County Administration

Picture of Destin Harbor and Crab IslandAdministrator's Note

Welcome to beautiful Okaloosa County, Florida! For decades we have been captivated by the white sandy beaches of Destin and Okaloosa Island, the eclectic atmosphere of the Fort Walton Beach area; the history, forests and waterways of Crestview and Baker; and the commerce and sense of community in areas like Niceville and Shalimar. In addition to the nine municipalities that make up Okaloosa County, our community is home to the military members and families of Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field and Duke Field. The United States Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard Presence diversify, enhance and preserve our community and natural resources. Many visit but we’re fortunate enough to call Okaloosa County home.

We have numerous accolades for our soft, white, sandy beaches that include “Best Beach, Best Family Destination and Best Place to Boat,” to name a few. Acclamations are from media outlets such as USA Today, Southern Living, Travelocity, the Travel Channel and most recently, Okaloosa County made the top ten list for “Best Places for Business & Careers,” by Forbes Business Institute.

Major economic indicators include tourism and military, while community leaders are consistently striving for more economic diversity. The success of the tourism industry has provided additional environmental resources through the development of a Marine Resources division of the TDD leading projects including invasive species management, our artificial reef program and beach nourishment initiatives. Citizens were presented with the opportunity and voted to approve the expansion of tourism development or “bed tax” countywide in October 2021.

Okaloosa County’s three airports have another significant impact on the local economy. Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) is a joint-use facility established on Eglin Air Force Base in 1957.  This valuable relationship with Eglin assists our military with convenient, affordable air travel, thereby benefitting local residents as well. With the recent addition of Southwest Airlines, the airport flies direct to more than 50 cities.

The Bob Sikes Airport in Crestview and the Destin Executive Airport are equally diverse, with Crestview rising as a hub of industry, accommodating aerospace industrial applications from across the globe. Bob Sikes Airport recently welcomed the Hsu Foundation’s Aviation Center for Excellence supporting the next generation of STEM education innovators.

In the years(s) to come, we are looking forward to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) expansions to include concourse projects, baggage claims and lobby expansions which will positively impact the ease of access and economic growth. We have 23 infrastructure surtax projects in the planning phases, including the Northwestern Crestview bypass. Women Veteran Monuments will be installed and Veterans Park will celebrate a grand opening for everyone to enjoy on Okaloosa Island. Among other projects, we will begin construction of a brand-new South Okaloosa County Agriculture Extension Facility.

The innovative design, future growth enhancements and overall technology of these facilities and projects are setting a new standard for economic excellence. The five elected Okaloosa County Commissioners are dedicated to connecting our communities and providing essential services, public safety, and quality of life for the county’s 210,738 citizens and for future generations.