FAQs

What’s the weather like on Florida’s Emerald Coast?

No matter when you visit, you will find brilliant blue skies, white sand beaches and emerald green whatever, but the temperatures do vary. 

In the spring, expect days of mid-70’s to upper 80’s while a light jacket may be needed in the evenings, especially in early spring. The summer time is hot – literally! Highs in the low to upper 90’s make for ideal days on the sand or in the pool. And, things don’t cool off much in the evenings so be sure your dinner dresses are sleeveless.

By mid-October, the temps are usually backing down to spring-like numbers. Again, a light jacket is usually warranted for evenings, especially by late-November to early December. And, winter? Well, that doesn’t last long around here but we would recommend packing a jacket if visiting in January and February. No matter when you visit, be sure to bring sunscreen!

Where can we get a beach wheelchair?

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

Can I have a dog on the beach?

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, and food stores. 

Some hotels and vacation rental companies do offer pet-friendly accommodations, though, and many restaurants welcome pets. You can also check out the dog parks in Mary Esther and Destin during your getaway.

Can I drive my car or motorcycle on the beach?

No. Due to the protected nature of our dunes and wildlife, driving on the beach is prohibited. 

Can we leave beach chairs and umbrellas on the beach overnight?

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 7AM CST. 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.

Can we bring glass containers or bottles on the beach?

For your safety, glass containers and bottles are not allowed on the beaches in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island.

Are fireworks and bonfires allowed on the beach?

Exploding fireworks are illegal throughout the state of Florida and beach bonfires are illegal on the public beaches of Okaloosa County.

Can I take a walk in the dunes?

Sand dunes act as barriers to wind and waves, protecting homes and businesses. Please stay out of the sand dunes and sea oats. Use our public beach walkovers to help preserve our sand dune barrier system.

Do sea turtles nest on your beaches?

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, and crowding around a nesting turtle. 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.