Menu, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Perdido Key Hotels, Outdoors, Things To Do


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Florida Emerald Coast Beaches

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The Florida Panhandle is renowned for the white-sand beaches and blue-green waters of its 
barrier coastal islands fronting the Gulf of Mexico.

The stunning sugar-white beaches of Gulf Islands National Seashore are composed of fine quartz eroded from granite in the Appalachian Mountains. The sand is carried seaward by rivers and creeks and deposited by currents along the shore.

The beach towns in the Panhandle, many of which play host to college students during spring break, are sometimes derisively called the Redneck Riviera. The term was used as the title of a song by country music artist Tom T. Hall on his 1996 album Songs from Sopchoppy. The album takes its name from a town in rural Wakulla County, near Tallahassee.

Tourists have been drawn to the Panhandle since the building of the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad in the 1880s. Pensacola Beach has been a major tourist attraction since the building of bridges between the mainland and Santa Rosa Island in 1931. After World War II, an increase in both tourism and population of the area led to a proliferation of motels, restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, and amusement parks along the coast, concentrated in Pensacola Beach, Fort Walton Beach, and Panama City Beach.

Both state and federal parks offer facilities for camping, picnicking, and other recreational pursuits. State Parks in the Panhandle include:

- Henderson Beach State Park
- Grayton Beach State Park
- St. Andrews State Park
- Perdido Key State Park
- Big Lagoon State Park
- Navarre Beach State Park
- St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
- St. George Island State Park

When planning a beach vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast/Panhandle, be sure to compare Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) & local real estate/management companies at:

Visit the Florida Gulf Coast/Panhandle, Beach Rentals By Owner-VRBO etc., Houses, Condos, Cottages - Panama City Beach-Destin-Fort Walton-Navarre-Pensacola-Perdido Key-Mexico Beach-Cape San Blas-St George Island,