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Okaloosa County

Okaloosa at a Glance

Coastal Cities

Cinco Bayou, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Laurel Hill, Mary Esther, Niceville, Shalimar, Valparaiso

Popular Spot

Henderson Beach

Sandy Beaches

24 miles

Public Accesses


Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail

5 sites

State Parks & Lands


Rocky Bayou State Park


Henderson Beach State Park


Rocky Bayou Aquatic Preserve


Blackwater River State Forest


Yellow River Water Management Area


Federal Lands


Gulf Islands National Seashore (Escambia, Santa Rosa)


Eglin Air Force Base (Santa Rosa, Walton)


Hurlburt Field Air Force Base


Bays & Inlets

Choctawhatchee Bay, East Pass, Boggy, Cinco, Garnier, Hogtown, La Grange & Rocky bayous, Moreno Point
Rivers & Paddling Trails

Blackwater River, Yellow River, Shoal River, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail

Okaloosa County, located in the northwestern portion of the Florida panhandle, is known mostly for its clear emerald green water and soft, sugar-sand beaches. This community has a wide variety of entertainment opportunities that ranges from diving sunken ships, charter fishing opportunities, rich historical sites, shopping adventures, and local seafood.

“Okaloosa" is Choctaw for "black water" named for the dark-tea color water of the surrounding areas rivers and bay. The 27-mile Choctawhatchee Bay covers 129 square miles of bayous, creeks and rivers in both Okaloosa and Walton counties.  This bay is home to the endangered Okaloosa darter and is protected by the wetlands, marshes, low buff and grass beds of the Rocky Bayou Aquatic Preserve and Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park.

Along the Gulf side of this county tourists can explore multiple islands and one of the top-rated beaches not just in Florida but in the United States - Henderson Beach State Park. Known for its pristine beauty, this state park protects the last remaining coastal scrub area in Destin, Florida.

Tired of the sand and want to explore more of the local cities? Destin, Florida is your place to go. Nicknamed the “World's Luckiest Fishing Village”, Destin was first originated as a small fishing village, but has since grown in to one of the most visited cities in Florida, getting an estimated 4.5 million visitors a year. While there, explore Destin’s Harborwalk Village for a vibrant experience, which includes local live music, weekly firework shows, and seasonal festivals.

Looking for an excuse to wander throughout the county, try your hand at Okaloosa county geocaching trail. This unique experience is one for the whole family, while allowing you to see how diverse this area truly is all while having a friendly competition for who can locate the cache first.  

Last Modified:
September 20, 2023 - 3:15pm

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