is fort walton beach florida a good place to live

Is Fort Walton Beach, Florida a Good Place to Live? [Discover the Truth!]

Overview of Fort Walton Beach, Florida

With its pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and abundant sunshine, Fort Walton Beach is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

From swimming and sunbathing to fishing and boating, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the coastal wonders that this charming city has to offer.

But Fort Walton Beach is more than just a beach town.

Join us as we delve into the many reasons why Fort Walton Beach may just be the perfect place for you to settle down and make it your home.  

Location and Climate

Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is a charming city located in Okaloosa County in the northwest part of the state.

Nestled along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, this coastal paradise is known for its stunning white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters.

The city enjoys a subtropical climate, with mild winters and hot summers.

With an average annual temperature of around 68.5°F (20.3°C), residents can embrace outdoor activities all year round.

Population and Demographics

Fort Walton Beach has a diverse and growing population, making it an active and vibrant community.

According to the most recent data, the city has a population of approximately 22,199 residents.

The demographics of Fort Walton Beach reflect a mix of different age groups, which contributes to a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere.

The median age in the city is around 39 years old, making it an appealing destination for families, young professionals, and retirees alike.

With a strong sense of community, Fort Walton Beach welcomes residents from all walks of life and fosters a close-knit environment that encourages active participation and engagement.

Cost of Living in Fort Walton Beach

When considering a place to live, one important factor to consider is the cost of living.

In Fort Walton Beach, the cost of living is relatively affordable compared to other cities in Florida.

Housing Costs

Housing costs in Fort Walton Beach are moderate when compared to the state average.

Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, you’ll find a range of options to suit your budget.

The median home price in the area is around $250,000, which is slightly below the national average.

Renting is also a popular choice, with one-bedroom apartments averaging around $1,200 per month.

Transportation Costs

Getting around in Fort Walton Beach is convenient and affordable.

The city has a well-connected transportation system, making it easy to navigate the area.

The average commute time is around 20 minutes, which is lower than the national average.

If you prefer to drive, the cost of gasoline is in line with the national average, making owning a car a viable option.

Grocery Costs

When it comes to grocery shopping, Fort Walton Beach has a variety of options to choose from.

You’ll find several supermarkets and grocery stores that cater to different budgets and dietary needs.

The cost of groceries in Fort Walton Beach is comparable to the national average.

So, whether you’re looking for budget-friendly options or specialty items, you’ll be able to find what you need without breaking the bank.

Job Market in Fort Walton Beach

Industries and Employment Opportunities

The job market in Fort Walton Beach offers a range of industries and employment opportunities for residents.

The city is known for its strong economic base, which is supported by sectors such as defense, tourism, technology, healthcare, and education.

These industries provide a diverse array of job prospects, catering to different skill sets and interests.

In terms of defense, Fort Walton Beach is home to several military bases, including Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field.

These installations not only contribute to national defense but also create a significant number of civilian jobs.

From engineering and logistics to administrative and support roles, the defense sector offers a wide range of employment opportunities.

The tourism industry is another thriving sector in Fort Walton Beach.

With its breathtaking beaches and numerous attractions, the city attracts millions of visitors each year.

This influx of tourists creates job opportunities in sectors such as hospitality, restaurants, entertainment, and retail.

From hotel management to surf instructing, there are various roles available for those interested in the tourism industry.

The technology sector is also growing in Fort Walton Beach.

As more companies recognize the benefits of this area, there is an increasing demand for skilled professionals in fields such as software development, cybersecurity, and aerospace technology.

With its proximity to research institutions like the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, Fort Walton Beach offers excellent opportunities for those in the technology field.

Average Salaries and Benefits

Fort Walton Beach offers competitive salaries and benefits, ensuring that residents can enjoy a good quality of life.

While salaries may vary depending on the industry and position, the average income level in Fort Walton Beach is higher than the national average.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary in Okaloosa County, where Fort Walton Beach is located, is $49,150.

This salary level reflects the competitive job market and the economic growth of the region.

In terms of benefits, many employers in Fort Walton Beach offer comprehensive packages, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

The military bases in the area also provide attractive benefits for both military and civilian employees.

Education in Fort Walton Beach

Public Schools

Fort Walton Beach is home to several excellent public schools that strive to provide a quality education to students.

The Okaloosa County School District oversees the public school system in the area and is committed to academic success.

With a range of elementary, middle, and high schools, parents have the opportunity to choose the best fit for their children’s needs.

These schools have dedicated teachers and staff members who are passionate about helping students reach their full potential.

With a variety of extracurricular activities and programs, students have the chance to explore their interests and develop valuable skills.

Private Schools

In addition to the public school options, Fort Walton Beach also has many private schools that offer alternative education choices.

These schools often have smaller class sizes, allowing for more personalized attention to students.

Private schools in the area emphasize academic excellence and provide a nurturing environment for students to learn and grow.

With a focus on individualized instruction and a well-rounded education, private schools in Fort Walton Beach provide families with additional choices for their children’s education.

Higher Education Institutions

For those seeking higher education opportunities, Fort Walton Beach offers access to a variety of colleges and technical schools.

Northwest Florida State College, located nearby in Niceville, provides a range of associate degree programs and vocational training options.

This college is known for its quality education and strong ties to the local community.

Additionally, several technical schools in the area offer specialized training in fields such as healthcare, technology, and skilled trades.

These institutions provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter the workforce or pursue further education.

Healthcare Facilities in Fort Walton Beach

fort walton beach medical center

Hospitals and Medical Centers

Fort Walton Beach is home to several hospitals and medical centers that provide comprehensive healthcare services to residents.

These facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and staffed by highly trained medical professionals.

Here are some notable healthcare institutions in the area:

    • Fort Walton Beach Medical Center: As a full-service hospital, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center offers a wide range of medical services, including emergency care, surgical procedures, maternity care, and specialized treatments. The hospital is committed to delivering high-quality care and has received recognition for its excellence in patient safety.
    • Twin Cities Hospital: Twin Cities Hospital is another reputable healthcare facility in Fort Walton Beach. It provides a variety of services, including emergency care, diagnostic imaging, surgical procedures, and rehabilitation. The hospital focuses on patient-centered care and strives to meet the unique needs of each individual.

Specialty Clinics and Services

In addition to hospitals, Fort Walton Beach has a range of specialty clinics and services that cater to specific healthcare needs.

These clinics are staffed by specialized medical professionals who offer expert care and treatment.

Here are a few notable examples:

    • Orthopedic Specialists: Fort Walton Beach is home to orthopedic specialists who provide comprehensive care for bone, joint, and muscle conditions. These specialists offer services such as orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, joint replacement, and rehabilitation, helping patients recover from injuries or manage chronic conditions.
    • Mental Health Services: Fort Walton Beach also has clinics that specialize in mental health services. These clinics offer counseling, therapy, and psychiatric treatment for individuals dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. The aim is to provide support and help patients improve their overall well-being.
    • Women’s Health Clinics: For women’s health needs, Fort Walton Beach has dedicated clinics that offer a range of services, including obstetrics, gynecology, family planning, and reproductive health. These clinics provide comprehensive care for women of all ages, focusing on preventive measures and empowering women to make informed healthcare decisions.

Recreation and Amenities in Fort Walton Beach

Beaches and Water Activities

Fort Walton Beach is renowned for its stunning white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters.

With miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, residents and visitors alike can indulge in a wide range of water activities.

From swimming and sunbathing to fishing, boating, and jet skiing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The pristine beaches offer the perfect backdrop for picnics, walks, or simply soaking up the sun.

The beachfront also features public beach access points, ensuring that everyone can appreciate the beauty of the shoreline.

Parks and Outdoor Spaces

In addition to its beautiful beaches, Fort Walton Beach boasts a variety of parks and outdoor spaces.

These green havens provide a tranquil escape for residents to unwind and connect with nature.

The city maintains several parks, offering amenities such as playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic areas.

Beasley Park, Liza Jackson Park, and Ferry Park are among the favorites, providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Whether you’re looking to have a family gathering, play sports with friends, or simply enjoy a peaceful walk, these parks cater to all your outdoor needs.

Dining and Entertainment Options

Fort Walton Beach offers a vibrant dining and entertainment scene that caters to a variety of tastes and preferences.

From casual eateries to upscale restaurants, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to satisfying your culinary cravings.

Ample fresh seafood delicacies, savor international flavors, or enjoy classic American fare at the numerous dining establishments throughout the city.

Along with its diverse culinary scene, Fort Walton Beach also provides a range of entertainment options.

Safety and Crime Rates in Fort Walton Beach

Crime Statistics

When considering a place to live, safety is a top priority.

Fort Walton Beach has a reputation for being a safe community with relatively low crime rates.

According to the most recent data, the city’s overall crime rate is below the national average, giving residents peace of mind in their daily lives.

While no place is completely free of crime, Fort Walton Beach takes proactive measures to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.

Police and Emergency Services

Fort Walton Beach is fortunate to have a dedicated and vigilant police force that works tirelessly to keep the city safe.

The Fort Walton Beach Police Department is committed to serving the community, preventing crime, and responding swiftly in emergencies.

Their presence is felt throughout the city, providing a sense of security for residents.

Additionally, the city has well-equipped emergency services that are available around the clock, ensuring rapid response times in case of any emergencies.

Fort Walton Beach’s low crime rates and strong police presence contribute to the overall sense of safety and security in the community.

Residents can feel confident in their decision to live in this beautiful city, knowing that their well-being is a top priority.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fort Walton Beach, Florida


What is the climate like in Fort Walton Beach, Florida?

Fort Walton Beach has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers.

How many people live in Fort Walton Beach?

Approximately 22,199 residents live in Fort Walton Beach.

What is the cost of living in Fort Walton Beach?

Fort Walton Beach offers a balanced mix of affordable housing, reasonable transportation costs, and average grocery expenses.

What industries provide job opportunities in Fort Walton Beach?

Fort Walton Beach has a strong economic base supported by defense, tourism, technology, healthcare, and education sectors.

What education options are available in Fort Walton Beach?

Fort Walton Beach has public schools, private schools, and higher education institutions such as Northwest Florida State College.

What healthcare facilities are there in Fort Walton Beach?

Fort Walton Beach has hospitals, medical centers, specialty clinics, and services like Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Twin Cities Hospital.

What recreational amenities does Fort Walton Beach offer?

Fort Walton Beach offers stunning beaches, water activities, parks, outdoor spaces, dining, entertainment, art galleries, theaters, and live music.

Is Fort Walton Beach a safe community?

Fort Walton Beach has a reputation for being a safe community with relatively low crime rates. The city takes proactive measures to ensure safety and has a dedicated police department and well-equipped emergency services.