First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (2023)

Just a few hours due south of my hometown of Montgomery, Alabama is the Florida Gulf Coast. That drive is a trip I’ve done more times than I can remember in my life and one of my favorite destinations – the Emerald Coast beaches of the Florida Panhandle.

First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (1)

I’ve written before about the pristine white sand and turquoise water of Alabama’s Beaches, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach but the entirety of the US Gulf Coast has amazing beaches. And just over the state line in the Florida Panhandle you’ll find a lot more of the same gorgeousness stretching on for miles and miles. The Florida Gulf Coast is a destination that is rarely on the radars of most travelers outside of the Southeast, but it undoubtedly should be.

The beaches of the Florida Panhandle, sometimes referred to as Northwest Florida beaches, are part of a large area covering a wide variety of beach scenes. Each coastal town and community has its own distinct vibe. Travelers unfamiliar with the region often have a hard time choosing where to make their home base and sometimes don’t realize how expansive and diverse the area is.

Over the course of my own travels, I’ve stayed in a number of these coastal communities, visited and dined in many others, and have flown into every commercial airport serving these destinations. It is definitely time for me to share all those experiences in a comprehensive guide to help other travelers understand the area!

If you are considering a trip to the Florida Panhandle to hit the beach, this article has everything a first time visitor needs to know.

(Trips With Tykes uses affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase through links in this post. See our full disclosure policy linked in the menu at the bottom of this site.)

Where are the Florida Panhandle Beaches?

First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (2)

The Florida Panhandle is that skinny strip of land along the Gulf Coast in the northwest corner of the state. Located due south of the state of Alabama and the southwest corner of Georgia, it’s culturally more aligned with Deep South than the rest of the state. Miami or Orlando this is most certainly not!

The beaches stretch over about 100-150 miles of coastline, depending on where you pick the starting and ending point, which is subject to a bit of debate. The area most central to the region is known as the Emerald Coast, stretching from Pensacola near the Florida/Alabama border to the west and Panama City to the east.

The major east-west thoroughfare through the region is US Highway 98, although I-10 to the north more inland is a helpful route for travelers covering longer distances. Local roads a little closer to the beach as well as on some of the barrier islands also provide east-west connections in some places (most notably, 30A – more on that below).

Sub-Regions, Major Cities, & Layout of Florida Panhandle Beaches

Major cities and regions of the Florida Panhandle of note (west to east) include:


Not far from the Alabama state line is Pensacola, the largest city in northwest Florida. The city is best known for being the home of the Navy’s Blue Angels, but it’s also teeming with history as an early Spanish settlement. Pensacola is surrounded by multiple beach communities, including Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach. Smaller towns of Gulf Breeze and Navarre are in the metro area.

Destin/Fort Walton Beach

Due east from Pensacola about 45 miles (1.25 hour drive) down the coast is the city of Destin. Destin is truly the OG town of the Florida Panhandle beach scene, and where I spent most of my childhood vacationing.

You’ll find a mix of properties to rent in Destin of every price and type, including hotels, condos, and standalone homes. The area has a lot of activities and restaurants and is definitely one of the busier beach areas on the Panhandle. It’s also exceptionally family-friendly and fairly affordable.

(Video) Ultimate 30A Florida Gulf Coast Overview | Greatest Beach Towns with Pristine Beaches & More!

Just east of Destin is Miramar Beach and the resort community of Sandestin.


First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (3)

The region known as 30A is a 24 mile stretch of beaches named for the road on which they sit, Florida’s Scenic Highway 30A. Located in South Walton County and sandwiched between Destin and Panama City Beach, the area was previously pretty quiet and unspoiled when I was a kid. Development in this area has really exploded in recent years, making it a destination all its own.

Each community along 30A has its own vibe. Running west to east, some popular 30A beaches include: Dune Allen, Gulf Place, Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Grayton Beach, Watercolor, Seaside, Seagrove, WaterSound, Alys Beach, Seacrest, Rosemary Beach, and Inlet Beach. (Some folks also include the communities of Miramar Beach and Sandestin in 30A, but I’ve always considered those more closely tied to the Destin center of gravity.)

Generally speaking, 30A has some of the most upscale and priciest accommodations in the region, and it also has the best scene for foodies.

Panama City Beach & Panama City

First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (4)

The drive from Destin east to Panama City is about 55 miles or an hour and 20 minutes. Panama City and its neighboring beach town, Panama City Beach, are perhaps most associated with college spring breakers, but the area has become substantially more upscale and family-friendly in the recent decade.

It’s more affordable than some of the other areas on the Panhandle, so it’s possible to take a quality vacation even on a tighter budget here. Like in Destin, the main drag can get busy and crowds are serious business in peak summer season.

Port St. Joe & the Forgotten Coast

The precise boundaries of the Florida Panhandle are subject to a bit dispute on the eastern end of things. Once you head out of Panama City, things get quiet pretty quickly. The Emerald Coast ends and what is now known as the Forgotten Coast begins, somewhere around Gulf County and the town of Port St. Joe. This sleepier area includes towns like Apalachicola and is popular with vacationers wanting to get outdoors, experience nature, and get some R&R.


While not on the beach, the inland city of Tallahassee is worth a mention as well. Tallahassee is, of course, Florida’s capital city and the largest city in the region. It’s on the very farthest east corner of what might be considered the Panhandle.

What do I Need to Know about Road Tripping to Florida Panhandle Beaches?

A majority of visitors to the Florida Panhandle come to the area by car. The drive market is more extensive than you might think. It includes all of the Southeast as well as up into some Midwestern states like Illinois and Indiana as well as the mid-Atlantic.

With all those road trippers comes traffic. Summer weekends along the beach roads especially can be jam-packed. The confluence of weekenders and weeklong vacationers (who tend to arrive and depart on Saturdays and Sundays) can make things very busy.

If you are planning to take to the roads, allow for plenty of extra time. Use apps like Waze to find alternate back road routes in some places that can sometimes save you major time when beach roads are crazy.

What are the Best Airports for Flying to the Florida Panhandle Beaches?

First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (5)

Vacationers who prefer to fly in or are coming from farther than the usual drive markets have multiple airport options. Note that even if you are flying into the area, a rental car is almost assuredly a must-have!

(Video) 2023 New 30A Amazing Florida Beach Towns Ultimate Tour ⛱️ ☀️

The closest and best airport choices for an Florida Panhandle beach trip are:

Pensacola International Airport (PNS)

Located on the far west of the Florida Panhandle is the city of Pensacola. This is the largest airport in the region and the one that Alabama beach vacationers actually often use as well. The Pensacola Airport (PNS) is served by Southwest Airlines, Delta, American, United, Frontier, Silver, and Spirit. Flight options increase in the summer months due to seasonal schedule changes.

PNS makes sense for travelers visiting the western corner of the Florida Panhandle region, including Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach. Even Destin and Fort Walton Beach travelers should give it serious consideration, as it’s only about an hour and 15 minutes away and has more non-stop flight options.

Be aware though that this airport can get crazy busy in the summer months. Rental car lines are long (tip: book a skip-the-counter option if possible!). And give yourself extra time for bag check and security upon departure.

Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS)

Also sometimes referred to as Niceville or Valparaiso, the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport is located a few miles inland from the city of Destin. As the most central airport in the region, travelers headed as far west as Pensacola as as far each as Panama City should consider it if there are non-stop flights from your destination available. That said, it is of course the most convenient to vacationers planning to make the Destin area their home base.

VPS has service on Delta, American, Southwest, Allegiant, and Sun Country and is small and easy to navigate.

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)

Located just a bit north of Panama City and Panama City Beach is the Northwest Florida Beaches Airport. The airport is served by American, Delta, Southwest and United.

It’s best located for Panama City area vacationers and anyone headed to the eastern end of 30A. The drive to Destin is only about an hour and 15 minutes, so it’s a viable choice with more airlines and non-stop destinations served for travelers headed there too.

Tallahassee International Airport (TLH)

Florida’s capital city on the far east end of the Panhandle is home to another airport to at least consider in a pinch. Served by American Airlines, Delta, and Silver Airways, the Tallahassee airport is about 2 hours away from Panama City.

Is the Florida Gulf Coast a Good Destination to Visit with Kids?

First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (6)

For sure! In fact, it doesn’t get much more family-friendly than the Florida Panhandle. Hotels and condos all over the region were built to accommodate family travelers. Activities and restaurants welcome kids. I certainly went there dozens of times with my parents when I was a child. I have found it to be an equally great fit a generation later for me as a mom now bringing my own kids.

That’s not to say there isn’t room for other travelers though. Couples travel, girlfriend getaways and guys’ golf trips are common in the area, especially in some of the higher end accommodations and especially along 30A. There’s a party and spring break scene in Panama City Beach as well, even as the area has been looking to reinvent itself in recent years as a higher end and more family-friendly destination.

Where to Stay on the Florida Panhandle

First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (7)

In an area as big as the Panhandle, travelers can pretty much find every type of accommodation at a wide variety of prices. There are a number of full service resorts as well as budget and moderate hotels. There is also a huge inventory in some places of condos for rent from individual owners or property management companies (sometimes these are timeshare properties). Finally, there is a fair mix of standalone beach homes available for rent as well.

For families, having a condo or a house with a kitchen, laundry room, living area, and multiple bedrooms is probably just what you want. Most travelers to the area come and stay for a week, making these kinds of accommodations even more useful.

(Video) Seaside, Florida and the Panhandle Coast - Travel Guide in 4K

A lot of the management companies advertise or rent on sites like Airbnb and VRBO, so it’s sometimes easiest to start there to compare options.

While it’s impossible to cover this region comprehensively, I thought I’d highlight a few of our favorite properties all over the area (ordered west to east):

The Henderson (Destin)

This resort opened in 2016 and is one of the standouts for a more luxurious Florida Panhandle beach vacation. The look is New England seaside manor meets Florida Gulf Coast, with the service and amenities you’d expect to come along with that. The property has two pools (one includes a lazy river) as well as a spa and kids club and multiple restaurants.

Rooms and condos can be booked directly on The Henderson website. See the hotel’s TripAdvisor reviews and more images here.

Hilton Sandestin (Sandestin)

The Hilton Sandestin has been around since I was a kid and stands the test of time as one of the premier high rise hotel properties on the Florida Gulf Coast.

Book directly on the Hilton Sandestin websiteor check out reviews and photos on TripAdvisor.

Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort (Sandestin)

The tried and true megaresort in the same area is the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort. Now encompassing 30 different neighborhoods and 1600+ units, the resort has every kind of accommodation from standalone houses to condos to hotel rooms. With tons of amenities and activities as well as restaurants and shopping on site, this is the place to stay for families who want a full service vacation.

Rent from individuals owners on VRBO or through the Sandestin rental management office.

WaterColor Inn & Resort (30A)

WaterColor is one of the earlier developments along 30A and focuses on outdoor adventure. The WaterColor Inn is regularly regarded as one of the top resorts in the area that manages to strike the right mix of both family-friendly and luxury. There is a newly renovated Beach Club and Camp WaterColor addition – a sprawling complex of inviting pools and restaurants.

See reviews and photos on TripAdvisor and book directly through WaterColor.

Aqua (Panama City Beach)

My parents owned a condo at Aqua for many years and we even hosted a family reunion here, so we can vouch for how well the units work for families. The building is still one of the nicest all condo high rises in Panama City Beach with walking or short driving distance to a lot of the top PCB sights. The pools are on the smaller and more basic side but given how gorgeous the beach is, I promise that doesn’t matter much!

You can rent from individual owners on VRBO or from rentals listed with the property management company (Aronov Realty).

SpringHill Suites Panama City Beach Beachfront (Panama City Beach)

SpringHill Suites are usually pretty pedestrian, but this property is not an average SpringHill. It is quite new (opened June 2019) and has some cool water features around its pool area and a prime beach location. Suites of a variety of types are available for families to spread out, and rooms have mini-refrigerators and microwaves. If you have Marriott points or certificates burning a hole in your pocket, this can be a smart redemption as cash prices can often top $400 a night in peak season.

Book directly on the Marriott site.

Things to Do in the Florida Panhandle

While I highly recommend spending a lot of time at the beach and by the pool, there are so many activities along Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches. Since the panhandle is so large, make sure you don’t plan to travel too far for things to do. Otherwise, you might find yourself stuck in a lot of beach traffic getting there.

(Video) Crab Island, Destin Florida!

Of course, there are the usual golf courses, fishing charters, and watercraft rentals nearly everywhere. Here are the other activity highlights that I’d recommend to other visitors, particularly families (listed west to east).

Flora-Bama (Perdido Key, FL)

First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (8)

Straddling the state line with Alabama is perhaps the most famous dive bar and country music performing venue in America. The Flora-Bama is also a destination with shops, restaurants, bars, and even church on Sunday mornings. Believe it or not, kids are welcome in much of the complex.

National Naval Aviation Museum (Pensacola)

As the home of the Blue Angels, you’d better believe Pensacola’s aviation museum is pretty fantastic. With flight simulators to historic planes, this is a must-do for airplane loving kids (and adults).

Gulf Breeze Zoo (Gulf Breeze)

With over 800 animals and a safari-style train ride through a portion of the park, this is a great activity for families with younger kids in between Pensacola and Destin.

Big Kahuna’s Water Park (Destin)

Many hot summer days of my own childhood were spent at Big Kahuna’s, and I’m beyond thrilled it’s still around. The park has water slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and a splash and play area for little ones.

The Track (Destin)

The Track is a giant entertainment complex with go-cart tracks, a large arcade, bumper boats, and amusement park rides for younger kids. Buy points online in advance to save money and share among a larger group.

Pier Park (Panama City Beach)

First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (9)

Pier Park is a huge shopping, entertainment, and dining complex just set back from the beach in the thick of things in Panama City Beach. A highlight is definitely Miracle Strip, a small amusement park with a ferris wheel and mild thrill rides.

Shipwreck Island Waterpark (Panama City)

Panama City has an awesome waterpark all its own worth a visit if you are in that neck of the woods. Shipwreck Island has a lazy river, tube and water slides, a kiddie play area, and even a zipline swing that drops into the water.

More Tips & Tricks for First Time Visitors to Florida Panhandle Beaches

1. Eat Out Early: The restaurants in the Florida Panhandle are amazing, featuring everything from all-you-can-eat deep fried seafood to some of the finest chef-created cuisine in the South. In summer months, top restaurants are in high demand. If you arrive at peak dinner hour in summer months, you can often expect waits of 1-2 hours or more. To beat the long waits of peak dinner hour, plan to eat early, especially if you have young kids. Consider restaurants that will take advance reservations or even book a private room.

2. Consider the Off-Season: Summer months are peak season on the Florida Gulf Coast. But those months are also extremely hot and humid if you plan to do anything other than water activities. If you have travel schedule flexibility, avoid the crowds and the heat coming during the spring or fall shoulder season (or even in winter when it’s very quiet!). It’s still warm enough to swim as early as spring break and well into early fall.

3. Get a Discount: As you might find in a lot of beach destinations, activities in the area can be pricey. But it’s so easy to find a discount for a number of the things you might want to do, from amusement centers to water activities like fishing trips or parasailing. While plenty of specials are posted on company websites and sites like Yelp, you’ll often find the best deals by picking up the low-tech flyers in hotel lobbies advertising area attractions.

More Florida Gulf Coast Beaches Information

For even more perspectives on beach vacations on the Florida Panhandle and Emerald Coast, check out these guides from some fellow family travel bloggers I personally know and trust who have also traveled recently to the area:

First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond (10)
(Video) Beachfront Condo Tour | 30A Florida


First Timer's Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches: Destin, 30A, Panama City & Beyond? ›

Grayton Beach State Park

Located between Panama City Beach and Destin, this 2,000 acre State Park is home to a great beach area. You can even rent cabins at the state park so you can wake up to the sunrises and finish the day with the sunsets on this beach.

What is the best beach between Panama City and Destin? ›

Grayton Beach State Park

Located between Panama City Beach and Destin, this 2,000 acre State Park is home to a great beach area. You can even rent cabins at the state park so you can wake up to the sunrises and finish the day with the sunsets on this beach.

What is the difference between 30A and Destin? ›

Destin has more chain restaurants and stores whereas 30a is all local. Destin is better equipped to handle hordes of people so if you're going during high season sometimes parts of 30a (ehem, Seaside) are a zoo.

What is 30A between Destin and Panama City? ›

What is 30A? Known as the "Emerald Coast," it's a collection of small, unique, beautiful Florida beach towns nestled quietly between the busier areas of Panama City and Destin along County Road 30A. The beach communities of Rosemary Beach, Seaside, Aly's and Santa Rosa Beach sit in this area.

What is the nicest beach in Destin? ›

The Best Destin Florida Beaches You Need to Visit (Top 5)
  • Navarre Beach: Less Crowded but a Bit of a Drive. ...
  • Miramar Beach: Near Retail Stores and Great Restaurants. ...
  • Henderson Beach State Park- Short Drive from Destin In Between Okaloosa Island and Harbor Walk.
Mar 29, 2021

What beach has the clearest water near Destin? ›

Just east of Destin on Hwy 98, Panama City Beach marks the end of the beaches of South Walton. These beaches are widely considered to be the clearest and pure in the country.

Which Destin beach is not crowded? ›

Princess Beach

This little-known gem is located on Okaloosa Island just west of the Destin bridge. Princess Beach is one of the more secluded beaches along the Emerald Coast. If you're looking to escape the crowds on other beaches, Princess Beach is the spot for you.

What is the best time of the year to go to 30A? ›

April and May are often considered the best time to visit this special area of the Florida coast. The sun is shining and the temperatures are comfortable (expect highs in the mid-70s and 80s.) This is the calm before the busy summer season. School is not out yet and the weather is fantastic!

Why is 30A so popular? ›

What Makes 30A So Special? 30A is like nowhere else in the world, with its combination of picture-perfect white sand beaches and aqua blue Gulf, coastal forests and coastal dune lakes, state parks, festivals and events that attract visitors from across the country… and, of course, its unique Southern charm.

Is Panama or Destin cheaper? ›

Both Destin and Panama City Beach can be expensive destinations, especially during peak season. But, generally speaking, Destin is considered a more upscale destination, with higher prices for accommodations, dining, and activities.

Is Panama City Beach as clear as Destin? ›

Panama City Beach is another great beach with blue water in Florida. It is east of the Choctawhatchee Bay so it isn't quite as clear as Destin, but it still has beautiful waters. Panama City Beach has about 27 miles of sandy beaches and is home to two beautiful state parks.

How far apart are Destin and Panama City? ›

There are 43.83 miles from Destin to Panama City Beach in southeast direction and 47 miles (75.64 kilometers) by car, following the US-98 route. Destin and Panama City Beach are 1 hour far apart, if you drive non-stop . This is the fastest route from Destin, FL to Panama City Beach, FL.

Why is Destin Florida so popular? ›

Visit Destin Florida, aptly referred to as both the 'Crown Jewel of the Emerald Coast' and the 'World's Luckiest Fishing Village', for spectacular beaches that are continually voted among the top in the country, and some of the best fishing in the world.

What is the best week to go to Destin? ›

The best time to visit Destin is in April and May when the water is warm, the sun is shining and the temperatures are comfortable (expect highs in the mid-70s and 80s). If you visit any earlier, you risk cooler weather and chilly water. A summer trip will put you among the crowds and the peak prices.

What time of year is the water clearest in Destin? ›

Summer is also the best time to visit Crab Island in Destin. Crab Island will have the most clear water days and comfortable swimming/wading temperatures than any other season.

What is Destin famous for? ›

Destin is known as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village." The city houses the largest and most elaborately equipped fishing fleet in the State of Florida. In addition to fishing, recreational opportunities include golf, tennis and water sports, including diving and snorkeling.

Is it safe to swim in the ocean in Destin Florida? ›

Destin FL is one of our favorite places to swim and snorkel in the summertime. During the summer months, the water in Destin Florida is the perfect temperature for cooling off and swimming comfortably. Depending on the weather, the waves in Destin FL are gentle enough to enjoy swimming and floating around in a tube.

What makes the water so blue in Destin? ›

The color of the water here on the Emerald Coast is attributed to the Algae in the water. When the sun reflects off the Algae it makes our water the beautiful emerald color we all love.

Why is Destin water so green? ›

In the coastal waters of Northwest Florida, there is a healthy supply of microscopic plankton. The plankton produce chlorophyll, which gives off the beautiful greenish color when the sun's light hits the water and underlying white quartz sand.

What month is best for Destin? ›

Spring, specifically April and May, are the peak travel months and crowds file into town through July. Fall is the best time to visit Destin, FL because crowds are lighter, prices are lower, temperatures are still high, and there is a ton to do around town.

Can you walk on Destin beach at night? ›

All beach accesses in Destin are open 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset.

What do people look for at Destin beach at night? ›

The entire family will love discovering the nocturnal creatures and tide pools that don't come out during the day. (Plus, who doesn't love flashlight tag?) Bring a bucket and some red flashlights (the red light protects local sea turtles) and search for ghost crabs scurrying across the sand.

What is the least crowded beach on 30A? ›

Located along the last section of 30A before merging with U.S. Highway 98, Dune Allen Beach is one of the more secluded beaches in the area.

Can you drink alcohol on 30A beaches? ›

Here are some general rules to keep in mind before visiting 30A! Alcohol is permitted on 30A beaches for anyone of legal drinking age. You can have an open container; however, glass containers are not allowed on the beaches.

Why is the water brown on 30A? ›

Tannic water is created when leaves, grasses, pine needles, and other organic matter falls into the water. The matter breaks down over time, giving the water that tea-stained look.

What celebrities live on 30A? ›

Many others own homes along or near Scenic 30A, including Britney Spears, Garth Brooks, Tricia Yearwood, Cheryl Crow, Jessica Simpson, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Chef Emeril Lagasse, and Matthew McConaughey to name a few. They can afford the very best and the privileged lifestyle that goes with it.

Are there sharks in 30A? ›

The 30A area along Florida's Gulf Coast offers stunning beaches and abundant natural beauty, including a diverse marine ecosystem that includes sharks.

What is the white town in 30A? ›

Alys Beach FL is the all white town of Florida with its buildings painted white. What is this? While Alys Beach is known for being a luxurious 30A beach town with a private beach limited to residents and guests, anyone can drive through the town of Alys Beach to see the famous white buildings.

What's the cheapest month to go to Destin Florida? ›

November through February are the cheapest months to visit Destin, Florida. As it's well-known as the off-season, the cost of airfare, accommodations, and rental cars drop considerably. You can usually find great deals on attractions as well because the companies just want to get people through the doors.

What is the cheapest month to go to Panama? ›

The best time for budget travelers to visit is mid-April to early December. The rainy season is the quietest and cheapest time to visit Panama, but you'll get wet.

Is there a shuttle from Panama City to Destin? ›

Sunshine Shuttle is available in 30A, South Walton, Panama City, Fort Walton, and Destin. Sunshine Shuttle enables you to schedule your transportation in-advance or on-demand even during peak season times. Download our app for instant access or make a reservation online or by phone.

What beach has the clearest water in the US? ›

Beaches With Clear Water: The Best in the United States
  • Waimea Bay Beach Park, Hawaii. ...
  • Crandon Park Beach, Florida. ...
  • Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia. ...
  • Clearwater Beach, Florida. ...
  • Carmel Beach, Carmel by The Sea, California. ...
  • Cannon Beach, Oregon. ...
  • Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada. ...
  • Clear Water, Clear Skies, Good Times.
Mar 25, 2022

What beach in Florida has no waves? ›

Calusa Beach, Big Pine Key

With gentle or nonexistent waves, this beach in the Florida Keys is one of the best spots in the state for littles. It's shallow, and fun snorkeling opportunities happen right off the sand, making this stretch a great way to spend a relaxing family afternoon.

Which is nicer Pensacola or Destin? ›

While Destin offers a high-end experience with world-class restaurants, golf courses, and activities for families, Pensacola is the perfect beach town getaway with its relaxed atmosphere and lack of tourists. No matter which city you choose to visit in Florida's Panhandle, there's something for everyone!

Is Destin more expensive than Panama City Beach? ›

The beaches are beautiful, not as expensive as Destin and there are more things to do !! Destin is much more expensive. you can get much nicer accomodations in PC for a much lower price than Destin.

What is the best time to go to Panama City Beach? ›

The best time to visit Panama City Beach is from May through October. Though the area boasts an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, late spring, summer and early fall offer some of the warmest air and water temperatures.

Is Gulf Shores or Destin cheaper? ›

For food, both destinations seem to be pretty even.

Okay, so Gulf Shores vs Destin… in this category I think Destin is slightly more expensive. So if you're looking for an affordable spot… Gulf Shores wins!

How many days do you need in Destin Florida? ›

Destin, Florida is a popular vacation destination for families looking to enjoy the sunshine and white sandy beaches. Located on the Emerald Coast, Destin offers a wide range of activities and attractions that can easily be enjoyed over a 4-day period.

Does Britney Spears have a house in Destin Florida? ›

The Regency Towers penthouse was originally purchased by Bridgemore Timber LLC, a controversial company tied to Spears, on December 27, 2001 for $920,000. The address is 950 Highway 98 East #7101, Destin, FL 32541.

How much does it cost to go to Crab Island? ›

$49 per seat – standard 2.5 hour excursion. $59 per seat – extended 3 hour mid-day excursion.

What month is hurricane season in Destin Florida? ›

Hurricane Season begins June 1st and ends November 30th.

What is the best time of year to see dolphins in Destin FL? ›

From late spring to the end of summer, female dolphins from other areas flock to Destin when mating season rolls around. As such, this time of year is perfect for dolphin watching.

What are the warmest months in Destin FL? ›

5 Things to Know About the Weather in Destin Florida
  1. Rain is Typically Heaviest in July and August. ...
  2. Overall Average High of 75 Degrees. ...
  3. Hottest Months are August, July, and June. ...
  4. October has the Least Humidity. ...
  5. Destin Weather Averages Month-by-Month.
Dec 30, 2020

What time of day is best to snorkel in Destin? ›

Slack high tide is the best time to visit because of currents and visibility (current is stronger with the outgoing tide). The area can be reached by boat or by shore. Experienced snorkelers can explore Destin Jetties on their own. Alternatively, Destin Snorkel provides snorkel tours here for all levels of experience.

What celebrity lives in Destin Florida? ›

Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood fly down there from Nashville on a regular basis for vacations. Other celebrities and sometime residents who have homes here include Britney Spears, Sheryl Crow (who frequents the Red Bar in Grayton Beach), Jessica Simpson, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Keith Urban.

What movie was filmed in Destin? ›

From Destin to Navarre, Florida, and up to the sleepy town of Shalimar, Jaws 2 filming enveloped the Emerald Coast back in the summer and fall of 1977. As one of the memorable movies filmed in Destin, Florida, Jaws 2 sticks in the mind of locals, as many were allowed to function as extras in the beach and town scenes.

Is alcohol allowed on the beach in Destin? ›

ALCOHOL — Alcohol is allowed on the beach but not in the state parks. Again, no glass bottles, etc. Underage drinking is not permitted. LITTERING — No littering on the beach, and no glass containers on the beach.

What is halfway between Destin and Panama City Beach? ›

SoWal Beaches are located in South Walton County in the Florida Panhandle, halfway between Destin and Panama City Beach. From Interstate 10, exit at County Road 331 and follow the signs south through Freeport to Highway 98.

What towns are between Destin and Panama City Beach? › or 407-420-6213. Getting there: The towns of South Walton — Inlet, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Seacrest, WaterSound, Seagrove, Seaside, WaterColor, Grayton Beach, Blue Mountain, Santa Rosa Beach and Dune Allen — are on County Road 30A in the Panhandle between Destin and Panama City.

What is the nicest beach in Panama City Panama? ›

#1 Isla Taboga

The “Island of Flowers” as its known has plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, hotels and hostels. You can also contact the guys @Highlife Panama for your perfect private yacht charter, birthday party or corporate event to Taboga or Las Perlas.

Is Destin nicer than Panama City Beach? ›

If you are looking for a quieter, more upscale vacation with a focus on fishing and water sports, Destin may be the better choice. If you are looking for a livelier, more affordable vacation with a focus on nightlife and family-friendly activities, Panama City Beach may be the better choice.

Is Panama cheaper than Destin? ›

Destin is much more expensive. you can get much nicer accomodations in PC for a much lower price than Destin. I have been going to PCB for over 20 years and have thought about staying in Destin. But the difference in prices is just too much.

Is Panama City Beach cheaper than Destin? ›

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Destin and Panama City, we can see that Panama City is more expensive. And not only is Destin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination.

What is the scenic route from Destin to Panama City Beach? ›

If there was ever a time to avoid the interstate and chose a scenic highway, then that time would be choosing Highway 30A, the road between Destin and Panama City Florida. Along this scenic highway, you will discover quaint coastal towns paralleled by white sandy beaches and clear emerald green water.

Is there a difference between Panama City and Panama City Beach? ›

Is Panama City the same as Panama City Beach? Not exactly. Panama City, Florida is the city proper, but if you head towards the beach, you enter the beachside or Panama City Beach.

What is the all white town near Destin? ›

If you drive the 30A between Panama City Beach and Destin, you'll know when you're in Alys Beach because of the white buildings all around you. Alys Beach FL is the all white town of Florida with its buildings painted white.

Why is Panama City Beach so popular? ›

With more than 27 miles of coastline, PCB is known for its sprawling Gulf beaches, with their silky white sand and unbeatable ocean views. It's no wonder the city's beaches are consistently ranked among the most beautiful in the world.

What is the least crowded part of Panama City Beach? ›

Panama City Beach's West End is the quieter side of the area where you'll find quaint communities dotting the beaches and less high-rise condominiums.

Can you swim in the beach in Panama City Panama? ›

A: Panama City Beach and Bay County offer many great swimming and snorkeling spots other than the Gulf of Mexico.

Can you swim in the ocean in Destin? ›

Destin FL is one of our favorite places to swim and snorkel in the summertime. During the summer months, the water in Destin Florida is the perfect temperature for cooling off and swimming comfortably. Depending on the weather, the waves in Destin FL are gentle enough to enjoy swimming and floating around in a tube.

Why is Destin water so blue? ›

The color of the water here on the Emerald Coast is attributed to the Algae in the water. When the sun reflects off the Algae it makes our water the beautiful emerald color we all love.

What is the clearest water in Florida? ›

Dry Tortugas National Park has beaches with the clearest water in Florida. Thanks to its protected status and remote island location, water in the Dry Tortugas is exceptionally clean and clear. Dry Tortugas National Park is located approximately 67 miles west of Key West.


1. Explore Sandestin, Miramar Beach, Florida | Beach Destinations in Florida 😎 | 30A
2. 24HRS IN 30A ☀️ Rosemary Beach, Seaside, Seacrest, and Alys Beach!
(James and Meg)
3. Shell Island, Panama City Beach, Florida!
4. Destin FL - A Travel Guide for The Emerald Coast
5. 10 Best Things To Do In Destin Florida - Full Destin Travel Tour
(TheAeroWorld Investigation)
6. 30A Map Beaches of South Walton You Must Visit | Miramar Beach, Sandestin, Watercolor, Alys Beach
(Destin to 30A with Debbie)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Arline Emard IV

Last Updated: 26/10/2023

Views: 6234

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Arline Emard IV

Birthday: 1996-07-10

Address: 8912 Hintz Shore, West Louie, AZ 69363-0747

Phone: +13454700762376

Job: Administration Technician

Hobby: Paintball, Horseback riding, Cycling, Running, Macrame, Playing musical instruments, Soapmaking

Introduction: My name is Arline Emard IV, I am a cheerful, gorgeous, colorful, joyous, excited, super, inquisitive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.