Follow your passions to the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast.
No two sunsets on the Emerald Coast are exactly alike, and neither are any two days. Along with award-winning beaches, you'll find several world-class attractions and family entertainment complexes here. You can get wild at the zoo, splash around at a water park, or interact with a live dolphin at the Gulfarium. Speaking of dolphins, dolphin watching cruises are very popular here, as are pirate cruises. Or you can discover the culture and rich history of the area at one of five museums. There are lots of ways to go Emerald Coasting.
Pre-Columbian artifacts. An 1870 log cabin. Antique fishing rods and reels. A flight demonstration wind tunnel. An old-time schoolhouse. Artifacts from local pirates. A squadron of military aircraft. History buffs will have a great time exploring the five museums in the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Who says you can’t learn a little something on vacation as well as have fun?
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Air Force Armament Museum
100 Museum Dr, Eglin Air Force Base,
Open 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon-Sat, Closed Federal Holidays
The only facility in the U.S. dedicated to the display of air force armament is located near Eglin Air Force Base's main gate in Ft. Walton Beach. Outside, you'll discover an impressive collection of 25 reconnaissance, fighter and bomber planes, including the fastest plane ever built – the SR-71 Blackbird Spy Plane. Inside, you'll find more than 1,500 artifacts from World War I to today, including interactive displays such as a fighter cockpit simulator. Free admission.
Baker Block Museum
Corner Route 189 and Hwy 4, Baker
Open 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mon-Fri
Step into the Emerald Coast's past at this living history museum, filled with more than 2,000 artifacts. Learn about our military patriots, naval stores, land development, and lumbering and farming industries. Tour an authentic 1870 log cabin, a 17th century post office and more.
Destin History & Fishing Museum
108 Stahlman Ave, Destin
Open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tue - Sat
Discover the fascinating history of the "world's luckiest fishing village" through exhibits featuring its founders and families. See the big ones that didn't get away – award-winning fish caught in Destin – and view a collection of antique fishing rods and reels.
Emerald Coast Science Center
31 Memorial Parkway, Fort Walton Beach
Fly and land a model airplane in a wind tunnel. Play with a laser spirograph or a Van de Graaff generator (the thing that makes your hair stand up on end). Come face-to-face with tarantulas and millipedes. Who says science can't be fun? This unique museum for children and families feature more than 250 interactive exhibits.
Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida
115 Westview Ave, Valparaiso
Celebrate the rich history of Northwest Florida from 8800 B.C. to the present. View stone weapons and tools carved by the Emerald Coast’s first residents, paleo-archaic hunters. Learn about the fishing business from an exhibit titled, “The Humble Mullet and the Birth of an International Industry.” Track the history of the Crestview Train Depot, which opened in 1883. View a heritage mural. Fascinating permanent and temporary exhibits will take you through the area’s social and economic past.
Heritage Park & Cultural Center
139 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach
Here you'll find three fascinating museums that together form a cultural center representing the history of the Ft. Walton Beach area. Indian Temple Mound Museum features an impressive collection of ceramic artifacts and an Indian Mound Temple that dates to 1400 A.D. Next door is the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, housed in the first schoolhouse constructed for the children of Camp Walton in 1912. Remember snail mail? The Garnier Post Office Museum features a collection of interesting stamps and other items from 1918 to 1956.