You'll have to check out these 8 unique places to explore in the Crestview area

Tony Judnich
Northwest Florida Daily News

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

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.

More:Good Things Donuts cures the sweet tooth

Casbah Coffee Company

Casbah Coffee Company is located on Pine Avenue in Crestview.

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.

More:Loved ones to remember Crestview businessman who died of COVID

The Florida National Scenic Trail

Morning fog is lifted off of Duck Pond as the sun rises on a recent winter day on the Cimarron section of the Florida 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.

More:PHOTOS: The Cimarron Section of the Florida Trail on Eglin

Vitaliano Pizza-Pasta & More

Vitaliano Pizza-Pasta & More

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!

More:Vitaliano high-quality Italian dining

Saturday yard sale

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.

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

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.

Shoal River

Cypress trees on the Shoal River

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.

More:COVID-19 vaccine tracker: See how many people in Florida have been vaccinated, by county, state

B&T R/C Raceway

B&T R/C Raceway maintains and operates the 90-by-120-foot track through a public/private partnership with the city.

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 recreational gem — Crestview's skate park — is under construction and could open next to the racetrack in June.