Fort Walton Beach is located on the Emerald Coast of Florida. As a lesser-known Florida destination, the town still offers nature enthusiasts all the enjoyment of a seaside location with fewer crowds. An anomaly called the 100 Fathom curve causes a quick drop into deep water relatively close to shore, making the area great for fishing. Other activitivies in Fort Walton Beach include snorkeling, diving, biking and dolphin cruises.
The six-mile Timberlake Bike Trail is located roughly 10 miles from Fort Walton Beach. As of 2009, there were no navigation markers on the trail. The trail is primarily flat but can be slightly challenging for inexperienced or intermediate bikers. The difficulty of the trail and sub trails are marked.
Diving and Snorkeling
Diving and snorkeling are very popular water sports at Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding areas. Several boats made their final resting place off the Gulf coast of Florida. According to the Visit Florida website, at "Fort Walton Beach the natural reefs come close to shore. Ancient limestone ledges stagger like giant stairways into the depths. Large basket and barrel sponges top sandy patches and schools of baitfish swarm in free-style unison with unending graceful flow." Divers and snorkelers may see dolphins, manta rays, several varieties of fish, and turtles. Many snorkeling and diving companies exist in or near Fort Walton Beach and can provide the appropriate gear. Some will let experienced snorkelers use gear they brought with them. Fort Walton Beach outfitters provide expert knowledge of the area and local regulations, which makes the local tour companies the best way to snorkel or dive Fort Walton Beach.
For its dolphin tours, Olin Marler Charter Fishing and Dolphin Cruises uses glass-bottomed boats with on-board restrooms and a snack bar. The two-hour cruises travel through Destin Harbor and East Pass before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. The cruise continues into the Bay. For the summer, fall and winter 2009, the cost is $25 for adults and $13.50 for children ages 4-12. Spring prices are discounted.
Olin Marler's Charter Fishing
102 B Highway 98 East
Destin, Florida 32541