Rounding out the tri-county area I have grown up in, we have beautiful Okaloosa County. While there are many things this county holds, perhaps the most famous is Eglin Air Force Base. Eglin holds the title as the largest Air Force base in the world, at over 720 square miles, or 464,000 acres. Because of Eglin, much of Okaloosa County's population is made up of military members, both active and retired. Many become enamored with the local flare and decide to make this their home after travelling the world during their service.
Just like Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, Okaloosa offers fun for the whole family. You can visit Eglin Air Force Base, including the Air Force Armament Museum which houses 29 different air craft and is "the only museum in the world dedicated to the collection, preservation and exhibition of artifacts and memorabilia associated with Air Force Armament and its platforms of delivery". A short drive away you can visit Okaloosa Island and Destin, where you can shop at the Destin Commons, barrel down a water slide at Big Kahunas, or watch dolphins jump at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. Further North, the Emerald Coast Zoo is nestled in Crestview and offers amazing experiences like hopping with kangaroos or petting a sloth.
Education is paramount in Okaloosa County with top-rated elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as Northwest Florida State College for higher education purposes. (Fun fact: I personally attended Baker School, and in 2020, their football team secured the 1A State Championship!) While Okaloosa County is certainly one of the more rural counties, it is far from some dinky backwoods area. There is a perfect balance of land and sea, pasture and pastimes, and education and recreation.
Of course, we can't go without talking about the FOOD! Okaloosa County has so many fun options. Are you a sushi lover? Bamboo Sushi is the way to go. Looking for more of an island vibe? There is nothing better than Pounder's Hawaiian Grill (which we make the hour long drive to all the time. Trust me, it is WORTH IT!). Along the beach there are so many exciting eateries with unique themes and delicious cuisine. Old Bay Steamer offers some of the freshest (and largest) platters of seafood on the Gulf Coast, plus it is perfect for a celebration.
No matter what you are looking for, Okaloosa County offers it. If you want a quiet farm, check out Baker. If you prefer a bustling city, Destin is the way to go. Something in between? Well, that's Crestview! We would love to help you find your perfect scenery. Give us a call and let Faith & Hope Realty, Inc. be your personal tour guides to the perfect home.