By Kevin Lankes


Eglin Air Force Base is nestled inside the Florida Panhandle, just north of Choctawhatchee Bay and the white sand beaches that line the nearby tourist towns along the water. PCSing to Eglin AFB is like getting a ticket to your permanent vacation home with tons of things to do near the base. The weather here is going to be nice all year round, providing ample opportunity to check out all the area has to offer. Know what you are looking for? Click the number(s) to go right to what you go: (1-3) Gyms (4-9) Beaches (10-13) Attractions (14) Golfing (15-18) Museums (19) Movies

Suggested Read:

Eglin AFB: In-Depth Welcome Center

Things to Do Near Eglin AFB

Eglin AFB Gym

1. Eglin Fitness Center

Building 810 404 Wicker Circle Eglin AFB, FL 32542


1 (850) 882-6223 The main Eglin AFB gym is close to the Chapel and through the East Gate. This is a huge facility, with over 45,000 square feet of space offering all kinds of equipment and options for breaking a sweat. There are volleyball courts, basketball courts, racquetball courts, cardio machines, weight rooms, outdoor fields for soccer and football, saunas, and more. They hold annual zombie runs and team fitness challenges, as well as intramural sports teams that you can sign up for.

2. The Fitness Assessment Center

Building 2398 Eglin AFB, FL 32542


1 (850) 882-9260 The Fitness Assessment Center is primarily used for putting airmen through their bi-annual PT evaluations. It’s also open to active duty members of the Eglin community, as are all fitness facilities on base. Here you can find all sorts of equipment that you’ll need to keep in shape for your evaluations as well as your everyday life in the Air Force.

3. The Lightning Fitness Center

Building 1325 Eglin AFB, FL 32542


1 (850) 883-6816 The Lightning Fitness Center on base provides 24/7 access to equipment and machines with a CrossFit focus. Get involved in this highly productive workout style to turn yourself into the best version of yourself. Eglin AFB Beach

Eglin AFB Beach


4. Destin Harbor Boardwalk
102 Harbor Blvd Destin, FL 32541


1 (850) 683-3009 The Destin Harbor Boardwalk is your gateway to one of the most popular beaches in the U.S. On the harbor boardwalk, you can find tickets for cruises, fishing charters, snorkeling and parasailing adventures, boat rentals, and so much more. This is all mixed in with the regular boardwalk fare like frozen treats and fudge.
5. Gator Beach
20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy Destin, FL 32541


1 (850) 654-4200 Gator Beach in Destin is an alligator park with hundreds of alligators to see up close, and even hold. It’s free to enter because there’s no admission charge here. Just stop in, walk around, feed the alligators, take pictures, and stay for the gator shows.
6. Crab Island
Crab Island is a sandbar on the Emerald Coast. It can’t be reached without a boat because the current is too strong for swimmers to overcome. Therefore, it’s easiest to get there by renting a boat or booking a cruise with a group like Crab Island Cruises or Crab Island Adventure Cruises. Crab Island is a breathtaking vision of the natural landscape and offers visitors to hike along the water and the interior of the island and watch the local wildlife.
7. Henderson Beach State Park
17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy Destin, FL 32541


1 (850) 837-7550 Henderson Beach State Park is a white sand beach with 30-foot dunes. Swim in the warm gulf waters or find yourself fishing the waters, hiking the trails, or reserving one of 60 campsites at the park. Walk down the boardwalk and watch for the Florida wildlife as the sun falls below the dunes.

Fort Walton Beach

8. Okaloosa Island Boardwalk
1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548


1 (850) 301-0959 The boardwalk at Okaloosa Island is packed with shops, food vendors, and gorgeous views. There’s a lot to find here with all the gear and amenities that you could need for a great time along the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.


9. Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park
4281 FL-20 Niceville, FL 32578


1 (850) 833-9144 Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is a gorgeous area for hiking, biking, canoeing, and picnicking that used to be a gunnery and practice range during World War II. It’s home to 300-year-old longleaf pine trees and three nature trails. Come for the camping and RV grounds or the boating adventures along the shore. Attractions Near Eglin AFB

Attractions Nearby

Eglin AFB

10. Eglin ITT Office
Eglin AFB, FL 32542


1 (850) 882-5930 Information, Tickets & Travel specializes in vacation travel for Air Force customers. ITT provides discount tickets and organizes tours to a variety of destinations — everything from a trip to the local zoo to a vacation in Hawaii!


11. Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park
1007 US-98 Destin, FL 32541


1 (850) 837-8319 Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park is a family water park with tons of slides, rides, pools, and other attractions. You can rent a cabana with the family and sit in total relaxation or ride the roiling rivers in a tube through several twists and turns. There are rides like the Cyclone Twister and the Sky Coaster, a miniature golf course, and a half pipe for surfing.
12. Sandcastle Lessons
5012, 2-50 Lands End Dr Destin, FL 32541


1 (303) 681-2631 Sandcastle Lessons at Destin Point is a truly unique activity that’s sure to create lasting memories for the whole family. Book a lesson with professional sand sculptors and learn the techniques they use to build real, breathtaking sandcastles that stand over 3 feet tall.

Fort Walton Beach

13. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
1010 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548


1 (850) 243-9046 Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park is an aquatic park with the goal to educate and entertain guests by bringing them right up close with marine wildlife. They provide fun encounters with dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, as well as shows and other events. The C.A.R.E Center gives guests an inside look into coastal conservation and marine rescue. You can also host your own event here. There’s a military discount for general admission, and annual memberships are also available. Eglin Golf Course

Eglin Golf Course

Fort Walton Beach

14. Goofy Golf
401 Eglin Pkwy NE Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547


1 (850) 862-4922 Goofy Golf is an Eglin AFB golf course that’s fun-sized in the miniature variety at Fort Walton Beach. It’s been there since 1958 and is a fun and eccentric place to bring the whole family. They have 2 courses, each with 17 holes. “Hammy” the T-Rex has been with the course since it opened and stands 23 feet tall over the obstacles and golfers alike. The course is cash only.

Eglin AFB Museum

15. Air Force Armament Museum

100 Museum Drive Eglin Air Force Base, FL 32542


1 (850) 882-4062 The Air Force Armament Museum is home to over 29 aircraft like the F-15, F-16, A-10, and many more. The eras represented include everything from World War II to the present day. The museum is dedicated to collecting aircraft and their armaments, such as missiles like the Sidewinder and bombs like the MOAB. The museum is free to enter and groups are welcome without advanced notice.


16. Destin History and Fishing Museum
108 Stahlman Ave Destin, FL 32541


1 (850) 837-6611 The Destin History and Fishing Museum is a great place to learn about the history of the area, from the founding of Destin in the 1830s to the build up of the beaches and attractions over time. There’s a lot to see here, including antique fishing rods like the bamboo reel that belonged to Ernest Hemingway. There are activities for kids to take part in along with educational resources.

Fort Walton Beach

17. The Emerald Coast Science Center
31 SW Memorial Parkway Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548


1 (850) 664-1261 The Emerald Coast Science Center is an interactive museum and educational space that promotes STEM outreach in Northwest Florida. There are touchable exhibits and activities throughout the space for kids and adults to try and learn about various subjects in science. The science center is over 8,000 square feet in size and includes activities that represent fields like robotics, live animals, and much more.
18. Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum
127 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548


1 (850) 833-9596 The Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum is a one-room schoolhouse that interprets life in the area from 1911-1930s, with a focus on local education. There are exhibits and collections that detail the history of education in Fort Walton Beach. Be warned that guests may have to put on the dunce cap and sit in the corner. Eglin AFB Movie Theater

Eglin AFB Movie Theater

19. Eglin AFB Outdoor Recreation

Building 732 Eglin Air Force Base, FL 32542


1 (850) 882-5058 Enjoy a drive-in movie night with Outdoor Recreation for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day. Registration is required so please call for more information.


Eglin AFB is surrounded by beaches and tourist attractions that make you feel like you’re on a permanent vacation. You can relax in many an Eglin beach park or find yourself learning about culture and history in the extended area. The waves and white sand will call to you at some point, and there’s plenty to do in terms of hiking and boat rentals. Make sure to check out the Eglin ITT (Ticket Office) for information on everything there is to see and do in the area.  

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.




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