In most cases, the weather on the Emerald Coast is amazing. We have beautiful landscapes, warm sunshine, and incredible waters. However, sometimes the weather doesn’t always cooperate with what we “want,” but never fear. Just accept the weather and run with it because there is still plenty to do when it rains in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Below are a few things to do in Fort Walton Beach, FL and the surrounding area when it rains.
- Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park – Check out everything the Gulfarium has to offer. They operate rain or shine. If it’s a rainy day, you might as well go check out all of the marine life. Better yet, have some animal encounters and create a memory for your family to remember forever. The dolphins, sea lions, and all of their other marine animals are amazing creatures.
- Visit a Movie Theater – There are many different movie theaters along the Emerald Coast. See what’s playing and enjoy popcorn and a show! See a list of area movie theaters here.
- Santa Rosa Mall – Santa Rosa Mall is in Mary Esther on Mary Esther Blvd and it is an indoor mall which offers many different shops, including several large department stores. If it’s raining, go ahead and do your shopping or just walk off some of your excess energy. At Santa Rosa Mall, you’ll find plenty of clothing, electronics, jewelry, trendy items, and many other great items made especially for you!
- Silver Sands Premium Outlets – The Silver Sands Premium Outlets center boasts as being the largest designer outlet in the United States, so make sure you don’t miss this shopping experience. Silver Sands Factory Outlets has all of your brand name outlets at very affordable pricing, much less than normal retail and department stores. It’s just a short drive from Fort Walton Beach. Shop over 100 premium outlet stores.
- U.S. Air Force Armament Museum – The Armament Museum is a great museum full of retired Air Force fighter and bomber planes. You can sit in the cockpit simulator and see old air force mementos that were used from those fighting for our freedom years ago. The best part is that admission is totally FREE. The Armament Museum is located just north of Shalimar on Highway 85, which is only about a 10 minute drive from downtown Fort Walton Beach.
- Emerald Coast Science Center – For a great indoor activity to keep your kids minds engaged, make sure to visit the Emerald Coast Science Center. Here, you will find hundreds of hands-on learning exhibits and learn about many areas of science.
- The Boardwalk – It’s true The Boardwalk is best experienced on a sunny beach day; however, you can still shop, eat, and play at The Boardwalk when it’s raining. It’s located on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach and offers an array of specialty shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.
- Take a Lazy Day – It may not be optimal to hole up in your hotel room if you are visiting the Emerald Coast, however, if it happens to be raining and you don’t feel like getting out in it, take a true vacation day and rest. Most likely you don’t get enough rest during your “non-vacation” time, so take advantage of the raining day and sleep. Then after a day of rest and vegging out and watching television shows, you will be more than ready to hit the beach the next day when it’s sunny and warm! Many of the Fort Walton Beach Hotels and condos are very nice and comfortable, so it may not be so bad to be stuck indoors for a day.
- Eat – The Emerald Coast has so many fabulous restaurants. It’s also true that most people tend to eat more when they are bored. So while it’s raining and you are looking for something to do, visit some of the excellent Fort Walton Beach restaurants. Try a different one each day and try to decide which one is your favorite restaurant. But, I warn you now, the decision will be extremely tough picking a favorite.
- Roller Skating – When is the last time you went roller skating? It’s probably been since you were in middle school. It’s raining outside, so there’s never been a better time to check your balance. It’s a fun experience, and your kids will have a blast doing it. Fort Walton Skating Center is conveniently located on Racetrack Rd in Fort Walton Beach.
- Get Your Spa Treatment On – There are some great Fort Walton Beach Spas to choose from. You’ve been wanting to get that facial, skin rejuvenation treatment, massage, or bikini wax, so take advantage of the rainy day and pamper yourself.
- Go for the Strike – Fort Walton Beach has two great bowling alleys, which are great ways to enjoy the day when the weather isn’t cooperating with your plans.
- Get a Manicure or Pedicure – There are many excellent nail salons along the Emerald Coast. Treat yourself to a well-deserved mani, pedi, or both!
- Shop for Vintage – Fort Walton Beach is home to several fantastic flea markets, antique stores, and thrift shops. Find those perfect old pieces to complete your decor!
- Play the Arcade – Stop by Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone for a little arcade, food, and fun.
- Ice Cream – When all else fails, go for ice cream. Whether you prefer yogurt, gelato, soft serve, or good old fashioned ice cream, there are plenty of ice cream shops in Fort Walton Beach.
- Read – Find a book store or visit one of our many local area libraries.
So if you find yourself on vacation in Fort Walton Beach, FL and it’s a rainy day, you have plenty of fun indoor options to choose from. Your vacation will not be a waste, but rather a fun, memorable time. Hopefully, the weather will clear up and you will have plenty of sunny days for your visit to the Fort Walton Beach area.
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