Along the Florida peninsula is a beautiful region called the Emerald Coast. Its name comes from the bright green waters of the Gulf of Mexico that border its sandy shores. The Emerald Coast begins in Pensacola to the west and extends 100 miles east to Panama City. Halfway between them is the true heart of the Emerald Coast: the sister cities of Destin and Fort Walton Beach. Flanking the exit where the wide and beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay empties into the Gulf, these towns offer a prime vacation destination. Although Destin is becoming quite popular and exclusive, if you enjoy a more realistic atmosphere, you should visit Fort Walton Beach. If you are looking for an extraordinary beach vacation in a city with a laid-back attitude, you will enjoy your time here and never run out of things to do. Start your planning with great Fort Walton Beach vacation rentals.
The main attraction near Fort Walton Beach hotels is the spectacular coastline. The beaches here are clean, soft, and white. They have been named the “safest in the country”, as well as being part of the “most beautiful beaches” lists. They are so addictive that you may find yourself simply relaxing each day with the sun on your face and your toes in the sand, enjoying a light breeze and the sound of the waves coming ashore. Maybe you dare to bomb or build a sand castle. The length of shoreline near your Fort Walton Beach vacation rental is lined with coastal dunes. Standing up to 50 feet tall, these dunes are particularly susceptible to human encroachment. Therefore, more than 60 percent of them are protected by law, so you can wander through them in their pristine natural state right in front of your cozy inn.
The warm emerald waters of the Gulf may beckon you in. With so much water around your hotel, you will find many water recreation activities to enjoy. Although this area of the Gulf of Mexico is too far north for coral reefs, there are numerous man-made reefs and shipwrecks, even airplanes, to explore, making diving or snorkeling in the crystal clear waters a delight. You may be joined by stingrays, dolphins, or large loggerhead turtles. If you prefer to stay on the surface of the water, you can still see marine life on a glass bottom boat tour. Perhaps you will spend a day away from your Fort Walton Beach accommodation on a deep sea fishing cruise.
Freshwater fishing is plentiful here too, with some swamps and several rivers in the area offering many options. The Blackwater River is popular for canoeing, tubing, or kayaking. You will also find beautiful areas on land. You can visit the nearby Eden State Gardens, a century-old estate overlooking Choctawhatchee Bay. Moss-covered oak trees and picturesque gardens of azaleas and camellias transport you back to an earlier time. There are even underground sightseeing tours. You can head to Marianna from your Fort Walton Beach vacation rental to tour the Florida Caverns, the only limestone caverns in the state.