4th of July in Fort Walton Beach: How to Celebrate (2024)

The most patriotic of holidays for the most patriotic of cities. Fort Walton Beach, while often considered a quiet coastal getaway in the sunshine-soaked state of Florida, has played a significant part in American history.

From its original Native American inhabitants to the Spanish Pirates to the heavy Confederate soldier presence pre-civil-war, the Fort Walton Beach area has been a cornerstone of American history. So, what better place to take the family to celebrate the land of the free?

Let freedom ring this year from the white sands near the Landing at Fort Walton Beach and sleep comfortably nearby in one of our waterfront vacation rentals within easy walking distance of the show. This is what you need to know about Independence Day celebrations in FWB.

Fort Walton Beach 4th of July Events in 2024

Most 4th of July events in the FWB area are annual. Here’s a look at what is on the docket for this year.

4th of July in Florida

Photo Credit: Maxim Studio

The 4th of July is a celebration commemorating the passage of the Declaration of Independence or the very creation of our nation. A true American holiday worth celebrating.

If you had to label one state in the USA as “most patriotic,” Florida would be a major contender. The sunshine state certainly doesn’t shy away from Independence Day Celebrations. The most common include BBQs in the park roasting up the perfect hot dog, live music, booming firework shows, and a family-friendly community gathering.

Why Visit Fort Walton Beach For the Fourth of July

Fort Walton Beach is an excellent tourist destination any time of year. But it’s particularly good for the 4th of July because what better place to BBQ than a white sand beach? You can spend your day celebrating America, swimming in the calm, cool Gulf waters, walking the Baytowne Wharf, and drinking a cold beer while floating in a pool inflatable. The perfect getaway or family vacation.

The Fourth of July is one of the biggest events in Fort Walton Beach, which means advance reservations are highly recommended!

Best Places to Watch Fireworks in Fort Walton Beach

There are numerous Fourth of July fireworks displays in the Gulf Area. These are our favorite places to enjoy them starting with the closest to Fort Walton Beach itself.

1. Fort Walton Beach Landing Park

Right in the heart of Fort Walton Beach, this evening event is the perfect way to cap off your 4th of July celebrations within the city and close to your vacation rental. Beginning at 5 PM and serving BBQ until the fireworks show at 9 PM, this event is totally free. The fireworks themselves are launched from a floating barge over the Santa Rosa Sound, which allows for epic views from anywhere near the water.

2. Okaloosa Island

Photo Credit: Mike Whalen

The Okaloosa Island celebrates summer with a weekly fireworks show of a smaller scale. So stick around and extend your Fourth of July celebration!

3. Destin Commons & Star-Spangled Food Truck and Fireworks Festival

This is known as one of the best fireworks shows on the Emerald Coast. The growing popularity means the parking lots are likely to be full. Arrive early to beat the crowds!

4. Boggy Bayou in Niceville/Valparaiso

This celebration is also known as Freedom Fest 850. Located in Lion’s Park on Bayshore Drive, this event is an all-day extravaganza. Live music and tasty food trucks begin filling in early in the day, usually around noon, while the fireworks themselves don’t start until dusk or around 8:45 PM.

This is a family-friendly event, and the shape of the coastline here offers plenty of excellent vantage points for the fire show itself. Some of the best (aside from Lion’s Park itself) are Kiwanis Park, Niceville Landing, Shipyard Point Park, and Lincoln Park.

5. City of Destin Fireworks

Photo Credit: Patricia G. Adderley

Not interested in the BBQ, crowds, and live music events? Join the locals for the smaller annual fireworks show at dusk in the nearby town of Destin. Just park yourself near Destin Harbor and watch the explosions over the waters of East Pass.

Other Things to Do in Fort Walton Beach in July

1. Enjoy a Fourth of July Destin Dinner Cruise

Photo Credit: Patryk Kosmider

For a more luxurious Independence Day, hit the bay from Miramar Beach for a 3-hour dinner cruise aboard the SOLARIS Yacht. They offer a perfect romantic evening with a three-course dinner, champagne, live music, and, of course, the best views of the Destin Independence Day fireworks show.

You can also opt for a less all-inclusive option with Southern Star Dolphin Cruise. They offer a 1-hour cruise through the harbor that’s designed to get you and your family as close as possible to the fireworks show. There’s nothing like laying beneath the booming colors out on the placid bay waters.

2. Visit the Harborwalk Village in Destin

Photo Credit: Stephanie A Sellers

This scenic boardwalk snakes alongside the Gulf of Mexico and offers unrivaled shopping, dining, and exciting activities. Go for a stroll with the family or pay a visit during their Fourth of July Festivities from July 2nd-4th that ends with a firework show of its very own. During the three-day event, you’ll experience a variety of shows, like the Victory Belles belting out 1940s hits.

3. Eat an All-American Breakfast

Photo Credit: New Africa

Before you head out to your choice of daytime festivities or fireworks show, be sure to fuel up in Fort Walton Beach. There is no shortage of diners to grab an American breakfast with a tall stack of pancakes and bacon. Try a local favorite like Neighborhood Cafe.

Come Celebrate The Birth of America in FWB Florida!

Guarantee yourself an excellent fireworks show, warm weather, and some of the world’s best beaches this Independence Day. Our vacation rentals in and around Fort Walton Beach are ready to help you feel rested and refreshed even after a long week of celebrating!

You can choose from a variety of beachfront condos with panoramic ocean views and luxurious design details ranging from private studios to sprawling condos.

Book your Legacy Vacation today!