We all know the Gulf of Mexico is covered with the most GORGEOUS beaches EVER!

Since vising Fort Lauderdale awhile back, I fell in love with Florida. I wanted to go back again and again. I can honestly say Florida is my favorite place after Las Vegas. I wouldn’t mind moving there one day. I LOVE it that much! Have you been?

Last year during winter, I was eager to find a beach destination. One that’s beautiful, quiet, walkable and a good time. That’s when I came across Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach! It was the perfect holiday destination! Plus, a great way to end 2023!

Fort Walton Beach’s Okaloosa Island is a long thin white sandy strip of land between Destin and Navarre. We arrived soon after the end of tourist season, and locals informed us that during the summer everywhere is bustling with visitors. While some of the restaurants and shops were closed for winter, I’m happy we felt like we were the only ones there. It was an absolute paradise!

The most striking thing about this beach is the sand itself. It’s sparkling white and looks like snow. I’ve never seen anything like it. I was constantly taking pictures of it because I couldn’t believe it. hahaha!

We stayed at Four Points hotel right on the beach with the most stunning sunrise/sunset panoramic views. Every morning I looked forward to getting out on the balcony enjoying the beauty. Also, each morning was filled with the warmest and sweetest breakfast from Oasis Cafe and Boutique right on the boardwalk. There you can find all your beach necessities and some yummy treats.

Floral Cardigan Purple Sneakers Bag

I can’t say it was the warmest while we were there, but one day was as sunny as it could get for a December holiday. So on that day I took the opportunity to go into the water. For some reason a beach vacation for me doesn’t really count unless I dip into the water and relax on the sand to the sound of the waves. It was AMAZING! There were lots of dolphins getting in their morning swim. I also got a private show of one jumping straight up above the water leaving me in awe. I’ll never forget it!!!

To get into the holiday spirit, we caught the local annual holiday parade. Family and kids gathered to celebrate, dance and collect candy from the passing themed floats. It was fun to watch! For the size of the town, Fort Walton’s parade felt huge. There was so much variety. It was organized so well. The holiday CHEER was present on every street!

For me the best part about finding small town beach vacations like this is that we can walk anywhere. From the hotel to the coffee shop. From the coffee shop back to the hotel then to the lunch place close by. It’s so convenient, fun and feels great having a break from driving.

Just like that on the first day, we came across Stewby’s Seafood Shanty Restaurant, which was close to our hotel. You’ve got to try it. The food was so delicious! I can imagine this place being so popular in the summer, the “IT SPOT” for all locals.

We spent a day exploring Destin, Florida also known as the “Heart of the Emerald Coast”. It’s a very popular destination when it comes to Spring Breakers. We were lucky to have it all to ourselves.

While many of the bars, shops and restaurants were closed when walking the boardwalk, we came in luck when we went to McGuire’s Irish Pub for lunch. One of the coolest places ever because from the ceiling to the floors it’s covered in dollar bills, each signed by people who have visited from all over the world. Turns out there are more than one million dollars hanging. Also, the pizza and beer we had with the nice atmospheric candle lit lunch made for one memorable, satisfying meal. After, I didn’t want to go home!

And with a blink of an eye this vacation came to an end. It was so MAGICAL to be by the beach in December. I wouldn’t mind doing the same thing at the end of each year. I love the beach all year round! It’s just so fun and relaxing to experience it when it’s the off-season. A complete serene mirage!

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  1. Wow, stunning photos! I’d love to visit one day and see the shops and beach for myself!

    • Your photos are gorgeous!! Ok I’ve been to Florida and it has some really nice and clean beaches. I never been to Fort Walton, it sounds so nostalgic to the beaches I used to visit as a kid. What a fun thing to do in December because I like the beach year round and that is definitely something I would do over and over again too.

      Natonya |
      Stylish.Natonya on Instagram

    • Avatar photo

      Thank you! I hope you get the chance to do it all! 😉

  2. Such incredible photos!!! You’re becoming over-professional!
    I’d love to have a vacation in Mexico anyway!!!
    And judging by your post sounds even better than what I’ve imagined!

  3. This looks like a great trip. My friend lives in Tampa/St Petersburg and it is nice. I think I would liked Miami and The Keys. I did live in Florida as a child in Port Richie and New Port Richie I did not like it, it was very backwards and very racist. But that was another time. Hopefully it has changed.

    I LOVE your photos they are wonderful and really bring your trip to life!

    Allie of

  4. Beautiful photos! This sounds like such a fun trip! Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. I love floral clothes :D

  6. Your exploration of the Gulf of Mexico as a winter destination is like a refreshing breeze on a warm day—invigorating and full of promise! Your article effortlessly captures the allure of this stunning region during the winter months, painting a vivid picture of sun-drenched shores and endless adventure. Thank you for shining a spotlight on this hidden gem and inspiring us to discover its wonders firsthand!

  7. Your article on the Gulf of Mexico as a winter destination is absolutely delightful! Your insights into its charm during the colder months are both informative and enticing. It’s evident you’ve poured your passion for travel into this piece, making it a joy to read. Thank you for painting such a vivid picture of this stunning destination!

  8. Beautiful! I’d love to be there right now! :)


  9. These photos are lovely. It sounds like such a beautiful destination!

    Emilia |

  10. Mica - Away From The Blue

    It looks like such a beautiful place to stay and I love your bright purple sneakers! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Danielle Beautyblog

    Love your photos! This looks like a great trip! xx

    Danielle’s Beauty Blog

  12. Florida really has so many hidden gems. This looks like one of them.

  13. Wow your pictures are SO stunning! They could be printed in a magazine :)
    I was in Mexico last year for the first time for a wedding and I loved it so much. Can´t wait to explore more of the country!
    have a great weekend,

  14. I always fall in love with your photos wherever you go! Something about your photography makes every place you ever visited look super magical. <3

  15. Okaloosa island sounds like an absolute dream, especially with those breathtaking sunrise and sunset views! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing experience! xx

    Lenne |

  16. Just perfect photos, amazing post


  17. Beautiful place for vacation. We love visiting small towns on our road trips. I have never been to Maimi. Hope to visit some day. :-)
    Via |

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