This may sound cliché, but Niceville is a really nice place to live! In the late 1800s, Valparaiso and Niceville were lumped together as the town of “Boggy.” A few years later the town came to its senses and chose a more flattering name—Niceville. Some say the legendary gangster, Al Capone, had a hideout on the shores of Boggy Bayou, and when asked about its location he would call it “Niceville,” so the town adopted the moniker. And while the “Twin City” of Valparaiso separated from Niceville, the two communities are still tightly interwoven.

Proximity to Eglin AFB as well as Duke Field make Niceville a popular choice for military families. Niceville is located between Eglin AFB and the Choctawhatchee Bay and is just a bridge away from the area’s tourist and entertainment hub, Destin. The “bypass” or Spence Parkway makes commuting north to Duke Field (home of 7th Special Forces Group) easy—but be sure to invest in a SunPass to save on tolls.

Highly-rated schools, a small-town vibe, and breathtaking views are top reasons families, couples, and retirees choose to call Niceville home. Niceville is surrounded by water (with great fishing, boating, and watersports), and close to Emerald Coast beaches. Amenities that Niceville doesn’t have can easily be found in Destin. Parks, recreation centers, and even a skate park are lures for active kids, and the high school sports teams are some of the most competitive around! Go Eagles! There is an active arts community here, as well as a robust event calendar for festival-goers. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the area’s golf courses. Eglin Golf Course, Rocky Bayou Country Club, and Bluewater Bay all call Niceville home.


You’ll feel right at home amongst your military kin here, and most of your neighbors will be military-affiliated. Families love the area, as do hospitable locals and retirees. There’s a laid-back vibe in this coastal town, and the small-town charm is a source of pride for the community.

Neighborhood Feel

You’ll find well-maintained ranch and two-story homes throughout the area. New construction is available, but in high demand so you’ll pay dearly for it. The area is sandwiched between the water and Eglin AFB, so there’s no room for sprawl.

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Neighborhood Location

Duke Field – Duke Field Exit off I-85
Eglin AFB – East Gate
Hurlburt Field – Back Gate
Drive Time to Gate
20 to 25* minutes
15 to 25* minutes
25 to 40* minutes
By Transit

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Neighborhood Info

Niceville - Eglin AFB & Duke Field, FL -

Points of Interest

Niceville Children’s Park/Library

Mattie Kelly Arts Center

Turkey Creek Nature Trail

Rocky Bayou State Park

Maxwell Gunter Recreation Area

Northwest Florida State College

Big Plus

Calling Niceville military-friendly is an understatement. You’ll either be surrounded by other military families, military retirees, or natives who are closely connected to the area’s top employer and economic engine.

The schools here are some of the area’s most desirable, not to mention the athletics. It is not uncommon for over 7,000 people to come out for a local football game, especially when Niceville is playing its rival, Crestview!  Go Eagles!

The housing market is competitive and is an awesome seller’s market. Niceville’s proximity to a vacation hub and huge military installation help keep demand high and prices steady. Being sandwiched between the bay and government-owned land keeps the inventory constant, so if you see something you like be prepared to move quickly.

The Spence Parkway (Florida State Road 293) makes getting to Duke Field and Crestview much quicker and helps bypass some of the traffic congestion. However, convenience does come at a price. Both Spence Parkway and the Mid-Bay Bridge (to Destin) are toll roads, but a SunPass can help keep time and costs down.

Things to Consider

Some neighborhoods (particularly those on the west side of FL 85) may experience more noise from Eglin AFB’s nearby runway, so make sure your home is properly sound-proofed. The Navy Explosive Ordnance School (E.O.D.) is also nearby, so don’t be alarmed by random explosions!

As noted in the “plus” column, inventory is what it is and demand is high. Homes turnover quickly, and often sight-unseen. Stalk the market and be ready to move fast if you find a home you like. A knowledgeable real estate agent can be a huge asset in this market. Also, our Scouts can help you with recon if you’re choosing a home from afar!

Traffic is a consideration. Backups on the Mid-Bay Bridge (to Destin) often occur, especially during the peak summer months. You’ll also need to factor tolls into your expenses. The SunPass is a popular cost and time-saving option for commuters.   

How’s the Market?

The median home value for single family homes in Niceville is $272,000 according to the Zillow Home Value Index. Home Values are forecasted to increase by 6.4% in the coming year.

According to Zillow’s Rental Index, the median rental rate for single family homes in Niceville is $1,568.

School Scoop

Public schools in Niceville belong to Okaloosa County School District (OCSD), which has an overall rating of 7, according to One of the highest rated schools is C. W. Ruckel Middle School, with a rating of 10.

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

Swift Creek

The Stables

Rocky Bayou Estates

Bluewater Bay