Promising numerous beach accesses and parks with varied amenities, Fort Walton is a beach lover’s dream. But none is more popular than Newman C. Brackin Wayside Park (The Boardwalk), located at 1300 Miracle Strip Parkway, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548.


Casual, colorful eateries, shops and entertainment by a perfect, white sand beach.

The Boardwalk feels like a celebration, greeting visitors with abundant, free parking; vibrant seaside restaurants; and a fishing pier that stretches a quarter mile into the Gulf of Mexico. The mood is light, with couples raising a glass at a beachside bar; tanned, swimsuit-clad volleyball players engaged in a match; and sunworshippers relaxing under candy-colored umbrellas.

See, feel

Music fills the air and restaurants beckon at the Boardwalk, but the beach takes center stage here. The sand is shimmering white, soft on the toes and easy on the eyes, and the water is clear as gin and emerald-hued. The bottom of the beach slopes gently, and it’s shallow a long way out, making it inviting for families with small children.

While the surf is usually minimal, winds, tides and offshore systems can occasionally cause rough conditions.

On or near the beach

Swim; stroll the shores; play volleyball; or just relax and let the salt air work its magic. Discover The Boardwalk’s shops and eateries: sandy toes and salty swim suits are welcome. The Island Pier boasts fabulous views and some of the island’s best fishing, with catches like Black Fin Tuna to the mighty King Mackerel.

The fun is just beginning when the sun goes down. Al’s Beach Club is the island’s most sizzling nightclub, keeping the party going with live music, drink specials, and concerts. Wednesday is the most colorful night of the week, with a free fireworks show set off of the pier.


Beach wheelchairs are available without charge on a first-come, first-served basis beach from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from March 1 to Oct. 31. Okaloosa Island Public Safety will bring a chair to any location on the island. Call 850-259-4131 for assistance. Please note: Chairs are unavailable under red flag conditions.


Amenities at The Boardwalk include several pavilions; picnic tables; restrooms with changing rooms; volleyball nets; a children’s playground; and The Boardwalk’s shops and eateries. The Island Pier delivers its own array of amenities, including beach sundries, snack and drinks, and fishing gear rentals.


Lifeguards protect the beach seasonally, starting the second Saturday in March and ending Oct. 31 of each year.


Parking is free and abundant.