5 Attractions Near Eglin AFB
Heading to Eglin AFB? For beach and outdoor lovers, Eglin AFB is the jackpot of duty stations!
With year-round good weather, the pristine white beaches of the Emerald Coast, and the prevalence of military families and veterans in the area (nearby military installations include Corry Station, Duke Field, Hurlburt Field, NAS Whiting Field, NSA Panama City, Pensacola Naval Hospital, and Tyndall AFB), you’re living in a coveted vacation destination. (New to the area? Start here with our Eglin AFB base information page!)
Once you’ve had your fill of beach life (is it ever enough??), you might find time to explore some other attractions and things to do near Eglin AFB.
Reminder: Check with each destination for current hours and restrictions.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.–3 p.m., closed Sundays and Mondays.
Housed in a building that dates back to 1925, tour beautiful galleries while you’re surrounded in history. With over 30 exhibitions a year, the fine art is ever changing! Great for a family day out, the Panama City Center for the Arts has free admission. The venue also hosts music and film events throughout the year, including unique events like their Haunted Walking Tour, and offers creative classes and workshops.
Hours: Monday- Saturday: 10 am– 4 p.m. Closed Sundays.
- Kids $8 / Seniors (Age 60 and up) $8 / Adults $10
- Kids 2 and under are free
- Military and group discounts available
This interactive and educational museum promotes STEM outreach with touchable exhibits and activities. Learn about all science topics such as robotics, dinosaurs, sea turtles, space, live animals, women in science, and more. Great for hosting a birthday party or field trip! The Center also offers virtual and in-school learning opportunities.
Bristol, FL 32321
Hours: 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. on public run days (check website)
Admission: No charge on public run days, but donations appreciated.
Love trains? Put on your engineer’s cap and head out for a fun family outing to the Veterans Memorial Railroad. With its restored locomotives, the railroad has been entertaining families for years. Learn some history, play on the playground, and enjoy the only coal-fired live steam train operating in any public park in the state. (Note: at the time of this post, public run days have been put on hold due to COVID-19 concerns. Continue checking back for re-openings!)
Looking for Eglin AFB housing? Take a tour of this home in nearby Fort Walton Beach!
- 3 Bed, 2 Bath (Single Family)
- For Sale: $420,000
- MBO Listing #MBO1472563
Minutes from both Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field, this 2100-square-foot home has three bedrooms along with a flex room/4th bedroom. Check out the amenities! This home is only three years old and features plantation shutters throughout, a 9-foot kitchen island, all stainless appliances, upgraded slide-in glass top range, engineered hardwood floors, and a walk-in tile shower and master roman tub. The family room has a surround sound system; even the back patio is wired! With a fully landscaped yard, large patio, attached 2-car garage, and upgraded lighting and plumbing fixtures throughout, there’s so much about this house for your family to love. Click the listing above to view more photos and information.
Marianna, FL 32446
Hours: 8 a.m. until sundown, 365 days a year. Cave tours are available daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: $5 per vehicle
Cave tour fees:
- Children 2 and under: No fee
- Ages 3 to 12: $5 per person
- Ages 13 and up: $10.75 per person
Who loves spelunking? (The hobby of exploring caves!) Venture below ground and enjoy the cool air while you take a cave tour and view the beautiful formations: stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, and flowstones. The cavern offers a 45-minute guided tour. Nearby Chipola River and Blue Hole Spring are perfect to get out on the water or fish. This area is also great for horseback riding, camping, and hiking.
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
Hours: Open 7 days a week, closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
- Adult (13-64) $24.95
- Senior (65+) $23.95
- Children (2-12) $19.95
- Under 2 Free
- Military and Law Enforcement receive 15% off admission.
Though a little bit of a drive, many military families say it’s worth the trip! The Gulf Breeze Zoo is about 30 miles west of Eglin AFB and offers 50 acres of wildlife adventures. Ride on the safari train, experience animal encounters, explore the aviary and farm, and hand feed the animals. Fun for your whole family!
Find even more adventures near Eglin AFB: 13 Things to Do Near Eglin AFB.
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