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For the Perfect Summer Getaway, Consider the Florida Panhandle

White Sand Beaches of Pensacola

By Myscha Theriault – Independent Travelers Resources at

While the panhandle may be a bit of a drive from southern Florida, it’s easily accessible for people in Georgia and other nearby states that border the Gulf of Mexico. Known as the Emerald Coast by locals and regional travelers, the area is beginning to bounce back from the BP disaster. From fishing rodeos to spa getaways and souvenir experiences for the serious shopper, here are a few places in northwest Florida you may want to check out.


Emerald Grand at Harborwalk in Destin

Home to the Sandestin Resort and the Inn on Destin Harbor, as well as the annual fishing rodeo, Destin, Florida is the perfect getaway for those families with an avid fisherman in the mix. Dad will have time to cast a line or do a little deep sea fishing while the kiddos explore the beaches and Mom hits the spa. There are also numerous water sports to enjoy in the area.

Panama City Beach

Fishing Pier

A great place for a golf getaway, the town of Panama City Beach is also a great place for water sports, beach lounging and home to the twenty-acre Water Park named Shipwreck Island. Other fun venues in Panama City Beach include St. Andrew’s State Park and Club La Vela.

Fort Walton Beach

Sportfishing in Fort Walton Beach

While it’s certainly a popular spring break destination, Fort Walton Beach has much to offer the family-oriented traveler as well. The Okaloosa Island boardwalk, the Emerald Coast Science Center and the beach itself all come to mind. When you’re hungry, the Black Pearl and the Crab Trap are both available to serve up some grub, while nightlife options include Howl at the Moon and Swamp.


AV-8 Harrier & An F-4 Phantom II

Home to a towering lighthouse, Pensacola Beach and the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida is a place where locals and residents of nearby states alike enjoy taking time to unwind. Having historically been under the control of five different governments, there’s a fair bit of heritage to be uncovered during any visit to this coastal Sunshine State town.

Who is the panhandle perfect for? Well, families, fisher folk, Nature Coast residents and locals for starters. But certainly residents of other nearby states who share the same coastline, will find the area worthy as well. The white sand beaches and laid-back Florida vibe make the area a popular getaway.

Myscha Theriault Myscha Theriault is a syndicated columnist for McClatchy-Tribune, best-selling author, and professional blogger whose work has been featured by Forbes, MSN, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Herald, AOL, and others. Print interviews include Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s World, and All You Magazines. She is the founder of, a web site for independent travelers. You can also catch up with her on Twitter.

Originally Published on May 7th, 2012

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