Fort Walton, Florida, was our first stop into Florida. It is located on Okaloosa Island. We had to pay a toll to get onto the island and a toll to leave. This was a surprise. That total of two tolls was $24 for our truck and fiver. Nothing in my research for the trip caught my attention on toll gates. We won’t quibble, as we enjoyed our stay on Okaloosa Island where the water is an emerald green as it enters the Gulf.
We stayed at the Elks Lodge #1795 with RV hookups. This gave us the opportunity to go dancing to their local DJ, have dinner out and walk the beautiful beach with white sands located just across the road.
We were told that the local Independent RV Parks are very expensive, something like $99 night. You do get full hook-ups, a swimming pool and spa. I should hope more amenities are included at that price! For a short stop-over, the Elks was great for us.
The State Park near Destin is affordable and beautiful. It is right on or near the beach, but it does not allow pets. We have Pj , our Bichon and much of our travel revolves around his comfort and well-being. He really doesn’t care for the beach waters; the waves are too wild for him.
This is our first impression of Florida and it is so far a busy, touristy place in our mind. We have had a lot of rain, so the humidity is high. However, the Elks Members and everyone else that we have met are friendly and helpful. Those that live here, love it. They prefer Fort Walton over Destin, which is about 4 miles away because they say Fort Walton is less touristy. I have to agree, although I did like the shopping in Destin, I hated the heavy traffic.
After a tasty made-to-order breakfast at the Lodge, we headed out toward Newport State Park. It is more inland, but we hope that we can get the kayak out for a paddle in the St. Mark’s River.
We like mixing up our travels between pristine, natural settings that are quiet and serene and urban areas where we can shop, get groomed and perhaps catch a two-step or waltz somewhere.
Ft Walton and Destin are great places to vacation and I can see why it is so busy with year round tourists!