Escape the crowds and visit Okaloosa Island for family fun in a quiet environment.
As its name suggests, Waterscape is a place where you can escape into an underwater paradise. Stand under a 10-foot waterfall in the lagoon. Float your cares away on a tube down the lazy river, or watch your little ones play among friendly giant frogs, turtles, and sea creatures in the water splash park. You can even choose from three pools to swim in. Then, finish the day with a relaxing soak in the hot tub. This collection of Okaloosa Island condos also features direct access to the Gulf of Mexico.
What’s better than watching “The Little Mermaid?” Meeting Misty, a “real” mermaid whose home is The Island, by Hotel RL. Take pictures and a few moments to yourself as she captures your children’s attention with one sparkly swoosh of her tail. She appears by the grotto pool, which is another sight to behold.
Once you’ve met Misty, swim through the waterfall to find a swim-up bar all parents will enjoy! As day turns into night, catch free live music by local musicians. This newly renovated hotel also offers pool games, dive-in movies, and access to the Gulf.
Holiday Inn Resort
Another one of the Okaloosa Island hotels that caters to families, the Holiday Inn Resort features a pool with a waterfall, lazy river, hot tub, 24-hour fitness center, and access to the Gulf. There are mermaid shows too, plus pirates that help entertain the kids. Kids will also love to check out the video game arcade on the property.
If you’re a family that likes to experience everything first, the Blu luxury condo complex is the newest development on the island in a decade. With a coastal contemporary vibe, it has two beautiful beachfront pools, a fire pit for nighttime storytelling and constellation-naming, plus easy access to the Gulf.
Staying Close to the Action
No matter where your family chooses to stay, you will find yourself in the middle of all kinds of water adventures. Families love Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, where you can enjoy dolphin and sea lion shows, get up close and personal with stingrays and starfish, and giggle watching comical penguins, otters, and seals.
Visit Island Time, where the adventurous can rent a pontoon, kayak, paddleboard, jet ski, or parasail. For some old-fashioned fun with a high-tech twist, head over to Fat Daddy’s Arcade, which has more than 50 games from which to choose.
Then there’s the largest family entertainment center in Northwest Florida—Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone, featuring a reverse bungee trampoline, 60-foot-high ropes course, spinning roller coaster, remote-controlled battle boats, laser maze, and 4D movie theater. Did we mention it has animatronic dinosaurs, too? “Jurassic Park” movies step aside.
Finally, take a stroll down the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier to watch sea turtles, dolphins, and herons in the wild, and visit the Boardwalk for fresh seafood, kites to fly, and souvenirs to treasure.