Whether you are an avid runner or a novice, there are many races along the Emerald Coast in which to participate. Our local areas races may be a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon for you to choose depending on your fitness level. Your goal may be to break a previous personal best time or it may be simply to finish the race. Go for the gold in some or all of these upcoming runs. Nearly all of them are for charity, so you can feel proud that you are not only improving your health but also supporting a great cause! Check out these upcoming races in Fort Walton Beach and surrounding areas, including Destin, Crestview, Valparaiso, Miramar Beach, Navarre, and Niceville.
Upcoming 2017 Races
April 1, 2017 – Pryor 5K – Fort Walton Beach, FL
April 8, 2017 – Hunger Run 5K – Niceville, FL
April 15, 2017 – Run For Joy 5K – Niceville, FL
April 200, 2017 – Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers Mugbug 5k – Fort Walton Beach, FL
April 22, 2017 – Liza Jackson 5K – Fort Walton Beach, FL
April 23, 2017 – Trailblazer Trail Run (6.3 miles) – Fort Walton Beach, FL
April 29, 2017 – Heritage 5K – Valparaiso, FL
April 29, 2017 – Payne Chiropractic Life Center 5K – Destin, FL
May 6, 2017 – Sunset Stampede 5K – Navarre, FL
May 13, 2017 – Rice and Beans 5K
May 20, 2017 – Race 4 Hearts 5K
May 27, 2017 – Gate to Gate Memorial Run 4.4 Miles/10K – Eglin AFB, FL
June 3, 2017 – Billy Bowlegs 5K – Fort Walton Beach, FL
Set your goals high and choose several of these upcoming runs to help support our local charities and races! 5K and 10K runs are huge fundraisers for many local non-profit organization along the Emerald Coast. Your support by running in the race and sharing race information online is very appreciated and helpful to make these events successful. We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming races!
Are we missing a race? If so, please comment below and we’ll be glad to add it to the list above and the race calendar. Or, feel free to add it yourself for FREE!
December 11, 2016 | admin
Florida’s Emerald Coast is host to many fireworks displays and celebrations. Local and visitors alike love a great fireworks show and you have many choices throughout the year. Of course, you New Year’s Even, Memorial Day, and Independence Day are holidays known for great fireworks, there are many more opportunities that you don’t want to miss. There are plenty of show during the Summer in Destin and Fort Walton Beach.
Upcoming Fireworks Destin – Fort Walton Beach
May 28, 2017 – Memorial Day Weekend Celebration – Baytowne Wharf – Miramar Breach, FL
June 3, 2017 – Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival – Fort Walton Beach, FL
July 4, 2017 – Red, White, and Baytowne – Baytowne Wharf – Miramar Beach, FL
December 31, 2017 – New Year’s Eve at The Landing – Fort Walton Beach, FL
December 31, 2017 – New Year’s Eve Street Party – HarborWalk Village – Destin, FL
December 31, 2017 – Baytowne Countdown – Baytowne Wharf – Miramar Beach, FL
December 31, 2017 – New Year’s Eve Countdown – Seaside, FL
You can always check our fireworks calendar to see the latest listings of all fireworks displays along the Emerald Coast.
4th of July Fireworks 2017
Okaloosa Island Fireworks 2017
May 26, 2016 | admin
You don’t have to look far to find fun Destin Florida events or fun things to do around the Fort Walton Beach, FL area. There are always great festivals along the Emerald Coast to attend for family fun. Whether you are tourists or a local, our area festivals offer plenty of lively music, tasty food, unique entertainment, interesting culture, and plenty of people enjoying our beautiful area. Destin, Fort Walton Beach, and Niceville are home to quite a few notable festivals each year, including the Destin Seafood Festival, Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival, and the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival.
Throughout the year, there are many unique and entertaining festivals around the Destin and Fort Walton Beach area. No matter what your interests, you’ll most likely find a festival to your liking. If for some reason you don’t find a festival that meets your taste, start your own!
April 21-23, 2017 – Musical Echoes Native American Flute Festival – Fort Walton Beach, FL
April 27-30, 2017 – South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival – Miramar Beach, FL
May 12-14, 2017 – ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival – Miramar Beach, FL
May 27-29, 2017 – Memorial Day Weekend Celebration – Miramar Beach, FL
June 3-4, 2017 – Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival – Fort Walton Beach, FL
July 4, 2017 – Red, White, and Baytowne – Miramar Beach, FL
Nearly every weekend you find at least one festival to attend on the Emerald Coast. Most of our local area festivals offer a chance to learn more about a particular topic, such as history or culture, while at the same time offering loads of fun and entertainment. Bring the whole family and invite plenty of friends so our area festivals will be successful and continue to thrive year after year.
Are we missing a festival? If so, please comment below and we’ll be glad to add it to the list above and the festivals calendar. Alternatively, you can add it yourself for FREE.
March 30, 2016 | admin
Going to the beach is fun for everyone, but it’s important to know how to stay safe. To prevent sunburn, make sure you wear sunscreen. Even if it’s a cloudy day, the sun here in Florida can sneak through and you’ll get sunburned without even noticing. Inexperienced swimmers should wear life jackets if they go into the water, and children and the elderly should have someone watching over them due to currents in the area.
Rip Current Safety
The most dangerous thing about the beach is not the sun, the rough water, or even the wildlife. Rip currents were responsible for 80% of lifeguard rescues at beaches. Rip currents are currents of water that flow away from shore and can extend past breaking waves. Because rip currents pull anything caught in them away from shore, it’s not effective to swim against the current. If you are an experienced swimmer, try swimming parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. If you don’t think you are able to do that, try to float or tread water until you are free from the current. If you don’t think either of these are possible for you, then draw attention to yourself in order for someone to know you are in trouble and in need of help. Don’t fight the current or try to swim directly into them back to shore. The reason rip currents are so dangerous is their ability to make people tired and unable to stay afloat.
Beach Safety Flags
Whenever you go to the beach, a flagpole with a solid-colored flag can usually be seen flying somewhere close, usually close to a lifeguard station. These flags indicate how safe the water conditions are for swimmers, so it’s best to know the meanings of the different colors.
- Green: Green flags indicate low threat levels, which usually means the water is in a good condition for swimming.
- Yellow: Yellow flags indicate rough conditions. This can means anything from rough surf to strong currents. The water is usually safe as long as you use caution while swimming.
- Single Red: A single red flag indicates that the water conditions are hazardous, having a strong surf, strong currents, or both.
- Double Red: Two red flags means that the water is closed to swimmers due to dangerous water conditions
- Purple and Blue: Purple and blue flags indicate that there is dangerous marine life in the area, such as jellyfish or sharks. It’s not uncommon to see these flags flying along with another flag color.
We have some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere so we definitely want people to enjoy them. Safety measures will keep your trip to the beach fun and restful!
March 13, 2016 | Emerald Coast HUB
One of the main ways small businesses across the Emerald Coast promote themselves is by networking with other business owners and professionals. One of the best ways to get in front of business owners is to join your local chamber of commerce. In Okaloosa, Walton, and Santa County alone, there are eight different chamber of commerces. There are many businesses that just join their closest chamber of commerce, while other, more proactive businesses join multiple chambers. Below is a list of each of the Emerald Coast Chamber of Commerces.
Okaloosa County Chamber of Commerces
Destin Area Chamber of Commerce – The Destin Chamber is located in the very tourist heavy area of Destin, FL on Highway 98 and is great way to mingle with Destin business owners and employees.
4484 Legendary Dr, Suite A
Destin, FL 32541
Crestview Area Chamber – This Chamber is located in Crestview, FL, which is the largest city in Okaloosa County.
1447 Commerce Drive
Crestview, FL 32539
Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce – This Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest chambers in all of Northwest Florida. They have an abundance of committees to serve on and network your business.
34 Miracle Strip Parkway
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549
Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce – Located in the heart of Okaloosa County along the Choctawhatchee Bay, the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber offers plenty of opportunities for area businesses to promote their business to other business owners and professionals.
1055 E. John Sims Parkway
Niceville, FL 32578
Santa Rosa County Chamber of Commerces
Gulf Breeze Area Chamber of Commerce – This chamber is located right next to Pensacola and Pensacola Beach and offers a great opportunity to meet business owners in the Gulf Breeze area as well as the Pensacola area.
409 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32561
Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce – This chamber is a dynamic chamber with nearly half of it’s members from outside the Navarre Beach area, which offers a great way to network with a wide variety of businesses.
8543 Navarre Parkway
Navarre, FL 32566
Santa Rosa County Chamber of Commerce – By joining this chamber, you will have access to meeting business owners from the north part of Santa Rosa County.
5247 Stewart Street
Milton, Florida 32570
Walton County Chamber of Commerces
Walton Area Chamber of Commerce – If you are doing business in Walton County, being a part of the Walton Area Chamber is a great decision to further promote your business.
63 South Centre Trail
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459
One thing is for sure and that is if you just sit back and wait for new clients to come to you, you likely won’t be very successful with your business. On the other hand, if you actively promote your business through business networking events on a regular basis, you will see business growth. Joining your local chamber of commerces is a great way to network, so join your closest chamber or join all eight of the chambers along the Emerald Coast!
July 13, 2012 | admin
July 10, 2012 | admin
The Emerald Coast is a hot spot for family vacations. Here on the Emerald Coast, you’ll find sun, fun, great seafood, and lots of outdoor activities.Whether you want to find an extreme adventure such as kite boarding, or something a little tamer, such as paddle boarding, you can do it on the beautiful Emerald Coast of Florida.
The Emerald Coast includes the following coastal cities: Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Navarre Beach, Gulf Breeze, Santa Rosa Beach, and Seaside Beach, FL. Some of the Destin condos and hotels are among the nicest and most luxurious condos anywhere around. Staying in condos can save you a lot of money because they contain full kitchens so you can cook at the condo for your family. However, many people come on vacation to avoid cooking and trying new restaurants each night is much more appealing. You won’t be disappointed, because there are some amazing Destin restaurants to choose from. Whether you want seafood, Italian, Asian, American, or pizza, Destin has it.
For those of you visiting the Emerald Coast without kids, you can party the night away at some of the great Destin nightclubs. Enjoy yourself in a relaxed beach club environment and party the night away while dressed in your swimwear. No dress codes here.
If you are looking for attractions on the Emerald Coast, there is plenty to do. Check out the list of Destin attractions and make some memories with your family. So get ready, get excited, and start having fun on the Emerald Coast.
July 9, 2012 | admin
Recently, I went on a vacation with my family. My week vacation consisted of driving about 10 miles from Fort Walton Beach, FL to Miramar Beach, FL, which is in the Destin area. On this vacation, I had multiple family members join us from three different states, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Mississippi. We rented a condo, which allowed us to all stay together. Also, it allowed us to save a lot money while on vacation because we cooked most of our meals at the condo. There are some fabulous Destin condos to choose from including 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, and sometimes 4 bedroom condos. If you plan on cooking, make sure to check to see if the condo has a full kitchen, as opposed to a kitchenette. If you plan on eating out in Destin restaurants every night, than a kitchenette should work just fine for you.
Destin tourism is booming. The restaurants, hotels, and condos are all busy. There are many Destin events happening such as live music, festivals, free outdoor movies, and a lot more, so be sure to take a look at the Destin calendar and have some fun. The Destin beaches, of course, are as awesome as ever. Crab Island is jam packed with more going on there than ever. Be sure to rent a boat and go spend at least one day at Crab Island for a truly unique experience. The Destin night clubs are really hopping with drink specials, dancing, live bands, bikini contests, and partying late into the night. If you party a little hard, make sure and take a taxi back to your condo.
Destin, FL is great place to vacation and it has some amazing condos. If you are looking for Destin condos with a lazy river, you can find them. If you want Destin condos with multiple swimming pools, no problem. If you want Destin condos on the beach, that’s an easy request. If you want Destin condos with restaurants and bars, that’s also an easy one. The amenities list in many of the Destin condos is unbelievably long. Some of the condos are so nice, that you might not want to leave them. That is, until you get a glimpse of the amazing Destin beaches! Enjoy your stay in Destin, FL!
Things to Do in Destin FL
July 7, 2012 | admin
Are you looking for things to do in Destin FL? Maybe you are visiting for the first time, a regular visitor, or even a local, but there are plenty of things to do in Destin. Below is a list of popular things to do as well as a few “unique” and not so well known things to do in Destin, FL.
- Go to the beach. This is should be no surprise that going to the beach is the top attraction for Destin, FL. The beautiful white sands and the mesmerizing emerald green waters of the Gulf makes the Destin beach one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world.
- Experience Crab Island. In order to get to Crab Island, you must go by boat, jet ski, or by paddle board. This “island” is actually underwater, but only a few feet deep. Here, you find an experience unlike any other. There are hundreds and sometimes thousands of boats anchored in the knee deep water with people hanging out, listening to music, sunbathing on their boats, having a “few” drinks, and just generally enjoying themselves. There are food vendors, games, and often times live music. It’s a great experience. If you are visiting the area, you can very affordably rent a pontoon boat at Destin Harbor and be at Crab Island in just a matter of minutes. Don’t miss this experience! Check out these Crab Island photos.
- Go parasailing! Being lifted high into the air by a parasail while being pulled by a boat gives you a birds eye view of the beautiful Destin area. There’s nothing like the peace and tranquility you get while soaring through the air gawking at all the beauty that Destin offers. Prices are very reasonable and you can save money by doing a tandem ride with a buddy and splitting the cost of the experience.
- Try your luck at Deep Sea Fishing. Destin isn’t called the world’s luckiest fishing village for nothing. There are hundreds of charter boats in Destin Harbor that are ready to take you out into the deep blue to catch some Red Snapper, Grouper, Marlin, and many other great species of fish. Best of all, with a decent tip to the First Mate, all of your catch will be returned to you cleaned, filleted, and bagged for your freezer or your fresh meal that night! Whether you are an individual or you want to charter a whole boat for a group, both options are available.
- Dolphin Tour. There are several dolphin tour boats that will take you and your kids out for a few hours in search of dolphins. The crew is very good at knowing where to find dolphins. All of the dolphin tour companies are actually in communication with each other letting each vessel know where dolphins are located that day so no one leaves disappointed. Bring a camera, because you will have plenty of opportunities for photographs of dolphins jumping from the water. The tours will take you either in the Choctawhatchee Bay or into the Gulf, provided the waters in the Gulf are not too rough. Most of the boats also have a section of the boat with a glass bottom so you can look down into the waters and experience the beauty of the underwater world.
- Go scuba diving. If you are a certified scuba diver, the Destin area offers some great diving experiences. There are several ship wrecks to dive as well as plenty of man made reefs to dive to experience the marine life of the area. It’s easy to find a dive trip in Destin. Just contact a local dive shop and book a trip.
- Relax by the pool. Every condo and hotel in the Destin area is equipped with a pool. Sometimes vacation is just about slowing down from your normal everyday life and relaxing. Sitting by a pool, sipping on a daiquiri, pina colada, or a margarita is just what you need while you get your tan on. But be careful, because the Florida sun is strong, so use plenty of sunblock. Let the kids swim the day away in the pool and they will have no problem falling asleep that night.
- Eat Seafood. Yes, another great thing about vacation is splurging on great meals. Destin restaurants offer a wide variety of cuisines, including fresh Gulf seafood. Most of the restaurants use fresh catch straight off the fishing boats to prepare your scrumptious meals. You’ll definitely be able to taste the freshness of the fish.
- Paddle Boarding. If you want to try a new experience, try paddle boarding. There are many places to rent a paddle board for an hour. It’s a new way to experience the waters of Destin. See how your balance is and you’ll discover muscles in your body that you never new existed.
- Take in a movie. Back home in your busy life, you don’t often have time to just go to a theater and see a movie. Every day tasks such as work, kids activities, house work, and other obligations often eat up your time. While on vacation, you have nothing but time. So after you’ve had enough sun for the day, enjoy an evening at the movies. There are several great area movie theaters. If you want to experience a blast from the past, try an outdoor movie. There are many venues that offer free outdoor movies during the summer in the Destin area. Check out the Destin calendar of events to find out what’s being offered during your visit.
- Pamper yourself at Destin spas. Destin offers some great spas to help rejuvenate your skin, your muscles, and your spirit. Spend a little money on yourself and enjoy the pampering. There are tons of spas to choose from and you won’t be disappointed. Get that massage your back so desperately needs. It will help you relax more during your vacation.
- Catch a Destin Sunset. There’s nothing more beautiful than the sunsets in Destin. Hit the beach just before sunset for a great view or for the best view, see from a boat in the Gulf. The sunsets are amazing and represent the epitome of relaxation and awe. Checkout some of the pictures of Destin sunsets in our photo archive.
- Shopping. Destin offers world class shopping at Silver Sands Factory Outlets, touted as the nation’s largest designer outlet center or at Destin Commons, which offers upscale retail stores along with a Bass Pro Shop. Maybe you want to visit Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther, which is just a few short miles down the road from Destin. HarborWalk Village offers a unique shopping environment, as well, with plenty of specialty retail stores, restaurants, bars and clubs. There are thousands of specialty shops and known retail chains all throughout Destin, so bring your shopping legs.
- Get some adventure. Yes, like most beach towns, you can find thrill rides such as bungee jumping and high soaring sky swings. You’ve been wanting to try it, so here is your chance. If you want to opt for something not so “high,” test your driving at some of the area go cart tracks. Settle it right here and now and see if you or your spouse is the better driver. There are many kids activities, too, such as miniature golf, bumper boats, and many other kid friendly rides in Destin.
- Festivals. In the Destin and surrounding area, there are frequent festivals happening all the time. Just to name a few, there is the Billy Bowlegs Festival in Fort Walton Beach, the Destin Seafood Festival, and the Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival in Niceville. Check the Destin events calendar to find out what’s happening during your stay.
- Pirate Cruise. If you want a different experience, take a cruise on the Buccaneer. This Destin pirate ship offers entertainment for both adult and kids. The day cruises are more about entertaining families with children with water gun battles, sword fights, pirate tales, singing, dancing, treasure hunts, and more, while the nighttime cruises are for adults 21 and up. Skip the club one night and check out the Destin nightlife out at sea!
- Helicopter Tour. Thanks to the visitor who pointed this out in the comment below. What better way to get a bird’s eye view of the Emerald Coast, than take a helicopter ride. If the think the Emerald Coast is beautiful from the ground, imagine how it looks from the air. It’s breathtaking!
- Big Kahuna’s Water Park. Even thought the beaches in Destin are awesome, sometimes you just get your fill of the beach. That’s when it’s the perfect time to cool off at Big Kahuna’s Water Park in Destin, FL. There are over 40 slides including the Honolulu Half Pipe which is an opportunity for you to catch a wave. Even just watching is entertaining, but riding the wave on the continuous wave is unforgettable. Other attractions include a couple of lazy rivers, speed slides, wave pool, kids area (for the smaller children), food, and plenty of chairs for sunbathing.
- Night on the town. Destin has some great night clubs with some unique experiences. There’s something special about beach clubs and being in a nightclub atmosphere right on the beach in the open night air and hearing the crash of waves from the beach. There are many different Destin nightclubs to choose from, and you might decide to bar hop between a few of them. The nightlife in Destin is hot, so if you are visiting sans kids, you won’t be disappointed.
Destin, FL is a great family friendly environment with plenty of things to do. You’ll find that your week stay is just simply not enough time. Most visitors to Destin find themselves planning their next trip before they even leave from their fist visit. The beautiful environment, relaxed dress, laid-back lifestyle, and the world-class restaurants and lodging facilities makes Destin a top vacation destination. See you soon, and if you are like thousands of locals in the Destin area, you may find find yourself being a local before too long. We have thousands of now locals who moved here because of the beauty and the great lifestyle offered here. Happy travels!
July 1, 2012 | admin
It’s no secret that Destin, FL is a top vacation destination and attracts visitors from all over the world. The beaches are amazing, and the area offers a great family environment for vacationers. There are numerous condos and some excellent restaurants. Destin restaurants offer virtually any cuisine that you may desire. Of course, the most popular restaurants in Destin being seafood restaurants. Many of the Destin seafood restaurants buy fresh catch from local fishermen, which results in an unbeatable meal. You won’t find frozen fish here, just fresh local fish that will make your mouth water for more. If you visit Destin and get your share of seafood, you may want to feast on Asian food. You will find plenty of sushi, Chinese, Korean, Japenese, and Thai food here too. Maybe you are looking for a Mexican restaurant. If so, no problem, there are plenty of those to choose from as well. Maybe you are visiting from another Southeastern state and miss some down home country cooking. If so, you won’t be disappointed. In Destin, you will find country cooking, BBQ, and even Soul food. There’s one thing for sure when you visit Destin: You won’t leave hungry. Because Destin has become such a popular tourist destination, many excellent restaurants have opened. And we all know a big part of vacations is eating some great food. Bon appetit!
June 30, 2012 | admin