Okaloosa Island is what is known as a barrier island, but it’s certainly no barrier to having fun. From dolphin shows and animatronic dinosaurs, to parasailing and battle boats, it’s the exact opposite – the entryway to a perfect vacation. Here are the top things to do on Okaloosa Island:
Spending all day at the beach is easy at the Boardwalk. With a pier, picnic areas, restaurants, shops, and even volleyball nets, everything is just a sandy walk away.
Pick up a colorful kite to soar in the blue sky, beach toys, coastal clothes and souvenirs in the Boardwalk shops.
Go surfing and turfing at restaurants on the boardwalk. For an emphasis on surf, try Rockin’ Tacos, The Crab Trap, and Floyd’s Shrimp House. If you’re more into turf, place an order at Al’s Beach Club & Burger Bar.
No visit to Okaloosa Island is complete without taking a stroll down the Okloosa Island Fishing Pier, where sea turtles and dolphins congregate as gulls circle overhead. Fishermen cast their lines and reel in their catches. Herons hover nearby in hopes of snagging an easy snack. Would-be anglers can rent poles and buy fish and tackle.
A little hesitant to cast a line because you don’t have a license? Don’t worry, the pier provides that license for everyone who pays the daily fishing fee. Do pay attention to Florida state fishing rules on size and limits, however.
From dolphins and sharks to alligators and stingrays, the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park offers up-close and hands-on encounters with aquatic animals.
Be in awe, laugh and learn while touring exhibits, starting with a windowed floor-to-ceiling tank of frolicking dolphins at the door. Touch starfish and sea urchins, or have graceful stingrays “fly” by under your fingertips.
Dolphins and sea lions show off their tricks for trainers and applauding audiences. Meanwhile, mischievous otters, seals and penguins are entertaining just to watch in their habitats.
The bird sanctuary is a collection of exotic feathers and songs. For reptile lovers (or not), there are lizards, snakes and turtles, plus the chance to touch a juvenile alligator.
The Gulfarium also offers opportunities, for a nominal fee, to feed and play with dolphins, sea lions, seals and more.
Vacation means you’re on “island time.” What better way to experience it than at a place named just that? Island Time has a collection of escapes from the real world.
One literally is all about escape. Escape Zone 60 challenges teams to solve puzzles within 60 minutes so they can escape from a locked room. Game themes range from zombie apocalypse to mummy’s tomb.
Fat Daddy’s Arcade also has games – lots of games – for all ages and skill levels. There are more than 50 of the trendiest arcade games, plus traditional favorites.
Three bars pour margaritas, frozen daiquiris, ice-cold beers and specialty drinks, such as the Hook-Line and Sink-Her. Dock on The Island and Island Time Pizza keep bellies happily full.
For those who love Jurassic Park movies, there’s a land of dinosaurs on Okaloosa Island, too. This one is safe and fun, though!
Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone lets you fly like a Pterosaur on a reverse bungee trampoline and climb to the treetops on a 60-foot-high ropes course.
Animatronics make the T-Rex Island miniature golf course a screaming good time, while friendly baby dinosaurs enchant little golfers in Hatchling Haven.
The largest family entertainment center in Northwest Florida, it also features a spinning roller coaster, remote-control battle boats, laser maze, 4D movie theater and a 16,000-square-foot arcade with more than 65 of the latest high-tech games.
Fuel up for the adventures at Salvati’s Pizza Factory and Yogo Mogos frozen yogurt bar.