Spring in Fort Walton Beach: The Ultimate Guide

The Gulf Coast of Florida is known as a year-round beach-lovers paradise with crystalline white sand, an abundance of water-bound activities, and turquoise-colored waves. It’s called the Emerald Coast, after all. But some times of the year are better to visit than others, especially if you hope to escape the crowds and savor the city like a local.

Our Legacy Vacations rentals are tucked into the most scenic corners of Walton County and pose as the perfect home base for travelers hoping to combine convenience with comfort during their visit to Fort Walton Beach (FWB).

Here’s everything you need to know to plan the perfect visit to Fort Walton Beach in the Spring months.

Getting to and Around Fort Walton Beach

By Air

The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport is located within the Eglin Air Force Base in Okaloosa County and is the most popular airport in the vicinity for FWB vacationers. For domestic travelers, if you are not driving into Fort Walton Beach, this is where your journey will begin.

If you’re looking for an international airport, Pensacola International Airport is about 50 miles from FWB.

Getting Around

While the downtown area of Fort Walton Beach is small, it’s also very walkable and lined with bike paths. This makes exploring the city center quite easy. Unfortunately, most of the state parks, crystal-clear water springs, and recreation areas are further afield and require a car.

While Uber and other ride-sharing apps are available, renting a vehicle or driving your own if you plan to explore outside the city will be easier.

Spring Weather in Fort Walton Beach

During spring, Fort Walton Beach revels in mild temperatures averaging between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, offering a perfect climate for visitors looking to escape the colder northern weather.

This season heralds the awakening of vibrant flora, with comfortable, crisp mornings that move into warm, sunlit afternoons, creating ideal conditions for beach outings and outdoor activities. Rainfall is moderate during spring, so it’s always a good idea to pack a light rain jacket!

Why Spring in Fort Walton Beach

It’s perfect for families and couples looking to escape the busy crowds of “spring-breakers” flooding Panama City Beach’s shores and New Orleans’s streets during this time of year.

In fact, this is one of the best times of year to plan your trip to the Gulf Coast.

You won’t have to contend with any hurricanes, the temperatures are mild rather than sweltering, and the crowds haven’t yet begun to flock to the white-sand beaches. Instead, you can have a relaxing getaway that satisfies all the sea-lovers and swimmers in your family.

Best Springtime Attractions in Fort Walton Beach

Many of these attractions can be experienced any time of year. But Spring is the best season for all the activities below.

Attend one of the Seasonal Community Events

Every spring, the community is besieged by local events like the Tequila and Taco Fest, where food trucks convene at The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort to offer unlimited margaritas and tacos. Don’t worry; this is a family-friendly affair!

You’ll also find the Burning Up the Beaches car and motorcycle show in nearby Destin. For a full list of Springtime events, be sure to check out the official Fort Walton Beach events page.

Watch a Spectacular Sunset (or Sunrise) at the Okaloosa Fishing Pier

Photo Credit: JJM Photography

Okaloosa Island is one of the most interesting attractions in the area. This pier stretches out (seemingly) endlessly into the ocean, offering unrivaled panoramic views of the Pacific during both sunrise and sunset.

Spend the Day at John C. Beasley Park

Come and smell the flowers. This park is fun for the whole family! This lush beachfront area is in bloom this time of year and has an ample picnic area with picnic tables, public restrooms, and the perfect paddleboarding and kayak-friendly waves. Visitors looking to leave the kids in the water and hike will be pleased to know the park has long stretches of nature trails and a lifeguard on duty to protect the kids.

Work on Your Tan at the Beach!

Photo Credit: ryanmccarn

There are lots of beaches in the Fort Walton Beach area that are ideal for a springtime visit. Even with the slightly cooler temps in the air, the Gulf water remains warm and welcoming.

  • Wayside Park on Okaloosa Island is one of the most accessible beaches in the area. Soft white sand, lots of nearby amenities, and sitting right near the famous fishing pier of Okaloosa Island.
  • Henderson Beach State Park. Picture snow-white sand dunes cascading into the placid blue waters of the Gulf. This park/beach won the award for the most scenic spot in the area.
  • Navarre Beach is a nearby beach that’s known for its seclusion and long boardwalk pier. Well worth the short drive to visit.
  • John C. Beasley Park is excellent for the whole family.

Hit the Water and Visit Crab Island Without the Crowds

Crab Island is a man-made sand bar sitting in the middle of the Gulf. While summer is the most popular time of year to visit, Springtime is more fun for families and couples as the crowds thin out. Aside from the occasional Spring Breakers, you’re unlikely to see many party boats disturbing the marine life. There are plenty of local tour companies that offer daytime excursions!

Visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Learn about exotic wildlife like sea lions, penguins, and dolphins from the educational shows and experiences at the Gularium Marine Park. You can also snorkel with stingrays or take a reptile safari with the kids!

Want more family-friendly Springtime attractions? Pay a visit to Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone for go-karting, mini-golf, and laser tag.

Take a Day Trip to Some Freshwater Springs

Photo Credit: Christy A Rowe

This is one of the most interesting things to do in Florida. While most visitors are enamored with our long coastline, the inland freshwater springs are where locals go to spend a hot afternoon.

Vortex Spring in Ponce De Leon, Florida

Divers rejoice! We’ve got a clear-water spring for you. This privately owned spring is more than 200 feet deep and features a cave. Be sure to plan your dive with Vortex Spring Adventures.

Pitt and Sylvan Spring in Youngstown, Florida

This breathtaking natural spring pool has crystal-clear water and is framed by cypress trees. Perfect for springtime snorkeling or anyone looking to relish in the midst of Floridian nature. Just watch out for stray alligators!

Ponce De Leon Springs State Park in Ponce De Leon, Florida

Just 40 miles from FWB, this stunning freshwater pool is the perfect 72-degree swimming area year-round. Depths range from 18 inches to 30 feet!

Note: This is different from the Ponce De Leon Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine, Florida.

Morrison Springs in Ponce De Leon, Florida

Looking for a spring to dive in but with a more natural environment? Take in the mangroves and the blue springs at this scuba dive site in Northwest Florida.

Pay a Visit to Turkey Creek in Niceville, Florida

Photo Credit: Daniele RUSSO

This 20-acre park and boardwalk nature trail cuts through the mangroves and flooded forests of Florida’s unique ecosystem, offering visitors picnic-ready pavilions and swimming areas. This is yet another incredible destination to add to your Fort Walton Beach visit.

What to Pack

Florida is a warm tropical destination year-round. This means the packing list is more or less the same regardless of season. Here are a few things to make sure you throw into your travel bag.

  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito Spray
  • Beach towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hats
  • Flip-Flops or Sandals
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Beach cover-up

Enjoy A Crowd-Free Fort Walton Beach!

While Fort Walton Beach may not have the same name recognition as nearby Florida panhandle destinations like Pensacola and Panama City Beach, that works to most visitors’ advantage! Fort Walton Beach has all of the beauty and none of the pitfalls of your typical Florida beach vacation.

Book your scenic beachfront vacation rental now for your spring adventure!