The Emerald Coast of Florida has long been a popular tourist destination, and one look at it’s powdery white sand beaches and jewel tone waters make it clear why. This little slice of heaven has carved out quite a name for itself as a family friendly vacation destination in the Florida Panhandle. There are a wide array of activities for families to enjoy, and literally something for everyone. Check out just a few of the activities available along the Emerald Coast below.
Uncle Buck’s FishBowl and Grill
Part of the Bass Pro Shops’ family of restaurants, Uncle Buck’s FishBowl and Grill is a one stop shop for an incredible night of family dining and entertainment. Featuring a wide range of family friendly menu options, including a full line of sandwiches, local seafood favorites and exotic choices like wild boar and alligator, there is something to fit every taste.
Relax and enjoy your meal surrounded by underwater decor, mermaids, reclaimed wood and a replica of a 1,200 lb. Bluefin Tuna that was caught by Bass Pro Shops’ owner off the coast of Prince Edward Island.
After your meal, work off some of those calories with a fun family-friendly game of bowling on one of the 16 regulation lanes at Uncle Buck’s. With an ocean theme, children will be captivated by the decor and wanting to return every night of your vacation.
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
The Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park opened in Fort Walton Beach in 1955 as a tourist attraction, aquarium and science research center. Today, the Gulfarium is still entertaining and educating visiting families with their wide array of marine and animal life. From stingrays to penguins, sea lions and an adorable new baby dolphin, there are hours of fun to be had at this Emerald Coast favorite.
Throughout the day, you can enjoy feedings and shows for the general admission price. One such show that you should be sure not to miss is the Sea Lion show. This entertaining display of Sea Lion smarts and skill is incredibly entertaining and educational.
Don’t forget to stop in and see the dolphins. The newest addition is sure to thrill both children and adults alike. Special additional activities can be added onto your visit to the Gulfarium for an additional fee, and allow you to get up close and personal with the marine life.
Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone
Just across the street from the Gulfarium is Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone. Stop in here to continue your day of fun in Fort Walton Beach. This is an incredible destination for fun whether it is raining or shining. If it’s wet outside, enjoy the facilities 17,000 sq. foot air conditioned complex, featuring a state of the art arcade, 4-D movie theater and laser maze. Grab a delicious pizza at Salvati’s Pizza Factory, and take advantage of the free phone charging station. Mogo’s Creamy Cool Creations is the perfect place to grab dessert loaded up with all your favorite toppings.
Is the weather nice outside? Try your hand at one of Wild Willy’s two dino themed mini golf courses, take a ride on the spinning roller coaster, brave the 60 foot high ropes course, or race your friends on the battle boats. No matter what you choose to do at Wild Willy’s, you are sure to have a great time.
An extension of the incredibly popular Lulu’s at Homeport Marina, Lulu’s Destin is a brand new addition to the Emerald Coast, and not one that should be missed. Owned by Lucy Buffet, Jimmy Buffet’s sister, its laid back atmosphere and accommodatingly delicious menu will soon make it a staple on the coast.
There are sand pits and games for the little ones to enjoy outside while waiting for your meal to arrive, and you would be hard pressed to find a dining establishment in Destin that is more accommodating and allergy friendly. Their allergy menu has options that are gluten, egg, seafood, shellfish and dairy free. They source local, fresh-caught seafood, and their Fish Trax system lets you actual track where and when the particular fish you are eating was caught. There is no better place to grab a bite and spend a lazy afternoon or evening with the kids than Lulu’s in Destin.
For more information on other family friendly activities available along the Emerald Coast, or to start planning your next family vacation, visit EmeraldCoastFL.com.