Panhandle Travel Guide – Attractions and Best Time to Visit
The Florida Panhandle is a strip of land roughly 50 to 100 miles wide and 200 miles long, lying between Georgia on the north, Alabama on the north and the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A prominent northwestern part of the U.S state of Florida, the Florida Panhandle is comprised of beach towns like Panama City, Pensacola, and Destin, thus making an ideal family vacation hotspot. Read through this Panhandle travel guide if you are fascinated by the sandy boardwalks, aquatic events, unspoiled natural beauty, quaint beachside communities, laid-back towns, and family-friendly attractions.
Florida Panhandle Travel Guide – Top-rated Tourist Attractions
- Wakulla Springs State Park (Wildlife Reserve in Big Bend): Encompassing a massive area of 6,000-acre, Wakulla Springs State Park is a perennial family attraction in the Panhandle area. The state park has also been part of films like ‘The Creature from the Black Lagoon’ and ‘Tarzan’s Secret Treasure’. In the heart of the park is located a natural spring gushing 1.2 billion gallons of water every day. The deep and ancient spring remains mostly crowded.
- National Naval Aviation Museum (Museum in Pensacola): If you are by any chance in Pensacola, National Naval Aviation Museum is a must-see attraction. The museum houses a collection of military aircraft muscle and artifacts. Not only will your kids be thrilled but adults will also be fascinated to see the range of planes on display. As many as 150 planes are on display.
- St. Andrews State Park: A barrier island in the Panhandle area, St. Andrews State Park is one of the idyllic places to spend a day with family. For creative minds, they wouldn’t find a better location than this. Its glittering white sand and crystal clear waters adorn the gorgeous shoreline. Snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and swimming comprise the most popular activities.
- Shell Island (Park in Panama City Beach): Shell Island is a sandy desert island known for snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing. The sun-kissed beaches are the most striking attractions. Offshore from St. Andrews State Park, Shell Island will keep you engaged throughout the day. Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreens and wear a hat.
- Manatee Springs State Park (State Park in Big Bend): Another Big Bend state park, Manatee Springs State Park is worth a halt for a dip into the 72?F crystalline waters of the eponymous spring. Travelers seeking not just nature but adventure in plenty would be glad to find the 8.5-mile-long hiking and cycling trail. If you are a scuba dive enthusiast, just bring your gear.
- St. George Island State Park (State Park in St. George Island): Located against the Gulf of Mexico, St. George Island State Park offers everything you could ask for. Ride your bike along the 17 miles of paved trails, soaking up the sunshine on the pristine beach, spot more than 300 bird species along the nature trail, hop in a kayak to witness the marvelous sunset, and enjoy a guided boat tour to see dolphins frolicking in the water.
- Fort Pickens: History lovers would steer their vehicle to the historic Fort Pickens. Perched at the end of a long stretch of immaculate beach, Fort Pickens in Pensacola boasts the prisoner’s and officer’s quarters, interior gunrooms, old brick walls, the cannon, and the mine chambers.
Best Place to Dine and Shop in the Florida Panhandle
The best restaurants in Panhandle are David’s Sno-Balls, Chanticleer Eatery, Lynn’s Quality Oysters, Carmen’s Lunch Bar, JJ Chagos, Café Thirty-A, Emerald Isle Seafood Restaurant & Market, and Mc Guire’s Irish Pub & Brewery.
The best shops in Panhandle are Saint George Island Lighthouse, Gift Shop and Museum, Destin Commons, Pier Park, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, Sexton’s Seafood Market, Fusion Art Glass Gallery, Bradley’s Country Store, and Island Style.
Where to Stay in Panhandle?
One of the highly-thronged destinations in the Sunshine State of Florida, the Panhandle Area, also known as the Florida Panhandle, boasts luxurious and swanky accommodations embedded with modern facilities. The Florida Panhandle vacation rentals from Search Florida Rentals are the most sought-after. Whether your group has 6, 7, 12, or 16 people, SFR has the most ideal choice for you. The Panhandle condo rentals come complete with sophisticated furniture, spacious living areas, pools, and state-of-the-art amenities.
Best Time to Visit Panhandle
The best time to plan your family vacation in the Florida Panhandle should be - from the last week of February to mid-May and from the second week of October to the last week of December (based on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports).