Whether you live in the city or nearby, Niceville is a wonderful community to call home.
Located in Niceville, Swift Creek is a planned community that capitalizes the area’s natural beauty.
Swift Creek boasts very roomy lots, streetlights, coordinating mailboxes, a swimming pool, basketball, and tennis area. Family-friendly sidewalks line roads that meander along wooded hills. The Family Park, with playground, and amenities such as barbeque grills, picnic tables, and gazebos make for easy family gatherings. The nature trail winds through the community, offering beautiful views of the lake and trees. The clubhouse provides an excellent indoor venue for residents to utilize.
Near the intersection of Partin Drive and College Boulevard, Swift Creek is conveniently located close to schools, shopping, the Northwest Florida State College, Eglin Air Force Base, and emerald-blue coastlines.
Bayshore Place and Dana Point, in unincorporated Niceville, are two areas with newer homes. They have planned residential communities, and most homes are on gorgeous large lots. Many of these homes even have swimming pools. Many of the Dana Point homes, built in the early 90’s, have water front views of the Choctawhatchee Bay, Shirk Bayou, and Rocky Bayou. Dana Point has a picnic area and boat launch for residents only. Bayshore Place is newer, with homes built in mid-2000's. Of special significance to Swift Creek is Jason’s Trail, a 1.5 mile route through woodlands. The trail is designed to honor the memory of developer Walt Ruckel’s grandson. The trail has footbridges, boardwalks, goes up, down, and around – a very entertaining way to get exercise while taking in the great outdoors. Several rest areas along the way make it fun for all ages.
In Old Niceville, watch the boats come and go at the marinas along Bayshore Drive. With several restaurants nearby, you can take in a meal and view Boggy Bayou simultaneously.
Across the street is Lions Park, with boat ramp, fishing pier, picnic tables, and swimming area. Huge oak trees line the road along the water. Boggy Bayou provides natural beauty, with its wonderful, wide-open blue water. At night, the lights across the water create a spectacular sight, as Valparaiso’s homes light up the evening shores.
A paved pedestrian walkway near Lions Park allows joggers, bicyclists, and families with tots in strollers a means of enjoying the stretch along Bayshore to Finck Street.
Homes in Niceville, along Bayshore, Palm Estates, and Creekside, vary from modest to grand. There are waterfront homes, older starter homes, new town homes (attached single-family), and affordable student housing at apartments near the college.
Behind Edge Elementary School, many families will come across the starter home they’ve been hoping to find. The area’s quiet neighborhoods boast affordable homes, near highly rated schools, Eglin Air Force Base, shopping, and close proximity to Northwest Florida State College. Plus, it’s just minutes away from one of Niceville’s gems: Turkey Creek Nature Trail, with covered picnic pavilion, boardwalk, fishing and swimming areas, and a chance to see turtles, herons, and the area’s native flora and fauna. Turkey Creek recreational area covers 20 acres. Just across the way from Turkey Creek is one of the newest developments, Swift Creek Plantation, where you can still purchase lots and have a custom home built.
Niceville residents are also fortunate to have the Twin Oaks recreation complex nearby. Site of the annual Mullet Festival, it has huge soccer and baseball fields, and is one of the few places in the county where dog-lovers can take their pets for an outing at the dog park.
A Youth Center skateboard arena is another Niceville amenity, located at the intersection of Palm Blvd and Campbell Dr.
Just east of Niceville and only a few minutes away from Eglin, is Bluewater Bay, an upscale planned community, covering approximately 2,500 acres of residential and resort development. A wide variety of housing options, such as condos, patio homes, townhouses, or single-family homes are available in Bluewater. Complete with a country club, a marina on Choctawhatchee Bay’s north shore, a 36-hole golf course, tennis complex, manicured surroundings, and 50 miles of paved roads, Bluewater Bay is home to over 3,000 families.
Four swimming pools (Bay Drive, Glen Eagles, Woodlands, and the Parkwood Estates Pool) and several playground areas keep kids happy, and provide all ages a refreshing dip during those hot summer days.
Miles of paved trails make for pleasurable jogging, biking, or walking. With electric, telephone, and cable utilities all underground; there are no wires overhead, so it’s literally clear skies for residents and guests.
Bluewater Bay has four private, gated communities, a mix of residential and commercial properties, with restaurants, shopping, grocery store, and gym nearby at the Merchant’s Walk plaza. Unique to Bluewater is its boulevard, lined with many native trees and shrubs planted in memory of family members and presidents of the Bluewater Bay Garden Club.
The resort, near beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay, is just minutes from Destin’s famous white sand beaches. One of Northwest Florida’s premier golf resorts, it is also open to the public.
There are boats for sale near the 120 slip full-service Bluewater Bay Marina. Sailboats and power vessels berthed there have access to Northwest Florida s most beautiful bays and fishing ports.
The Rocky Bayou neighborhood is a planned community with very nice, large lots and spacious homes built in the 90’s. It is located adjacent to the city. Subdivisions such as Huntington and Edgewater are sited at the edge of beautiful Rocky Bayou, with its basin opening to Choctawhatchee Bay; this means many residents have stunning, timeless water views year-round. Drive along any of the residential streets in Rocky Bayou and you’ll see some of the prettiest landscape and gardens in Niceville. Big trees, shady lawns, azaleas and roses adorn the roomy homes.
Rocky Bayou Stables and the Ruckel Airport are situated along Forest Road.
Rocky Bayou also has a beautiful, 18-hole, members-only, golf course. The Rocky Bayou Country Club recently renovated the course.
The advantages of living in Seminole and Villa Tasso, east of Niceville, include a quiet, country life style, and quick access to two beautiful sites, Maxwell Gunter Recreation area at White Point, and Camp Timpoochee, run by the University of Florida. Both parks overlook the stunning Choctawhatchee Bay. Seminole has some of the only horse property available in the area.
Choctaw Beach is just past Seminole, as you enter Walton County. Its residents enjoy a very quiet atmosphere with water views of Choctawhatchee Bay. Because it is bordered by Eglin Reservation and Choctawhatchee Bay, green forest sweeps one side of the area, and blue water the other.
Valparaiso, quite possibly the prettiest small town in the area, is home to Eglin Air Force Base, the world’s largest military installation in the free world. With breathtaking views of Tom’s and Boggy bayous, stately oaks lining the waterfront, and several parks, it’s easy to see why founder John Perrine took one look at the land in the 1800’s and fell in love with it, naming it the Vale of Paradise, “Valparaiso.” While most of the traffic through town is headed to Eglin Air Force Base, plenty of people take in several of the amenities of this charming city.
Housing ranges from gorgeous waterfront homes to modest brick ramblers, and cozy apartments. The sweetest properties follow Boggy Bayou and Tom’s Bayou shorelines, where the bayous open to Choctwhatchee Bay. Sailboats drifting by create a dreamy feel.
Each year in April, the town rallies around Saturday in the Park, which features family-friendly events. Vendors offer everything from beautiful watercolors and photographs, arts and crafts, ceramics, handmade wooden toys, gourds turned into bright bird houses, quilts, and ornaments. There’s an antique car show, and the Valparaiso Garden Club’s yearly plant sale and flower show. The fire department puts on a kid-friendly performance, and you’ll glimpse people dressed in old-time pioneer clothes. People can learn a bit of history at the Heritage Museum, which faces the Park.
Winding along Bayshore Drive near the water, boats launch off Florida Park and Lincoln Park, as families picnic, fish, and swim. Glen Argyle Park is perfect for a quiet lunch, great view, and a good book.
The city is also proud of its renovated library, which recently made headlines for its dramatic new appearance, and updated children’s area.
Several eateries line John Sims Parkway offering a variety of treats and cuisines.
Every Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, there’s a service at Doolittle Park to honor American servicemen and women. Trumpeters from the Niceville High School Eagle Pride Marching Band play Taps, there’s a twenty-one gun salute, and city officials and Eglin officers pay tribute as an Air Force fly-over culminates the ceremony.
Doolittle Park was named for Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, who trained his B-25 crews for their famous daring raid against Tokyo at WWII’s onset. The raid lifted spirits at a time when all seemed hopeless.
Many veterans, retirees and locals comprise the Valparaiso populace, and they are proud of its heritage.