Okaloosa Island is a prime destination for any beach-lover. If you’re visiting Destin or Fort Walton Beach, then this charming little barrier island should definitely be at the top of your list. With beautiful beaches, wildlife, and fun activities for people of all ages, it’s an ideal vacation spot for families and couples.
If you’re looking for the best sandy white beaches near Destin, look no further than Okaloosa Island.
Ready to start planning your island excursion in Florida? Here’s your complete guide to help you plan a full day at this lovely beach spot. You’ll be ready to return year after year.
What is Okaloosa Island?
Okaloosa Island is a narrow strip of land off the coast of Florida, near Destin and Fort Walton Beach. It has sandy, white beaches and is a popular destination for tourists and locals who are looking for the perfect spot to fish, snorkel, or just catch some summertime rays.
When you visit Okaloosa, you’ll find several beaches and parks that are perfect for a day of exploring, or just getting a tan. You can easily get there by renting a pontoon boat or a jet ski for the day. Bring some snacks, tunes, and sunscreen, and you’ll have the perfect beach day!
Things To Do on Okaloosa Island
When you hear “island,” you might be thinking quiet or even desolate. But Okaloosa Island has so much to do, you can easily spend an entire day there. Between the fun outdoor dining options, picturesque beaches, and outdoor activities, you can easily spend a full day there without getting bored.
Here are just a few of the most popular things to do while you’re on Okaloosa Island.
- Plan a beach day: Okaloosa Island has some of the best white sand beaches near Destin, Florida.
- Go snorkeling: there are many tropical fish that call Okaloosa Island home; and if you keep your eyes peeled above water too, you might even see some dolphins off in the distance!
- Rent a pontoon boat: with a pontoon boat rental, you can take your whole family to Okaloosa Island for the day; you’ll have room for your towels and beach supplies, and the freedom to explore the whole island.
- Go fishing: Okaloosa Fishing Pier is a primer destination for fishing enthusiasts all over Florida.
- Grab dinner: hit the Okaloosa Island boardwalk for some fresh seafood after a day in the sun.
Okaloosa Island Rentals
There are many ways to get to Okaloosa Island. A private rental is your best bet, since you won’t have to stay with a tour guide or adhere to a specific schedule.
If you’re planning a day at Okaloosa Island, make sure you rent a pontoon boat or jet ski in advance. It’ll make for a memorable vacation day, and may even become an annual tradition.
Rent a Pontoon Boat
If you’re planning to bring several of your friends or family with you, then a pontoon boat rental is a great way to get to Okaloosa. Rent a boat for a full day to get the complete Okaloosa experience. Once you’re there, you’ll want as much time as possible to lounge on the beach, walk the boardwalk, and search the waves for dolphins.
Pontoon boats are comfortable, safe, and perfectly suited for small groups. You’ll be able to stow away everything you might need for a day at the beach. And they’re easy to navigate, so you’ll be confident that you’ll make it back to the harbor safe and sound.
Rent a Jet Ski
If you’re flying solo or maybe bringing a significant other, then you can also take a jet ski to Okaloosa Island. Jet skis are fast, fun, and nimble; if you get tired of relaxing in the sun, you can always take your jet ski out for a spin. It’ll also be easy to see all of the beaches on Okaloosa in just one day.
Rent a jet ski for the day to get the most adventurous experience of Okaloosa Island.
There are so many fun daytime activities in and around Fort Walton Beach. If you’re planning to spend some time on Okaloosa Island, you don’t have to worry about running out of things to do. Here are just a few of the fun tourist attractions you might want to check out before the sun sets.
- Sightseeing: take a guided tour of the island, or hop on your own waverunner rental to see the sun, sand, and ocean life.
- Mini golf: always a family favorite, try your hand at mini golf; it’s even more fun at the beach!
- Ropes course: Okaloosa Island has its very own rope course, for those who are feeling especially adventurous.
- Fishing trips: if you’re serious about catching your own dinner, charter your own fishing boat off Okaloosa Island.
And the best part is, you can partake in these activities almost year-round. Florida is known as the Sunshine State for a reason. So pack up your snorkel gear, beach supplies, and sun glasses for a full day of relaxing beach time and ocean excursions.
If you happen to find yourself on Okaloosa Island after dark, you’ll still have plenty to do. Thanks to the boardwalk and trendy tourist scene, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island have a lively nightlife.
Try a dueling piano bar, where you can take in some live music in a fun, festive atmosphere. Or, grab a snack and a beer at The Boardroom, a local favorite. Or try Coasters if you’d rather challenge a friend to a round of darts, or catch the football game while you enjoy your cocktail.
How to Get to Okaloosa Island
You can easily get from Destin or Fort Walton Beach to Okaloosa Island by boat, even if you don’t have much boating experience. Reserve a jet ski or pontoon boat in advance, and be sure to give yourself a full day at Okaloosa Island. If you’re traveling with a large group, you can even book a private boat tour of the island. Adventure awaits!
No matter what season or time of day, you’re going to have an amazing time at Okaloosa Island. With stunning white sand beaches, an upbeat boardwalk full of bars and restaurants, and Okaloosa Island watersport rentals suitable for the whole family, you can’t go wrong. Kick back and enjoy your time in Florida!