Find the answers to your questions here.
Thinking about bringing your bike but don’t know where to go? Heard about the baby sea turtles that hatch here and want to know more? You’ll find information on these topics and more in our FAQs. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to drop by our visitor information center at 1540 Miracle Strip Parkway SE (Highway 98). We’ll be happy to help.
Unlike Camelot, it sometimes rains here, but most of the time you'll enjoy gorgeous weather year-round.
Absolutely. Our soft, white sand is one of our main attractions. One thing to keep in mind though: Jellyfish and seaweed are sometimes carried to Gulf Coast beaches. Take heart, though: Often, just a mile or so down the beach, you can find completely different conditions.
You can explore fossilized limestone reefs about four to five miles off the coast in about 75-mile deep water. These reefs have both soft and hard corals, including the white star and ivory tree. Naturally, you will need boat access. There are several dive companies in our area that will be able to assist you.
There are three bike trails nearby, however, each is at least a half-hour drive from the Ft. Walton Beach/Destin beach area. To the west of us, between Navarre and Gulf Breeze, there is a trail along the Gulf Islands National Seashore. To the east of us, you'll find a 13.5-mile trail that begins at Blue Mountain Beach. You can also ride Eglin Air Force Base's Timberlake Bike Trail, however, please be advised: You must obtain a permit from the Jackson Guard station to be on Air Force land.
About 100 to 150 yards out from the beach is Sand Dollar City, a sandbar that runs along the entire Gulf Coast. Please be aware: Due to dangerous currents, swimming out to the sandbar is not recommended.
Beach wheelchairs are available without charge on a first come, first served basis for use at County Parks on Okaloosa Island and James Lee Park in Destin. Please call Beach Safety at (850) 259-4131 for arrangements on Okaloosa Island or (850) 837-8413 for Destin. Also, here are a few websites with additional information: http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/pw/parks and http://www.floridastateparks.org/accessforall/accessiblefacilities.cfm#beachwheelchairs
With the exception of guide dogs or other service animals, Okaloosa County Ordinance 77-19 Section 6 prohibits dogs in areas including beaches, public parks, school grounds, restaurants and food stores. Some hotels and condos do offer pet-friendly accommodations, though. Ask before you come if you're planning on bringing Fido.
Okaloosa County Ordinance 80-12 prohibits operating motor vehicles in areas not posted for vehicular traffic, including any public land, right of way or recreational area such as public beaches. Help us preserve our dunes and the wildlife that call these dunes home.
Sorry. The only things you should leave on the beach are your worries. We appreciate your assistance in keeping the beach clean for nesting sea turtles, beach maintenance, emergency vehicles and the safety of beachgoers. Under Okaloosa County Ordinance No. 08-06, it is unlawful for personal property to remain on the beach unattended between midnight and 7:30 a.m. Central Time. Items left overnight are considered abandoned, and county employees have been directed to remove umbrellas, picnic tables, coolers, volleyball nets, hammocks, beach chairs and any other personal articles. Under law, items become property of Okaloosa County and will be disposed of in any legal manner deemed appropriate. For more information, call 800-322-3319.
For your safety, glass containers are not allowed on the beaches in the Heart of Florida’s Emerald Coast.
Exploding fireworks are illegal throughout the state of Florida. And, again, for the safety of our visitors, bonfires are not allowed.
Sand dunes act as barriers to wind and waves, protecting homes and businesses – especially during storms and hurricanes. Please stay out of the sand dunes and sea oats. Use our public beach walkovers to help preserve our sand dune barrier system.
Sea turtles nest on Gulf beaches between April and November. Due to human exploitation and habitat destruction, sea turtles are threatened with extinction. Avoid disturbing a turtle that is crawling to or from the water. Avoid crowding around a nesting turtle and do not shine lights in her eyes or take flash pictures. All sea turtles are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and Florida state law. It is illegal to harm, kill or disturb the nest of a sea turtle. Heavy fines and possible imprisonment may result.
Rip currents are prevalent after storms. If you're caught in a rip current, do not panic or swim against the current. If you cannot break out of the current, either float calmly until it lessens, swim parallel to shore until you are out of the rip current, or shout and wave for assistance.
Okaloosa County follows Florida's uniform beach warning flag system. Green means "conditions are favorable for swimming," yellow means there is a "medium hazard," red means there is a "high hazard," red over red means "danger: the water is closed to public use" and purple means "marine pests are present." For safety, observe and obey these flag warnings.