Downtown Fort Walton Beach
Downtown FWB has lots to do from food and ice cream to small hotels, pool halls, fitness centers, and other unique places. There all also a few historic points of interest such as the Indian mounds. It won't keep you busy for your whole vacation, but you could probably spend most of a day here.
- Road Trip
Air Force Armament Museum
Being an ex-AF I wanted to make the time this last trip to Florida to see this museum. It all dates me to no-end, but I can actually remember some of the weapons. The museum has lots of wonderful display on two floors and many actual retired aircraft outside. Lots of wonderful volunteers take the time to ensure that everything is displayed properly. The gent at the front door was a hoot.......lol!
- Road Trip
Great for everyone!
~ Gulfarium ~
This is the second oldest marine park in America. It has Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, Peruvian penguins, Ridley turtles and other wonderful 14 Gulf-edged exhibits. You must stay for the dolphin show.
My hotel was next to this, so instead of waking up to rooster crowing, I woke up seashore style. Moaning Seals........LOL!
Gotta to love it:-)))))
- Business Travel
The Beach - John Beasley Wayside Park
This is an Okaloosa park, which is free and parking is also free. It is just a few yards from the Okaloosa Boardwalk.
Hours: Daily 6am-8:30pm
The visitor's center is a large weathered-wood building with hipped metal roof and it houses changing areas and restrooms for men and women, along with vending machines. Sheltered picnic tables welcome families, and lifeguards are posted during the tourist season.. Offers surfing, diving and snorkeling.
When I asked at the Okaloosa Island Visitor's Center who John Beasley was, they said he was one of the pioneer settlers in the region. I have not been able to find out any other information about him.
- Budget Travel
- Water Sports
THE BEACHES ARE BEAUTIFUL AND THATS ALOT COMING FROM A MOUNTAIN LOVER. THE SAND IS LIKE SNOW AND THE WATER IS SO BLUE AND EMERALD GREEN. YOU CAN SEE THE FISH SWIMMING AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WATER. I LIKED THE FACT THAT THE BEACHES NEVER SEEMED CROWDED. YOU CAN DRINK BEER ON THE BEACHES, JUST DON'T LITTER. THE BEACHES ARE VERY CLEAN, UNLIKE NEW JERSEY"S BEACHES.
- Family Travel
Stick your toes in the soft white beautiful sand!
I don't care what type of weather is going on! You must venture down to the beach and just take in the beautiful white sand. I had never seen white sand before. It was rainy and gloomy the whole time I was there, but I made a point to see the beach in what daylight there was and at night. Just beautiful!
- Business Travel
Dolphins and Otters and Sea Lions, Oh My!
I love animals. Really. It's embarrassing the way I start squealing when I see something cute. I will just be honest here and paste in the description of my trip there that I wrote the day after for my friends.
Went to the Gulfarium yesterday, which was so much fun. We got to see a baby dolphin! She is 5 months old and her name is Lily! Watching her swim around the tank and play with her mom and dad and aunt was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.
She had a soccer ball that she was tossing around just like a puppy. The best part was when she was swimming with her mommy, and practicing jumps. They'd swim together down to the bottom of the pool and then as Lily would leap, Deliliah would push her with her head to help her go higher. It was so awesome to watch them interacting so naturally like that.
The Gulfarium is quite small, it's apparently the oldest marine park in the world, so you get a really up close experience. Awesome.
We also watched the sea lion show, I love how they clap their flippers for themselves when everyone else claps. And hold out their flippers for a high five from the trainer.
They have 2 river otters there, and we got to see them being fed. The guy dumps in a bucket of water with tiny live fish, and the otters chase the fish around their little pool to eat. When the male saw the guy carrying the bucket, he stood straight up against the glass of his enclosure and jumped up and down! He knew that was the fishman!
After the multi-species show, where we got to see 2 big male dolphins and a funny fat sea lion play together, we hung around by the side of the pool because I'd heard they often let a couple people pet the dolphins afterwards. Sure enough, us and a little boy were the only people standing there looking hopeful!
The trainer whistled the dolphins over and they let us pet their silky smooth heads while they grinned at us! It was so awesome to really get to look into their sweet faces and rub their heads, you could tell how much they enjoy being petted!
Houses were around 15ft long and 30ft wide. Walls were often plastered with a with a sand/mud combination. Clay mixed with Spanish moss was used for filling the gaps to keep the cold out and the heat in. Wall poles were sunk into a trench and shimmed into place. The wall trenches were then filled with shells, dirt and clay to make the walls stable. Bundles of grass overlapped and tied together for the roof which was surprisingly durable however it attracted insects and so the roof probably had to be replaced annually to get rid of the insects.
Largest Prehistoric Earthwork
Opposite the museum itself is a prehistoric Temple Mound of the Mississippian Cultural Tradition. The mound is now a National Historic Landmark. This mound is the largest prehistoric earthwork on salt water. Its base is 223 ft long, 178 ft wide and is about 12 ft high. It is estimated to be made from 500,000 cubic ft of sand. dirt, cloy and shell which was brought here by the basketful by the Indians. A replica temple now stands atop the mound.
Checking the beach and seeing...
Checking the beach and seeing the ships in the distance. Here is a sailboat on the gulf. Unfortunately we had a problem with sea weed this year. That is the brown on the beach. We do not have large seashell here, only small ones and they are scattered here and there. You have to look very close to see them.
It is free.
Boats by the east pass bridge....
Boats by the east pass bridge. This occurs friday evening, saturday and sunday during the tourist seasons. The boats are both locals and tourist. The water is shallow and warm. The people anchor their boats and enjoy the water and sun and party. There are beer and food boats which travel around the location.
It is free to watch but you must have a boat to participant and that can be expensive, either renting or owning.
Sunsets and sunrises. We can...
Sunsets and sunrises. We can see both here either over the bay or the gulf of Mexico and they are very pretty. Here is a sunrise over the bay behind a beached sailboat.
It is free and occurs everyday except when it is cloudy. Trust me there are beautiful. You can book a cruise on sailboat and sail into the sunset. What do you think?
East Pass. This our entrance...
East Pass. This our entrance to the Gulf of Mexico from the bay. Every morning you can many, many boats leaving the bay to go to the gulf for fun and fishing.
The sand is sugar white, the water is from white to emerald green to deep blue. Beautiful.
Once again at the docks. You...
Once again at the docks. You can never tell what is going to be brought back from the fishing trips. Here is small shark that was caught on the trip.I once saw a large red snapper fish where the entire back had been bitten out by a shark.
It is free to watch the fish being hung on the rack and caught that day. You can even take pictures of you or someone else standing in front of the fish as if you had caught them. A little fib.
Fishing. This is just the...
Fishing. This is just the catch from one boat which was out in the gulf for approximately 4 to 6 hours. The fishing is really great March through the end of October but you can fish all year round. The boats are not really expensive except depending on what you want to catch. You can fish from the beach, a license is required, you can fish from the pier, license are not required because it is in your fee. The fee for fishing on the pier for 24 hours is around 8 us dollars.
Great fun. You do not have to keep the fish but if you choose to keep the fish several restaurants will cook them for you and serve all side dishes for approximately 5 us dollars. This does not include drinks.
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