The Florida Panhandle is the state’s most northwestern region and a lovely spot for a beach vacation or a coastal retirement. This long, narrow area stretches across approximately 200 miles and is between 50 and 100 miles wide. Known for its sunny, white beaches, the Florida Panhandle is bordered by Alabama and Georgia in the north and west, and the Gulf of Mexico on the south. Some of the area’s most popular destinations include Pensacola, Panama City, Destin, and Tallahassee.
The climate in the Florida Panhandle is subtropical with mild winters and hot, humid summers. Average daytime temperatures in the summer months are in the low 90s, with comfortable nights in the mid-70s. Thunderstorms are common in the summer with July typically being the rainiest month. Winters are usually mild with average temperatures in the low 60s, but nights can drop to the low 40s. Although it is very rare, the Florida Panhandle does occasionally have light snowfall.
Beaches & Attractions
Tourists and locals alike enjoy the Florida Panhandle’s renowned beaches. These long stretches of shoreline feature sugary-white sand and the green-blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beach-lovers will particularly love exploring The Emerald Coast, which refers to the cities and towns which lie along U.S. 98 from Pensacola to St. George Island. This route includes hot spots like Pensacola Beach and Panama City Beach.
In addition to Gulf Coast beaches, the Florida Panhandle offers many other attractions. DeFuniak Springs is an unusual scenic spot which features one of only two of the world’s naturally occurring circular spring-fed lakes. Other scenic attractions in the Panhandle include the caves at Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna and the mysterious waterfall at Falling Waters State Park in Chipley.
If these natural attractions don’t provide enough outdoor recreation, the area offers many beautiful and challenging golf courses.
Focus on Tallahassee
As the state capital, Tallahassee is a Panhandle destination with a wide range of attractions. The city has a distinctive Southern charm with ancient oak trees and historic sites like the Old Capitol building and several antebellum plantation homes. This historic capital city also features many modern, urban attractions such as shopping centers and restaurants, the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Tallahassee Little Theatre.
Minto Communities and Margaritaville Holdings recently announced the location of the third Latitude Margaritaville community, Latitude Margaritaville Watersound, which will be built in Bay County near Panama City Beach. Located in the St. Joe’s Bay-Walton Sector Plan close to the 30A corridor, the community is expected to be opened in 2020.
Whether visiting the Florida Panhandle for the first time or relocating to one of the area’s affordable towns, retirees are sure to love the beautiful beaches, challenging golf courses, scenic treasures, historic attractions and Old Southern charm.