You'll have to check out these 8 unique places to explore in the Crestview area
CRESTVIEW — Every once in awhile, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on some of the things that make one’s original or adopted hometown special.
With that thought in mind, here are some Hub City gems:
Good Things Donuts
Location: 318 S. Ferdon Blvd. (State Road 85)
After its staff has put in hours of prep work, this small donut palace opens at 4 a.m. and stays running until noon, or until the baked treasures run out. So the earlier you get there, the better.
Casbah Coffee Company
Location: 196 W. Pine Ave.
Indulge in a Panini pressed on focaccia bread to go with Casbah's fresh-roasted, fair trade coffee. Relax indoors between the exposed brick walls or check out its new outdoor seating area.
The Florida National Scenic Trail
The trailhead for the local eastbound section stands east of State Road 85 and between Col. Greg Malloy Road and the Cox Bridge over the Shoal River (just south of the city limits). Highlights within a 5-mile stretch of hiking include bear grass yucca plants and the cold and clear Pearl, Silver and Honey creeks.
Unless you’re a thru-hiker, you must have an Eglin Air Force Base day-use or annual outdoor recreation permit to explore this part of the trail.
Location: 398 E. Hickory Ave.
Let its “Elite Boss” and other Neapolitan-style pizzas, as well as the Italian accents of some of its staff members, transport you to Rome. Bellissimo!
Saturday yard sale
Location: Southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and Ferdon Boulevard
The smorgasbord of interesting items include artsy birdhouses, metal military ammunition boxes and $5 brand-new pairs of khakis.
Back Home Bakery Cafe
Location: 307 N. Main St.
Enjoy made-from-scratch treats such as a croissant, scone or slice of pie with a hand-crafted espresso while getting lost in framed local-area scenes such as a field of cotton and a stand of skyscraping pines.
Crestview is named for its perch on the peak of a woodland range between the Shoal and Yellow rivers. Accessing the Shoal for kayakers and other boaters is a breeze at two Okaloosa County-owned recreation sites next to Crestview: Shoal River Wayside Park at 5999 S. State Road 85 and the Ray Lynn Barnes Boat Ramp at 3390 E. U.S. Highway 90.
The stretch of river between these two sites runs past numerous white sandbars and huge cypress trees. Paddling upstream provides a decent workout, and deer, snakes and wild hogs are among the occasionally-spotted wildlife.
B&T R/C Raceway
Location: 585 Brookmeade Drive
The operators of radio-controlled vehicles get their motors running on this 90-by-120-foot racetrack on at least two Saturdays per month. Another unique Panhandle gem — Crestview's skatepark — is under construction and could open next to the racetrack in June.