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Florida

Florida Panhandle Holidays

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FAFF-FREE FLORIDA PANHANDLE

Florida Panhandle is the northwestern stretch of the Sunshine State. This long, narrow area – hence its name – unravels for 200 miles, leading away from the rest of Florida. And it certainly feels a world away from the likes of well-trodden Orlando and Miami. Laidback and crowd-free, Florida Panhandle holidays are all about lazy days spent relaxing on pristine beaches and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. So, if you’re looking to discover the lesser-known side of Florida, this could be the place for you.

Boasting talc-white sands and turquoise waters, Florida Panhandle prides itself on its dreamy beaches. You can unroll your towel and chill out in the sunshine, don a snorkel and flippers, and go on a boat trip in search of wild dolphins. You’ll find lots of state parks on the coast, too. Bird-watchers will be in their element on a Florida Panhandle holiday, while keen walkers can explore undulating sand dunes, age-old forests and sprawling salt marshes.  

There are several vibrant coastal cities in Florida Panhandle, with the main trio being Destin, Panama City and Pensacola – all of which serve up beautiful beaches. Panama City Beach is a great choice for families, as children of all ages will love the city’s zoo, marine park and waterpark. Or you could opt to stay in Destin, where life revolves around the bustling boardwalk. Pensacola, meanwhile, is more historical, with fascinating museums and architecture dating back to the 1500s. Whatever you’re into, you’ll never be short of things to do on your Florida Panhandle holiday. Speak to our travel specialists to find out more.

Florida Panhandle beaches

City sights

State parks

Best time to visit Florida Panhandle

Florida Panhandle beaches

Right on the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach is a popular choice for holidays to Florida Panhandle. You’ll have 27 miles of sugary beaches to choose from here, where you can swim, sunbathe and try your hand at watersports. But if you’re looking for a footprint-free beach, consider heading to Henderson Beach State Park in Destin. Truly unspoiled, this tranquil spot has lovely beaches and impressive sand dunes.

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The Pensacola Bay Area has its fair share of stunning beaches, too. Just off-shore from the mainland, the barrier island of Pensacola Beach boasts white sands and turquoise waters, along with a wide range of activities. You can learn to surf, go dolphin-watching or charter a boat for a day. Or you could make tracks for the ‘lost island’ of Perdido Key, where you’ll find immaculate beaches and scenic state parks.

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City sights

Florida Panhandle’s cities serve up all sorts of things to do. Panama City is great for families, as you can take the kids to see wildlife at ZooWorld Zoological Conservatory and Gulf World Marine Park. Or spend a day splashing around at Shipwreck Island Waterpark – there’s something here for all ages, from rushing rapids to the lazy river. And remember to check out Pier Park. This outdoor mall has dozens of shops and restaurants, plus family-friendly attractions like a cinema, arcade and Ferris wheel.

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Along the coast in Destin, meanwhile, most activities are based around the water. You could check out Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park, or spend a day strolling along Destin Harbour Boardwalk. This is the real hub of the city, from which you can book deep-sea fishing trips, go dolphin-watching, and try a variety of watersports.

Elsewhere, Pensacola is ideal for history buffs. You can explore Seville Square Historic District – the site of the city’s first permanent Spanish settlement – to discover shaded streets, several museums and picturesque buildings dating back to the 1560s. And make sure you go to the top of Pensacola Lighthouse to admire the stunning coastal views.

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State parks

Florida Panhandle holidays give you the opportunity to visit some of Florida’s fantastic state parks. Wakulla Springs is one of our favourites. It’s home to one of the world’s deepest springs, as well as lots of jungle-lined waterways. Why not hop in a glass-bottom boat and go searching for alligators, snakes and local birdlife?

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Roughly half way between Pensacola and Panama City, on the coastal lowlands, Grayton Beach State Park covers a whopping 2,220 acres. Here, you’ll find untouched woods, salt marshes and rolling dunes, all leading to a sugary beach and bright blue waters. It’s the ideal place to spend a day fishing, swimming and snorkelling. 

Further east, you’ll find St George Island State Park, which is ideal for swimmers and twitchers alike. If you head to the eastern end of the isle, you’ll find nine miles of pristine beaches – the longest beachfront of any Florida state park – as well as soaring forests, where you can spot bald eagles and ospreys.

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Best time to visit Florida Panhandle

Holidays to Florida Panhandle are best planned for April, May or October, when temperatures hover in the mid-to-high twenties. You can look forward to plenty of sunshine, and the Gulf of Mexico’s waters will be warm for swimming and watersports. April can be busy – due to spring break and the Easter holidays – so opt for May or October, if you’re keen to avoid the crowds. Alternatively, if you’re seeking slightly cooler temperatures in the low-twenties, consider planning your trip for March or November.

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Show Less

The peak summer months are best avoided. Between June and September, lots of American holidaymakers head to the Sunshine State, so you can expect Florida Panhandle to be busy. It’s also very hot at this time of year – temperatures regularly reach 33°C – and the humidity can be very uncomfortable.

Show More
Show Less

Florida Panhandle beaches

Florida Panhandle beaches

Right on the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach is a popular choice for holidays to Florida Panhandle. You’ll have 27 miles of sugary beaches to choose from here, where you can swim, sunbathe and try your hand at watersports. But if you’re looking for a footprint-free beach, consider heading to Henderson Beach State Park in Destin. Truly unspoiled, this tranquil spot has lovely beaches and impressive sand dunes.

Show More
Show Less

The Pensacola Bay Area has its fair share of stunning beaches, too. Just off-shore from the mainland, the barrier island of Pensacola Beach boasts white sands and turquoise waters, along with a wide range of activities. You can learn to surf, go dolphin-watching or charter a boat for a day. Or you could make tracks for the ‘lost island’ of Perdido Key, where you’ll find immaculate beaches and scenic state parks.

Show More
Show Less

City sights

City sights

Florida Panhandle’s cities serve up all sorts of things to do. Panama City is great for families, as you can take the kids to see wildlife at ZooWorld Zoological Conservatory and Gulf World Marine Park. Or spend a day splashing around at Shipwreck Island Waterpark – there’s something here for all ages, from rushing rapids to the lazy river. And remember to check out Pier Park. This outdoor mall has dozens of shops and restaurants, plus family-friendly attractions like a cinema, arcade and Ferris wheel.

Show More
Show Less

Along the coast in Destin, meanwhile, most activities are based around the water. You could check out Big Kahuna’s Water and Adventure Park, or spend a day strolling along Destin Harbour Boardwalk. This is the real hub of the city, from which you can book deep-sea fishing trips, go dolphin-watching, and try a variety of watersports.

Elsewhere, Pensacola is ideal for history buffs. You can explore Seville Square Historic District – the site of the city’s first permanent Spanish settlement – to discover shaded streets, several museums and picturesque buildings dating back to the 1560s. And make sure you go to the top of Pensacola Lighthouse to admire the stunning coastal views.

Show More
Show Less

State parks

State parks

Florida Panhandle holidays give you the opportunity to visit some of Florida’s fantastic state parks. Wakulla Springs is one of our favourites. It’s home to one of the world’s deepest springs, as well as lots of jungle-lined waterways. Why not hop in a glass-bottom boat and go searching for alligators, snakes and local birdlife?

Show More
Show Less

Roughly half way between Pensacola and Panama City, on the coastal lowlands, Grayton Beach State Park covers a whopping 2,220 acres. Here, you’ll find untouched woods, salt marshes and rolling dunes, all leading to a sugary beach and bright blue waters. It’s the ideal place to spend a day fishing, swimming and snorkelling. 

Further east, you’ll find St George Island State Park, which is ideal for swimmers and twitchers alike. If you head to the eastern end of the isle, you’ll find nine miles of pristine beaches – the longest beachfront of any Florida state park – as well as soaring forests, where you can spot bald eagles and ospreys.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit Florida Panhandle

Best time to visit Florida Panhandle

Holidays to Florida Panhandle are best planned for April, May or October, when temperatures hover in the mid-to-high twenties. You can look forward to plenty of sunshine, and the Gulf of Mexico’s waters will be warm for swimming and watersports. April can be busy – due to spring break and the Easter holidays – so opt for May or October, if you’re keen to avoid the crowds. Alternatively, if you’re seeking slightly cooler temperatures in the low-twenties, consider planning your trip for March or November.

Show More
Show Less

The peak summer months are best avoided. Between June and September, lots of American holidaymakers head to the Sunshine State, so you can expect Florida Panhandle to be busy. It’s also very hot at this time of year – temperatures regularly reach 33°C – and the humidity can be very uncomfortable.

Show More
Show Less

Chat With Our Florida Experts

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Our top 5

Pensacola Beach

Spend a day on this beautiful barrier island, where you can discover picture-perfect sands and turquoise waters, plus wild dolphins.

Our top 5

Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Cool down at this fun-filled waterpark in Panama City. You zoom down white-knuckle slides, bob about in the wave pool and relax in the lazy river.

Our top 5

Destin Harbour Boardwalk

Stroll along Destin Harbour Boardwalk to discover local seafood restaurants and all sorts of excursions, including dolphin-watching and fishing trips.

Our top 5

Grayton Beach State Park

Walk through untouched woodlands and salt marshes, unwind on the pristine sands, or don a snorkel and go for a dip in the Gulf of Mexico.

Our top 5

Seville Square Historic District

Explore Pensacola’s historical Spanish area, where you can wander through picturesque streets, lined with museums and age-old architecture.
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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

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Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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