What a week! We just wrapped up our family vacation to Okaloosa Island, Florida. Despite the fact that it rained almost every day that we were there, we still had a great time. If you’ve never vacationed in the Gulf Coast, I highly recommend checking out this beautiful part of the US!
Justin and I made a trip to Okaloosa Island a few years ago during one of our anniversary road trips. We only stayed for a night before moving down the road to Georgia, but I’ve always wanted to come back and show the kids how pretty it is here. I’m so glad that we were able to share the crystal clear water and soft, powdery sand with them.
The only real plan we had for this trip was to relax and enjoy a laid back vacation. We absolutely accomplished this. We had no plans at all, which worked out well because the rain really dictated what we were doing. We would hang out in the condo while it was raining and then as soon as the rain stopped we would make a mad dash to the pool or the beach.
We stayed in The Sunset Cottages on the Western end of the island. We were so happy with our location. We had beach access so no driving to play in the water. Our five year old loved the pool too. We had a full kitchen so we prepared a lot of meals on site, which is a huge money saver… especially as a family of five. We ate all of our lunches out and cooked easy dinners in the condo. Keep in mind this condo was on the third floor and there is no elevator. We all managed but mannnnn my calves are sore.
Another plus.. it had a washer and dryer! I don’t think I can ever vacation without a washer and dryer again. I’m officially spoiled.
Once we got checked into our condo, we ran down the road to Rockin’ Tacos for dinner. This is the place Justin and I ate on our first trip to Okaloosa Island, so we knew it was a safe bet. I had Gator Tacos and they were just as amazing as I remembered. When we got there we were told it would be an hour wait, so we went shopping for souvenirs on the boardwalk. Much to our surprise our wait was only about 10 minutes! I would definitely go there again and again. So good and a great first taste of the island.
The next day we let the kids sleep late while we sipped coffee on the patio. Once we were caffeinated up, we woke everyone up to get ready and headed out for lunch and to grab some groceries. We ate lunch at The Shack in Fort Walton. I had Crawfish Tacos and they were incredible. I had never tasted crawfish before, and these tacos did not disappoint! The older girls had crab and Justin had a Mahi Sandwich. All of the food was great! Google had told us to expect a wait, and that they were busier than normal… however we were able to get right in. We got there right at 11, but when we were leaving there was a huge crowd waiting. Get there early!
After lunch we hit Target for groceries and then went on to the beach. The beauty of the condo meant that we had beach chairs on the beach already set up for us, as well as an umbrella. It was so nice not to worry about any of that. We didn’t last long before a lifeguard told us that some gnarly weather was headed our way. True story.
Monday we went back to the Boardwalk and ate lunch at Floyds Shrimp House. All of our food was great again. I had blackened shrimp tacos. Amazing. Justin had another Mahi Sandwich (He’s allergic to shellfish.) He said that was the best food on the entire trip. The older girls had shrimp po’ boys. After lunch, we did some shopping and headed back to the condo. I wanted to go out on the pier, but it was pouring down rain so…oh well.
Here’s a tiktok of all my yummy food. Everything was so good! https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTd7eb2R9/?k=1
After the rain stopped, we went to the beach for a walk. Seashells were so few and far between here which kind of sucked because I love hunting for shells. Also, there was so much seaweed. But the weather was beautiful, as well as the beautiful white sand.
There were double red flags up for most of the day so we just enjoyed making sand castles and watching people that thought they were above the law after being repeatedly told to get out of the water. Sigh.
On our last day we loaded up and drove to Destin to check out Fudpuckers. Destin is such a pretty place! We got to the restaurant a little early but hung out to watch the gators to pass time. We quickly went from being the only ones there, to being in a line with 30 other people. I had read that they are always busy and I believe it! Get there close to opening! Here’s a quick tiktok I made about that trip!
We had lunch and it was great! Justin had a gator burger, I had a gator po’boy.. as did one of the older girls and the other teen had a burger. After we were so full that we couldn’t move, we watched the Gator Show. The shows happen all day at specific times. We watched the 12:00 show. It was super informative and the speaker was super funny.
We loved seeing the baby gators too. My fifteen-year-old wanted to hold a gator and get her photo taken, which I thought was super fun. It was worth every penny of $15 plus tax. The five-year-old and I both got to pet it too.
Afterwards we went to the back at the condo and then on to the beach. It was packed. I’m sure it being the first nice day all week didn’t help that. We spent a few hours out there playing in the waves and in the sand before getting packed back up to go home the next day.
All in all, we had such a fun, low-key trip. I would highly recommend this is a family vacation location!
Have you ever been to the Destin/Fort Walton area? What was your favorite thing to do there?