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Overview

Introduction to Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Fort Walton Beach is located along the panhandle of Florida in Okaloosa County. The city is known as an all year long beach and fishing resort and is a very popular destination for Spring Break. Fort Walton Beach is part of the Emerald Coast which is well known for its white-sand beaches and beautiful ocean water. Tourism and two Air Force Bases are the primary economic factors. Local military contractors and a wide variety of service industries benefit from the Air Force bases.

History

From approximately 1100 to 1550 the original natives constructed huge mounds and were active in agriculture and also created pottery. In the year 1528 The Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca party reached the area by boat. The region was colonized by the Spanish and the English. John Anderson was one of the original settlers and acquired land in 1838.

Camp Walton was utilized as a Confederate Military base. The city name was taken from Colonel George Walton who was an aid to Andrew Jackson. The 1st Florida regiment's base was situated near what is now known as Heritage Park and Cultural Center. It was constructed in order to protect the region from Union ships.

Attractions

  • Emerald Coast Science Center features interactive exhibits.
  • Heritage Park and Cultural Center includes three museums.
  • The Gulfarium features dolphins and sea lion shows.
  • Indian Temple Mound Museum and Park showcases the country's largest collection of Southeastern Indian ceramic relics.
  • Air Armament Museum features historic aircraft and armaments.
  • Pleasure Island Waterpark.
  • Okaloosa Island Boardwalk.
  • Gulf Beach Zoo & Botanical Gardens.
  • Camp Walton School House.
  • Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida showcases numerous artifacts regarding the area's history.
  • Northwest Florida Ballet.
  • Stage Crafters Community Theatre.

Activities

Fort Walton Beach provides opportunities for boating, dolphin watching and seeing a wide variety of wildlife. Surfing is popular at the nearby beaches. Grayton State Beach Recreation Area is one of the notable coastline locations. The Big Kahuna's Water & Adventure Park is popular with residents and tourists. Cruising on the Emerald Coast provides scenic views. The Blackwater River is an excellent location for canoeing and kayaking. Point Washington State Forest provides trails for hiking and bicycle riding. The Scenic 30 Bike/Hike trail is paved and can be used for walking and bicycle riding. It offers excellent views of the numerous towns along the coast and the ocean water of the Gulf. Horseback riding is available in the nearby Santa Rosa Beach and Panama City.

Transportation

Fort Walton Beach is served by the Okaloosa Regional Airport. Okaloosa County Transit offers public transportation.

Demographics

People

Total Population21,238
Male Share of the Population52.7%
Female Share of the Population47.3%
Senior Citizens17.7%
Employed Population 16+10,697
Age of the Population40

Families

% of people married43.5%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher24.4%
Median Earnings25+$29,632
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$16,823
Median Earnings With High School Degree$24,826

Wealth

Median Family Income$57,164
% Above Poverty Level81.6%
% Below Poverty Level18.4%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time19 minutes
% Working from Home2.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work2.3%
% Using Public Transportation%

Housing

People Living Alone34%
Median Gross Rent$941
Median House Value$164,100

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)30.8%
German11.8%
Irish10.3%
English9.3%
Italian4.3%
French Except Basque3.3%
Scottish1.8%
Polish1.4%
Dutch0.8%
Norwegian0.8%
Danishn0.7%
Russian0.7%
Swedish0.7%
Welsh0.7%
Portuguese0.6%
Canadian0.5%
Czech0.5%
African0.3%
Greek0.3%
Hungarian0.3%
West Indian0.2%
Croatian0.2%
Trinidad Tobago0.1%
Ukrainian0.1%
Arab0.1%
Turkish0.1%
Lebanese0.1%
US/American0.1%
Finnish0.1%
Belgian0.1%
Austrian0.1%
Swiss0.1%
+ Show More

Fort Walton Beach Almanac

CategoryValue
County Okaloosa County
Standard Zip Codes32547, 32548
P.O. Box Zip Codes32549
Phone Area Codes850
Time ZoneAmerica/Chicago
Approximate Latitude30.47
Approximate Longitude-86.67

Fort Walton Beach Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

StationNICEVILLE
Distance11.3 miles
Jan Temp37 to 61 F
Apr Temp51 to 78 F
Jul Temp71 to 91 F
Oct Temp54 to 81 F
Annual Precip69.2 inches
StationCRESTVIEW BOB SIKES AP
Distance26.8 miles
Jan Temp39 to 62 F
Apr Temp53 to 79 F
Jul Temp71 to 92 F
Oct Temp55 to 80 F
Annual Precip63.9 inches
StationBREWTON 3 ENE
Distance56.5 miles
Jan Temp34 to 60 F
Apr Temp49 to 78 F
Jul Temp69 to 92 F
Oct Temp50 to 79 F
Annual Precip68.6 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Crestview22,941$60,425
Destin13,312$84,088
Mary Esther4,177$75,476
Niceville14,325$73,088
Shalimar792$91,250
Valparaiso5,084$76,522

Fort Walton Beach Hospitals

Gulf Coast Treatment Center
(Proprietary)
1015 Mar Walt Dr
(850) 863-4160
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
(Proprietary)
1000 Mar-walt Dr
(850) 862-1111

Fort Walton Beach Public Schools

Adolescent Substance Abuse
1015 Mar Walt Dr
ZIP: 32547
(850) 301-3090
Choctawhatchee Senior High School
110 Racetrack Rd Nw
ZIP: 32547
(850) 833-3614
High
Total Enrollment 1634
Choice High School And Technical Center
1976 Lewis Turner Blvd
ZIP: 32547
(850) 833-3500
Other
Total Enrollment 185
Kenwood Elementary School
15 Eagle St Ne
ZIP: 32547
(850) 833-3570
Primary
Total Enrollment 605
Okaloosa Blended School
1976 Lewis Turner Blvd
ZIP: 32547
(850) 833-3889
W. C. Pryor Middle School
201 Racetrack Rd Nw
ZIP: 32547
(850) 833-3613
Middle
Total Enrollment 601
Wright Elementary School
305 Lang Rd
ZIP: 32547
(850) 833-3580
Primary
Total Enrollment 664
Ami Kids Emerald Coast
207 4th St Se
ZIP: 32548
(850) 244-2711
Other
Total Enrollment 29
Annette P. Edwins Elementary School
7 Wright Pkwy Sw
ZIP: 32548
(850) 833-3333
Primary
Total Enrollment 459
Elliott Point Elementary School
301 Hughes St Ne
ZIP: 32548
(850) 833-3355
Primary
Total Enrollment 607
Fort Walton Beach High School
400 Hollywood Blvd Sw
ZIP: 32548
(850) 833-3300
High
Total Enrollment 1647
Liza Jackson Preparatory School
546 Mary Esther Blvd Ste 1, Ste 1
ZIP: 32548
(850) 833-3321
Primary
Total Enrollment 850
Max Bruner Junior Middle School
322 Holmes Blvd Nw
ZIP: 32548
(850) 833-3266
Middle
Total Enrollment 776
Northwest Florida Ballet Academie
310 Perry Ave Se
ZIP: 32548
(850) 664-7787
Primary
Total Enrollment 137
Okaloosa Academy
720 Lovejoy Road Nw
ZIP: 32548
(850) 864-3133
Other
Total Enrollment 385
Okaloosa Virtual Franchise
310 Perry Avenue Se
ZIP: 32548
(850) 833-3533
Other
Okaloosa Virtual Instruction Program
120 Lowery Pl Se
ZIP: 32548
(850) 833-3100
Other
Total Enrollment 33
Silver Sands-excep. Children
349 Holmes Blvd Nw
ZIP: 32548
(850) 833-3364
Other
Total Enrollment 138

Fort Walton Beach Private Schools

Calvary Christian Academy & Preschool
535 Clifford St
ZIP: 32547
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 188
Cinco Baptist School
26 Yacht Club Dr Ne
ZIP: 32548
Elementary
Total Enrollment 84
Emerald Coast Christian School
119 Saint Mary Ave Sw
ZIP: 32548
Elementary
Total Enrollment 7
Montessori Learning Center
204 Hospital Dr Ne
ZIP: 32548
Elementary
Total Enrollment 6
St Mary Catholic School
110 Robinwood Dr Sw
ZIP: 32548
Elementary
Total Enrollment 353
Sources :
Additional Details
Fort Walton Beach Careers
Fort Walton Beach career and employment information.
Fort Walton Beach Colleges
Fort Walton Beach colleges and trade schools.
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