Fort Walton Beach is on the coast about halfway between Panama City to the east and Pensacola. We took I-10 across the panhandle of Florida and got off on State Road 85 which is a north-south highway that runs from US 331 in Paxton, through I-10 in Crestview and past Eglin AFB and ends at US 98 in Downtown Fort Walton Beach. We took the State Route 123 bypass around Eglin and Niceville.
Most of the week we drove along US 98 which is the east-west highway, which runs through Downtown Fort Walton Beach to Destin, and Pensacola. To the east of Fort Walton Beach you cross the John Brooks Bridge to Okaloosa Island (photo 2)
The roads around the intersection of SR85 and US 98 are somewhat confusing.
There is a public bus system, but you will find it more flexible to have a car.
By Car : Both Interstate I-10 and US Hwy 90 run east and west across the area and will connect you to many state and country roads.
By Air : Destin Airport is close by as well as Okaloosa Regional Airport which is about 8 miles north. Pensacola airport is not that far away and is served by eight major airlines.
There are a couple of ways to get to Ft. Walton Beach. The area is served by the local airport which shares its runway with Eglin Air Force Base. Approximately 45 miles to the west is Pensacola International Airport, which provides better service to the area (plus it's a nice ride along U.S. Hwy.98 to get to the Emerald Coast).