The Hidden Islands of Fort Walton Beach

The Emerald Coast is known for its sugar white beaches and emerald green waters. Besides the barrier islands of Oakaloosa Island and Destin, you really don’t see any isolated islands along the coast. During the summer, when the beaches move from local territory to tourist haven, having a secret island escape would be sweet relief. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a series of perfect island getaways during my kayak adventure down the inter-coastal.

The Inter-coastal waterway  is a 42 mile stretch of water, that starts at the Brooks Bridge of Oakaloosa Island and reaches all the way to Pensacola Beach. This brackish waterway is mainly a highway for boaters traveling to and from Destin and Pensacola Beach. Little do they know, right in between Mary Esther and Fort Walton Beach, are the hidden islands of Fort Walton Beach. Want to know where they are exactly? Here is a map below ⇓

The Islands

20160213_154610The hidden islands of Fort Walton Beach have a marshy feel to them but the waters are much cleaner and more enjoyable. It’s perfect for fishing, swimming, or sunbathing! On the South side of the channel, is the barrier island that is privately owned by the United States Airforce. Even tough, this property is prohibited to be on, it acts as an amazing nature preserve. Allowing for an abundance of birds, fish, and other animals to thrive, which is perfect for wildlife, enthusiast. The one negative I can find is that garbage tends to wash up on the islands. Mostly plywood and plastic bottles that can easily be controlled by the help of responsible people.

My Experience

My favorite thing to do is kayak to the islands, with my camping gear, and enjoy the peace and quite! It’s a quick trip from my apartment, making it an easy weekend getaway. While visiting, I’ve never been bothered or ran into any issues  at all. Even so, bringing the necessary gear with you is a must. Though you’re within close proximity of civilization, there is still a body of water in-between that can put you in a bind. Here is some gear that a strongly recommend if you plan on making the most of a weekend trip to the islands!

Solar Panel Charger– A solar panel charger is a pretty amazing tool for any scenario. It charges any device with uses a USB charger. This keeps you taking selfies or make an emergency call if needed. Anker is the solar panel charger I’ve had for about 2 years now and it has been AMAZING for camping. It even charges when it’s heavily overcast outside. Strongly recommended!

 

 

A Good Travel Bag– When camping, having a bag that is large enough to carry all you stuff you need and is comfortable and durable is a must! For my birthday, my step father got me the Witzman Travel bag and I’m absolutely in love with it. Not only does it look great but its extremely diverse. I literally can cram 50 items in it, shove it in the back of my kayak and after an adventure, it still looks brand new. It’s also been a great bag for road-trips and airport travels.

 

 

Eno Hammock– Seriously, get one of these! They are amazingly comfortable and awesome for camping. You can hang them up just about anywhere in about 5 minutes tops. Since I’ve gotten one, I haven’t slept in a tent once!

Thanks For Reading!

If you live in the Fort Walton Beach area I strongly suggest that you check out these hidden treasures! Like any of the gear? Make sure you click the picture to see prices and other peoples reviews! If you do visit the islands, make sure to clean up after yourselves. The area is absolutely stunning and turning it into another Crab Island would be a disaster for the wildlife.

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