Free Things to Do in Fort Walton, Florida

Free Things to Do in Fort Walton, Florida
The Fort Walton area is a lesser-known Florida destination, though during Spring Break the town fills quickly with college students. Fort Walton is apart of Florida's emerald coast. It hosts many of the same activities as other coastal towns of the Sunshine State, such as snorkeling, swimming, golfing and bird watching. A handful of those activities are free.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

A few miles away from Fort Walton lies Santa Rosa Island. The island is part of the 12-unit, two-state Gulf Islands National Seashore. The island features activities such as bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, beach combing, bird watching and boating. As of 2009, the main portion of Rosa Island charges an entrance fee of $3 per carload. However, the section nearest Fort Walton, the Okaloosa Day Use Area, is free. The Okaloosa Day Use Area provides a quartz sand beach perfect for swimming, and a boat launch. It also has picnic areas and restrooms.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
1801 Gulf Breeze Pkwy.
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
(850) 934-2600
nps.gov/GUIS/index.htm

Beach

Fort Walton has a fine beach that costs nothing to stroll on, sunbathe and hunt seashells. And the beach is Fort Walton's main attraction. Avid outdoor enthusiasts likely own equipment like snorkeling masks and surfboards. Build a sandcastle, search for hermit crabs or read a good book. Local ordinances do not permit fires on the beach, but that does not affect the stargazing possibilities. A romantic walk along the shore at dusk is a great way to end the day.

Gator Beach

Alligators are some of Florida's most famous residents, and 100 American alligators live at Gator Beach, a free exhibit near the restaurant Fudpucker's in Destin. The educational exhibit began in 2002, expanding in late 2003 to its current size. One of the more interesting gators at Gator Beach is a lady called Mellow Yellow. Her coloring appears more yellow with black stripes. Occasionally, other visitors such as a Great Blue Heron and turtles find their way to the pond. In 2009, Gator Beach was the only free alligator exhibit in the area.
Gator Beach
20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy.
Destin, FL 32541-3410
(850) 837-4781
gatorbeach.com‎

Article Written By Amy L. Gouger

Amy L. Gouger holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from East Stroudsburg University. Previously a technical agent, she now serves as a ghostwriter and contributor to various online publications.

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