1st Timer’s Guide to Fort Walton Beach Boardwalk

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.