Okaloosa Island Vacation Guide

Where to Eat, Shop, Play, and Stay on Okaloosa Island

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About Okaloosa Island

Discover where to stay, play & eat on Okaloosa Island. Learn about the best time to visit, weather and more

Okaloosa Island is a parcel of land on the larger Santa Rosa Island, located in the Florida Panhandle. Okaloosa Island's claim to fame is its three miles of pristine, sandy beach that attracts millions of visitors year on year.

Okaloosa Island hosts a variety of festivals and events across the year that are perfect for kids and adults alike.


Cities in Okaloosa Island

Okaloosa Island is the Gulf-front community of Fort Walton Beach on Santa Rosa Island, located in the northwest of Florida commonly referred to as "The Panhandle" and "The Emerald Coast".



Beaches of South Walton

Beaches of South Walton

Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island

Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island


Highlights of Okaloosa Island

What are the Highlights and Area Attractions on Okaloosa Island?

  • Visiting one of the five beaches is a must. The Okaloosa Island Boardwalk, Blue Dolphin Beachwalk, and Redneck Beach all offer a unique atmosphere that makes them the perfect place to explore and unwind. 
  • Exploring Okaloosa Island's Town Center. Eat, shop, and have fun with the many activities in the Town Center. The Island Boardwalk, Emerald Coast Convention Center, and Wild Willy's Adventure Zone Park all offer fun for families and couples alike.
  • Exploring the Gulf of Mexico by boat, either by going with one of the many tours or by renting your own boat. 
  • Visiting Fort Walton Beach to do the many interesting and fun things it has to offer.



Things to do in Okaloosa Island

Things to Do on Okaloosa Island

Okaloosa Island has plenty to do whether you want to explore the beach or go shopping in Fort Walton. Here's a list of some of the best things to do around Okaloosa Island to curate your own wish-list of what to see and do.

  • Visit one of the beaches: The Okaloosa Island Boardwalk, Blue Dolphin Beachwalk, and Redneck Beach come highly recommended.
  • Visit the Wild Willy's Adventure Zone Theme Park for fun activities like mini-golf and go-karts. 
  • Visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park to see many different kinds of marine animals. 
  • Take a stroll along the Okaloosa Boardwalk to explore the shopping and dining options available. 
  • Get up close with Dolphins on the Waverunner Dolphin Tour. 
  • Check out what's on at the Emerald Coast Convention Center.
  • Fishing - Either booking a tour or by going out yourself. 
  • For something unique, why not go on the Hydroflight Flyboarding Experience?
  • Biking
  • Parasailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Boutique shopping
  • Fine dining and casual restaurants
  • Visiting Fort Walton Beach - Penty of Shops and Dining Opportunities

Explore Okaloosa Island

Food and Drinks on Okaloosa Island, Florida

Okaloosa Island may be small, but there are still plenty of fantastic restaurants. Most of the restaurants are within walking distance of each other and generally offer traditional bar food and seafood. Of course, Fort Walton offers even more dining options if you can't find something on the island. Okaloosa Island has a great selection of award-winning bistros and local seafood and farm-to-table options. Some favorite restaurants include:

  • For dinner on the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk, try Al's Beach Club and Burger Bar, Floyd's Shrimp House or Rockin' Tacos.
  • The Crab Island Cafe and Ninteen66 Grill and Tap House offer amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico away from the busy town center.
  • Got a craving for seafood? Well, you've got your options covered. Aj's Oyster Shanty, Stewby's Seafood Shanty, and The Gulf all offer delicious seafood meals.
  • Looking to get off the island? Then try some of the restaurants in Fort Walton, Rick's Crab Trap and The Shack offer nice seafood, Giovanni's One89 is a lovely Italian spot, and if you're looking for a night of drinking, The Craft Bar - FWB is exactly what you're looking for. 

Okaloosa Island Beaches

Okaloosa Island has five main beaches, each offering many different activities and things to do. 

  • Okaloosa Island Boardwalk: The most popular of Okaloosa's beaches, located right in the heart of the town. On-site dining and shopping make for a great day out. 
  • Blue Dolphin Beachwalk: A short walk away from the Boardwalk, offering a quieter atmosphere while still putting you right in the middle of the Okaloosa Island action. 
  • Redneck Beach: Located on the far east end of the island, Redneck beach offers seclusion and a chance to shut out the rest of the world and relax.  
  • John Beasley Park: A short-walk east of Okaloosa's town center, John Beasley Park has plenty of pavilions and wheelchair access to the beach, a great spot for an outdoor lunch.
  • Gulf Islands National Sea Shore: Facing northbound towards Fort Walton Beach, the Gulf Islands beach has a single axle boat ramp, perfect for visitors looking to do some sailing. 


Where to find Vacation Rentals on Okaloosa Island, FL

You're in luck! You can find vacation rentals right here on Florida Rental By Owner (FLARBO)! Our rental listings are 100% managed by the property owner or manager. Ditch the pesky third-party fees and interference - no middle man (Or woman) here!

Do you have questions about Okaloosa Island Florida, or need help planning your trip? Join our Destin Travel Facebook group here

Transportation for Okaloosa Island

Getting To And Around Okaloosa Island

Flying To Okaloosa Island

There are several airport options in close proximity to Okaloosa Island. A very importantto note for internationalvisitors lookingto fly to Okaloosa Island, none of the airlines servicing the airports below fly outside of the United States. Thus, if you choose to fly, you'll have to first stop in a city that takes flights from the following airports.

DESTIN-FORT WALTON BEACH AIRPORT (VPS)

The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport is 10.7 miles away (17.2 km), which is around a 20-minute drive. VPS services five major carriers, those being: Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, United and Silver Airways. VPS flies non-stop to 37 destinations, mostly across the east of the United States. Travelers should note that the furthest west any plane flies from this airport is Denver, Colorado.

PENSACOLA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (PNS)

The Pensacola International Airport is 45.7 miles (73.5 km) away from Okaloosa Island. It will take around an hour to get from here to Okaloosa Island. PNS services six airlines: American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Silver, Southwest, and United. PNS flies non-stop to 20 destinations, and, again, the furthest west any flight goes is to Denver, Colorado.

NORTHWEST FLORIDA BEACHES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (ECP)

The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is around 58.1 miles (82.2km) away from Okaloosa Island. Traveling from ECP will normally take around 1 and a half hours. ECP services four national carriers: American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and United. ECP has direct flights with seven destinations across the United States and takes connecting flights from across the world.


Transportation on Okaloosa Island

While a taxi or car rental service is recommended for getting to and from the island, most of the major attractions on Okaloosa are within walking distance of each other. Even so, here's a list of the transportation options available on Okaloosa Island.

Fort Walton Taxi Services and VPS Shuttles

If you need a Taxi or Bus Shuttle Service to get to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, there is no public transportation to the airport. Thus, it is suggested to use one of the 30 private companies that are registered with the airport on their website. All are trusted companies and will surely be useful in getting you where you need to go.

Sunshine Shuttle

Another company offering private transportation from Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, Sunshine offers a high-class service, 24/7 across North-West Florida.

Emerald Coast Rider

The EC Rider is a bus service that features 11 routes that can get you around Okaloosa Island and Fort-Walton in comfort and safety. The shuttles run Monday - Friday 8.00 am - 7.00 pm with buses coming every 20 minutes during summer and 45 minutes during winter. Bus tickets can be purchased on board the bus, or ahead of time at850-833-9168.

Scooter Rentals

Street Legal Scooter Rentals are situated across the island, perfect for people looking to do a bit of solo exploring.


Statistics about Okaloosa Island

10+ Properties for rent

Prices range from $175/night


Weather for Okaloosa Island

Summers on Okaloosa Island are hot with a greater chance of precipitation.

Spring and Fall are the ideal times to visit for the most pleasant weather for outdoor activities.

Winter is chilly by Florida standards, but quite temperate compared to colder climes, and enjoyed by many snowbirds.


FAQs about Okaloosa Island

Answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Florida Rental By Owners (FLARBO) is full of a wide variety of vacation rentals in, Florida including condos, cottages, town-homes, duplexes, villas, holiday and private homes. Our 2019 property selection features several homes and condos in Okaloosa Island We recommend selecting a property based on your needs such as proximity to beach areas, waterfront docks, parking, wheelchair accessible, nearby attractions, and whether or not the property is pet-friendly or boat-friendly.
Absolutely! Okaloosa Island accommodations include condos which often offer unique amenities and the perfect space rather than an Okaloosa Island cottage or sizeable private home for example. House rentals are usually great for family vacations, larger groups or those who prefer having an entire house and outdoor property to themselves.
Yes, there are many homes and condos that rent on a monthly basis on and near Okaloosa Island, Florida that are perfect for longer stay guests. Don't forget to search for more options just off the island in nearby culture-rich Sarasota.
You're in luck! You can find vacation rentals by owner right here on Florida Rental By Owner (FLARBO)! Our rental listings are 100% managed by the property owner. Ditch the pesky third-party fees and interference - no middle man (Or woman) here!

Yes! We have different subscription levels to advertise your vacation rental for any budget. Our Book Direct, No Commission Fee Subscription Model suits the majority of short term rental owners. You can view the details located on our List Your Property page here.

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