Water has always played an important part in the life and times of Niceville. This friendly town in Okaloosa County on the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay in the northwest panhandle has numerous lakes and rivers as well. Niceville enjoys 343 days of sunshine and a subtropical climate with mild southern winds.
About The Community
Fishing has been the main occupation from the early days of the Native Americans and even with the new American government in the early 1800s; the fishing industry thrived on mullet caught in the sandy-bottomed bays of the area. The bay was called Boggy Bayou, after a deposit of peat at the mouth of Juniper Creek and the fishing village that thrived on its shore was named Boggy, the beginnings of Niceville.
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In the early 20th century, it was a typical North Florida settlement with a gristmill, sawmill, general store and boat yard. Settlers, attracted by the abundant sunshine, waterway transportation, and inexpensive tracts of land came in large numbers after the Civil War. Part of the gristmill still stands today on the Eglin AFB golf course. Boggy became Niceville officially in 1910 though it was briefly renamed Valparaiso, which is Spanish for Vale of Paradise, for a few years. When another community developed as New Valparaiso a mile away, it reverted to Niceville in1925. Today they are twin cities and Twin Cities Hospital is the premier healthcare provider for the Niceville and Valparaiso.
Vicinity of Niceville
Over fifteen thousand now live permanently in Niceville, enjoying unpolluted surroundings and a friendly small town atmosphere with the comforts of a large city. It boasts of an excellent school system. The Okaloosa-Walton Community College is a center of all round education with fine arts and performing arts facility, a top rated charter high school, and a competitive intercollegiate athletics program. The arts center hosts a wide variety of cultural programs for the community. The community prays at churches of various denominations including the Pinecrest Community Church. The Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida narrates the local history.
Niceville is home to the world’s largest Department of Defense installation, the Eglin Air Force Base. A wonderful way to spend a day is at the Turkey Creek Nature Trail and Pavilion. Enjoy swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and tubing or stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the wildlife; look out for turtles, ducks, and many species of birds. You can also identify the vegetation along the trail to with the help of markers, an Eagle Scout project.
Niceville is perfect destination for a vacation of any duration Enjoy waterfront dining, swimming, boating, skiing, fishing and picnicking and the near by sugar white beach. Golfers can tee off at numerous challenging and well-maintained golf courses. The Bluewater Bay Golf and Tennis resort offers cozy rooms and sports facilities. The annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival over a long weekend is the highlight of the calendar with music, dance, and food for all.