Located in the Western portion of the Florida Panhandle, Okaloosa and Walton counties in Florida are rural and relatively undeveloped, having less than 230,000 people in total between the two counties. Climate wise, the Florida Panhandle is much more similar to the rest of the Southeast than it is to the rest of Florida. It’s still listed as humid, subtropical, but you’ll see the occasional freeze here, and sometimes even snow flurries, although this is fairly rare. Come explore this beautiful area in an RV rental Okaloosa FL!
As a fairly rural area, this region doesn’t boast any major theme parks or attractions, but this is not to say that it is devoid of them, either. Here are a few of the interesting things you can find to see and do in the two counties in an RV rental in Walton, Florida or an RV rental in Okaloosa, FL.
If you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway, then the John Beasley Park, located just outside of Fort Walton Beach might be exactly what you’ve been longing for. The beach is pristine, and you’re just two dunes away from the Gulf of Mexico. Two large pavilions and twelve picnic tables, coupled with abundant parking means you’ll be able to get in and find a spot to enjoy the day with your family and friends without difficulty. Enjoy this beautiful beach in an RV rental in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
This is a small park located at the edge of Garnier’s Bayou that contains picnic facilities and a short, level, easy walking path. There’s no boat ramp, but if you’ve brought your canoe or kayak, you can portage to a launch site along the shore of the park without difficulty, and once you’re in the water, photo opportunities abound.
A historic site built around 800AD, Fort Walton Mound is archaeological evidence that suggests that this was once a thriving town center and was also the location of the residence of the High Chief for an Indian tribe that once lived in the area. There’s not much to see, since the buildings have long since been destroyed by the forces of time, but you can feel the quiet power and history of the place, making it well worth the stop for photos.
Given its relatively undeveloped state, it should come as no surprise that camping opportunities abound in the region. Here are two of the more interesting campgrounds you may want to check out when planning your visit here.
The state forest is actually home to four different and widely scattered small campgrounds, but all fall under the park’s purview. You’ll want to look specifically around Karick Lake and Hurricane Lake, and campsites here feature electrical hookups, clean restrooms and showers, but not a lot else by way of amenities, perfect for an RVer looking for a quiet and secluded spot for an RV rental in Walton, FL. Hiking and biking trails, plus horseback riding opportunities more than make up for the relative lack of amenities.
Located not far from the town of Niceville, you’ll find things here similar to the campsites in the Blackwater River State Forest. Water and electrical hookups, clean showers and restrooms, but also an assortment of picnic tables and fire rings, in addition to a laundry facility on site. The fishing and hiking are both fabulous here, and the boat ramp allows for waterborne excursions into the Choctawhatchee Bay and Rocky Bayou, both good daylong outings in their own right. The Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is a terrific choice for an RV rental in Okaloosa, Florida, as it is just about 30 minutes away from Okaloosa.
Here are a couple of examples of the types of annual festivals and events you can find in the region and where you can hang out in an
Celebrated in the town of Niceville, every third Friday in October, the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival is a weekend of music and food, with a variety of rides, arts and crafts playing supporting roles. As the name suggests, the highlight of this festival is the Mullet. It should come as no surprise however, that people sporting the haircut bearing the same name are commonly found in Niceville during the festival weekend. If you’ve been longing to show off your Tennessee Top hat, then keep the third weekend in October open and start making plans now. Come in an RV rental from Fort Walton Beach, which is only about 20 minutes away.
Celebrated in Fort Walton Beach on Labor Day weekend, the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival was named after an infamous pirate, William Augustus Bowles. The ski show, music and food fest has more of a Mardi Gras flair than a historical focus. The festival is both interesting and colorful, and really gives you a taste of the local color of the area. It is a well-attended and fun celebration, which has been taking place since the 1950’s. Come in your RV rental in Ft. Walton Beach, FL during this weekend and have lots of fun!
Even though this region of Florida is somewhat sparsely populated and underdeveloped, it can still serve as a fascinating beacon for the right kind of vacationer. What it lacks in the typical charm of your usual vacation destination, it makes up for in local color, flair, and little hidden gems scattered throughout the region.
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