advancement. During the Jim Crow era, John Beasley Park was the only beach in the Florida panhandle where Black residents could enjoy a day at the beach.
- Ross Marler Park – Located at the Choctawhatchee Bay, Ross Marler gives swimming, boating, and fishing access. There are ample auto and boat trailer parking spots, as well as a tram spot. The park, which was refurbished in 2006, has many amenities such as handicapped-accessible fishing, boat ramps, bathrooms, pavilions, grills, a roped-off swimming area, and a walking trail.
- Gulf Island National Shore – Stretching 160 miles, this national seashore boasts sparkling water, white sand beaches, and coastal marshes. It’s divided into 12 areas that have historic forts, camping, picnic areas, and camping. It stretches all the way to Fort Walton Beach. The Fort Walton-Okaloosa area of Gulf Island National Shores features a safe swimming area, public bathrooms that have outdoor showers to hose off, and a boat launch.
Jet Ski & Pontoon Rentals over at Power Up Watersports
- At Power Up Water Sports (that’s us!) you can have fun with our jet ski and pontoon rentals! You can’t go to the beach without jet ski and boat rides, so why not do it with the best? We stand out from the rest because we’re the only ones in the area powered by an award-winning watersports expert. We’ll take care of you every step of the way for your Florida spring break.
Our resorts are a match made in heaven with your Florida spring break
- Live your best life at The Island Resort in Fort Walton. This beachfront resort has everything you need (besides us, of course). Amenities include beautiful white sand beaches, pools, great dining and drinking options, including a beach bar and swim-up bar, a business center, and a gift shop. The resort also boasts a busy calendar with nightly music and weekly activities. Best part? The Island is ADA accessible.
We have unique attractions and activities that will add oomph to your spring break in Florida
- The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park has something for everyone! The animal encounters include but are not limited to, stingrays, alligators, turtles, penguins, harbor seals, dolphins, and a reptile safari. You can even host an event if you have something special going on this spring break.
- Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone – This family entertainment center has something for everyone. The 1700 square foot space is air-conditioned and includes a state-of-the-art redemption arcade, a movie theater, and a laser maze, amongst other activities. The giant air-conditioned space guarantees fun rain or shine. Outside, there are dinosaur-themed golf courses, a large ropes course, a roller-coaster, remote-control battle boats, and a reverse bungee trampoline.
- The Buff City Soaps classes! This is a great indoor activity for small groups. Spend an afternoon learning how to make soaps from choosing a scent to mixing to setting your soap and bath bombs.
Our restaurants and bars have so much to offer
- The Gulf on Okaloosa Island – With modern design elements such as shipping containers contrasting with a beach aesthetic (think palms, sand, surf), The Gulf gives off the beach-chic vibes: stylish without being snooty. The food is local, fresh, and seasonal – revolving menu. Right on the bay with a bar and music, The Gulf is the perfect spot for lunch or an evening with friends.
- Fubar – This waterfront restaurant prides itself on its hot fresh pizza and ice-cold beer. Located bayside, you can find your way there by boat (and of course other on-ground modes of transportation). They feature a game room and host regular events. Don’t miss out on their weekend brunch with bottomless mimosas or their Friday night live music highlighting an assortment of local acts.
Our boardwalk also gives every Florida spring breaker a plethora of dine-and-drink options, consider it your main hang out when you’re not living it up on our pontoons
- Al’s Beach Club – This seasonal venue is perfect for your Florida spring break. Due to being an exposed outdoor restaurant on the boardwalk, Al’s is only open from March through October. Perfect for a quick bite after spending your day on the beach with a simple, classic menu. With a busy events calendar featuring pirate shows and fire-breathing dancers, you’ll find something unique and entertaining to do there every night of the week.
- Floyd’s Shrimp House – Featuring local shrimp from the gulf, seafood fans will find their way at Floyd’s with their all-you-can-eat specials including a 4-6 pm daily seafood happy hour featuring $13.99 all-you-can-eat shrimp! While you’re at it, enjoy one of their cocktails while relaxing on their porch. Refuel over here after your jet ski adventure. Floyd’s is a must-go-to during any Florida spring break.
- Rockin’ Tacos – This beachfront dining spot boasts a menu that a taco aficionado could only dream of. Enjoy their flavorful tacos (and more) with a view while sipping on a handcrafted margarita. Try out their Rockin’ Brunch Burrito on Sunday and wash it down with one of their Rockin’ Brunch Cocktails or their bottomless mimosas. What’s a spring break in Florida without some brunch?
- The Crab Trap – Try the outdoor seating at this hangout spot on the shore with seafood and a marvelous view. Try out their wild Alaska crab legs and sip on their frozen cocktails. Seating is first-come, first-served so be sure to show up early since they don’t take reservations, nor do they offer take-out due to high demand; they’re just that great.
What’s a Florida spring break without bringing something home?
- Fort Walton Beach boasts a collection of antique shops, including the 13,000 square foot area De’France Antiques that has over 100 booths and vendors. Downtown Fort Walton also offers cute boutiques such as Bluebird Boutique for fashion-forward visitors. Did you forget your swimsuit at home? It happens to the best of us, and you can remedy that with a visit to the shops at The Boardwalk Okaloosa Island, you were going to go there anyway.