Nature + Parks

The natural areas and parks that are found in Destin-Fort Walton Beach make this a nature lover’s paradise! When visiting our area you can enjoy sugar-white sand beaches but there are also many parks and beautiful natural areas to discover.

Located in Destin, Henderson Beach State Park is a protected area, and is perfect for a relaxing day at the beach. This state park has much more than just our beautiful beaches. Of course you can swim along the shoreline with a mile long expanse of scenic water; and there are a variety of other activities too. Bring along a picnic lunch to eat at one of the six picnic pavilions. Children will love the playground that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Henderson Beach State Park can accommodate tents or RVs with 60 campsites available. The park has a three-quarter mile pet-friendly trail that winds through dunes and vegetation. Guided trail tours are available upon request.

The Landing and Liza Jackson Parks are both located sound-side in Fort Walton Beach. These parks have stunning views, playgrounds and a variety of public amenities for families. Each of the parks has its own unique landscape, ecosystem, and amenities. Take a stroll along The Landing’s 700 feet of waterfront boardwalk. Families can watch movies and experience live music at The Landing as well as local events such as Billy Bowlegs, the Native American Festival, and even a local farmer’s markets selling local fruits, vegetables and honey.

Want to spot wildlife? Herons, pelicans and other coastal birdlife can be seen on walkways along the waterfront. Liza Jackson Park is another stop for outdoor activities, green space and a boat launch. Planning on bringing your four-legged friends? Liza Jackson houses two dog parks where your pets can play and socialize! View the wetlands, learn about local vegetation from the information signs along the park’s boardwalk trails and spot dozens of wildlife flourishing in this serene Okaloosa County park.

Looking for the perfect place to grill for birthday parties, company gatherings or family outings? Ross Marler Park on Okaloosa Island provides a perfect combination of outdoor play, an outdoor field for sports, multiple covered pavilions connecting to swim-friendly entries, amenities and a large beachside boat launch. End your day during sunset in Destin at Mattie Kelly’s Park and Nature Walk overlooking beautiful, southern wetlands or sit back and throw a line out on the fishing pier. More than 10 acres of this protected bayou environment scatter across the boardwalk housing hundreds of local species and a natural arboretum that anyone would find enjoyable.

If you’re searching for a meaningful outdoor experience, head over to the Women Veterans Memorial at Veterans Park on Okaloosa Island. The park honors eight women veterans who have served and made significant contributions in the U.S. Military throughout history. It features eight statues in honor of women who have served our country as true patriots. Home to native wildlife and vegetation, the park is situated on the Choctawhatchee Bay coastline and pays homage to the military which has played an integral role in sculpting our community. Second only to Washington, D.C., Florida is home to one of the largest populations of women veterans in the nation.


Little Adventures

Explore bite-sized adventures for the whole family. Use the filters below or browse all of our Little Adventures.

by age

by price

by duration

A row of different colored beers on a bar.


Tap in to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Breweries!

Tap in to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Breweries! The pitcher perfect day in Destin-Fort Walton Beach includes craft beer, outdoor seating, live music and of course good friends. Check out our list of the best breweries and taprooms from Destin to Crestview: Destin Brewery Their name says it all, so if…

Read more

Trip Ideas

While beachgoers can lay out on the sand, shoppers can stroll down the HarborWalk Village and savor plates of Gulf-to-Table seafood. What will you do in Destin-Fort Walton Beach?

a pier under the water with a blue sky.

Where to See Sea Turtles in Destin-Fort Walton Beach

Where to See Sea Turtles in Destin-Fort Walton Beach Destin-Fort Walton Beach is home to some amazing wildlife, including our four species of sea turtles! You can see Loggerhead, Green, Kemp’s Ridley, and Leatherback sea turtles in our crystal-clear Gulf waters. Our flippered friends are active and…

Read more
scuba diver underwater near artificial reef

Destin-Fort Walton Coastal Team Deploys Nearly 40 Artificial Reefs

Destin-Fort Walton Coastal Team Deploys Nearly 40 Artificial Reefs Okaloosa County’s Coastal Resource Team is gearing up to deploy 38 prefabricated artificial reef modules off the coast of Destin-Fort Walton Beach, an exciting initiative that highlights the community’s dedication to marine conservation. The project, made possible through funding provided by…

Read more
a group of people standing in a body of water.

Adapting water activities for kids of multiple ages

Adapting water activities for kids of multiple ages This post was written by Sara McCarty, founder of Run Wild My Child, in partnership with Destin-Fort Walton Beach. If you have more than one kid, you know that it’s often hard to find activities that keep multiple kids of…

Read more
A boat docked in a harbor at dusk.

October 1, 2023

Destin Fishing Rodeo

Free to anglers fishing on registered boats including charter boats, private boats, pier anglers, kayaks…



Get a little sand in your inbox.

Complete the form here to receive emails highlighting special events and opportunities in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Your information will not be sold or distributed. Privacy policy.