Often referred to as The Panhandle, Florida's Northwest region embraces some of the most stunning sugar-white shores in the world. Extending from Pensacola all the way to Panama City Beach, this area includes popular tourist destinations such as Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Seaside.
Despite its ability to draw in the summer set, The Panhandle offers some of Florida's best vacation packages come fall and winter when the crowds thin and the weather is comfortably cooler.
Mild temperatures, superb beaches and plenty of nightlife draw the spring break crowd, but with so many options you can either join the partiers or seek your own fun.
Northwest Florida is home to the following best beaches:
- Perdido Key: All ages will love the nature walks and picnicking opportunities against a backdrop of the white sands and clear waters.
- Pensacola Beach: Snorkel and fish by day, then retire to the historic district for a night of seafood and entertainment.
- Navarre Beach: With dolphins, historic forts and great fishing opportunities, this beach has more to offer than just its nude sunbathing.
- Fort Walton Beach: Golf, marine parks and diving make this a great spot for families as well as snowbirds.
- Seaside: This planned community is an architectural delight, attracting wedding crowds and snowbirds with its understated elegance.
- Panama City Beach: A marine park, zoo, scuba diving, fishing and nightlife make this destination popular with spring breakers and snowbirds alike.
- St. Vincent Wildlife Refuge: Falcons, sea turtles, eagles and deer make this uninhabited island a must-see for those who love nature undisturbed.
- St. George Island: Great for fishing or long, secluded walks. When you've had your fill of solitude, head to nearby Apalachicola for great dining.
- Gulf Islands National Seashore: Stretching from The Panhandle to lower Mississippi, this protected area provides a great mix of scenery and culture, from Cajun to crafts.
- Shell Island: This uninhabited island is a water rat's dream. Swim with dolphins, snorkel or scuba before heading to Panama City for great food and all the nightlife you care to handle.
- St. Andrew's State Recreation Area: Once known as 'The World's Best Beach,' St. Andrew's provides some of the best diving in Florida. A quiet refuge during the day, and there's plenty of nightlife in nearby towns.
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