Destination Guide to Northwest Florida

Florida’s Panhandle is famous for outdoor activities, family fun, and its incredible white beaches. From Pensacola to Apalachicola, the Panhandle has a treasure trove of fun awaiting.

POPULAR CITIES IN FLORIDA’S PANHANDLE

Apalachicola

Apalachicola Florida is an old Florida port town with a hometown feel, and friendly residents. Apalachicola or “Apalach“, as it is known by locals, is not a typical tourist town. Established in 1831, it was once the third largest port on the Gulf of Mexico. Apalachicola has over 900 historic homes and buildings listed in its extensive National Register District  and was selected as one of the Country’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 2008 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Apalachicola is located on the Apalachicola River and Bay. This basin is one of the least polluted, most undeveloped, ecologically diverse systems left in the United States. Apalachicola is known for having some of the finest oysters in the United States,  its bay oysters have a pure, mild, briny flavor that are shipped to some of the finest restaurants in the Country. Apalachicola harvests over 90% of the oysters sold in Florida and 10% of the nationwide supply. A wide array of fantastic restaurants features fresh, local, daily harvested seafood.

Explore Apalachicola >

Alligator Point, Florida

is an untouched coastal paradise on St. James Island in Franklin County, Florida. It is located along U.S. 98, south of Bald Point State Park, along the Gulf of Mexico. Alligator Point is a small beach community made up of mostly beach homes and the Alligator Point Yacht Basin. It houses eight miles of unspoiled coastline along a narrow beach peninsula.

Located on Florida’s “Forgotten Coast, nearby attractions include the Bald Point State Park and the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge. Alligator Harbor is known for its clam harvesting and was featured on Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs.”

Alligator Point has some of the most pristine beaches in Florida along with unsurpassed fishing and wildlife viewing. Known as “The Point” by locals, this coastal community is situated between the Gulf of Mexico and Alligator Harbor—an estuary known for clam harvesting.

Things to Do in Alligator Point

From biking, hiking and canoeing to birding, kayaking and swimming, Alligator Point offers a myriad of activities for nature lovers and outdoorsy visitors.

Destin, Florida

Originating as a small fishing village, it is now a popular tourist destination. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, over 80 percent of the Emerald Coast’s 4.5 million visitors each year visit Destin. The city styles itself “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”, and claims to have the largest fishing vessel fleet in the state of Florida.

The city is located on a peninsula separating the Gulf of Mexico from Choctawhatchee Bay. The peninsula was originally a barrier island. Hurricanes and sea level changes gradually connected it to the mainland. In the 1940s, it technically became an island again with the completion of the Choctawhatchee-West Bay Canal.

This beach town is known for its incredible fishing, cutting edge golf courses and excellent seafood restaurants. Destin Florida offers a wide variety of activities including parasailing, watersports, dolphin cruises, aquariums, theme parks, and more.

Panama City, Florida

For a thousand years, Native Americans called home, the area that is now Panama City. The first permanent settlers were from Europe and established in 1827. The area quickly grew and widely known for salt production, fishing, sawmills, boat building, and its “sea baths” that drew thousands of visitors.

Panama City is known for our numerous commercial and recreational fishing boats, sight-seeing boat tours, ever-expanding colleges and universities, thriving shipbuilding and paper mill industries, local restaurant chef’s are still harvesting the natural sea salts, authentic retail entrepreneurs, and the bustling Port of Panama City. Bordered by Tyndall Air Force Base and the Naval Activities Support Base, Panama City is a uniquely cultural mix of the arts, music, ecotourism, and technology.

Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola has some of the most pristine beaches in the world along the barrier islands that are home to Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. In fact, these beaches have been ranked among the best in the country by USA Today, TripAdvisor, Dr. Beach and the Travel Channel. The Pensacola Bay Area is famous for its natural beauty and historic culture.

South Walton – (SoWal) 30A Beaches

South Walton is located on a 26 mile shoreline along the Northwest Florida coast and encompasses 16 different and unique beach town communities. Each community has it’s own character, traditions and charm as well as history. These communities include:  Sandestin, Seascape, Miramar Beach, Dune Allen, Gulf Place, Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain, Grayton Beach, WaterColor, Seaside, Seagrove, WaterSound, Seacrest, Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach and Inlet Beach. South Walton was awarded Travel + Leisure‘s “Best Beaches on Earth” for families.

South Walton offers hundreds of vacation rental accommodations, outdoor adventure, excellent shopping, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants to visitors who treasure the area’s distinctive character and relaxing atmosphere.

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