The Air Force Armament Museum, which opened to the public in 1976, is the only museum in the world dedicated to the collection, preservation and exhibition of artifacts and memorabilia associated with Air Force Armament and its platforms of delivery. The museum has become an important, educational, cultural and social landmark over recent years. Admittance to the museum is free. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and is closed on Sunday and federal holidays. To learn more about the museum, visit AFArmamentMuseum.com.
Destin History & Fishing Museum
Within the walls of the Destin History & Fishing Museum one will find a large collection of antique fishing rods and reels (one that even belonged to Ernest Hemingway) and award-winning examples of fish caught in Destin. The museum also contains vintage photographs of early Destin settlers, boat captains, boats, beach scenes, businesses and so much more. The museum grounds also house the oldest seine fishing boat still in existence, The Primrose, which was built in 1925. Destin History & Fishing Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For admission costs and more information on the museum, visit DestinHistoryandFishingMuseum.org.
Emerald Coast Science Center
The Emerald Coast Science Center invites you to discover the difference a hands-on scientific encounter can make. Featuring touchable, workable exhibits that teach about natural phenomena and basic scientific principles, ECSC strives to inspire and grow a scientifically engaged community. In 2014, ECSC relocated to a new building on Memorial Parkway, where they now enjoy over 5,000 additional square feet, two classroom spaces, four exhibit rooms, and a modern Robotics exhibit. 2017 will see the installation of an exhibit highlighting local ecosystems and the renovation of the current Reptiles and Amphibians exhibit. visit ecscience.org.
Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida
The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida opened in 1971 and is located on the original main street of Valparaiso, Florida. The oldest part of the building was the second home of Valparaiso State (now Vanguard) Bank. In 1964, the building became the first home of Okaloosa-Walton (Junior) College. The museum is operated by the Heritage Museum Association, Inc. The museum keeps traditional crafts alive through its popular Heritage Alive! Craft series, which includes knitting, crocheting, pine needle basketry, fiber rush weaving and tatting/bobbin lace. The museum’s hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For entrance fees and to learn more about the museum, please visit Heritage-Museum.org.
Heritage Park & Cultural Center
This park comprises the Indian Temple Mound Museum, Fort Walton Temple Mound, Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, Garnier Post Office Museum and Civil War Exhibits. The Heritage Park & Cultural Center is an educational and cultural institution of long-standing traditions. Its mission is to preserve, interpret and present the prehistory and history of the Fort Walton Beach community and the Northwest Florida area from 14,000 B.C. through the 1950s. The center serves students, citizens and visitors through exhibits, educational programs, publications and special events. For information on when these museums are open, visit FWB.org/Museums/.
Walton County Heritage Museum
Inside the doors of the Walton County Heritage Museum lie black and white photographs, old spices and toys from Allison’s Grocery, books by Isabella Alden and vintage clothes, shoes, hats, feathers and jewelry from all over. The museum is full of interesting exhibits that preserve the history and heritage of Walton County, Florida. It is open Tuesday through Saturday 1-4 p.m. or by appointment. Admission is free. To learn more about the museum, visit WaltonCountyHeritage.org.
Wesley Mansion at Eden Gardens State Park
The Wesley Mansion is located at the 161-acre Eden Gardens State Park in Santa Rosa Beach. The two-story house consists of many, elegant white columns and a wrap-around porch. In 1963, Lois Maxon bought and renovated the home, creating a showplace for her family heirlooms and antiques. The house holds the second largest known collection of Louis XVI furniture in the United States. Visitors can also take a walk along the grounds and enjoy the picnic area. The park is open 8 a.m. to sundown, 365 days a year. Guided tours of the mansion are available hourly Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., including holidays. For more information on the Wesley Mansion and Eden Gardens State Park, please visit FloridaStateParks.org/EdenGardens.
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