El Matador is located on Okaloosa Island in the city of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Our ideal oceanfront location allows our guests to experience many of the best things to do in Fort Walton Beach during their stay. Enjoy all the great Emerald Coast attractions starting with our recommended list of activities below.
For more information on everything Fort Walton Beach offers, including activities for families, including restaurants, shopping, outdoor exploring, and more, be sure to download our free Fort Walton Beach Vacation Guide! The guide provides a thorough list of things to do on Okaloosa Island and the Gulf Coast. With so much information at your fingertips, planning your next vacation will be a breeze. Get your Fort Walton Beach Vacation Guide today, and start preparing for a fantastic trip!
The Best Things to do in Fort Walton Beach for the Ultimate Vacation
Beaches, Parks, and Nature Preserves
No trip to the coast complete without a visit to the beach! On the Emerald Coast, you’ll fall in love with the crystal-clear waters, white-sand beaches, unique wildlife, peaceful environments, and much more!
- John Beasley Park
- Gulf Islands National Seashore
- Topsail Hill Preserve State Park
- Fort Walton Landing
- Henderson Beach State Park
- Sound Park
- Oak Tree Nature Preserve
- Liza Jackson Park
The stunning waters of the Gulf of Mexico are waiting to be explored! From jet skiing to parasailing to snorkeling, the best way to enjoy the Emerald Coast is from the water. The best part? When you come to Fort Walton Beach, the entire family will have a blast!
- Island Watersports Company
- Emerald Coast Kayaks
- SUP Express Paddle Board Rentals
- Destiny Water Adventures
- Boogies Watersports
- Wet-N-Wild Watersports
Aquariums, Museums, and Heritage Sites
If you’re looking for a unique way to spend your time on the Emerald Coast, consider visiting marine life at the Gulfarium, exhibits at local museums, or even exotic animals at the zoo. However, you choose to spend your days on the Gulf Coast; it’s sure to leave the entire family with lasting memories.
- Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
- Heritage Park & Cultural Center
- Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum
- Emerald Coast Science Center
- Indian Temple Mound Museum
- Airforce Armament Museum
- Emerald Coast Zoo
One of the best parts about staying on Okaloosa Island is the abundance of kid-friendly activities you’ll find on the island and the mainland. From family fun centers to water parks, all the exciting activities your kids dream of are nearby.
- Escape Zone 60
- Surge Trampoline Park
- Fort SK8 Family Fun Center
- Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
- Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park
- Okaloosa National Mini Golf & Ice Cream
You won’t have any trouble finding great places to eat in Fort Walton Beach, FL. From waterfront dining to family-friendly eateries, you’ll have plenty from which to choose. Check out some of our favorites below.
- Al’s Burger Bar
- Floyd’s Shrimp House
- Rockin’ Tacos
- The Crab Trap
- The Gulf
- Dewey Destin’s Seafood Restaurant
You’ll be able to shop till you drop at the countless stores in Northwest Florida! From popular shopping areas like Harborwalk Village or Santa Rosa Mall to outlets malls like Silver Sounds Premium Outlets, you’ll be able to find exactly what you need. Whether you’re in search of the perfect gift for a friend, or a unique souvenir to take back home, you’re sure to find it here.
The Gulf Coast is a well-known destination for amateur and professional golfers. When you tee up here, you can enjoy championship courses, varied landscapes, peaceful surroundings, and spectacular scenery. View the golf courses closest to El Matador below.
In addition to fascinating coastal activities, Fort Walton Beach provides plenty of fun on the water. Dock your boat at a nearby marina or enjoy days on the water. Either way, you’ll soon see why these are some of the most beloved things to do on the Emerald Coast in the summer.
- SunVenture Cruises
- Destin Airboat Tours
- Smile ‘N Wave Sailing Adventures, Tours & Charter
- Destin Excursions
- Cattywampus Aquatic Adventures
Fishing is a time-honored tradition on the Emerald Coast. Whether you enjoy surf fishing, deep-sea fishing charters, or casting a line from a pier, you can find the perfect fishing spot on the list below.
- Lion’s Tale Adventures
- IntraCoastal Experience
- Blue Water Escape Charters
- HarborWalk Charters
- One-Shot Fishing Charters
- Okaloosa Island Pier
- John Beasley Park
- Gulf Islands National Seashore
No matter when you visit Fort Walton Beach, you can always look forward to fun events, festivals, and celebrations! One of the area’s most popular events is the Billy Bowlegs Festival. This event is a local festival that features live music, pirate-themed activities, and family-friendly fun you won’t find anywhere else.
- Pelican Plunge at the Boardwalk
- Billy Bowlegs Festival
- 4th of July at the Landing
- City of Fort Walton Beach Christmas Parade
- New Year’s Eve Boat Parade
Stay Close to All the Best Fun at El Matador
Escape the ordinary and experience the splendor of the Gulf of Mexico on your next getaway to Fort Walton Beach. We offer an experience that you won’t find anywhere else in Northwest Florida—our oceanfront properties feature stunning beach views, spacious bedrooms, and premium amenities. Everything from our oceanfront swimming pools to our easy beach access will make your stay unforgettable.
Check our availability and book your stay. The beauty of Okaloosa Island is something that you have to see for yourself!