A must-visit when vacationing in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk is a two-story stretch of shops, restaurants, and entertainment along the beautiful shores of Okaloosa Island.

Enjoy a stroll along the beach for gorgeous views, grab a bite at one of the local restaurants, and shop for some unique finds. From kids to adults, there’s plenty for everyone to do at the boardwalk when you stay at a Legacy Vacations Rental!

Getting to the Boardwalk

Photo Credit: aMaizeing

  • Address: 1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Website:  theboardwalkoi.com

The boardwalk is located on Okaloosa Island, just over the Brooks Bridge and next to the pier. It’s just a few minutes’ drive from mainland Fort Walton Beach and just a few steps from the best beachfront vacation rentals on the island. Once you arrive, there’s plenty of free parking at the boardwalk. Or, if you’re coming from nearby, you can stroll right onto the boardwalk from the beach; there are multiple access points.

What to Know Before You Go

  • Hours: The boardwalk is open seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM (individual store and restaurant hours may vary).
  • Amenities: Free parking, public restrooms, and picnic tables.

A few things to know to make the most out of your day when visiting the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk.

What to Bring

You’ll soak up plenty of sun on the boardwalk, so be sure to bring some protection like sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Also, bring your beachwear and towels if you plan on enjoying the beach (but if you forget anything, the boardwalk shops have you covered).

Beach and Pier Access

You can easily access the beach from the boardwalk and parking is free. The pier is just a few steps from the boardwalk and is $2 per person to enter (as of 2024).


Pets are not allowed on most areas of the boardwalk or on the beach, but dogs may be allowed in some restaurants with outdoor seating. Check with individual restaurants for details. This does not apply to service animals; service animals are allowed everywhere.

ADA Accessibility

The boardwalk and beach access areas are ADA-accessible and wheelchair-friendly. Complementary beach wheelchair rentals are also available by contacting the nearby beach safety office at 850-259-4131.

Prohibited Items

There is no smoking or vaping allowed on the boardwalk. The same goes for glass containers on the boardwalk or the beach.

Things to Do on the Boardwalk

The Okaloosa Island Boardwalk is the epicenter of entertainment for the island. You’ll find plenty to do, whether you want to visit for just a few hours or enjoy a whole day of food, fun, and shopping. Here’s an overview of everything there is to see and do on the boardwalk.

Stroll the Boardwalk and Pier

Photo Credit: Alejandro Guzmani

While there’s plenty to do on the boardwalk, sometimes the best activity is just a leisurely stroll to enjoy the gorgeous views and ocean breezes. You can also pop over to the Okaloosa Island Pier, which is right next to the boardwalk.

The pier, which stretches out over 1,200 feet into the Gulf, is a great place to stroll and spot wildlife. It’s common to see sharks, dolphins, and stingrays in the water below the pier and pelicans swooping from above. And, if you’re an angler, you can rent everything you need for a day of fishing on the pier.

Enjoy the Beach

Photo Credit: Penny Richard

Fort Walton has plenty of postcard worthy public beaches. The boardwalk makes a great complement to your beach day. After breakfast at the boardwalk, relax in the sand, grab a seafood lunch after an afternoon swim, or take a sunset stroll in the sand after dinner. Sandy feet are always welcome on the boardwalk!

Visiting the boardwalk and didn’t bring beachwear? You’ll find everything you need for a day at the beach at the boardwalk shops, from bathing suits and flip-flops to sunscreen and snacks.

Shop for One-of-a-Kind Goods

Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt

Whether you need to pick up some beach essentials or shop for some fun souvenirs or gifts, you’ll find everything you need in the boardwalk shops.

  • Surfside Outfitters — Find beach apparel, t-shirts, souvenirs, and coastal decor.
  • Tropical Trends — Shop for art, jewelry, candles, books, and handmade gifts.
  • Coastal Currents — Browse beachwear, bar accessories, gifts, and housewares.
  • IslandersTry on a wide selection of hats and shop for sunglasses and t-shirts.
  • Kitty Hawk Kites — Find one-of-a-kind kites, kiteboarding gear, toys, and gifts.
  • Oasis Cafe & Boutique — Grab a coffee while you browse beachwear and souvenirs.

Eat, Drink, and Enjoy Live Music

From coffee to cocktails and oysters to pizza, you’ll find something for everyone to enjoy at one of the many boardwalk restaurants.

Have Fun With the Little Ones

Photo Credit: Images by Lisa

Visiting with little ones in tow? The boardwalk has plenty of kid-friendly things to do. Enjoy the beach, park, volleyball nets, playground, and splash pad. Or, take them shopping for some new beach toys and grab ice cream at the boardwalk. When hunger strikes, all of the boardwalk restaurants have menus with kid-friendly favorites like chicken fingers, mac-and-cheese, burgers, corn dogs, and more.

Be sure to check the schedule at Al’s Beach Club for an array of weekly family-friendly events — from cozy movie-on-the-beach nights to epic pirate shows.

Just a few steps from the boardwalk (on the west end next to Angler’s Beachside Grill), you’ll also find the Gulfarium Marine Park, where kids can learn about local sea life and get up close and personal with dolphins, sea lions, and more.

Enjoy a Fireworks Show

If you’re visiting during the spring or summer, the boardwalk features a weekly fireworks show, plus special shows for Memorial Day and Labor Day. You can watch from the boardwalk or bring a blanket and enjoy the show from the beach; it’s the perfect way to end a day of fun! Be sure to check the fireworks schedule during your visit.

Stay and Play on Okaloosa Island

Want to be close to all the action? Stay on Okaloosa Island and enjoy being just steps from the boardwalk with all the best beaches, restaurants, and shops. You’re also just minutes away from all the best things to do in the surrounding areas of Fort Walton Beach and Destin.

Book your stay with Legacy Vacations for the ultimate seaside retreat on the Emerald Coast. Enjoy fully furnished beach condos with gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico and access to resort-style amenities. There’s a wide variety of properties to choose from, with something to accommodate every size group, whether you’re planning a couples retreat or a family vacation.

Fort Walton Beach may be best known for its beautiful beaches with glittering, emerald-colored waters, but this seaside retreat boasts more than one type of green. The Fort Walton-Destin area is a haven for golfers!

The area boasts several beautiful and challenging courses for all skill levels. Paired with Florida’s sunny, tropical climate and courses that are open year-round, Fort Walton Beach is the perfect all-season golf getaway.

Ready to take your toes out of the sand and step onto the greens? Don’t worry — you won’t have to stray far from your beachside vacation rental. You’ll be back in time for an afternoon soak in the hot tub or a cocktail at sunset.

Here are the seven best golf courses in the Fort Walton Beach area!

Shalimar Pointe Golf Club

  • Address: 302 Country Club Road, Shalimar, FL
  • Distance from Fort Walton Beach: 10 Minutes
  • Phone: 850-651-1416
  • Book a Tee Time: shalimarpointe.com

Just a few minutes outside of Fort Walton Beach, the Shalimar Pointe Golf Club features an 18-hole championship course right on the beautiful shores of Choctawhatchee Bay. The expertly manicured greens are set among a natural landscape of rolling hills, trees, and sparkling lakes. Five sets of tees ensure every level of golfer is set to play.

Shalimar Pointe Golf Club is open to the public but does offer special membership rates. On-site, you’ll find a well-stocked pro shop and fitting center for top equipment brands. If you’re looking to improve your swing, the pro shop has expert instructors offering daily lessons. After a game of golf or an afternoon of lessons, stop by The Grill to grab a bite and a beverage.

Fort Walton Beach Golf Club

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  • Address: 1955 Lewis Turner Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Distance from Fort Walton Beach: 10 Minutes
  • Phone: 850-833-9664
  • Book a Tee Time: fwb.org/374/Golf-Club

Just minutes from the beach, the Fort Walton Beach Golf Club boasts 36 championship holes across two distinct courses. The Pines Course features rolling greens through an upland pine forest, while the Oaks Course takes you through a myriad of narrow fairways, water hazards, and gorgeous oak trees. Both courses offer a fun and challenging game for all skill levels.

No membership is needed to play at Fort Walton Beach Club and it’s a favorite among visitors to the area. After a round of golf, you can hit the driving range for more fun, visit the pro shop for some signature gear, or grab a bite at the on-site restaurant.

Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club

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  • Address: 465 Regatta Bay Blvd, Destin, FL
  • Distance from Fort Walton Beach: 30 Minutes
  • Phone: 850-337-8080
  • Book a Tee Time: regattabay.com

The epitome of a luxury golf experience, Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club is about 30 minutes from Fort Walton Beach but is well worth the drive.

Known as a world-class golf destination, Regatta Bay features gorgeous greens with thoughtfully placed bunkers, water hazards, and smooth hills. The 18-hole course was designed by Robert C. Walker, a lead golf architect for Arnold Palmer. While it feels like an exclusive, members-only club — all are welcome to play at Regatta Bay!

While playing, golfers can enjoy luxury amenities like Visage GPS and beverage cart service on all golf carts. After your game, be sure to stop by the clubhouse for a gourmet meal and cocktails with breathtaking patio views of Lake Regatta. Want to work on your swing? The golf academy at Regatta Bay is staffed with PGA professionals and features all the latest in golf technology and video swing analysis.

Gator Lakes Golf Course

Photo Credit: Dean Clarke

Situated on the Hurlburt Field Air Base, just a few minutes outside of Fort Walton Beach, the Gator Lakes Golf Course is a favorite spot to tee off for military members and civilians alike. Gator Lakes offers fast and mostly flat fairways with 18 holes set amid a natural landscape with a very unique set of water hazards. As the name implies, don’t be surprised if you come across a resident alligator swimming in one of the lakes or basking on the greens.

While Gator Lakes is open to the public, since it’s part of an air base complex, be prepared for extra security upon checking in. Visitors have access to all the golf course amenities, including the putting green, driving range, golf shop, restaurant, and more.

Indian Bayou Golf Club

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  • Address: 1 Country Club Drive East, Destin, FL
  • Distance from Fort Walton Beach: 20 Minutes
  • Phone: 850-837-6191
  • Book a Tee Time: indianbayougolf.com

A world-class golf destination since 1978, Indian Bayou Golf Club is just a few minutes outside of Fort Walton Beach in nearby Destin. The championship 18-hole course features five tee boxes, wide fairways, challenging hills, and lots of trees for shaded play.

Indian Bayou is a semi-private golf club. Non-members can book a tee time, but the driving range and practice facilities are for members only. Lessons are available to the public through the on-site Bayou Golf Academy. After your game or lesson, stop by the Bayou Grille for lunch or a cocktail.

Eglin Golf Course

  • Address: 1527 Fairway Dr, Niceville, FL
  • Distance from Fort Walton Beach: 20 Minutes
  • Phone: 850-882-2949
  • Book a Tee Time: eglinlife.com/golf

Just a short drive from Fort Walton Beach in the neighboring town of Niceville, the Eglin Golf Course features 18 holes situated on an Audubon-certified sanctuary. The gorgeous green fairways wind through lush forests and lakes. It’s not uncommon to spot wildlife while out on the course, including birds, deer, and alligators.

Eglin Golf Course is a former private military course (near Eglin Air Base) but is now open to the public as of 2023. Visitors can enjoy playing a round, picking up some new gear in the pro shop, or grabbing a bite or a cocktail at the bar and grill.

Emerald Bay Golf Course

  • Address: 4781 Clubhouse Drive, Destin, FL
  • Distance from Fort Walton Beach: 25 Minutes
  • Phone: 850-837-5197
  • Book a Tee Time: emeraldbaygolfclub.com/home

A gorgeous waterfront course just a short drive from Fort Walton Beach, the views at Emerald Bay Golf Course in Destin are nothing short of spectacular. The masterfully designed 18-hole course features rolling green fairways dotted with pine trees, sand bunkers, and water hazards. The back 9 has breathtaking views of Choctawhatchee Bay.

Memberships are offered at Emerald Bay but are not required to play. Day visitors are welcome to book a tee time, enjoy a meal in the clubhouse, or visit the pro shop. Emerald Bay Golf Course is the perfect spot for golfers who don’t want to stray too far from that cool ocean breeze while they tee off!

Take a Swing in Fort Walton Beach

Ready for breezy beachside mornings and afternoons on the greens? Fort Walton Beach offers the best of both worlds. You’ll have access to some of the best golf courses in Florida while enjoying the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast.

Legacy Vacations has everything you need to plan your dream vacation with beautiful beachfront condos close to world-class golf courses. Amenities like private pools and hot tubs await so you can relax and soak up the sun or soak away sore muscles after a day of tackling tees.

Book your stay now for the ultimate beach and golf getaway!