Celebrating Thanksgiving in Fort Walton Beach, Florida offers a delightful alternative to the traditional festivities at home. Imagine enjoying the holiday long weekend with your family in this laid-back beach town, soaking up the sun’s warmth with the sound of gentle waves in the background.
Late November in Fort Walton Beach is a perfect time to escape the winter chill. Pleasant temperatures range from 65°F to 75°F, making it a very comfortable time of year for outdoor activities. It is a popular time to visit, but less crowded than peak summer season, allowing for a more relaxed and peaceful visit.
For a casual beachside Thanksgiving dinner, go to The Crab Trap in Fort Walton Beach. This breezy waterfront restaurant offers a traditional Thanksgiving holiday menu as well as plenty of non-traditional seafood options. Another great option close to Okaloosa boardwalk is Angler’s Beachside Bar & Grill, a laid-back beachfront seafood restaurant.
On the bay side of Okaloosa Island, The Gulf will be offering both traditional and Cajun-style Thanksgiving menu items. This stylish restaurant has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy the bayfront scenery, but reservations are required, so plan ahead!
For a traditional Thanksgiving feast, head to Emerald Grande at Harborwalk Village, where visitors can choose between brunch or a special 3-course holiday meal. Reservations are required.
Things to Do
Start your Thanksgiving Day off with a fun run at the 30A10K in Rosemary Beach or the Pensacola Beach Turkey Trot. Both races are located an hour’s drive from Fort Walton Beach. For those who are in town the weekend before Thanksgiving, the Sandestin Turkey Trot 5K is a nearby option for a fun morning activity the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
The Friday after Thanksgiving, sports fans may enjoy the Emerald Coast Classic tournament. Eight NCAA men’s basketball teams will compete in a two day tournament held at the Northwest Florida State College Arena in nearby Niceville.
Start your Black Friday off by heading to the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk to shop for beachy souvenirs or outdoor gear. Grab a bite at one of the waterfront restaurants, then head out onto the fishing pier to watch local wildlife and anglers while enjoying the ocean breeze.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, kick off the holiday season in Seaside, Florida with the Turn on the Town event. This is a fun way to jumpstart your holiday cheer with a tree lighting, photos with Santa, special performances and more.
Where to Stay
Staying in a vacation rental in Fort Walton Beach provides a number of benefits for you and your loved ones. Vacation rental units allow you to live like a local, while still being conveniently located close to attractions and the beach. Our units offer more space and privacy than you would find in a hotel, making them perfect to share with family or other couples/friends. Our fully equipped kitchens mean you can cook your Thanksgiving meal at home, or at least prepare breakfasts or lunches so that every meal doesn’t have to be at a restaurant. And amenities like private balconies, large pools and beach services can really elevate your vacation. A spacious and fully-equipped vacation rental is the perfect place to gather with your loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving!
For your Thanksgiving getaway, check out Island Princess, a three-bedroom condo rental with a private ocean view balcony. This large unit is ideal for 1-2 families, and offers expansive views of the Gulf, as well as a heated pool and direct beach access. For smaller groups, cozy Island Surf offers a private balcony where you can view dolphins, with the beach only steps away. This unit is located in a quiet, family-friendly beachfront complex close to the attractions of Okaloosa Island. If you are looking for stunning views while eating Thanksgiving dinner, check out the minimalist ambiance at Emerald Towers or the extra large balcony at Pelican Isle Penthouse.
Whether you’re lounging on the beach, participating in holiday events, or savoring a delicious Thanksgiving meal, Fort Walton Beach provides a memorable holiday experience. Consider booking a vacation rental for added comfort, space, and convenience, and make this Thanksgiving one to remember!