What to do and see in Mary Esther, United States: The Best Places and Tips

October 12, 2017 Lashaunda Abraham

Mary Esther is a city in Okaloosa County, Florida, United States. The population was 3,851 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Fort Walton Beach–Crestview–Destin Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Restaurants in Mary Esther

1. Air Force Armament Museum

100 Museum Dr, Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32542-1497 +1 850-651-1808
Excellent
76%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Air Force Armament Museum

The focus is on Air Force armament through a variety of historical displays, from a B-17 World War II bomber to an F-4 Phantom II jet.

Reviewed By deborah r - Belmont, North Carolina

We arrived 30 minutes before opening which gave us time to see all of the outdoor displays. There is no fee for entry to this museum. They do have a donation box at the entrance. A small gift shop has a lot of choices for souvenirs. The museum has much to see and learn. Great stop for families of all ages.

2. Okaloosa Island

Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Excellent
78%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Okaloosa Island

Reviewed By rasheedmack - Atlanta, Georgia

Okaloosa Island has one of the best beaches in all of Florida. The water is very clear, and beaches are very clean. We went in March during the off season and the beach was very quiet and peaceful. The weather was a bit chilly to get in the water, but we did lounge on the beach for a few hours. If you’re looking for a clean and quiet beach away from all the noise, then this is it!

3. Surge Trampoline Park

300 Mary Esther Blvd, Mary Esther, FL 32569-1693 +1 850-226-4334
Excellent
75%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 4 reviews

Surge Trampoline Park

Reviewed By MontanaCraig - Big Sky, Montana

This is a fantastic way to burn off extra energy, especially for the kids. They offer a variety of jumping, obstacle, and other interactive areas. Jump high into a giant pit of foam blocks, participate in walk-on dodge ball games, joust with another person over a pit of foam, or jump on several different trampolines. My 4 year-old grandson could participate in most activities, including the dodge ball games. It is very safe and personnel keep a watchful eye on everyone. For a little extra, older adults can relax in comfortable massage chairs. Admission is a little pricey, but worth it. While the staff keep a good eye on the action, we found it difficult to get help with some of the attractions.

4. Wild Willy's Adventure Zone

1306 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548-6219 +1 850-400-3300
Excellent
61%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 250 reviews

Wild Willy's Adventure Zone

Wild Willy's Adventure Zone offers Family Fun Entertainment for All Ages! With 2 Miniature Golf Courses, 4D Movie Theater, 60 Foot Ropes Course, over 60 State of the Art Arcade Games, Laser Maze, Ptero Jump, Inflatable Zone, Spinning Coaster and Onsite Authentic Italian Pizza Restaurant and Frozen Yogurt Shop!

Reviewed By Julestwo - Canton, Georgia

We had a great time doing the 18 hole mini golf! It is a dinosaur based course with lots of motion activated “surprises!” My 10 and 11 year old were laughing so hard at each other’s reactions that we probably took longer than we should have playing. The course was very clean with everything appearing to be in perfect working order. The course was fun and we all enjoyed playing as a family! I did see the arcade inside. It reminded me a bit of games you would see in a Stars and Strikes, again everything looked very clean. You pay for whatever activity you want to do and we only chose the putt putt golf.The cost for an adult was $9.99 and children were $7.99. Good place to stop for some family fun!

5. Oak Tree Nature Park

707 E Hollywood Blvd, Mary Esther, FL 32569-2015
Excellent
60%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
10%
Terrible
10%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 10 reviews

Oak Tree Nature Park

Reviewed By maxona - Fort Walton Beach, Florida

The Fort Walton Bch/Mary Esther area have several parks, but no actual nature trails in this area. This is the only one I know of. Of course, if you want a long walk, we have some great beaches with miles of walking, but to find a walk in the Florida scrubs is a little harder to do.

If you are familiar with the area, this park is located right next to the Post Office in Mary Esther. If you are not familiar, if you are coming from hwy 98, turn on to Mary Esther cutoff. The first intersection is Hollywood Blvd. Turn left and go straight. You will come up to a roundabout. Go through that and continue straight. Just past that roundabout you will see a sign for the nature park on the left. Parking is free.

The trail makes a large oval. There is a small creek that goes through the lower part of the property, and you will have 2 short bridges to cross. The creeks are small and it will probably depend on the amount of rain in the area as to how full or dry they are at the time. There are a few benches along the way if you need to stop. The trail itself is mainly sand and leaves. It is well packed and easy to walk on. This trail is for walking/jogging only. There is a sign at the beginning of the trail that states no bikes, etc.. There are signs at various places along the trail that speak to the animals, birds, etc that you may see in the area, as well as mentioning that this was once a site of an archaeological dig. There are also trash bins near each bench. You will also see one pavilion with some picnic tables near the parking lot. That is the only area for such activities here.

Here is the biggest downfall. I think the trail is approximately 1 mile. I estimate that by the time it takes me to walk it. So it is very short. And even though you're in the woods walking, you can hear traffic on all sides of this park, so you are not in the deep woods, with only sounds of the birds around. Although, even saying that, it is not overwhelming, just an observation of hearing cars on the outskirts. And certain parts of the trail, you can see peeks of buildings through some of the trees. But for the most part, you really do feel like you are in the middle of the woods while walking.

As far as safety goes, I think this is pretty safe. In some respects, being a small area and being able to see buildings on the outskirts, I think you could run from most danger to a public area. You will notice that there are some trash receptacles that are bear proof. Being that it is fairly populated around the area, I wonder if this is really an issue anymore and the trash bins are just old. I have been to this park a few times and haven't heard or noticed anything that would make me fear bears here. I have also noticed a few gentlemen here that I make the assumption that they could be homeless. They aren't camping there. I have seen them walking through, and I have seen them sitting on a bench and smoking out near the picnic tables. As mentioned before, I have been there a few times, I feel I am safety minded, and I have yet to feel danger from anyone I have passed on this trail. But if you feel concerned, bring a walking partner, walk your dog, and make sure you have your cell phone with you.

In summary, this is a small nature trail, but it is well maintained and clean. If you are wanting to take a walk in the woods, live in the area and don't want to drive far out to one of the other state parks, this would be a nice park to visit.

6. Okaloosa Island Pier

1030 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548-6204 +1 850-244-1023
Excellent
54%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 728 reviews

Okaloosa Island Pier

Reviewed By Angelle225 - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Okaloosa Island Pier is perfect for sightseeing dolphins by the pier and jellyfish along the beach shore. The marine life is abundant here and there are many birds including seagulls and herons flying overhead. The pier is great for sunrise or sunset walks and avid fishermen flock here to fish off the pier regularly.

7. GameTime

300 Mary Esther Blvd, Santa Rosa Mall, Mary Esther, FL 32569-1693 +1 850-855-4145
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

GameTime

GameTime is a Family Entertainment Center with many locations throughout Florida. We offer fun indoor amusement with something for all ages and a great place to have your birthday party or celebration. Each of our venues has an array of video arcade games, simulators, redemption machines, & more!

Reviewed By Shannjj - Kingsport, Tennessee

We stopped in the one in the mall when we needed a break from shopping. The kids and everyone had fun playing the games.

8. John C Beasley Park

1550 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548-6213
Excellent
67%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 124 reviews

John C Beasley Park

Reviewed By Peter V - Houston, Texas

Woke up next to the beach and walked the beach to see the sunrise. The beach was very clean and the water was clear. It was just breathtaking.

9. Indian Temple Mound and Museum

139 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548-5817 +1 850-833-9595
Excellent
49%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 140 reviews

Indian Temple Mound and Museum

We are an educational and cultural institution of long standing traditions. It is our mission to preserve, interpret and present the prehistory and history of the Fort Walton Beach community and the Northwest Florida area from 14,000 B.C. through the 1950′s. We serve students, citizens and visitors through exhibits, educational programs, publications and special events.The Indian Temple Mound Museum is part of the Heritage Park and Cultural Center which also includes the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, Garnier Post Office Museum, Fort Walton Temple Mound, and the Civil War Exhibit Building. One admission price covers all four museums!

Reviewed By April F - Greenville, South Carolina

They have a museum that you can walk through for a small fee. It is a lot of Indian artifacts. The museum is nice, but the schoolhouse, post office and civil war buildings are fun to walk through. They show what these places looked like a long time ago. You can see what an old report card looked like and find out what the zip code numbers mean. At the schoolhouse, a man was in there talking about how things used to be. The Indian Mound has an interesting story, and you can walk to the top of the mound and see the temple that was built. Hint: On the sidewalk, look across the street at the smallest church I have ever seen. It is white, has a steeple on top and probably holds no more than ten people.

10. Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

1010 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548-6204 +1 850-243-9046
Excellent
47%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
5%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Delight in watching dolphins leap and sea lions play during our spectacular shows! Or participate and interact directly with these and other remarkable marine animals including stingrays, sharks, and otters in our new interactive programming (additional fee applies). Enjoy educational exhibits and beautiful ocean views. Open daily at 9am.

Reviewed By S M - Roswell, Georgia

The price of the attraction was very high relative to the number of animals and activities. I suppose I am spoiled by the Georgia Aquarium and the Tennessee Aquariums, which are much larger and more enjoyable. The dolphin show was entertaining, although I do not know why they only had males.

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