On the western end of the Choctawhatchee Bay near Santa Rosa Island lives a white sandy beach known as Fort Walton.
Just as it says in the name, this was originally an actual fort created for the Seminole wars and named after Col. George Walton who was the territorial secretary of west Fl from 1821-1822 and then east and west Fl from 1822-1826.
The name Fort Walton itself was created as a municipality in 1937 and then eventually turned into a town in 1941.
Fort Walton beach is an ideal place to travel and take a day trip.
First things first, how to get to Fort Walton Beach?
The closest airport is in Okaloosa County which is near both Destin and Fort Walton.
Getting to and around these areas you have a few options.
Like many other locations around the US, you can always take a Lyft or Uber but some more local options would be to rent a trolley, scooter, or even a pontoon if you want to visit neighboring islands.
Now that we’ve got that covered you’re probably wondering what to do, don’t worry we’ve got you covered!
Here’s a Day Trip Itinerary for Fort Walton Beach
First stop, breakfast at The Little Griddle
You have to start your morning off right, and they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
This breakfast spot might be known as the Little Griddle but it’s made for BIG appetites.
The raving reviews on this spot say a lot. The Little Griddle is rated at nearly 5 stars on google reviews, which, in an age where everyone is a food critic is hard to come by.
When Dining at this restaurant, whether you’re a morning person or not you will be served by the friendly and enthusiastic staff that will perk you right up.
Not only is the food here delicious but you can’t beat the price, most items range from 10 to 20 bucks.
When you get here make sure to try their very popular Bamm-wich!
Second stop, Gulfarium
To explore the area you need to make sure you get around the Fort Walton beach area. With that being said are you a fan of adorable sea creatures? What are you? A monster? Of course, you’re a fan!
Gulfarium has plenty of mother nature’s darling little animals.
This park has an abundance of activities to choose from: Try their encounter experience where you get up close and personal with your choice of sea creature. Come and enjoy Gulfarium’s training shows, exhibits, and demonstrations with a general admissions pass.
The park is open from 9 am to 4 pm which is more than enough time to get your fix of furry friends.
Third stop, more food at Doncha Peruvian Food
You might be getting around the Fort Walton Beach area but this place will make you feel like you’re in Peru.
This Peruvian restaurant has been around since it opened its doors in 2007.
An extraordinary cook by the name of Pedro Jose Ramirez Florez took a leap of faith by moving to America from his home in Peru to live out his dream with the help of his wife.
Together the married couple opened this restaurant to share their Peruvian roots through food.
The whole aesthetic of the restaurant brings it home for the win with its Great Inca empire decor.
As far as the food is concerned, this restaurant has more side pieces than Johnny Bravo and they’re all delicious.
Stop by and dig into authentic Peruvian cuisine.
Don’t forget to put in an order for the pollada peruana!
Fourth Stop: Visit Liza Park
Aside from its beauty, there’s another reason to visit this park, the woman it was named after.
Liza Jackson was born in Orangeburg SC, way back when in 1888.
Jackson had a whopping 10 brothers and sisters. In a pack that big, Liza would have to do great things to stand out, and she certainly did.
Her early life started fairly average, helping younger children with their lessons as a child, then attending school for business as a young adult.
With time, she married a lumber businessman named William B. Harbeson. They began a family in Mississippi, and it was here that she found joy in civic duty.
Liza’s family took a big move to Defuaniak Springs where she found more interest in civic duties and was elected vice president of Florida’s Federation of Women’s Club.
By the 1930s Liza owned multiple hotels and was a world traveler. Of all the places she had been Olooska County had a place in her heart and upon noticing there were no doctors in the area at the time, liza financed a public health building for the community.
In 1938 Liza would finally get around to Fort Walton Beach where she became a great contributor to the foundation of Fort Walton.
During WW2 Liza was a volunteer at the USO and Red Cross. She then went on to serve on the town council.
During the last legs of Liza’s life, she helped organize the Gulf Area Garden Club and even Fort Walton Beach’s free Public Library.
From 1955 to 1958 Liza won the Honor of Woman Of The Year for the gulf area.
The park is full of over 200 species of birds, clear blue water, and endless sunsets.
Come and enjoy a location as beautiful as the women it was named after.
The last stop is Ali’s Bistro
This beauty opened its doors back in 2003 when it was named Ciao Bella and was located in Destin FL.
In 2012 the location moved and everyone knew of the restaurant as Ali’s and so the name was changed to what it’s called today.
This restaurant serves up traditional Italian food in a casual setting. Some of their most popular dishes include baked ziti, cheese ravioli, and lasagna.
They’re open until 9:30 most days but are a pretty popular spot, so be sure to make a reservation!
Enjoy some fun in the sun and food in your belly Fort Walton Beach awaits!