More than White Sand

Okaloosa Island is known to many as an unincorporated community near Fort Walton Beach with dozens of residential homes, condominiums, hotels and motels. But beyond this picturesque canvas tinted with the emerald green mantle of the Gulf of Mexico, many adventures await. This is one of them.

I wanted to personally understand why many of our visitors rave about their experiences on the island from their point of view. I begin my journey at the Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach-Destin Hotel, our beautiful beachfront resort that offers free bicycle rentals to guests, in addition to many awesome extras like free beach service, movie rentals and an arcade room. Whilst the hotel has much to do, visitors crave a deeper endeavor for a complete island experience. Turning right on Santa Rosa Blvd. from the hotel directs you to a plethora of attractions. So naturally, I hop onto my bike and turn right.

As I soaked up the Florida sunshine, I felt refreshed by the soothing gulf breeze. The panorama was accented by a nicely maintained collection of accommodations. About ¾ of a mile down the boulevard I noticed a mini-golf course with an ice cream shop attached and decided to take a look. Several families were playing the 36-hole course and munching on ice cream. At this point, my thirst levels were off the charts so I decided to give it a try. They had 24 flavors to choose from! Whilst they had many choices, my inclination was to go with their traditional strawberry flavor. I was blown away by the quality and smooth texture of the ice cream. Outside the shop, several visitors were clearly enjoying it as well. I could tell by their smiling faces and slurping sounds of delight.

Refreshed and pleased, I continued my journey passing several restaurants, the Okaloosa Island Fire Station and eventually stopping at the Tropical Waves souvenir store by the main highway. I glanced at the historic Brooks Bridge, the main connector between Okaloosa Island and the city of Fort Walton Beach. To my right, an additional stretch of island awaits my arrival. As I glimpse onto the horizon, I am ecstatic with anxiety and eagerness to explore the number of attractions that lie ahead. Join me on my next adventure as I continue to explore the rest of Okaloosa Island.