The City of Fort Walton Beach, "The Emerald Coast", is a popular beach and fishing community of 20,000 on Florida's extreme northwest coast, almost in Alabama. Many of its residents enjoy boating because there is so much open water near here. Some of those retirees were formerly connected with the U.S. Air Force, which has 2 huge bases in the area. With its 24 miles of sandy beaches it is also very popular spring break destination. This town has a reputation as a low key beach and fishing town. Part of the city is on a barrier island, the rest is surrounded by Santa Rosa Sound and Choctawhatchee Bay. The resort of Destin is nearby. Fort Walton Beach has a mild climate in the winter, although not as warm as in south Florida. Fort Walton Beach is located in Okaloosa County, Florida.