Beyond the forests and training areas of Eglin AFB lies the suburban community of Crestview. This city boasts a small town feel with all the basics (shopping, dining, errands) of day-to-day life. Affordable homes away from the tourist congestion of the beaches and the opportunity to stretch out on a piece of land are reasons to live in Crestview. The area is more forested than you would expect to find just 20 miles from the water. Families love the area for the desirable schools, abundant parks and playgrounds, and large houses. The quaint downtown is home to locally-owned shops and restaurants, and staples like Walmart and Publix (grocery store) are conveniently located in town.

Crestview lies just across Interstate 10 from Duke Field, making it a popular choice for those assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group. When 7th SFG relocated from North Carolina to Eglin’s Duke Field in 2011, Crestview was heavily marketed as the community of choice for the newcomers.


Crestview has a great mix of locals and military residents, with families and retirees being the norm. It’s a family-friendly town, with plenty of outdoor recreation activities for its active residents. You’ll find it has a “blue-collar” vibe, and a more local feel since it’s so far removed from the tourism centers.

Neighborhood Feel

Crestview has an “out in the country” feel to it, and the “Lower Alabama” moniker attributed to Northwest Florida applies in force here. There are an abundance of new developments that sprang up quickly after the announcement of 7th SFG’s move to the area. Many of the older homes are situated on a decent-sized piece of land. Homes here tend to be more affordable and easier to come by than in more competitive markets to the south. There are also plenty of choices for apartment-dwellers.

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Neighborhood Location

Duke Field – Duke Field Exit off I-85
Eglin AFB – West Gate
Hurlburt Field – Back Gate
Drive Time to Gate
15 to 45* minutes
30 to 55* minutes
45 to 75* minutes
By Transit

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Neighborhood Info

Crestview - Duke Field & Eglin AFB. FL -

Points of Interest

Twin Hills Park

Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Zoological Park

Big Plus

Crestview boasts affordable homes, with options for new construction and land. There are also a variety of apartments to choose from here.

Though the threat of a hurricane is a reality for all coastal residents, living this far inland decreases your chances of a direct hit—therefore lowering insurance costs.

Crestview’s position on Interstate 10 makes it more convenient to get to Pensacola. This is especially important for spouses interested in more employment or educational opportunities.

Shopping needs are well met with most national retail and restaurant chains represented. The quaint downtown showcases many local businesses.  

The schools in Crestview enjoy a great reputation among military families and athletics are taken very seriously here—like Friday Night Lights serious.

Things to Consider

Try to live south of Interstate 10 to alleviate some of the rush hour traffic headed to Duke Field. Know that Destin (the beach, nightlife, and best area shopping) is a solid 45 minutes and two toll roads away. If living near the water is important to you, consider another locale.

Living farther inland means slightly warmer temperatures in the summer (no cooling breezes) and colder temperatures in the winter (no warmth from the Gulf waters).

Be sure to do your due diligence on a home’s workmanship, especially those built in the last ten years. Entire developments sprang up seemingly overnight to accommodate 7th Group’s move south.

How’s the Market?

The median home value for single family homes in Crestview is $155,000 according to the Zillow Home Value Index. Home Values are forecasted to increase by 6.9% in the coming year.

According to Zillow’s Rental Index, the median rental rate for single family homes in Crestview is $1,124.

School Scoop

The public schools in Crestview are part of Okaloosa County School District (OCSD), which has an overall ranking of 7, according to One of the best schools is Shoal River Middle School, which is rated 8.

OCSD offers two charter school options. Liza Jackson Preparatory School (in Fort Walton Beach) is an intermediate charter school serving kindergarten through eighth grade. Collegiate High School at NWFSC (in Niceville) serves students in grades nine through 12 and offers dual enrollment at Northwest Florida State College to all graduates. Students are not only equipped with a high school diploma but also an Associate’s Degree (tuition-free!). Out of zone admission is available pending space and approval.

Special programs to note in OCSD schools include STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medical) clubs, Odyssey of the Mind for gifted students, middle school band and chorus, competitive middle school and high school athletics, foreign language electives, and high school leadership opportunities.

OSCD schools offer programs for military families and are staffed with Military Family Life Consultants (MFLC) who are trained to help military kids navigate the challenges that come with the military lifestyle.

Highlighted Areas

Countryview Estates

Colony Ridge

South Pointe Estates

Rolling Ridge