Valparaiso, Florida

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Valparaiso, Florida

Introduction to Valparaiso, Florida

Valparaiso, Florida, in Okaloosa county, is 43 miles E of Pensacola, Florida (center to center) and 216 miles E of New Orleans, Louisiana. The city benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns with which it shares the Fort Walton Beach metropolitan area. Valparaiso has a population of approximately 6,408.

Valparaiso History

In the 1800s, the area now known as Valparaiso, was Federal Government-owned uninhabited forest land. Allen Brown, Jr. established his home here in 1901, and The Consolidated Land and Lumber Company purchased the entire region in 1909. Gradually, a sawmill near the north of Tom's Bayou became the center of a small community. John B. Perrine, a Chicago industrialist who visited the area and was impressed by its natural beauty, named it "Valparaiso", a Spanish word meaning "Vale of Paradise". The charter for the City of Valparaiso was granted in 1921. The Eglin Air Force Base, which was established in 1935, played an important role in the development of the city. Numerous World War II pilots were trained at this base, and many of them made Valparaiso their home. Today, the Eglin Air Force Base has become one of the largest air force installations in the world.

Valparaiso and Nearby Attractions

  • Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida
  • Pensacola Museum of Art
  • Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
  • Boll Weevil Monument
  • Grayton Beach State Park
  • Gulfarium

Things To Do In Valparaiso

Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, located in the city of Valparaiso, displays documents, photographs, and audio visual materials documenting the development of the region from an uninhabited forest and fishing area to a popular tourist destination and advanced technology military nexus. The Heritage Park and Cultural Center includes the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, the Indian Temple Mound Museum, and the Garnier Post Office Museum. The Gulfarium houses dolphins and also organizes sea life shows. The Gulf World is a popular marine park near the city. At the Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park, visitors can enjoy swimming, camping, boating, and fishing. Henderson Beach State Park has beaches, nature trails, and facilities for fishing, swimming, and camping. The Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, another popular park in the area, provides recreational facilities such as nature trails, beaches, biking, and scuba diving.

Valparaiso Transportation

Pensacola Regional Airport is the closest major airport.

Valparaiso Higher Education

Pensacola Junior College, Okaloosa-Walton Community College, and The University of West Florida are nearby colleges.

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High Points

Valparaiso strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Florida):

Category Trophy
Short Commute Times
(vs. State)
Top 3% trophy Valparaiso Short Commute Times
Low Violent Crime
(vs. Peers)
Top 3% trophy Valparaiso Low Violent Crime
Well-Paid Single Men
(vs. Peers)
Top 9% Valparaiso Well-Paid Single Men
Racial Diversity
(vs. Peers)
Top 14% Valparaiso Racial Diversity
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 17% Valparaiso Walking and Biking to Work

Comparative Profile of Valparaiso, Florida

Comparing Valparaiso to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Florida (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Male Share of the Population 10 10
Well-Paid Single Men 10 10
Racial Diversity 9 7
Senior Citizens 3 2
Age of the Population 3 2
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 3
Female Share of the Population 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Portion of People Married 6 7
Average Household Size 4 5


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
People Above Poverty 7 9
College Educated Adults 6 6
People in Middle Class or Better 5 7
Median Family Income 5 7

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Walking and Biking to Work 9 8
Short Commute Times 9 10
Public Transportation Use 6 6
Working at Home 2 2


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Affordability of Property Taxes 9 7
Housing Recently Built 7 4
Affordability of Rents 7 7
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 7 2
People Living Alone 7 6
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 5 6


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Low Violent Crime 10 10
Low Property Crime 7 9

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Valparaiso Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 43 miles E of Pensacola, Florida (center to center)
Nearest Large City 216 miles E of New Orleans, Louisiana
County Okaloosa
Metro Area Fort Walton Beach
Standard Zip Codes 32580
Phone Area Codes 850
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 30.508
Longitude -86.502

Valparaiso Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 1.7 miles
Jan Temp 37 to 61 F
Apr Temp 51 to 78 F
Jul Temp 71 to 91 F
Oct Temp 54 to 81 F
Annual Precip 69.2 inches
Distance 19 miles
Jan Temp 39 to 62 F
Apr Temp 53 to 79 F
Jul Temp 71 to 92 F
Oct Temp 55 to 80 F
Annual Precip 63.9 inches
Distance 33.8 miles
Jan Temp 41 to 61 F
Apr Temp 55 to 78 F
Jul Temp 73 to 92 F
Oct Temp 57 to 80 F
Annual Precip 67.3 inches
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Valparaiso Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 6,408 100%
Male 3,987 62.2%
Female 2,421 37.8%
Under 18 1,078 16.8%
18+ 5,330 83.2%
65+ 695 10.8%
Median Age 33.5
Average Family Size 2.87
White 5,176 80.8%
African-American 635 9.9%
Asian 171 2.7%
American Indian & Alaskan 41 0.6%
Other 192 3%
Mixed Race 186 2.9%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 588 9.2%

Estimated Valparaiso Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 6,365
Growth -43
Growth % -0.7%

Valparaiso Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 28%
German 12.1%
US/American 10.9%
Irish 10.5%
English 10.5%
Italian 4.9%
European 3.2%
French (except Basque) 3.2%
Scotch-Irish 2.5%
Scottish 2.4%
Dutch 1.5%
British 1%
Polish 0.9%
Swedish 0.8%
French Canadian 0.7%
Greek 0.7%
African 0.7%
Czech 0.7%
Lebanese 0.6%
Welsh 0.4%
Norwegian 0.4%
Danish 0.3%
Finnish 0.3%
Acadian/Cajun 0.3%
Austrian 0.2%
West Indian 0.2%
Slovak 0.2%
Jamaican 0.2%
British West Indian 0.2%
Ukrainian 0.2%
Lithuanian 0.2%
Pennsylvania German 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Valparaiso 6,408 $46,411
Crestview 14,766 $38,824
Destin 11,119 $60,498
Fort Walton Beach 19,973 $45,791
Mary Esther 4,055 $47,917
Niceville 11,684 $51,627
Shalimar 718 $70,250
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Featured Colleges in the Valparaiso Area (QuickSchools™)

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Valparaiso Colleges

(List of Florida Colleges)

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City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. Bayport, Minnesota 81   31% 10.5% 15.2% 19 $62,917 2.5% 27.1% 3,162 3.7% 17.1 0.9% 1
2. Maryland Heights, Missouri 80.4   33.9% 9.5% 38.7% 22 $58,487 5.9% 14.6% 25,756 5.3% 35.2 0.5% 1.2
3. Dover, New Hampshire 77.5   31.1% 13.7% 32.4% 23 $57,050 5.7% 5.5% 26,884 8.4% 23.4 0.6% 0.8
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