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10 Important Items to bring to the Beach

Ready for a beach vacation? Fort Walton Beach and Destin visitors rave about their inimitable experiences at our stunning Northwest Florida beaches. We have asked around what are some of the most important items to bring along to maximize your sandy adventure and here are our findings:

#10- FIRST AID KIT- Things happen, and it is definitely better to be safe than sorry.  Plan on bringing a basic first aid kit to assist you with minor cuts, sunburn, or the rare jellyfish sting.  Basic items such as band aids, pain medication, ointments, instant ice packs, and alcohol wipes will suffice. Fortunately, Okaloosa Island and the surrounding areas pride themselves with an excellent lifeguard program during our busy months but it always pays to be extra cautious.

#9- RADIO- The sound of the waves accented by an omnipresent child’s laugh, along with the swift caressing wind gusts resonating the discrete tune of the local wildlife……(umm) if this is too poetic for you, bring your radio or mp3 player (and please be mindful of your neighbors).

#8 BEACH HAT-  A nice beach hat will protect you from the sun. But let’s face it, you want to look stylish on your visit to the beach.

#7 SUNGLASSES- At first glance, you might think these are on the list solely to protect your eyes from the sun.  The main purpose is to shield your tearful eyes from the imminent emotional crying effects resulting from experiencing our utopian paradise…. enough said, put them on.

#6- FLIP FLOPS- Make sure you sink your bare toes into our unique powdery sand before you leave. However, on your quest to find the perfect spot, you might want to wear flip flops to smoothen your journey. Life is better in flip flops.

#5- SNACKS- Planning on spending more than a few hours at the beach? Do not forget the munchies! Bringing snacks is an effective way to maximize your beach time (especially if you have children). Bring your Pringles but make sure to keep our beaches clean by cleaning up your area before departing.

#4- BEACH TOWEL– I guarantee you that the sun will be doing most of the drying.  However, beach towels are utilized in a variety of ways according to personal preference. So whether it is to dry, spread items on top of, or just to simply lie on it for an intense connection with the beach, don’t forget to bring your beach towel.

#3- BEACH BAG– If you have been packing everything on our list, by now chances are you will need something to transport it all. A beach bag will make it easier for you to carry all these important items to your preferred spot.

#2- WATER– You’ll be surrounded by it, but of the salty kind. Temperatures rise above 95 degrees in the summertime here in Okaloosa Island, so make sure you bring plenty of fresh water to keep yourself and your loved ones hydrated.

And the #1 item on our list: SUNSCREEN! The Northwest Florida Sunshine will surely mesmerize your soul but it will also burn your skin to a crisp if you are not cautious. Luckily, you came to the right place for that awesome tan. Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, skin cancer, and discoloration with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 15 SPF.

Do not despair, if you forgot to pack some of these things, as the Wyndham Garden Fort Walton Beach Destin has you covered with an available sundry shop, along with their most popular feature: 2 free beach chairs and an umbrella ready to immerse you in an ultimate beach experience.

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.