Heading to Fort Walton Beach, Florida is often a journey that comes with a long list of activities to be enjoyed. While many travelers that make their way this direction will be looking for ample time spent under the sun, with their toes dug into the soft sands, others will have their focus firmly set on the waves. From paddleboarding and surfing to swimming, diving, and snorkeling, the waters and shorelines that make up this portion of the panhandle are sure to invigorate and inspire. While it’s true that the great outdoors holds a vast appeal to visitors that are excited to pack their bags and head to Fort Walton Beach, it’s also an area where history buffs can get their fill of insightful moments too. From destinations that highlight the story of First Nation Tribes that called this area home, to museums dedicated to strides in aviation, Fort Walton Beach is the perfect place to find yourself when you’re excited to take a journey that’s sprinkled with a rich history. The following are a few stops that you’ll want to add to your list when you’re looking to make the most of an educational moment that brings the past to life while you’re in town on journey to Fort Walton Beach.
Indian Temple Mound Museum
Easily accessed at 139 Miracle Strip Parkway SE in Fort Walton Beach, the Indian Temple Mound Museum is a true testament to cultures and traditions that defined this area in the past. This protected archeological site dates back to 850 CE and the area was first opened to the public as a museum in 1962 with the current location opening in 1972. Over 12,000 years of First Nation history is highlighted through exhibits and displays at this stop. Guests are encouraged to browse an impressive collection of artifacts that not only speak to the Native tradition but come from pirates and early settlers as well.
Camp Walton Schoolhouse
From 1911 through the 1930s, education in Fort Walton Beach was centered around what was learned in a one-room schoolhouse. Today, this schoolhouse is on display as a museum to be enjoyed and learned from in this area. The Camp Walton Schoolhouse is situated at 127 Miracle Strip Parkway SE and was constructed by early settlers from locally sourced pine and oak. At its opening in 1912, the schoolhouse was designed to accommodate 15 students and eight grade levels. By 1927, a smaller second room had been added and the school could accommodate high school level students as well. Today, the schoolhouse has been moved to sit adjacent to the Indian Temple Mound Museum and together with the Garnier Post Office Museum, create a historical center in Fort Walton Beach known as the Heritage Park and Cultural Center.
Air Force Armament Museum
For those visitors to Fort Walton Beach with a passion for the history of aviation, a stop at the Air Force Armament Museum is bound to please. Found at 100 Museum Drive near the Eglin Air Force Base, the Air Force Armament Museum is a true testament to the innovation and technological advancements of the industry through the decades. Admission is free to this museum which was founded in 1975 and houses exhibits and displays which cover the era from WWII to present-day. Guests to the Air Force Armament Museum will be able to browse and explore displays and on-site aircraft that work as a collection, preservation effort, and education of the Air Force Armament and its several delivery platforms. This museum houses 29 historic aircraft as well as displays that highlight the transformation of guns, missiles, and bombs through wartime. A 32-minute film on the history of this location and its important role through time plays throughout the day for visitors to enjoy no matter when they happen to arrive.
Wat Mongkolratanaram Buddhist Temple
Those visitors to the area that are interested in religious history will be interested in swinging by the Wat Mongkolratanaram Buddhist Temple in Fort Walton Beach during their stay. Located at 741 Mayflower Avenue, this temple still functions as a religious destination, but also offers up options for visitors to enjoy traditional Thai meals during their tour. Stop by to learn more about the Buddhist religion, important traditions that are woven into the temple, and savor bites of delicious dishes that speak to the temple’s country of origin.
Book Your Journey to Fort Walton Beach
When you’re ready to head to Fort Walton Beach, Florida in the name of history, fun, relaxation, restoration, or an appealing combination of them all, the team at The Breakers of Fort Walton Beach is here to make sure you have the accommodations to match. A stay with us brings the comfort, convenience, and luxury you deserve from your vacation. Contact us today to learn more about our property options and services and to begin planning your getaway.