The Florida Panhandle is located in the northwestern part of Florida and borders the Gulf of Mexico. This area known as the “Emerald Coast” for its beautiful blue and turquoise water complemented by white sandy beaches. Once a barrier Island, over the course of several years of Hurricanes and Sea Level changes, the Florida Panhandle connected to the mainland of Florida. In the 1940s, it technically became an island again with the completion of the Choctawhatchee-West Bay Canal. In today’s blog, we will be exploring Florida Panhandle adventures.
The Panhandle has 10 aquatic preserves, 36 state parks, the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and the 234,000-acre Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. The main adventures include Airboats, Gator Adventures, Surfing, Deep Sea Fishing, Beach Bumming, and countless Seafood Restaurants. Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City Beach are popular destinations in the Florida Panhandle. A for sure Top 10 Bucket List Destination.
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Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle. Furthermore, it’s the site of the first Spanish settlement within the borders of the continental United States in 1559, 6 years before St. Augustine. Pensacola has the nickname “The City of Five Flags”, due to the five governments that have ruled it during its history: the flags of Spain (Castile), France, Great Britain, the United States of America, and the Confederate States of America. The first United States Naval Air Station is located in Pensacola and is the home to the Blue Angels.
Destin Florida is named after Leonard Destin, a fishing captain who settled in the area between 1845 and 1850. With its variety of fishing charters, it’s known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”. With a population just shy of 14,000 residents, Destin sees over 4.5 million visitors a year. In addition, Crab Island is a popular destination with a significant sandbar and appears only when the tide is out. Several tour operators provide tours to the island.
Panama City is located southeast of Destin. It gained popularity in the early 2000s with the Real Estate boom of high rises and tour companies. Furthermore, since the boom, its been one of the most popular Spring Break destinations for 20 years. One of the most unique museums is The Man in the Sea Museum which highlights all things Sea and Diving. This can easily be added to your Custom Itinerary in the Tripio App.
The weather along the panhandle is very similar which makes planning your vacation easy. The summers are long and hot leaving the winters to feel short, cool, and windy. However, year-round, it can be wet and partly cloudy. The temperature typically varies from 46°F to 89°F and is rarely below 33°F or above 93°F. What makes the temperature feel much hotter is the high level of humidity. The best time to travel here is early April to mid-May and from early October to early November.
Scuba Diving charters, Spearfishing, and Lionfish hunting are what Niuhi Dive Charters specializes in. What’s more, Niuhi offers scuba diving for all levels of experience and helps you cross off another adventure on your Bucketlist. Dive sites can accommodate basic open water divers to advanced open water and even tech divers. The Niuhi carries a federal permit for fishing in all waters and the license covers all divers that want to spearfish.
Built in 1859, the Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is located onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola. Climb 177 steps up the historic Pensacola Lighthouse for one of the most beautiful views on the Gulf Coast. Moreover, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. As the Lighthouse and Museum are located on a military base, Civilian access requires advanced planning so Book Online.
Visit the Historic Pensacola Village
Historic Pensacola Village, an 8.5-acre historic downtown area with 28 preserved buildings and museums from Colonial times to WWII. Furthermore, there are self-guided and guided museums as well as living history programming. Some of the self-guided museums are the Museum of Commerce, the Museum of Industry, the Julee Cottage, the Manuel Barrios Cottage, and the John Appleyard Cottage. In addition, the city of Pensacola offers a ticket good for 7 days to visit all museums, tours, and much more.
The first Miller’s Ale House opened in 1988 in Jupiter, Florida, as a local place to be enjoyed by all walks of life. They are a sports-themed casual dining restaurant with a wide variety of entrees for great value. Miller’s Ale has a fully loaded Beer, Cocktail, and Wine List. Your Custom Itinerary will have a link to their website to view their menu.
Sun Dogs Parasailing has been the top-rated Parasailing Adventure with a 100% safety rating. They are family owned and operated in Destin for over 25 years and are the perfect way to see the Emerald Coast on your vacation. They take 6 passengers out at a time to enjoy a 10-12 minute ride up to 1,000 feet in the air. What’s more, if you want to watch your party parasail, they will have the best view at AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar.
With fresh oysters, cold beer, and live music every day of the week, it’s easy to see why Boathouse Oyster Bar has been a staple on the Destin Harbor for over 30 years! It is one of Destin’s best-kept secrets. Located on the Destin Harbor, the Boathouse offers anything from seafood to burgers and salads with a water view.
At Emerald Coast Wine Cellars you can sip, swirl, and sample southern muscadine wines. They offer a complimentary wine tasting daily, 7 days a week. Sample the wonderful muscadine wines, bottled and produced at their sister store, Chautauqua Vineyards and Winery, Inc. located in historical DeFuniak Springs, Florida.
Baytowne Adventure Zones’ mission is to provide fun, exciting, and safe attractions for everyone. Activities include Ropes Courses, Trampoline, Zip Lines, Tower Climbs, and Golf Challenges. Whether you’re a toddler or an adult Baytowne has something to challenge everyone.
Panama City, Florida
Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours offers Dolphin Encounters, Snorkeling Adventures, Diving, Trolling, Bottomfishing, Spearfishing, and more! Up to 6 passengers, private or public trips available. Furthermore, they can accommodate groups of up to 16 passengers for private trips on one boat.
Airboat Adventures is veteran-owned and operates Panama City Beach’s #1 fast, fun, and exciting eco-tour AND the ONLY “full contact alligator experience” around. You’ll tour the backwaters of West Bay, rivers, creeks, and marshlands in search of native Florida wildlife on this airboat ride. In addition, American bald eagles, ospreys, herons, dolphins, alligators, and lots more are on display during our Panama City Beach boat rides! What’s more, you can take in the beautiful scenery as you glide on just inches of water in one of our REAL everglades style airboats.
On the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise, drift back in time to the carefree days of pirates. Sit back and relax as your children laugh and play under the watchful eyes of Capt. “Fearless” Phil and his friendly crew. Enjoy an exciting and scenic 2-hour family Pirate activity cruise that includes dolphin sightings, great music, and non-stop pirate activities for the kids. Furthermore, cold beer, soda, snacks, t-shirts & pirate souvenirs are available on board as well as clean restrooms.
Man in the Sea Museum is a great place to explore fascinating exhibits and get acquainted with the roots of diving. Owned by the Institute of Diving, the Man in the Sea Museum showcases the progress of underwater technology, from the earliest days of diving to the most modern underwater habitats.
Thank you for reading, remember, adventure awaits you on the Tripio App. Travel has never been so easy!
Interested in more adventure travel, check out: Curacao: Adventure Lovers Paradise
-Catherine Mortimer, Tripio Guru