#10 of 109 Destin Things To Do

Okaloosa Island Pier

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Okaloosa Island Pier—A Scenic Overlook For Fantastic Fishing and Sightseeing Over the Gulf of Mexico
Staff Score:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a beautiful spot to cast a line in the water or simply enjoy a stroll over the majestic Gulf of Mexico, a visit to Okaloosa Island Pier should be on your itinerary for your Florida beach vacation. This picturesque locale complements the relaxed, low-key nature of the Florida panhandle beaches, and gives you a great view of the shoreline, the waters, and sometimes even some marine life.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

Okaloosa Island Pier is situated on the Gulf side of Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach. This concrete pier stretches out over 1,000 feet into the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and it is renowned for its fantastic saltwater fishing and stunning views of the Florida panhandle.

One of the main attractions of the pier is the fishing opportunities it provides. For a reasonable entry fee, you can gain access to the saltwater of the Gulf and many of the desirable species of fish found within them, including large fish such as tuna, tarpon, mackerel, and cobia.

It’s a great, low-stress way to enjoy some fantastic deep-sea style fishing without having to go way out into the ocean, and it’s perfect for novice anglers as well since you don’t have to shell out the cash for an expensive boat rental in order to land a big one.

Okaloosa Island Pier has everything you need to outfit your fishing experience, including a bait and tackle shop and snack bar on site. Once you pay the entry fee to the pier you are given a wristband that will allow you to come and go as you please throughout the day, so you can take the short walk down to the white-sugar sand beaches and enjoy a picnic or a swim before heading back up to the pier to resume your fishing.

Even if you aren’t an avid angler, you should still make time for a walk down Okaloosa Island Pier during your trip to Fort Walton Beach. The pier offers a separate reduced entry fee for those who aren’t going to fish, so there’s no reason not to see the Gulf of Mexico from this unique vantage point.

When the water is relatively clear you may even be able to see fish swimming below, and shore birds and waterfowl can often be seen passing through the skies above or landing on the pier itself. The pier provides plenty of great locations to take photos with family and friends, look out at the sweeping views of the panhandle beaches for several miles, or just peer out into the water and contemplate how beautiful this part of the country is.

Okaloosa Island Pier is located just a few miles from Destin, so it’s close enough to be reached in a short drive, yet far enough away so that it feels somewhat removed from some of the busier Destin beaches. If you’re staying anywhere in the area, there’s no beach day that can’t be improved by a stop at Okaloosa Island Pier, whether you want to engage in some exciting fishing action or just soak up the views and the Florida sun.

Insider Tips:
-If you didn’t bring any fishing gear with you but still want to cast a line, that’s no problem. Okaloosa Island Pier has rods and reels available for you to rent.
-The fishing entry fee to the pier includes the cost of a fishing license, so you don’t need to purchase a separate Florida license if you are only going to fish from the pier.