U.S. AIR FORCE ARMAMENT MUSEUM
The exciting Air Force Armament Museum is located just outside the main gate of Eglin Air Force Base, on State Road 85 South, not far from Niceville. The museum is popular with both locals and visitors to the area. It features over 1,000 artifacts and memorabilia, a theater, gun vault, outside exhibits, picnic area and gift shop. One of the key attractions is the SR-71 Blackbird, a supersonic spy plane, which is located in front of the museum building with several other aircraft on display.
The MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs), designed and developed at Eglin AFB, is one of the popular attractions at the museum. Other attractions include such Air Force aircraft as a B-52, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25, P-51, P-47, F-15, A-10, F-111 and a variety of others. The museum, which provides an overview of the history of the U.S. Air Force, is the only such facility in the country dedicated to the display of both Air Force aircraft and armaments.
HERITAGE MUSEUM OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA
The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, located in nearby historic downtown Valparaiso, celebrates the rich and fascinating history of northwest Florida, covering the full span of the region’s history from prehistoric times to the mid-twentieth century. It’s a wonderful place to learn about the heritage of the Boggy area and is fun for children and adults alike. Permanent and temporary exhibits at the museum focus on economic and social history with emphasis on early Native American inhabitants, the era of pioneer settlement, agricultural development, the lumber and naval stores industries, fishing, Boggy Bayou, the coming of the railroad, the impact of new technologies and changes associated with the establishment of Eglin Air Force Base.
The museum offers free lectures and other programs and makes its research library available to all at no charge. To keep traditional handcrafts alive, it sponsors classes in basketry, quilting, tatting, weaving, spinning and lace making. Public events sponsored by the museum include “Saturday in the Park” in the spring and the “Yule of Yesteryear” celebration in December. The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida is located at 115 Westview Avenue in Valparaiso.
FRED GANNON ROCKY BAYOU STATE PARK
If you love the outdoors you will want to spend some of your free time a at Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park, located on Highway 20, just east of Niceville.
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is located on the north shore of Choctawhatchee Bay and bordered by the Rocky Bayou Aquatic Preserve. Visitors to the park can enjoy canoeing and kayaking, viewing aquatic wildflowers and spotting osprey nests, and observing wildlife in its natural environment.
Facilities include campgrounds with electricity and water, swimming area, boat launch, freshwater fishing, picnic area, playground and nature trails.
Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is open year round. Hours. There is a small admission charge.
BOGGY BAYOU MULLET FESTIVAL
The wildly popular festival features plenty of food, arts & crafts, entertainment, fellowship and family fun. Held the third weekend in October in Niceville at the Mullet Festival Grounds (State Road 85 North at College Boulevard).
DOOLITTLE RAIDERS HISTORY EXHIBIT
This permanent history display honors the Doolittle Raiders. The World War II heroes trained at Eglin Air Force Base for their historic Tokyo bombing raid. The exhibit is located in the lobby of the Raiders Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College. The NWFS Raiders are named for the Doolittle raiders.