50 Things to do Near Military Bases in Florida: A Quick & Easy Guide
50 Things to Do Near Military Bases in Florida
Florida is known for being home to huge theme parks and some of the most famous beaches in the world. It’s also one of the most popular states to visit because of its warm climate and yes, there so many many things to do in Florida. Lesser known for its large military infrastructure with 21 bases spread throughout the territory, mainly in coastal areas, thousands of military families call the Sunshine State home or spend their holiday block leave here to soak up the sun, sea and sand.
Largest Military Base in Florida
Fun Fact: Eglin Air Force Base has been in operation since 1935 and is Florida's most extensive military base. Eglin has a range of U.S. military departments, with weapons systems, a test wing for crewless aircraft, fighters, bombers, and associated weapons systems. There’s also a special forces group based in Eglin that provides support to the Latin American region. It also has an attachment that evaluates air-launched weapons, navigation systems, guidance, and tests Air Force Special Operations Command systems.
If you’re searching for fun things to do near Eglin Air Force Base – or any of the military bases in Florida, keep reading for the full facts and tips. Each base has its own special collection of things to do nearby – here are some of our favorites!
What to Do Near Hurlburt Field Air Force Base in Mary Esther, FL
1 | Surge Trampoline Park Fort Walton | This is a great place to go for exercising and entertaining kids and teens. It features wall-to-wall trampolines, a battle beam, a climbing wall, basketball lanes, and foam pits. Surge Trampoline Park Fort Walton is the perfect place to burn off energy and have fun with the family.
WHERE: 300 Mary Esther Blvd, Mary Esther, FL 32569 | WHO: 850-226-4334
2 | The Ratchet Hatchet | The Ratchet Hatchet is unique. It is dedicated to axe throwing – a now popularized past time in the U.S. Here you can rent an axe throwing lane, throw Rifleman and Viking axes, and the tomahawk whether you’re a novice or are skilled at throwing.
WHERE: 304 Perry Ave SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 | WHO: 850-533-4014
3 | Just Chute Me Parasail | Just Chute Me Parasail is a family-owned and operated company that provides the best parasailing experience in Destin, Florida. You can choose how high you want to be lifted and enjoy the amazing panoramic views of the Emerald Coast beaches.
WHERE: 500 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541 | WHO: 850-650-4630
What to Do Near Patrick Air Force Base in Brevard, FL
4 | Brevard County Farmers Market | This market was founded in 2005 and specializes in local, seasonal produce. It also features jams, coffee, olives, plants, bread, and soaps. It opens from 3 to 6 every Thursday, and has a cheerful vibe with live music.
WHERE: 2500 Parkway Dr, Melbourne FL 32935 | WHO: 321 633-1702 ext. 52323
5 | Good Natured River Tours | This is a highly recommended activity that takes guests through parts of the Brevard County estuary in the Indian River Lagoon and Banana River. On this guided tour, you can see alligators, dolphins, manatees, and wild birds.
WHERE: 6075 Nth, US-1, Melbourne, FL 32940 | WHO: 321-987-0088
6 | Coconuts on the Beach | Coconuts on the Beach is in Cocoa Beach and offers great drinks and food. This place has a vibrant beach atmosphere and live band.
WHERE: 2 Minutemen Causeway, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: 321-784-1422
7 | Kennedy Space Center | Learn about the NASA space shuttle program in this unique shuttle launch simulation experience at an aeronautics center! Visitors have the opportunity to meet astronauts and learn about future space exploration missions!
WHERE: Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899 | WHO: 321-867-5000
What to Do Near Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, FL
8 | Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium | This bright museum takes you on a journey into the world of Robert Ripley, hosting weird, mysterious and bizarre collections that will delight and interest the entire family. With oddities assembled from around the world, as well as optical illusions, skeletons and a kid’s crawl area, there’s something for everyone at this destination.
WHERE: 9907 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407 | WHO: 850-882-1110
9 | Coconut Creek Family Fun Park | Coconut Creek Family Fun Park is one of the best attractions in Panama City Beach. You can play 18-hole miniature golf and try out your navigation skills in a huge maze. It also has a mini rainforest of shady palm trees and beautiful creeks. Plus, children under 5 years old can enter free of charge.
WHERE: 9807 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407 | WHO: 850-234-2625
10 | Camp Holly Airboat Rides | Here you can catch an airboat ride, go to the restaurant, have a drink at the bar, check the gift shop, or just enjoy the lovely dock from an overlook tower. While on the boat, you can spy alligators and take advantage of photo ops.
WHERE: 6901 US-192, Melbourne, FL 32904 | WHO: 321-723-2179
What to Do Near MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL
11 | Fiorelli Winery & Vineyard | Visit the family-owned and operated Fiorelli Winery & Vineyard located in the hills of eastern Manatee County. This is a perfect place for foodies: Wine tastings, luncheons, special events, and gift stores.
WHERE: 4250 Waterbury Road, Co Rd 675, Bradenton, FL 34211 | WHO: 941-322-0976
12 | Tampa Bay Water Bike Company | For water bike enthusiasts, the Tampa Bay Water Bike Company is the place to be. It opens its doors from 10 a.m. to dusk seven days a week. You can also explore Tampa's waterways – the best way to get to know this area.
WHERE: Boat Slip 15, 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602 | WHO: 813-465-8025
13 | Walt Disney World | From Tampa, take a trip up Interstate 4 to Orlando and visit Florida’s best-known attraction – Disney World. Home of the Happiest Place on Earth and land of magic and Mickey, Disney is a dream come through spot for millions across the world.
WHERE: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL | WHO: 407-939-5277
What to Do Near Homestead Air Reserve Military Base in Miami, FL
14 | Monkey Jungle Park | Located in a natural subtropical forest, this park is home to over 300 primates and specializes in the conservation of endangered monkeys. It also boasts numerous species of tropical fauna living in an ecosystem very similar to their natural habitat. Nature and animals lovers can take a guided tour with shows and performances. It is perfect for events like birthday parties and festivals and family outings.
WHERE: 14805 SW 216th St, Miami, FL 33170 | WHO: 305-235-1611
15 | Redland Market Village | The Redland Market Village Flea Market includes a farmers’ market, food festival, and live entertainment all in one. The whole family will love sampling all different kinds of cuisine from the 22 international food trucks.
WHERE: 24420 S Dixie Hwy, Princeton, FL 33032 | WHO: 305-257-4335
What to do near Eglin Air Force Base in Valparaiso, FL
16 | Air Force Armament Museum | This is the only museum dedicated to the exhibition of artifacts related to the Air Force. It’s also committed to the conservation and repair of memorabilia. This museum has unique pieces of historical weaponry, such as bombs, missiles, and cannons, and a fleet of 29 aircrafts.
WHERE: 100 Museum Dr, Eglin AFB, FL 32542 | WHO: 850-882-4062
17 | Crab Island | This expansive sandbar is located near the Marler Bridge in Destin, Florida. Crab Island is popular with sailors who moor their boats and catch stingrays. Charter a boat with Crab Island Pontoons for a trip to this spot to wade in warm, shallow waters for the day.
WHERE: 102 Harbor Blvd, Destin, FL 32541| WHO: 832-450-1206
18 | Adventures Unlimited | Adventures Unlimited offers plenty of fun outdoor options. You can camp along Coldwater Creek, and go canoeing, kayaking, or tubing. You can also take the canopy tour at the Milton, Florida location, or rent a cabin or cottage with friends and family.
WHERE: 8974 Tomahawk Landing Rd, Milton, FL 32570 | WHO: 850-623-6197
What to Do Near Camp Blanding Army Base in Starke, FL
19 | Arcade Bar | If arcade games are your thing, the Arcade Bar in Gainesville is your place. It's perfect for a fun night out with friends. Among its attractions are Pacman, Pinball, and Galaga. There’s an 80's themed - and even an open-air disco with a DJ.
WHERE: 6 E University Ave Gainesville, FL 32601 | WHO: N/A
20 | Camp Blanding Museum | The Camp Blanding Museum is an excellent option if you feel in the mood for a cultural activity. In this museum, you will find unique pieces from World War II and the Vietnam War with highly knowledgeable on-site guides to tell you all about the collection.
WHERE: 5629 FL-16 #3040, Starke, FL 32091 | WHO: 904-682-3196
What to Do Near the Coast Guard Air Force Base Clearwater in Clearwater, FL
21 | Orange County Choppers Road House & Museum | This place is the number one destination for motorcycle enthusiasts in the State of Florida. It features a restaurant, concert venue, and motorcycle-centric museum. It even has custom choppers from the hit TV show American Choppers. Here you will find one of the largest restaurants in the state! You can enjoy live music, darts, billiards, and football.
WHERE: 10575 49th St N, Clearwater, FL 33762 | WHO: 727-231-1510
22 | The Exit Games | This place is perfect for lovers of immersive experiences. It’s an escape room where you will have to use your skills to solve puzzles and pass levels. You can also opt to take on character roles to make the experience even more fun.
WHERE: 620 Lakeview Rd, Clearwater, FL 33756 | WHO: 727-601-4978
What to Do Near the Coast Guard Military Base District 7 in Miami, FL
23 | Serena Rooftop | While in Miami, you can head to Serena Rooftop, located inside the Moxy Miami South Beach. Enjoy sunset craft cocktail and outdoor dining overlooking South Beach.
WHERE: 915 Collins Ct, Miami, FL 33139 | WHO: 305-306-0776
24 | Skyviews Miami | You can also visit Bayside Marketplace and ride the Skyviews Miami observation wheel. This Ferris wheel climbs 200 feet above Bayside Marketplace and offers a beautiful view of Biscayne Bay, Bayfront Park, and downtown Miami. The ride lasts approx. 15 minutes.
WHERE: 401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132 | WHO: 786-529-7177
What to Do Near ISC Miami Coast Guard Station in Miami Beach, FL
25 | Wynwood Walls | This spot is home to a series of colorful, impressive murals and sculptures. There’s also a DJ who plays music, plus, a gift shop and an ice cream stand.
WHERE: 266 NW 26th St, Miami, FL 33127 | WHO: 305-531-4411
26 | Museum of Illusions | This is a great place to spend some family time and take some truly amazing photos with the illusion walls. Staff there will instruct you on the best angles for the illusions to work perfectly, and there are two floors full of walls to choose from. You can bring your own camera or pay extra to get your photos taken professionally.
WHERE: 536 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, FL 33139 | WHO: 305-604-5000
What to Do Near Marine Corps Base Blount Island Command in Jacksonville, FL
27 | Autobahn Indoor Speedway | Known as a hidden gem, this activity center has axe throwing, a video game and virtual reality area. Plus, for motorsports enthusiasts, it has a 50 mph go-kart track and custom-designed tracks. Enjoy the top-notch service and food in between all the fun.
WHERE: 6601 Executive Park Ct N, Jacksonville, FL 32216 | WHO: 904-425-5005
28 | The Sunset Tiki Bar | A cozy setting on the marina, it’s the perfect stop for a drink. The menu boasts a wide variety of drinks, from beers to cocktails. Plus, if you go during happy hour, you can count on a $2 discount per drink.
WHERE: 3108 US-17, Fleming Island, FL 32003 | WHO: 904-600-2543
What to Do Near Corry Navy Base Training Center in Pensacola, FL
29 | Fort Pickens Gulf Islands National Park | This recreational park has it all: swimming, fishing, biking, hiking, bird watching, camping, and ranger-led programs. Visiting hours are Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: 1400 Fort Pickens Rd, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561 | WHO: N/A
30 | Old Pensacola Village | Part of Pensacola's historic complex, this site offers guests the opportunity to see history come to life. Living history interpreters share how people lived in the past through demonstrations and interactions. Activities include open hearth cooking, gardening, butter churning, candle making, and more. It’s open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m Tuesday to Saturday, with restricted opening on Sundays.
WHERE: West, 24 Zaragoza St, Pensacola, FL 32502 | WHO: 850-595-5993
What to Do Near NAS Jacksonville Military Base in Jacksonville, FL
31 | Sea Serpent Tours | If you like river activities, this place offers an opportunity to explore the shallow water habitats of the Saint Johns River. You can appreciate its natural beauty with hydro bikes, kayaks, or an airboat guided tour.
WHERE: 6550 FL-13 N, St. Augustine, FL 32092 | WHO: 904-495-4200
32 | One Way Out Escape Room | A fun, interactive puzzle, One Way Out offers live adventures designed as if it you’re in a Hollywood movie, with puzzles, twists, and turns. You can go with a group of friends and form a team to gather the necessary clues to complete your mission. Hours are Mondays through Fridays from 1 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
WHERE: 8011 Philips Hwy Ste 4, Jacksonville, FL 32256 | WHO: 904-312-9984
33 | Splitz of Orange Park | This is a place to enjoy with the family. There is an extensive games section, a bowling alley and a bar. Here, it‘s impossible to get bored!
WHERE: 6155 Youngerman Cir, Jacksonville, FL 32244 | WHO: 904-272-2695
What to Do Near NAS Key West Naval Military Base in Key West, FL
34 | Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant | The concept behind this restaurant was created in 2003 when Dani Johnson made such a delicious dessert for her husband Len that he said the phrase that gives this place its name. This restaurant has almost 1,400 positive reviews on Yelp.com, and has been a roaring success since it opened its doors in 2008. The opening hours are Wednesdays to Sundays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
WHERE: 926 Simonton St, Key West, FL 33040 | WHO: 305-296-8102
35 | The Hemingway Home & Museum | If you’re a fan of Ernest Hemingway, this is a must for you. After he died in 1961, his home was renovated and reopened as a museum. It’s considered a National Historic and Literary Monument, recognized by the Library of Congress for its importance in the literary history of the United States. To visit it you can go any day of the week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: 907 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040 | WHO: 305-294-1136
36 | Dry Tortugas National Park | Key West might be the end of the line in Florida, but it’s the jumping-off point to visit this unique coral reef park and beautiful island beaches. Take a dive to visit Windjammer Wreck, a shipwreck that’s nearly 150 years old!
WHERE: Dry Torgugas, FL | WHO: 305-242-7700
What to Do Near NAS Mayport Naval Base in Duval, FL
37 | Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park | The ultimate camping spot. You can ride a bike on the beach, walk extensive trails, go to the water park, enjoy restaurants, kayaking and more. It also has a recreation area for children, which makes it an ideal place to visit with families. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
WHERE: 500 Wonderwood Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32233 | WHO: 904-255-6767
38 | Jacksonville Beach Seawalk Pavilion | If you like the beach and attending events, this place is for you. You can spend hours visiting booths, food trucks, craft stores, etc. There are more than 100 booths of all kinds. It’s a beautiful area with lots going on – lively night walks are especially enjoyable.
WHERE: 75 1st St N, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 | WHO: 904-247-6236
What to Do Near NAS Pensacola Navy Base in Pensacola, FL
39 | Uncle Sandy’s Macaw Bird Park | Located very close to the base, this beautiful bird sanctuary is a unique experience for a great day out. The park is a non-profit organization and has many bird species, such as macaws, amazons, cockatoos, among others. This place is open Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Make sure to make an appointment – they don’t accept credit cards, so plan accordingly.
WHERE: 9513 N Palafox St, Pensacola, FL 32534 | WHO: 850-270-2130
40 | Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum | This museum is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there is ample parking next to the Naval Aviation Museum. The price is $7 for adults and $4 for children under 12. Climb the 177 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a spectacular view.
WHERE: 2081 Radford Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32508 | WHO: 850-393-1561
What to Do Near NAS Whiting Field Naval Base in Milton, FL
41 | Arcadia Mill | This archaeological site is set in the remains of a 19th century mill. The attraction has nature trails you can follow with the whole family to explore the natural surroundings as well as the history of the area. The boardwalk makes it easy to navigate, and there are maps and information boards.
WHERE: 5709 Mill Pond Ln, Milton, FL 32583 | WHO: 850-626-3084
42 | Milton Riverwalk | If you want a quiet day by the river, Milton Riverwalk will give you what you need. There are benches shaded by trees, with a beautiful wide promenade and a pavilion at one end. Many people frequent this place to relax and read; other visitors enjoy a nice picnic with the sound of the flowing river nearby. It’s a haven of peace.
WHERE: Riverwalk St, Milton, FL 32570 | WHO: N/A
What to Do Near the Autec Complex Military Naval Base in West Palm Beach, FL
43 | Manatee Lagoon | An FPL Eco-Discovery Center, this is a great opportunity to explore the world of manatees. You are not guaranteed to see them, as they are in a controlled habitat, but it has an augmented reality room to see tropical terrain with exceptional views. In addition, the manatee lagoon is a cool and pleasant place to spend the day. Open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of the week.
WHERE: 6000 N Flagler Dr, West Palm Beach, FL 33407 | WHO: 561-626-2833
44 | Rosemary Square | A beautiful area to shop and walk at your lesiure, Rosemary Square was established in 2000. Here, you’ll find numerous restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and green spaces. Open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
WHERE: 700 S Rosemary Ave Suite 200, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 | WHO: 561-366-1000
45 | Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens | A place dedicated to the sculptures of this gifted artist. The house is located on a quiet residential street and surrounded by beautiful gardens. Walk through the artist’s studio and gardens viewing the many sculptures on display. They’re open Wednesdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: 253 Barcelona Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 | WHO: 561-832-5328
What to do Near the Naval Air Warfare Center Military Base in Orlando, FL
46 | Universal Studios | Home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this place will delight every fan of Harry Potter books or movies. Inside this theme park you can visit the iconic Hogwarts Castle and explore the town of Hogsmeade.
WHERE: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819 | WHO: 407-363-8000
47 | Arcade Monsters | If video games are your thing, this is a must. Arcade Monsters is considered the largest retro arcade in the country, housing nearly 200 games. It has about 100 arcade machines, rhythm games, pinball, virtual reality, and console games. It also has an excellent food menu and wine, craft beer, and natural slushies. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day of the week.
WHERE: 15 Alafaya Woods Blvd #117, Oviedo, FL 32765 | WHO: 407-542-4499
What to do Near the Panama City Military Base NAS in Panama City, FL
48 | Panhandle Helicopter | This company offers an aerial tour service where you can see the most spectacular beaches in the area. The service is available Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and they offer aerial tours of the Emerald Coast.
WHERE: 15726 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413 | WHO: 850-230-2080
49 | Sea Screamer | The best way to experience the beauty of Panama City Beach is by going on a Sea Screamer cruise. The boat has twin propellers and a spacious 73 feet of space. It’s a smooth ride, but exciting too. You can also go on a sunset ride.
WHERE: 3605 Thomas Dr, Panama City, FL 32408 | WHO: 850-233-9107
50 | St Andrews State Park | St. Andrews State Park is a perfect place to enjoy nature. It is a state park with campsites for overnight camping or longer stays. During the day, you can go to the beach, go snorkeling or visit the Island of Shells.
WHERE: 4607 State Park Ln, Panama City, FL 32408 | WHO: 850-708-6100
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If you are living at, close to or visiting one of these many military bases in Florida, we hope you have discovered that there are plenty of fun things nearby – and this list is by no means complete. Check out our Travel Blog for even more ideas and tips!
At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your Gatlinburg vacation awaits! Explore our Gatlinburg resorts today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.
* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.
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