An Expert Guide to Enjoying Fort Walton Beach Fishing Experiences

The ocean and surrounding waterways are an essential part of the Fort Walton Beach experience, especially when it comes to angling. Whether you want to charter a boat or cast a line in from the shore, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Fort Walton Beach fishing. From in-shore to offshore fishing excursions, everything you need for the ultimate fishing trip is in Fort Walton Beach! To make the most of your Gulf Coast getaway, be sure to request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide! Inside you’ll find details on the best activities, entertainment, dining, events, and more that our beautiful area has to offer.  

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Two Exciting Ways to Enjoy Fort Walton Beach Fishing 

Private Charter Boats & Fishing Charters 

A fishing trip is always an exciting endeavor. You can look forward to the freedom that the ocean provides, the relaxation of the waves, and the thrill of catching your first fish of the day. The Gulf of Mexico is one of the best places to embark on an inshore or deep-sea fishing trip, and Fort Walton Beach offers some of the best experiences in the area!  

If you want to enjoy an exciting Fort Walton Beach deep sea fishing experience or charter a boat, check out our favorite Gulf Coast charters:  

  • Living Right Fishing Charters 
  • One-Shot Fishing Charters 
  • Sunshine Fishing Charters 
  • Blue Water Escape Fishing Charters 
  • Salty Dawgz’ Deep Sea Fishing and Charters 

Surf Fishing 

If you don’t feel like hopping in a fishing boat, you can always catch fish right from the shoreline. Miles of sandy beaches await you, but one of the best spots for casting a line is John Beasly Park on Okaloosa Island. The park is situated in a wide-open stretch of beach, away from crowds and establishments, plus this space even offers a great view of the Okaloosa Island fishing pier in the distance so that you can enjoy a surf fishing adventure like no other!  

Pro Tip: Please be mindful of people swimming around you if you fish from the beach. 

What’s in Season on Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island?  

Spring Summer Fall Winter 
Amberjack Red Snapper Amberjack  Tuna 
Vermillion Snapper Vermillion Snapper Vermillion Snapper Vermillion Snapper 
White Snapper White Snapper White Snapper White Snapper 
Black Snapper Black Snapper Black Snapper Black Snapper 
Shark Shark Shark  Triggerfish 
Cobia King Mackerel King Mackerel 
Spanish Mackerel Spanish Mackerel Spanish Mackerel  
Triggerfish Triggerfish  Grouper  
Mahi Mahi Mahi Mahi Mahi Mahi  
Wahoo Wahoo Wahoo  
Tuna Tuna Tuna 
Sailfish Sailfish Sailfish  
Marlin Marlin Marlin  

Return to Shore at El Matador 

El Matador is your key to the ultimate Gulf of Mexico getaway. Our collection of vacation rentals features everything from studios to oceanfront properties! In addition to fascinating fishing experiences on Fort Walton Beach, El Matador offers guests exclusive access to an array of outstanding amenities. Throughout the property, you’ll get to enjoy pools, tennis courts, a whirlpool hot tub, a fitness center, and more!  

Browse our selection of beachfront vacation rentals and start planning your fishing trip today. We look forward to welcoming you to Okaloosa Island and Fort Walton Beach! 

When Is the Best Time to Visit Fort Walton Beach?

There are so many things to consider when planning a vacation. Before packing your bags, you have to predict the weather, create an itinerary, and find a home away from home. Beautiful Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is no exception! A question we are often asked is: When is the best time to visit Fort Walton Beach? The answer is always! No matter when you visit, the Emerald Coast offers a fantastic getaway, and each season on Okaloosa Island promises a unique experience. 

To make your beach vacation planning a breeze, we’ve created a free Fort Walton Beach Vacation Guide that contains local insight on the best seasonal events, attractions, and eateries in the area.  

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All Year Long Is the Best Time to Visit Fort Walton Beach!  

Spring: The Ultimate Spring Break Destination  

Weather: Warm, SunnyBreezy  

While it’s difficult to decide on the best time to visit Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island, spring is a popular season for families. The weather here is especially comfortable in April and May, with the average temperature ranging from the low to mid-70s. In addition to perfect weather, the area is filled with all kinds of kid-friendly things to do that will keep the kiddos entertained for hours on end!

Summer: Beachin’ it All Day, Every Day 

Weather: Hot, Summer Rain  

Without a doubt, summer is the most popular time of year to visit the Emerald Coast! Local and visiting beach-goers flock to our beautiful white-sand beaches to sunbathe, relax, and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico’s emerald-green waters. Plan your visit during the first weekend of June, and you’ll have the opportunity to experience one of the United States’ longest-running events, the Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival!  

Fall: Perfect for a Quiet Retreat  

Weather: Warm, Sunny, Clear Skies 

Autumn is a great time to visit Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island because there are fewer crowds, and the weather is lovely. During this time of year, the average high is approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal weather for fantastic beach days, Thanksgiving getaways, and events like the Northwest Florida Fair.  

Winter: A Snowbirds’ Paradise 

Weather: Cool, Chilly Water Temperatures 

Although you may want to stay out of the water in the winter months, this is the perfect time to visit if you want to avoid crowds. The island is just as beautiful in the winter, the beaches are perfect for a mid-day stroll, and of course, there’s no snow!  

Find Your Spot in the Sand 

Once you’ve decided the best time for your visit to Fort Walton Beach, FL, book your vacation rental with El Matador! Consider booking a rental in building four to relax in a beautiful two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo that is perfect for family vacations. When you stay here, enjoy the fantastic amenities, such as hot tubs, private pools, and a fitness center! When you stay at El Matador, you’ll enjoy gorgeous views of the Gulf, 24-hour security, easy beach access, and more.  

Browse our properties and book your stay today! We look forward to having you. 

Three Reasons Why Fort Walton Beach Is the Best Family Destination in Florida

There’s no place in the world like Fort Walton Beach. If you are anything like us, then the sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and magical sunsets have a special place in your heart! We also know that every now and then, we could all use a little beach therapy, and that’s when it’s time to pack your bags and head to one of the best family destinations in Florida! Whenever you crave an authentic coastal experience, it’s time to bring your family to Okaloosa Island.

This one-of-a-kind area offers closeness to the most unique places on the Emerald Coast. If you’d like to learn more about amazing things to do in Fort Walton Beach, request access to our free Vacation Guide. With the help of our guide, you can explore the colorful cities of the Gulf Coast, find pristine white-sand beaches, and enjoy endless family fun all over town.

Take a Look Inside the Guide 

Why Fort Walton Beach is the Best Family Destination in Florida for Your Vacation 

Fascinating White-Sand Beaches 

When you visit the best family destination in Florida, an escape to the beach is essential. Luckily, Fort Walton Beach is the ideal beach town. From Okaloosa Island to Santa Rosa Island, you’ll find the best of fun anywhere the sand meets the sea. Plus, the gleaming emerald waters of the shoreline are incredibly mesmerizing when you can enjoy them with family.  

Endless Family Fun 

With beautiful the Gulf’s beautiful weather, you and the kiddos will want to take in the sun as much as possible. Luckily, part of what makes Fort Walton Beach one of the best family vacation spots in Florida is its abundance of water parks, theme parks, mini-golf, and more family-friendly activities that are sure to keep everyone entertained all day long. Here are a few easy ways to treat your family to an unforgettable experience on the Emerald Coast:

Delicious Local Restaurants 

There’s no better way to get to know a place than by trying the food that defines it. From quick bites to fine dining, the restaurants, cafes, and places to eat around Fort Walton Beach offer fantastic variety. For the best family-friendly dining experiences, be sure to have a meal at these local favorites:

Stay at the Best Vacation Rentals on Okaloosa Island at El Matador

When planning your next getaway to Fort Walton Beach, FL, be sure to book your stay at our beautiful Okaloosa Island vacation rentals! With premium accommodations, comfort, and privacy, your family vacation will be filled with endless relaxation and adventure. El Matador is close to all the best things to do on the Emerald Coast, and we offer many specials year-round. Our stupendous on-site amenities include two oceanfront pools, a fitness room, tennis courts, basketball courts, and so much more! 

Check our availability and book your stay today. We can’t wait to meet you!


Thanksgiving Getaway

A Thanksgiving getaway is what the whole family needs to relax and spend quality time together. Fort Walton Beach is the perfect beach getaway. Here a few attractions that will surely keep everybody entertained: 
-Gulfarium Marine Adventure park 
-Heritage Park & Cultural Center
-Emerald Coast Science Center
-Goofy Golf 
-Destin Commons- Perfect to get all your black Friday shopping done.
-Water activities- boat tours, dolphin tours, jet-skiing, snorkeling, fishing, etc.

If you are looking for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, here are a few yummy options: 
-Hilton Sandestin Beach Cooks Up Tasty Thanksgiving To-Go- November
26th from 10 am to 4 p.m. Reservation required. 
-Thanksgiving at Beachwalk Café- November 26th from noon to 5 p.m.
Reservation required. 
-Thanksgiving Buffet at The Henderson-November 26th from 11 am to 3 pm.
-24th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Harbor Docks- This is an
affordable thanksgiving dinner that also gives you the chance to give back to the community. 

And to get in the Christmas spirit, you can’t miss the Downtown Christmas Lights and Landing Christmas Tree on November 27th at 5:30 pm. 

Here at El Matador, we are all so grateful for your preference. The whole Matador family wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Keeping your home safe while on vacation

One main worry many of us have when planning a vacation is leaving our homes alone for so many days. The last thing you want to be thinking about while you bask in the sun is home security. So, here are a few tips to help you keep your home safe and help you relax and enjoy your vacation.

1. Make it look like someone is always home. If possible set a timer on TV’s and lights so that they turn on and off throughout the day.
2. Illuminate the outside of your home. It’s a great idea to have motion-
activated lights.
3. Keep your plans off social media. You can always post photos and updates on social media upon your return.
4. Make sure the door and locks are sturdy.
5. Keep your valuables hidden in the least obvious places.
6. If possible, install a home security system that will keep you updated.
7. Don’t have packages delivered while you’re away. A package sitting at your door for days is usually a sign of no one being home.

Following these few tips will help you have a stress-free vacation. Contact us today to book your next Fort Walton Beach vacation.

5 tips for a Great Beach Vacation with Kids

The Emerald Coast is full of incredible attractions for the whole family. Traveling with your little ones is a great way to bond with them and get some very much needed family time. But it can also become stressful when thinking about how to keep them entertained and safe. That’s why we have a few tips that might come in handy on that next family vacation.

Plan Fun Water Activities
Water activities will keep the kids entertained all day and will surely tire them out at the end of the day. The Emerald Coast offers a variety of fun activities:
Paddleboarding, fishing, boat tours, snorkel tours, waterparks, etc.

Bring Toys
If your plan is to just sit back and relax at the beach or pool, bringing along some toys for the kids will surely keep them entertained for hours. Have them choose two or three toys that are not bulky or heavy, making it easy to carry them around.

Pack Snacks and Drinks
It is important to always stay hydrated at the beach so bring along water and juice boxes for the little ones. We also know that our kids can get hungry quickly so bring along snacks that will keep them satisfied for a few hours.

Stay Vigilant
When mixing kids with water we most always stay vigilant and make sure they are okay. For the inexperienced with water using a lifejacket is important. Sitting near a lifeguard if you have the option is a good idea. Take turns with the other adults to watch them so that everybody can have fun.

Now is the perfect time to visit Destin, contact El Matador Rentals to book your next beach vacation.

Tips to reduce stress levels

As we continue to shelter at home due to Covid-19, many of us have started to feel our stress levels going up. Our team has come up with a few tips that may help decrease those stress levels.

Stay physically active
Incorporating a physical activity into your daily schedule will help your body and mind be calmer and be able to stay in a more relaxed state.

Eat Healthy
Eating nutritionally balanced meals is a good defense to fight stress. Having a nutritious diet will help stabilize our moods and help us feel physically and mentally healthy.

Get enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep can lead you to feel a significant increase in your stress levels. It is important to get the hours of sleep your body needs to recharge and start over the next day.

Talk to a friend
Talking to a friend about how you feel will help release some of the built-up tension you may have. This may help you find a solution to your problem and put things into perspective.

Plan for the future
It’s good to look ahead and make plans for when this is over. For us that includes a beautiful beach and a relaxing stay. El Matador is here to turn your Destin beach vacation into a reality.

Tips to Work from Home

During this time where vacations have been put on hold, we at El Matador are interested in supporting our customers anyway we can. So, that’s why we have put together a few tips for any of you that might be having a hard time working from home.

Follow a schedule
It is important to keep a schedule so you are able to separate the hours you will be working from the ones you won’t. This will help you get things done in a more organized fashion and will reduce how often you become distracted. Once you cover your working hours, put your work away and recharge.

Choose a work space
Create a space where you will be comfortable for the number of hours you must work. It can be a different room or a desk in a specific part of your home. This space should be designated only to work so that you can feel the difference between home and work.

Get Dressed
Get up and change from your pajamas to normal clothes. Taking care of the way you look will help you feel more normal and get the day started the right way. This will motivate you to get things done and take you out of any funk you might be in.

Stay Connected
A huge gap most people are feeling is not being able to socialize with their coworkers. So, schedule online social time to goof around like you normally would in the office. This will help you feel less isolated and stressed.

Soon, we will be back to planning our next vacation and there is no better option than the Emerald Coast. El Matador will be here to make your next Destin beach vacation a memorable one.

Things not to Forget to Pack when Traveling to our Fort Walton Beach Condos

We know that traveling to a new destination can be very exciting. You are so thrilled to visit the Emerald Coast that you might forget to pack certain things. Don’t leave the packing to the day before you leave because its too important to leave to the last minute. Remembering to pack the little things will help prevent unnecessary spending on your next trip. We’ve put together a checklist of some of the most important things to remember on your next stay at our Fort Walton Beach Condos.

Don’t Forget to Pack these Essentials

1. Umbrella – Believe it or not sometimes it rains in Florida. Even if you see a clear weather forecast, you never know when there could be an unexpected pop of rain.
2. Chargers – Chargers for your devices are very important to not forget. Not to mention, they may cost you twice as much when you’re in a pinch.
3. Sunglasses and Sunscreen – These are a must in Northwest Florida especially in the summer months. Beat the heat by preparing ahead.
4. Prescriptions and Painkillers – Bring any medication you may need along with you. Painkillers are just a bonus since you don’t know when a headache will arise.
5. Cash – Avoid paying high ATM fees while on vacation. Bring cash before hand for any situations that may come up during your trip.

Get packing for your next vacation on the Emerald Coast. Contact us to book your next short term or long term stay at El Matador!