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Okaloosa Island is a beautiful area located on the Gulf of Mexico between Destin and Fort Walton Beach. Known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, Okaloosa Island is a popular destination for tourists looking to relax and enjoy the sunshine. With plenty of outdoor activities, such as fishing off the Okaloosa Island Pier, boating, and water sports, and visiting The Boardwalk, there’s something for everyone on this island. With its stunning natural beauty and abundance of activities, Okaloosa Island is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Gulf Coast of Florida.

The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island

The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island is a popular destination for tourists visiting the area. Located on Santa Rosa Boulevard, the Boardwalk is a 1/4 mile stretch of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors can enjoy live music, outdoor dining, and shopping for souvenirs and beachwear. The Boardwalk is also located next to several attractions, including The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, where visitors can see live marine animals up close, and Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone, an amusement park with a variety of rides and activities. With its stunning views of the Gulf, the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening with friends and family.

Restaurants at The Boardwalk

The Crab Trap

Located high above the powdery white sand and emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, The Crab Trap provides an ideal spot to commence or conclude your day at the beach. The restaurant serves a range of local favorites, including Hot Crab Dip and Seafood Gumbo, as well as daily specials like Grilled Sirloin and Alaskan Crab Legs, catering to all tastes and preferences.

Al’s Beachclub and Burger Bar

Dine with outdoor seating or order to go, Al’s Beachclub and Burger Bar is the perfect lunch spot to enjoy delicious burgers, frozen custard shakes, a large selection of craft bars, and live entertainment. With gorgeous views of the beach and front-row seats to volleyball games, Al’s is the perfect beachfront restaurant on Okaloosa Island. 

Rockin’ Tacos

Rockin Tacos offers a fresh, authentic Mexican culinary experience. The restaurant is committed to delivering an unparalleled dining experience with its fun and family-friendly atmosphere. With a vast menu of handcrafted, fresh, and locally sourced dishes, Rockin Tacos promises to bring the true taste of Mexico to The Emerald Coast. Guests can relax on the beach with a freshly infused margarita, shoot a game of pool on the outdoor pool tables, and enjoy a late-night taco menu with the Rockin House DJ’s tunes. Rockin Tacos is a must-visit destination for those seeking delicious cuisine, entertainment, and a beachside vibe.

Floyd’s Shrimp House

For additional seafood options and delicious shrimp, Floyd’s Shrimp House is a great option. Indulge in the freshest seafood and the best-priced shrimp that the restaurant has to offer. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample Floyd’s award-winning selection of fresh shrimp and other delectable seafood dishes.

Activities at The Boardwalk

From water activities, volleyball tournaments, and events year-round, there is no shortage of things to do for all ages at The Boardwalk. Some notable events include fireworks throughout the year, Emerald Coast Volleyball Week, Movies on the Beach, an annual Kite Festival, and more! In addition to preplanned events, families can also enjoy beach activities, souvenir shopping, and a beachfront playground for children!

The Okaloosa Island Pier

Okaloosa Island Pier

With a length of 1,262 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, The Island Pier offers breathtaking vistas of stunning sunrises and sunsets. Keep your cameras at hand to capture awe-inspiring snapshots of the diverse marine life that call the sea and sky around the Pier home, including dolphins, sea turtles, herons, and pelicans. Also, don’t miss the thrill of witnessing The Island Anglers hauling in their catch, which ranges from Black Fin Tuna to the Mighty King Mackerel.

Thinking about fishing? 

Daily or annual fishing licenses can be purchased on arrival at the pier. Don’t worry about packing fishing gear! Fishing equipment including rods, bait, and tackle can all be rented when arriving to the pier for an affordable price. Not to mention, a ramp is located at the entrance of Angler’s (located behind the pier) for accessible entry onto the pier, so everyone can enjoy!

Public Beach Access on Okaloosa Island

There are multiple points of beach access along Okaloosa Island. 

 
1. Emerald Promenade Beachwalk Access
2. Doris Jordon Freeway Beach Access
3. Okaloosa Island Beach Access 5
4. Okaloosa Island Beach Access 4
5. Seashore Beach Access
6. Emerald View Beach Access
7. Blue Dolphin Beach Access
8. The Boardwalk
9. Beasley Beach Park
 

John Beasley Park

John Beasley Park is a great option for those looking to indulge in pure beach paradise. This spacious beach park offers two dune walkovers leading to the Gulf of Mexico. The park features two large pavilions, 12 picnic tables, an octagonal platform, and restrooms equipped with changing rooms. With 208 parking spaces available, visitors can conveniently park their vehicles. John Beasley Park operates from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset, providing ample time to enjoy its amenities and picturesque beachfront.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

The only sanctioned bay-side public access on Okaloosa Island, the Gulf Islands National Seashore beach is renowned for its unspoiled environment and tranquil beach experience, making it a popular choice among nature enthusiasts. This beach is a particularly great option for those with children, as it is known for its shallow and calm waters. 

 

The beach, situated on the bay-side coast of Okaloosa Island and north of Highway 98, features shallow waters ideal for swimming and natural landscapes that provide a stunning backdrop. As a national park and local landmark, the Gulf Islands National Seashore beach is easily accessible to the public, boasting several amenities such as a boat ramp and a spacious parking lot free of charge. 

Okaloosa Island Adventure Activities

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is a fun experience for adults and children alike! It is home to a variety of marine animals, including dolphins, sea lions, penguins, turtles, stingrays, and gators. The park offers visitors a chance to get up close and personal with these creatures through interactive experiences such as dolphin encounters and stingray encounters. The Gulfarium also features daily animal shows and presentations, educational exhibits, and a touch tank where visitors can handle marine animals like starfish and sea urchins. With its stunning location on the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park provides a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Wild Willy's Adventure Zone

Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is an exciting family entertainment center located on Okaloosa Island. The facility offers a wide range of indoor and outdoor attractions, including laser tag, a 4D movie theater, a ropes course, mini-golf, bumper boats, and an arcade with over 65 games. Wild Willy’s also features a 10,000 square foot indoor playground, complete with ball pits, slides, and a giant maze for children to explore. Visitors can purchase tickets for individual attractions or opt for an all-access pass for unlimited fun. With its variety of activities, Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is a popular destination for families and groups looking for a fun-filled day of adventure on Okaloosa.

Where to stay on Okaloosa Island

RealJoy offers dozens of incredible condos on Okaloosa Island. Gulf-side or bay-side, the options are unlimited. 

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