The water offers visitors lots of ways to play. Rent a paddleboard or a jet-ski, take a dolphin cruise to view the dolphins swimming along the coast, or rent a pontoon boat and head to Crab Island. Of course, there is a lot of wildlife here to discover as well. Besides dolphins, you can view the beautiful schools of fish and sea turtles under the water by snorkeling or scuba diving.
The area is home to two major Air Force bases: Hurlburt Field, which includes Headquarters and Air Force Special Operations Command, and Eglin Air Force Base, which includes the Air Armament Center and 33rd Fighter Wing. Eglin is one of the biggest bases covering 724 square miles.
Best Time of Year to Visit Fort Walton Beach, FL
If you want to avoid the hot humidity of summer but still go when it's warm enough to enjoy the beach, April to June and September through October are the best times to visit. Just note that you're likely to run into families on spring break if you head there in late March and April, which can add to the cost of accommodations and how crowded the beach is. Also, seasonal amenities often don't open until May or June, so you might miss out. Highs in April usually hit around 77 degrees, while May highs hit about 84 and June highs around 89. Though the temperatures are high in June, it's a bit of a drier heat than July and August, making it more bearable. September high temperatures are about 87 while October temperatures land at about 80 with humidity dropping in late September. Note that the water temperatures are a little cool in April in May. Many visitors mention that the water is much more enjoyable June through October.
The high temperatures and humidity of July and August make the area a little less comfortable. Also, once school lets out, the beaches become crowded with vacationers, making May a great time to go to avoid spring breakers, summer vacationers, and high hotel prices. If you're not planning on going in the water and just want to enjoy walking along the beach, you can save money on hotels by booking rooms in the winter. Typical highs land around 60 degrees with lows around 40, making it very comfortable to wear a light jacket and look for seashells during the day.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Fort Walton Beach, FL:
Fort Walton Beach by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean nightly cost trends by star rating class in Fort Walton Beach, FL. You can use these illustrations to calculate the best months to stay in Fort Walton Beach for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Fort Walton Beach, FL
4 Star Average Prices: $185.12
For the best in luxurious accommodations in Fort Walton Beach, check out the Courtyard Fort Walton Beach-West Destin. Rooms feature either one king or two queen beds, a flat screen TV, a desk with ergonomic chair, Paul Mitchell bath products, and cotton-rich bedding. Need a pick-me-up? Head to The Bistro where you can get specialty Starbucks coffees or try the breakfast or dinner options. The outdoor pool is a great place to cool off, or just head down the ramp behind the pool and you're on the beach. This highly rated hotel is considered by many to be the best in Fort Walton Beach.
Designed with families in mind, the Holiday Inn Resort Fort Walton Beach features many amenities. Head to the game room with the family for a fun indoor activity or to the outdoor lazy river pool for some splashing around. The indoor heated pool is perfect for those visiting the area in the winter or when it's a little cool outdoors. Seasonal activities and kids club are available for the kids. You'll find a full-service restaurant on-site that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you don't have to leave the resort to find meals. Rooms include a coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator, along with luxurious triple sheeted bedding and fluffy pillows. Wanting more space? Choose one of the king suites with sleeper sofa.
Affordable Accommodations in Fort Walton Beach, FL
3 Star Average Prices: $166.41
The Emerald Coast Inn & Suites is a great option for those wishing to save money on their trip to Fort Walton Beach. Though a bit dated, the hotel has been working to update the rooms; many visitors commented on the beds being comfortable. Amenities include free Wi-Fi for all guests, a fitness room, and an outdoor swimming pool. The staff at Emerald Coast work hard to keep the hotel clean and comfortable. Wake up to a free continental breakfast each morning to start the day. Rooms include either one king or two queen beds, 40-inch flat screen TVs, refrigerators, and microwaves. Plus, kids stay free, adding to the value of the rooms here. The location is one of the best in the area as well—just across the highway from some of the best beaches in the area.
2 Star Average Prices: $115.68
Where are the real discounts in Fort Walton Beach
The Best Western Fort Walton Beach hotel is a beachfront hotel with many amenities for guests to enjoy. With a 10 percent discount for government/military, it also has one of the best hotel discounts in the area. Amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access throughout the hotel property, a seasonal cabana bar, and free breakfast. Be sure to check out the Swizzle Stick Martini Bar located on-site. Because it's a green hotel, it's designed to help protect the environment, including the turtle lights that are used outdoors to protect the turtles during nesting time. Rooms include Art Deco design, Serta Presidential Suite pillowtop beds, refrigerators, microwaves, and your private balcony. Suites are available as well for those who really want to enjoy luxury, including junior suites that are spacious, have beach views, and have a Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom.
If you're looking for a hotel that offers a discount to AAA members or seniors, consider Quality Inn Bayside Fort Walton Beach. Here you'll get about 10 percent off of one of their beautiful rooms that were remodeled in 2014 and feature TVs with cable channels, refrigerators, and coffee makers. All guests enjoy free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Enjoy the outdoor pool, exercise room, and business center. This hotel is one of the more affordable choices in the area, yet rooms that face the bay (especially those on the second floor) have beautiful views of the water.
Best Hotel Values in Fort Walton Beach, FL
If you're looking for a hotel that has lots of amenities without paying too much, consider La Quinta Inn & Suites Ft. Walton Beach. Located a mile from the beach, rooms sport an updated modern decor. Some amenities include refrigerators, microwaves, a coffee maker, and 32-inch flat screen TV with premium cable. Take advantage of the free Wi-Fi to stay connected during your stay. Every morning, enjoy the Bright Side Breakfast, a buffet that includes hot foods, such as eggs, waffles, and biscuits and gravy, and cold items, such as pastries, bagels, fruit, and cereal, along with coffee and juice. Don't forget to take a dip in the outdoor pool or relax in the hot tub.
For those traveling with family, the Marina Bay Resort might be just the place. If you need more space, head to the Retro Room where you can play games or watch one of the TVs. There's even a weekly movie night. The Snack Shoppe is located right across from the check-in desk and has gourmet coffee, sodas, ice cream, and snacks. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, the patio and courtyard have places to sit and enjoy a meal or just chat. Other amenities include the game room, sand volleyball court, exercise room, and sauna. If you choose one of the suites, you'll get a kitchenette that includes a stove, oven, and refrigerator.
What Are the Best Beaches In and Around Fort Walton Beach, FL?
As you head to Fort Walton Beach, FL, you might be wondering which beach is the best for you and those you are traveling with. Of course, the answer might just be whichever one is closest to your accommodations, especially if it means not having to drive anywhere, but here are some things to consider about beaches in the Fort Walton Beach area.
James Lee County Park is popular with families. This is because the water here is clear and shallow, so it's easier for the little ones to enjoy the water without being engulfed. If you want to do a little surfing or snorkeling, consider John Beasley Beach Park on Okaloosa Island. Newman Brackin Beach Park is a great option if you want to do some shopping and eat out during your day at the beach because it's right on the boardwalk.
Fort Walton Beach is a beautiful US town in the state of Florida, famous for fishing and as a resort community. It has a very warm humid subtropical climate and is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a warm vacation. The town is also home to one of the most renowned air force pilots, Mark Alexander who recently quoted that, 'it was a great spirit of sacrifice and help for each other and high standards. You get values from your parents, from your church. They expected a lot from us kids, and we either gave it to them, or they gave you a little corrective action'. He is a veteran well known for his outstanding military service and a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Affordable hotels in Fort Walton Beach
The town is a common destination for many families and tourists - there are over 300 cheap hotels in the town. You can choose from a wide selection ranging from 1-star to 4-star class hotels at very low prices, but still get great services.
Days Inn and Days Inn Destin hotels are located just a mile from the beach. There are many shopping malls and restaurants nearby and two airports 10 km away. The hotels offer nicely furnished rooms with standard equipment and services. There is cable TV, high speed wireless internet, outdoor pools and a sun deck. Days Inn hotel offers free accommodation for children under 17 years of age. Parking is free and can accommodate bigger trucks.
Village Inn Destin and Destin Inn & Suites, are both located in Destin, just a mile away from the Destin Harbor. The hotels offer classic guest rooms equipped with modern facilities and services. There is free parking, can make free local calls, ice machines, daily housekeeping services, hairdryers and they serve buffet breakfast every morning.
If still undecided, please take a look at the following cheap hotels: Regency Inn Fort Walton Beach, Super 8 Ft Walton Beach, Regency Inn Niceville, Fairway Inn, Motel 6 Destin and Hotel Lodge and Suites.
Most hotels in Fort Walton Beach offer discounts on particular days, so if you are here, just get information on this and save some money!
Elite accommodation in Fort Walton Beach
There are 3 hotels in Fort Walton Beach that offer top notch services. Hotel Magnolia House by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is a mid rise resort that offers condo styled units, giving you the full comfort like that of your home. Apart from having modern facilities, each room has a balcony overlooking the seasonally heated outdoor pool. There is a free parking and a fitness center within the hotel. With a very warm climate, this hotel is just a perfect place to be if you want to have a comfortable vacation indoors.
Another Fort Walton Beach hotel that is popular among travelers is the Silver Shells Resort & Spa by Wyndham Vacation Rentals. It offers 280 rooms with different bed sizes, villas and pent houses within the five 15-floor buildings of the hotel, with the most modern amenities. You will be baffled by the 7500 square foot lagoon pool with waterfall, a kids' pool and side cabanas. Meals and drinks are served at the on-site steakhouse and beach front bar.
The Terrace at Pelican Beach hotel is equipped with a private beach with the most modern facilities and services. Fort Walton Beach hotels, despite being relatively cheap, offers great services due to the influx of tourists in the town. Whatever your choice is, be assured of receiving the best service.
Independent hotels in Fort Walton Beach
There are a lot of small and independent hotels in the town. Quality Inn Bayside, Gulf Side, Island Echos, Ramada Plaza Beach Resort, Sea Breeze Inn, Pirates Bay and Marina, Marina Bay Resort and Islander Beach Resort, are among the best in this class. Fort Walton Beach is a truly great city to be, with its warm climate, you will enjoy the unique corner of Florida.