15 Free and Cheap Things to Try in Fort Walton Beach, FL

July 25th 2023
Jeannelle Douglas
15 Free and Cheap Things to Try in Fort Walton Beach, FL

Fort Walton Beach is a charming city situated between Pensacola and Panama City. Prepare to be enchanted by its pristine white sandy beaches, sparkling green waters, and rich history. While many people believe that a visit to this destination is costly, exploring this coastal gem doesn’t have to drain your wallet. We’ve curated a list of 15 free and cheap things to try in Fort Walton Beach that will make your vacation unforgettable without breaking the bank. From must-see attractions in Fort Walton Beach, to vibrant local markets and captivating museums, we’ve got you covered. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure that proves you don’t need a fortune to have an amazing time in Fort Walton Beach, FL!

Table of Contents

  • Can you Visit Fort Walton Beach on a Budget?
  • Is Fort Walton Beach Affordable to Visit for Families?
  • Free and Cheap Things to Try in Fort Walton Beach
      1. Air Force Armament Museum
      1. John Beasley Park
      1. Visit the Beach
      1. The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island
      1. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
      1. Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
      1. Emerald Coast Science Center
      1. Banana Boat Rides
      1. Dolphin Tours
      1. Downtown
      1. Heritage Park & Cultural Center
      1. Mini Golf
      1. Fort Walton Beach Flea Market
      1. Kayak Rentals
      1. Parasailing



Can you Visit Fort Walton Beach on a Budget?


Aerial view of Fort Walton Beach

Pictured above is an aerial view of Fort Walton Beach.


Absolutely! Fort Walton Beach is where experiencing all the excitement without breaking the bank is not just a dream, but a satisfying reality. This captivating city along the radiant Emerald Coast offers a plethora of budget-friendly activities to suit every interest. Dive into the captivating history and culture, soak in the beauty of pristine beaches, or leisurely explore the vibrant downtown district, all while knowing that your wallet remains unscathed.


Is Fort Walton Beach Affordable to Visit for Families?


Family enjoying an outdoor picnic

Pictured above is a family with children enjoying an outdoor picnic.


Yes, Fort Walton Beach is undoubtedly an affordable destination for families. Not only does this coastal haven offer an abundance of budget-friendly activities, but it also boasts a sweeping range of accommodations that are reasonably priced. From exploring the many parks and museums to immersing yourself in watersports adventures, there’s no shortage of cost-effective fun to be had. With ample family and kid-friendly activities abound that offer awesome deals, you can easily manage your vacation budget.


Free and Cheap Things to Try in Fort Walton Beach


You can find plenty of free and cheap activities to try in Fort Walton Beach that cater to even the pickiest travelers. This coastal city has a lot in store. And the best part? You won’t need to empty your wallet to experience it all! You’ll find many inexpensive things to do in Fort Walton Beach, making it a cinch for you to take advantage of the city’s most revered attractions. From visiting the beach to exploring the parks, there are so many ways to make use of your time in Fort Walton Beach without spending tons of money.


Air Force Armament Museum


Armament Museum in Fort Walton Beach

Pictured above is the Air Force Armament Museum. Image courtesy of wikipedia.org.


A treat for history and military buffs, the Air Force Armament Museum offers a captivating journey through the evolution of weaponry, starting from its humble beginnings all the way up to the most cutting-edge innovations of today. Dive into a vast collection of weapons, aircraft, and equipment used by the United States Air Force, spanning from the trenches of World War I to modern combat. Brace yourself for interactive displays and insightful educational placards that reveal the fascinating stories and historical significance behind each artifact.


John Beasley Park


John Beasley Park

Pictured above is John Beasley Park. Image courtesy of myokaloosa.com.


John Beasley Park is a hidden gem, offering you a blissful escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. This park is an oasis for outdoor aficionados and beach lovers alike. It’s an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, or simply soaking up the serene atmosphere. For family outings and midday lunches, head over to the picnic areas. For those who enjoy a bit more action, make your way to the beach volleyball courts that are eagerly waiting for some friendly competition.


Visit the Beach


Beach chairs and umbrella at Fort Walton Beach

Pictured above are beach chairs and umbrella at Fort Walton Beach.


At Fort Walton’s beaches, you’ll find a serene oasis away from the busy city. Dive into the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Mexico, beckoning you to indulge in refreshing dips and thrilling water sports. Take leisurely strolls along the shoreline, feeling the sand between your toes and collecting all sorts of seashells. Bask in the sun and let the beach draw you in with countless activities, from beach volleyball and swimming to building sandcastles and paddleboarding. The possibilities are endless on these beautiful shores.


The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island


Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island

Pictured above is the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island.


The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Fort Walton Beach. This energetic boardwalk offers a perfect combination of entertainment, dining, and breathtaking ocean views. Not only can you enjoy enchanting views at the Boardwalk, but it’s also home to a variety of shops where you can find one-of-a-kind beachwear, souvenirs, and local crafts. Situated at the heart of the boardwalk is the Okaloosa Island Pier, which is a number one spot for fishermen. When hunger strikes, you can choose from a plethora of delicious eateries offering everything from fresh seafood at The Crab Trap to flavorful burgers at AL’s Beach Club Burger Bar.


Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park


Dolphins at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Pictured above are dolphins jumping out of the water at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. Image courtesy of gulfarium.com.


There are many reasons to visit Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. It’s an exciting attraction that offers a day filled with entertainment, education, and unique experiences. While there’s an admission fee, the unforgettable encounters with marine life make it worth every penny. The live shows are a main draw, where you can watch dolphins perform acrobatic maneuvers or sea lions showcasing their high-spirited personalities. The park also offers programs that allow you to immerse yourself in these incredible creatures - from feeding seals to getting up close with reptiles.

{Read Reviews & Book Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park Admission Tickets Online}


Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone


Wild Willys Adventure Zone

Pictured above is Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone. Image courtesy of Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone Facebook Page.


When you’re looking for cheap things to try in Fort Walton Beach, Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone is a popular dinosaur-themed attraction that offers an enjoyable day out for the whole family. With its affordable entrance fee, it offers an array of activities sure to delight both kids and adults. The adventure park features two mini-golf courses, each with its own unique theme, the first with cartoon baby dinosaurs for the little ones and the second with eerie animatronics for the older kids.

If you’re a fan of arcade games, step into their 17,000-square-foot state-of-the-art arcade brimming with a variety of games that appeal to all ages and interests, from classic favorites to the latest releases. For movie lovers, the 3D movie theater provides an immersive experience that brings films to life in an exhilarating way.


Emerald Coast Science Center


Exhibit at Emerald Coast Science Center

Pictured above is an exhibit at the Emerald Coast Science Center.


If you’re looking for something on the educational side, Emerald Coast Science Center is an interactive museum that offers an engaging and fun learning experience for visitors of all ages. The Science Center has 45 hands-on exhibits that dive into different realms of science, including biology, physics, and technology. It’s the third museum in the entire country that’s home to SMALLab Learning -- an innovative room-sized iPad filled with action-packed learning activities!

{Read Reviews & Book Emerald Coast Science Center Museum Admission Online}


Banana Boat Rides

Father and son riding on a banana boat

Pictured above is a father and son riding on a banana boat.


Holding up to 14 passengers, banana boats provide the ultimate ride across the sparkling waters of Fort Walton Beach. This inflatable banana-shaped adventure offers a unique combination of high speeds and panoramic views that will leave you in awe. Towed by a watercraft, you’ll feel a rush of adrenaline as the boat zips across the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Not only can you enjoy the speed and amusement, but it’s also a tremendous way to bond with family and friends as you scream, laugh, and, of course, hold on tight!

{Read Reviews & Book Fort Walton Beach Banana Boat Rides Online}


Dolphin Tours


Dolphins jumping over waves

Pictured above are dolphins jumping over waves.


The magical experience of a dolphin tour is one that should not be missed. With the opportunity to see friendly dolphins in their natural element, you will undoubtedly be left amazed. While making your way through the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Mexico, keep your eyes open for the heavenly sight of dolphins playing and leaping in the waves as well as other amazing marine life. Many tours come with experienced guides on board who will share interesting facts about these mesmerizing creatures, further enhancing your experience. Dolphin tours not only provide the excitement of witnessing these graceful creatures up close, but they also offer unrivaled panoramic views of Fort Walton Beach’s coastline.

{Read Reviews & Book Fort Walton Beach Dolphin Tours Online}




Downtown Fort Walton Beach

Pictured above is Downtown Fort Walton Beach.


When you’re looking for cheap things to try in Fort Walton Beach, exploring the downtown area is an adventure in itself. Step into the captivating world of Downtown Fort Walton Beach, where culture, history, and local flavor combine to create an unforgettable experience. As you wander down its enchanting streets, prepare to be amazed by the sight of historic buildings and exclusive boutiques, beckoning you to indulge in a delightful window-shopping adventure.

That’s not all – food lovers can also rejoice, as this is a paradise of culinary delights, offering a wide array of eateries and restaurants serving up tasty local cuisine. Immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere of downtown, where a vibrant mixture of events and festivals await, adding extra zest to your visit.


Heritage Park & Cultural Center


Heritage Park and Cultural Center in Fort Walton Beach

Pictured above is the Heritage Park and Cultural Center. Image courtesy of Heritage Park and Cultural Center Facebook Page.


Encapsulating yourself in the rich history of Fort Walton Beach is a valuable experience and the Heritage Park & Cultural Center offers just that. This captivating attraction offers you a glimpse into the past and highlights the diverse customs of the area. This historical hub is comprised of several museums including the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, Indian Temple Mound Museum, and the Garnier Post Office Museum.

Each museum is steadfast in preserving and featuring different aspects of the area’s past with a collection of art displays, cultural exhibits, and educational programs that pays homage to the diverse heritage of Fort Walton Beach. A trip to the Heritage Park & Cultural Center is not only a journey back in time but also an elevating experience that progresses your understanding of Fort Walton Beach’s rich history.


Mini Golf


Grass and rocks on a mini golf course

Pictured above is grass and rocks on a miniature golf course.


When it comes to affordable activities, mini golf is a go-to choice as one of the best cheap things to try in Fort Walton Beach. The city boasts several mini golf courses that provide endless entertainment without breaking the bank - promising fun for all ages. One of the most popular places to experience this beloved pastime is Goofy Golf. This nostalgic attraction has been entertaining tourists and locals for decades and is one of the oldest golf courses still around. Goofy Golf offers two 17-hole courses, with the 18th hole as part of each course. Providing a perfect combination of fun and amusement, Goofy Golf is a must-visit.


Fort Walton Beach Flea Market


Fort Walton Beach Flea Market

Pictured above is the Fort Walton Beach Flea Market. Image courtesy of the Fort Walton Beach Flea Market Facebook Page.


For a budget-friendly activity that features an extraordinary combination of shopping and entertainment, the Fort Walton Beach Flea Market is the perfect place to be. This bustling marketplace is a bargain gold mine full of diverse products, from vintage clothing and antique furniture to handmade crafts and local produce. The flea market is not just an oasis for bargain shoppers, but also an energetic community epicenter where you can engage in conversations with friendly vendors, support local businesses, and even stumble upon a few hidden treasures. A visit to the flea market is an economical way for you and your family to create lasting memories.


Kayak Rentals


Couple kayaking on a river

Pictured above is a couple kayaking on a river together.


One affordable and fun-filled way to experience Fort Walton Beach is with kayak rentals. When you explore the beautiful waterways of this coastal haven on a kayak, you’re in for a budget-friendly activity that gives you a mix of adventure and serenity. As you journey along the water, you’ll have the chance to encounter diverse wildlife, discover hidden coves, or simply take in the gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico. Even more so, it’s a cost-effective way to spend quality time with friends or family while getting a great workout.

{Read Reviews & Book Fort Walton Beach Kayak Rentals Online}




Couple parasailing

Pictured above is a couple parasailing.


If you’re seeking an exhilarating and budget-friendly adventure in Fort Walton Beach, look no further than parasailing. Parasailing is one of the top things to do in Fort Walton Beach for couples and offers an unsurpassed blend of excitement and scenic beauty. As you soar high above the glistening waters, you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of the coastline that undeniably can’t be experienced from the ground. This budget-friendly activity also offers you an opportunity to spot amazing marine life such as dolphins and sea turtles from a whole new perspective.

{Read Reviews & Book Fort Walton Beach Parasailing Online}



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