When you think of Fort Walton Beach, your first thought is probably of the sugary white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters. Everybody’s thoughts run along the same path, but did you know that we are so much more than just the beach? This area is known for vital and thriving arts and culture community as well, and when your journey brings you here for the thrill of discovering the works of an artist that speaks to your heart or the wonder of getting lost in a live performance that speaks to your soul, this guide to the artistic world of Florida will lead you in the right direction.
Day 1: Look at the Pretty Pictures
On your first day in one of our luxury condos, chances are you won’t be up for adventures of any sort, and that’s ok! You have a week to explore the arts and culture of Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding areas, so why not take tonight to unpack and explore the amenities of your temporary abode? There’s plenty of artwork and tchotchkes to admire when you dive into the Florida art, and when you step out on the balcony, Mother Nature has provided a live performance piece that can’t be topped with the sun setting over the Gulf!
Day 2: Take a Step Back in Time
The Native American presence in Florida goes way back, and the Indian Temple Mound Museum located at 139 Miracle Strip Parkway SE offers an intriguing glimpse into the lives of these early residents. Built around a genuine temple mound and filled with artifacts and memorabilia of a simpler time, this cultural escape is the perfect start for your journey into Florida art.
Day 3: Surround Yourself in Art
The beauty of Florida is represented in the artwork created by some of the nation’s most talented artists, and when you take a day to visit the art galleries that dot our landscape, you’re sure to find something you just can’t leave without! Today’s journey is taking us to Destin for a tour of the art galleries found there. The Destin Pearl at 4145 Legendary Drive and Kaleidoscopes Gallery of Art at 211 Main Street are some of our absolute favorites. Both feature the works of regional artists in galleries that don’t feel stuffy or snobbish. Friendly and knowledgeable the gallery staff makes everyone feel welcome, and the works displayed make us green with envy. Oh, to have such talent!
Day 4: Music Matters- Florida Culture
The Green Door Music Hall at 158 Miracle Strip Parkway SE is where our cultural journey will be taking us next, offering more than just a venue, but a community of music, performances, and the people who don’t just love music, but LIVE music. The passion for their art is apparent in every note played, and for those who have felt like misfits their entire lives, this is one place they will feel they belong. The music changes daily, but the hunger to perform stays the same.
Day 5: School is in Session
History and culture go hand in hand, and today’s journey will lead you into the past and towards a one-room schoolhouse where early Floridians received the majority of their education. The Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, located at 127 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, offers a peek into the early day of education that is fascinating in comparison with today’s schools. Filled with educational artifacts that go back as far as 1911, this charming school looks much the same as it did when originally constructed.
Day 6: The Passion of Youth
We all had big dreams when we were young, but the youthful performers at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at 100 East College Boulevard on the Northwest Florida State College are living their dreams. Offering a selection of live performances, ranging from Broadway shows to symphony orchestra performances, your night on the town may not have the gloss of a New York night, but the enthusiasm and talent of the performers will add a shine to an already sparkling experience of the Florida culture.
Day 7: Packing Already?
As you pack your bags, preparing to say goodbye to Fort Walton Beach and your elegant condo from The Breakers, go ahead and take one last look around at the structure that housed you for the week. Spacious rooms filled with light and warmth, the fully-equipped kitchen that you may or may not have fully used, and that balcony with its views of the Florida landscape—this journey was a special one, and we hope to see you again! If you’re still in the planning stages, reserve your piece of paradise today!
More to Savor During Your Florida Art and Culture Getaway
If you do happen to find a way to extend your journey or just want to sprinkle in even more inspiring fun along the way, Fort Walton Beach and nearby Destin and Okaloosa Island offer up much in the way of artistic fun! There’s always more to see, explore, and enjoy in this area when you happen to be in town, so why limit yourself to the original itinerary? Keep an open mind and enjoy the adventure when you incorporate the following stops into your getaway this year.
Emerald Coast Gallery and Gifts
An arts and culture journey to Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding area is often planned with personal goals related to creativity and inspiration, but sometimes, these moments are best paired with souvenir shopping! When you can’t wait to dive into a collection of art that could also double as just the right gift to commemorate a trip or make somebody’s day back home, a stop at the Emerald Coast Gallery and Gifts is sure to please! This shop is located at 37 Harbor Boulevard in Destin and provides guests with a collection of paintings, ceramics, and handcrafted goods to browse. The shop is a colorful experience in creativity, and guests may find it difficult to pick and choose between so many lovely options. Much of the work on display is inspired by the beautiful scenery of the Emerald Coast, making each gift a unique testament to this incredible destination. Emerald Coast Gallery and Gifts is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Dylan Carney Photography
Making amazing vacation memories and indulging in an art and culture-based getaway can go hand in hand when you plan on booking a beach session with Dylan Carney Photography during your stay. Whether you’re visiting the area with the one you love most, are on a friends getaway, or in town with family, a photo session that highlights the best of the moment and the landscape is a great way to put a permanent touch on your vacation. Dylan Carney Photography has a way with capturing eye-catching moments that are sure to please. Set up a session before you arrive to make sure you’re ready to go and looking your best the day of the shoot! Dylan Carney Photography studio is located at 625 Harbor Boulevard in Destin.
Explore Florida culture today!