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Best Western Fort Walton Beach Hotel

Necee Regis for the boston globe

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FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — One doesn’t usually describe hotel chains as whimsical or fun. But Best Western Fort Walton Beach Hotel manages to be both. In the lobby, lime green walls, beach decor with Art Deco accents, and colorful glass vases shine in light reflected through enormous windows overlooking a heated pool and the sugary white sands of the Gulf of Mexico. Each room has a microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, premium cable channels, and 60 of 100 rooms have private balconies with water views. Wi-Fi, available throughout the property, and breakfast are complimentary. Located on Okaloosa Island, accessible by bridge from Fort Walton Beach, the area is perfect for swimming, paddleboarding, snorkeling, fishing, boating, and other nature activities. In the evening, check out the retro-hip Swizzle Stick Martini Lounge (pictured) where hotel guests and locals gather for cocktails and live entertainment. Offseason rates from $94, high season from $225. 380 Santa Rosa Blvd., 877-550-5316,

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