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Make a Splash: Walton County Water Activities

From scuba diving and snorkeling to fishing and boating, there’s a whole underwater world to discover in Walton County.

With 26 miles of shoreline running along the Gulf of Mexico, easy access to the Choctawhatchee Bay and over a dozen rare coastal dune lakes, spending time on the water in Walton County is a breeze.

After a lazy morning of sunning on the sugar-white beach, feed your sense of adventure and dive deep into South Walton’s turquoise water. Drop a line in the gulf and reel in a big one or rent a stand-up paddleboard and glide over the crystal-clear water. There are plenty of ways to soak up the natural scenery.

Fishing in South Walton

No matter how you choose to enjoy South Walton's waterways, we’re here to help you paddle your way to fun. So let’s dive in!

Whether you’re a fishing fanatic or an amateur angler, fishing in South Walton is a can’t-miss experience. From inshore to offshore, you can charter a boat and hit the water for a reel-life adventure. Catch a cobia with Choctawhatchee Bay Fishing Charters or hook a flounder with Fish Tails 2 Tail Feathers – both offer easy-to-charter boats and bountiful bait. And if you’re ready to reel in a redfish or net a snapper, cast your lines with the help of Lil’ Lucky Fishing Charters or Pharmasea Outfitters. Don’t forget your gear; rent from the pros, or buy your own tackle and bait at Yellowfin Ocean Sports.

Underwater Museum of Art

Ready to dive into adventure? From SCUBA diving to snorkeling, there’s so much to explore beyond the shore. Get up close and personal with marine life and breathtaking artificial reefs with the help of Dive30A. And if you’re looking for a wetsuit-free alternative to snorkeling, rent a reef board with Reef Board Rentals. These lightweight devices are essentially portable viewing windows that allow you to see clearly into the water below. However you choose to explore, make sure to swim by the Underwater Museum of Art, North America’s first permanent underwater sculpture park! With seafloor sculptures designed with aquatic life in mind, this underwater gallery is a must-visit.

Jetskis on Lake Jackson

Aside from snorkeling, there are many other exciting underwater activities to try. Cool off and get your heart pumping with water sports like YOLO boarding, stand-up paddling, waterskiing and so much more. Rent a board and book a lesson with YOLO Board + Beach for the ultimate all-in-one option. If you’re looking for adrenaline-fueled fun, sign up for a waterskiing or wakeboarding class at Pickos Ski and Wakeboard School. Ready to go beyond the ocean and explore South Walton's 15 rare coastal dune lakes? Head over to Boathouse Paddle Club. With a dock directly on Western Lake and equipment galore, you can gear up and explore the lakes in style with a stand-up paddling lesson. And if you’re in the mood for dry-land activities with lake views, sign up for a yoga class and start stretching.

Family Beach Bonfire

For a fun way to spend a day at the beach, get a bird’s eye view with Fort Walton Beach Parasail. They offer family-friendly options with an emphasis on safety, whether you’re sailing high above the water or taking the banana boat out for a spin. And if you’re looking for landlubber-friendly fun, a lesson with Sandcastle Rockstars is a must. These sculpting pros will teach you how to build the sandcastle of your dreams with a can’t-miss interactive group lesson. When you’re ready to wind down by the water after a day at sea, nothing beats a beach picnic or bonfire. Businesses like BOHO30A offer photo-worthy beach picnics straight out of your favorite lifestyle magazine, while Pirate’s Life Beach Bonfires helps build a warming blaze for cool ocean nights.

In the mood for aquatic fun beyond the beach? When the shoreline gets crowded, take a trip north of the Choctawhatchee Bay and revel in the natural beauty of historic towns like DeFuniak Springs, Freeport and Paxton. Canoe or kayak across Paxton’s Lake Jackson for a tranquil taste of leisure time. Bring your camera, and keep your eye out for local wildlife! When you’re through paddling, explore the wooded trails of Lakewood Park for some much-needed shade. Afterward, head over to Freeport and explore the other side of the Choctawhatchee Bay. It’s perfect for crowd-free boating, fishing, paddle boarding and swimming. And don’t forget to pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic on the shores!

However you vacation, don’t be afraid to get your feet wet! A lifetime of fun on the water awaits.

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