Okaloosa Island is a strip of land between the city of Fort Walton Beach and the city of Destin on the Emerald Coast of Florida. It is surrounded by water: Santa Rosa Sound, Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

The breathtaking beauty of the beaches, the different type of palm trees and the sunsets are an awesome sight. They won’t tell you this, but Okaloosa Island used to be the home of mermaids when the island was the magical realm of the Seminole Indians and what some consider their mythical past.

Occasional, if you are still up in the small hours of the morning after a night on the town, you may see one who has wandered in from the Gulf to the southern part of the island, threading pearls with long strands of her hair, singing a song that is more beautiful than any song you have ever heard. But don’t make any noise or get too close for she will slip away so fast you will wonder if you really saw her at all. However, once you have seen her, you will spend the rest of your life looking for her, gathering sea shells to take back to your room in the hope you can hear her song just once more.

Mark Cinte, Fort Walton Beach