Walk along our 24 miles of gleaming, powder-soft beaches and you'll quickly forget the cares of your everyday world. Our soft, white sand is sculpted from Appalachian quartz so pure that walking through our Gulf water is like having an aquarium at your feet.
You'll delight in our spectacular beaches (voted "safest in the country" and among the top ten in the country) and the expansive waters of Choctawahatchee Bay. Discover miles and miles of pure playground for shell seeking, sun bronzing, sand castle building, soul searching, and surrendering to sun-drenched solitude.
Beach Safety Flags
We are committed to beach safety, and that is why we've enlisted the help of Seemore The Safety Crab* to teach us about water safety. Seemore reminds everyone about our flag safety system as each of the flags tell visitors about surf conditions based on the flag's color. The flag system indicates current surf conditions based on what color safety flag is flying at the beach.
Please take a minute to study the flag warning system and learn what the colors mean.
Safety flags are posted at all public beach accesses, be sure to check the surf condition prior to entering the water.
Protect Our Beaches
SAND DUNES — Please, do not walk or play on the dunes, at any time. Never walk on beach vegetation, always use the designated beach access. Dunes are built slowly over hundreds of years, but are very fragile. They are our primary defense against hurricane damage and are a shelter for beach wildlife.
SEA TURTLES — Sea Turtles are an endangered species. They lay their eggs along the beaches of South Walton. Avoid the use of flashlights near nests in the evening, do not leave beach chairs and other items on the beach overnight (they block the turtles' path), and keep your distance if you see turtles or eggs. Sea turtles are protected by federal and state law and substantial fines and federal imprisonment may result from killing, harming, or even interfering with a sea turtle.
Okaloosa County Beach Regulations
DOGS — For safety reasons, dogs are not allowed on the beaches in Okaloosa County. This policy is mandated by County Ordinance No. 77-19, Section 6, restricting dogs in public parks, beaches, school grounds, restaurants and food stores (except seeing eye & hearing ear dogs).
LITTERING — No littering on the beach and no glass containers on the beach. Trash receptacles are provided at all public beach accesses.
ALCOHOL — Alcohol is allowed on the beach except in the state parks. Again, no glass. Underage drinking is not permitted.
VEHICLES — Here in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area, we promote optimal safety measures for our beaches. Vehicles are not permitted on the beach. County Ordinance No. 80-12, which restricts motor vehicles operating in areas not posted for vehicular traffic, in, on or over any public land, right of way, or recreational areas will be cited (public beaches included).
BONFIRES / BEACH FIRES — Fires are illegal on the beach between the water's edge and mean high water mark or vegetation line (whichever is further). Okaloosa County Ordinance 79-41.
SAND REMOVAL — It is unlawful to remove sand from the beach.
CAMPING — Overnight camping is prohibited.
FISHING FROM THE SHORELINE — A saltwater fishing license is required by all angler who fish in saltwater. This includes each person fishing from a pleasure craft, on a sandbar or any other land mass accessible by boat or by swimming through water deeper than four feet. You should contact the Okaloosa County Tax Collector's office at 850-651-7300 or you can purchase a license online.
*Safety flag courtesy of Seemore the Safety Crab.