3 Eco Adventures Off the Beaten Path Near Fort Walton Beach

| By Laughing Laura

eco adventures fort walton beach

While staying at The Breakers don’t stay confined to just Fort Walton Beach. Get out and explore the surrounding areas of the Gulf Coast. Nature has a way of being extraordinary. You won’t want to miss these three eco experiences. All are an within an hour drive from Fort Walton Beach, so they are perfect for a day out to explore new areas.

Gulf Breeze Zoo

At the Gulf Breeze Zoo you will experience 50 acres of wild adventure! There is so much to experience at The Gulf Breeze Zoo. There is everything from a petting zoo, to train rides, and even giraffe feeding. At the farm attraction you can pet and feed goats, sheep, pigs, and llamas. Then make sure you head over to the giraffes. When giraffe watching you will also have the opportunity to feed these amazing long necked creatures. For only $3.50 a cup you can feed the giraffes and have a great up close experience. It is the perfect photo opportunity.

Don’t skip the budgiery adventure aviary. It is a free flight aviary that allows you to get an up close experience with these cute and colorful birds. You can also feed them for $1.50 per feeding stick. These little birdies will come and perch right on your hand to get a nibble of the treat. You can also take a train ride or experience the elevated boardwalk to see the 30 acre free range animal preserve.

Also throughout the day there are opportunities to meet different neat creatures and talk to a zoo keeper about any questions you may have. The zoo is approximately a 40 minute drive from The Breakers, so it makes for the perfect day trip.

Eden Gardens State Park

Eden Gardens State Park is full of charm and reminiscent of simpler times. See its beautiful gardens and experience its history as you walk the grounds. The 163 acres of land was part of the historic Wesley homestead. The focal point of this park is the renovated, two-story house with its charming white columns and classic wrap around porch. Tours of the house are available, as well as fishing, hiking, and picnicking. So pack a picnic, walk the nature trail, and enjoy the beauty around you.

The gardens are about 55 minutes away from Fort Walton Beach, but it is worth the experience. In a post from Florida State Parks blog a writer says it felt like they travelled back in time. With the white pillared home and it’s wrap around porch, all looking over the yard spotted with Live Oaks that are centuries old, it’s easy to see the appeal of the Eden Gardens.

Panhandle Butterfly House

See hundreds of Florida native butterflies in the unique setting of the Panhandle Butterfly House. The mission of the Butterfly House is to increase public awareness of butterflies and their important role in the environment. When you first walk in you will see over 300 butterfly specimen collected from all around the world. Then you can take a walk into the butterfly house and see all stages of the butterfly cycle from egg, to caterpillars, to cocoons, and of course the butterflies themselves.

Also browse through the indoor and outdoor gardens to see the different plant selection. They hope the design will inspire your own gardens. Before you leave swing by the ‘Monarch Market’, their gift shop, and purchase a souvenir to remember your trip by. It is only a 30 minute drive from The Breakers.


Each of these eco adventure spots are within an hour from
The Breakers. Take the opportunity to get close to nature while at the same time spending quality time with your family. If you are looking for something different to do try these great places that allow you to connect with the environment and your loved ones.

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Topics: Emerald Coast, Fort Walton Beach, Gulf Coast

Laughing Laura

Written by Laughing Laura

Laura is the Guest Services Manager at The Breakers and is a Florida native. She enjoys assisting our guests to ensure their stay is enjoyable as well as memorable. Working at the beach fits Laura to the "T" as she loves listening to the waves lap on the shore at any time of day and the smell of the sea breeze that tingles her nose.




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