CRESTVIEW, FLORIDA

By  Mike Miller  Updated June 25,  2022

Crestview, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Crestview, Florida is a city of about 25,000 people in the Florida panhandle about 50 miles east-northeast of Pensacola. It is the county seat of Okaloosa County.

The city of Crestview is known as the "Hub City" because of the intersection of I-10, US-90, State Road 85, and the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad.

Crestview Intersection US-90 and SR-85Crestview Intersection US-90 and SR-85
Flickr/formulanone

In olden days its nickname was the "Icebox of Florida" as it had the coldest winters in the state due to its elevation.

Florida is very flat, and Crestview is one of the highest points in the state with an elevation of 235 feet above sea level. 

In this case, the nearest sea is the Gulf of Mexico about 27 miles south near the gulf coast city of Fort Walton Beach.

CRESTVIEW, FLORIDA HISTORY

The history of Crestview has everything to do with the creation of the first railroad that came to this area of the Florida panhandle. 

The Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad Company opened a line in 1883 between Pensacola and Chattahoochee

Crestview was apparently the highest track elevation along this approximately 160 mile long route.

Map of Old Spanish TrailMap of Old Spanish Trail

The railroad followed the route of the Old Spanish Trail that extended thousands of miles from Jacksonville west across the state of Florida and beyond to California.

Progress followed the railroad.  A large local sawmill built another railroad from Crestview north to Florala, Alabama.  It became easier for passengers and freight to reach Crestview.

Crestview L & N Railroad DepotCrestview L & N Railroad Depot

The city incorporated in 1916.  Crestview grew slowly in the first half of the twentieth century. 

In 1935, the Valparaiso Bombing and Gunnery Base was built.  Its name was changed soon after to Eglin Air Force Base, named in honor of Lt. Col. Frederick Eglin.

Crestview High School 1949 Football TeamCrestview High School 1949 Football Team

World War Two saw a tremendous expansion of Eglin AFB and Crestview began to grow quickly as well.

The entire panhandle region of Florida benefited from the efforts of long-time Congressman Bob Sikes. 

He began his Florida business career in Crestview, and became active in politics at a young age. 

His efforts were successful in helping to build 14 military installations in the region.

Crestview's past tracks closely with the history of northwest Florida.

CRESTVIEW, FLORIDA TODAY

Crestview is the county seat of Okaloosa County.  There are quite a few government offices in the city as well as businesses that cater to government and public employees.

Okaloosa County Courthouse, CrestviewOkaloosa County Courthouse, Crestview

Many people also work at one of the numerous military bases and other installations in this part of the state.

Crestview's location in the center of the county makes it a great place to live in this part of the state.

It is in an area with many institutions of higher learning. 

Downtown Crestview Looking SouthDowntown Crestview Looking South

Northwest Florida State College offers two year and four year degrees.  The University of West Florida, Florida A&M, and Troy State University all have learning facilities in the area.

There is also a vocational school, Okaloosa Technical College, where students can learn a practical trade. 

Crestview High SchoolCrestview High School

Crestview High School was founded in 1926 and is the largest high school in Okaloosa County. 

The boy's basketball teams won the Florida state titles in 1985  and 2019.  The cheerleading team won the 2010 state title.

Downtown Crestview at NightDowntown Crestview at Night

In recent years downtown Crestview has grown, with a good selection of shops, banks, fine dining and fast food restaurants, and boutiques. 

You will find a mix of historical buildings and new businesses.

Twin Hills Park is a 24 acre delight located on US Highway 90E.  It is a big hit with its beautiful lake, barbecue spots, playground, stadium and sports fields.

Also nearby is Shoal River, and tributary of the Yellow River.  Its many shoals and sandbars provide miles of slow moving shallow water great for water activities including paddling.

Crestview is one of the many historic Florida towns on US Highway 90 between Pensacola and Jacksonville Beach.


CRESTVIEW, FLORIDA INTERACTIVE GOOGLE MAP



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