Fort Walton Beach is located on the Emerald Coast of northwest Florida and is renowned for its sugar-soft, white sand beaches and emerald green waters. Fort Walton Beach attracts families from all over for fun in the sun and fishing from its 1,261-foot pier. For eight years in a row readers of USA Today selected Fort Walton Beach as “Best Beach in the South” and was also voted “Top Family Destination”by Southern Living readers.
This northern Gulf Coast beach town got its start as a Civil War Confederate military outpost made up of the 1st Florida Regiment, which consisted of men from the Walton County Militia. The 1st Florida regiments camp was located in front of Indian Temple Mound, which is now known as the Heritage Park and Cultural Center; their mission was to protect the “Narrows” from Union ships. Although the 1st Florida Regiment did not see much action, they did keep busy by digging up prehistoric Indian remains buried in the Indian Temple Mound and displaying them at camp.
The main part of Fort Walton Beach is surrounded on three sides by water and sits at the western end of Choctawhatchee Bay along a narrow section of the Santa Rosa Sound. Part of the town fronts on the Gulf of Mexico. The Fort Walton Beach Civic Center complex and auditorium, as well as neighborhood parks and tennis courts, the Library, the Senior Center, the Tennis Center, the Municipal Golf Course (now the Fort Walton Beach Golf Club), and three neighborhood recreation centers offer plenty of activities.
The economy of Fort Walton Beach is driven by two primary factors: the military (there are two major Air Force bases which border Fort Walton Beach) and tourism. Fort Walton Beach is a year round fishing and beach resort, with spring break as its busiest time of the year when thousands of people flock to the Emerald Coast.
Although growth has slowed in the last two decades in Fort Walton Beach, activities continue on the banks of the Santa Rosa Sound. Notorious Billy Bowlegs returns every June for a fortnight of merriment and fun during the Pirate Festival, and the City sponsors quarterly Sunday-in-the-Park events at the spot where there was once an over-the-water pavilion. You can also be mesmerized by dancing dolphins within the breeding grounds along the Santa Rosa Sound and Destin Harbor. Other things to see in Fort Walton Beach include the Gulfarium, one of the oldest performing-porpoise shows in the country, with a 10,000-gallon aquarium and seal shows as well. The Indian Temple Mound Museum and Focus Science Center in Fort Walton Beach also make great family outings.
Contact us today for a piece of Fort Walton Beach Real Estate. We think you’ll understand why in 1997 it was honored to be named by Money magazine as #10 Best Place to Live among the 300 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.A!