Explore Florida Panhandle Beaches: Sun, Sand, and Serenity

Are you looking for the best beaches in Florida? Look no further! We have got you covered. Florida Panhandle beaches, best of all the Florida beaches, have the clearest water and whitest sand, which makes them a popular place to visit for tourists and a great family vacation spot. 

The Florida Panhandle hugs the top part of the Sunshine State, skimming west across the Gulf of Mexico.

With balmy weather, people’s hospitality and convenient proximity to major cities, this part is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets. 

Whether visitors prefer to bask and perfect base tans on sugary sands, find the sun-drenched parties of the Gulf Coast or enjoy the solitude of sandy paradise, these top ten Panhandle beaches will deliver an unforgettable experience.

Along the Gulf of Mexico, the southern side of the Panhandle is set, known for having classic Southern culture from the accents to the food. 

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This state’s part is specifically renowned for its spectacular beaches. From Pensacola to Cedar Key, sparkling water sands and emerald waters run from quaint fishing villages to popular city stripes. 

Keep reading this comprehensive guide to get to know all about the best beaches in the Florida Panhandle.

What is Florida Panhandle? 

The northwest region of the state is known as Florida Panhandle. It is a long, narrow area that pulls away from the main state’s part, giving it the appearance of a pan’s handle. 

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This Sunshine State’s part is roughly 200 miles long and 100 miles wide, home to some of Florida’s best white sand beaches. May to October is technically the best time to visit the Florida Panhandle.

Best Beaches in Florida Panhandle 

Best Beaches in Florida Panhandle - FLTrendz

Pensacola Beach – One of the Best Florida Panhandle Beaches 

Pensacola Beach - FLTrendz

Nestled on the scenic Santa Rose Island in Pensacola Beach, it is commonly known as one of the best beaches in the Florida Panhandle. The Gulf’s azure waters and surrounding bays make it an attractive visitor spot.

Enjoy lifeguards on the busier beaches or prefer to experience a more private experience at the National Seashore.

Often deemed the epicenter of the coast, the seaside views are picture-perfect. Over 14,00 feet long, the wooden pier is ideal for a seaside stroll or spending some time fishing.

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Beachgoers always guarantee to have a grand time swimming, snorkeling and watching the sunset from breezes-swept shores.

Arguably one of the most famous beaches in the Panhandle, a gem of the Emerald Coast, Pensacola Beach is known for its 20 miles of winding beach, bright green water and distinctive water tower, which greets visitors when they step into town.

Despite the awe-inspiring nature and great fishing or swimming, visitors can find plenty of shopping and world-class dining here.

General Vibe: Busy with plenty of amenities and restaurants.

What to Do & See: Go snorkeling, swim, and spot dolphins and marine life.

Grayton Beach

Grayton Beach - FLTrendz

In the middle of Pensacola and Panama City rests the chill oasis of Grayton Beach. Find a chilled-out artistic vibe, plenty of water sports, including swimming and kayaking, and many marine birds and underwater life. 

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Experience inland trails to explore museums and various local restaurants. Soft white sands and crystal clear water provide an idyllic escape, which makes the Grayton Beach State Park one of the prettiest beaches in Florida. 

Spend a lazy day wandering around the historic village nearby or explore a funky artistic flair with a paved street lined by old wooden homes.

There are plenty of adventures to be had in this state park. You can enjoy hiking, fishing, kayaking and cycling around coastal dune lakes and through pine flat woods. 

This park is certainly a nature lovers’ paradise; it has 2,000 acres and is set on about a mile of pristine shoreline. Soak up the surroundings by camping overnight and enjoy one of the most scenic stays in the Panhandle.

General Vibe: Natural, artistic & chill.

Things to Do: Birdwatching, hiking, kayaking and swimming.

Henderson Beach State Park 

Henderson Beach State Park - FLTrendz

Close to the bustling and bright shores of Destin Beach, this park is famous among all of the best beaches in the Florida Panhandle beaches. 

Here, you can experience swimming, summit dunes and excellent hiking. Visitors may have a stretch of sandy heaven all to themselves at this place. 

Out of so many Florida Panhandle attractive spots, Henderson Beach State Park is a great place to bask in the natural beauty. 

The majestic stretch of the Emerald Coast is anchored by rolling 30-foot dunes. This is a preserved part of the landscape, so all the breathtaking nature is protected.

Henderson Beach State Park is home to the last remnants of coastal scrub in the Panhandle, like live sand oath and myrtle. Although it’s located in Destin, it is often uncrowded. 

Here, you can appreciate peace in a very idyllic environment. There are not only lifeguards but also different coloured red flags that will alert you to the safety of sea conditions daily.

General Vibe: Beautiful & untouched.

Things to Do: Swim, hike, and wander along the Henderson Beach State Park boardwalk.

Destin Beach 

Destin Beach - FLTrendz

Perennially famous Destin Beach boasts 6,000 feet of sunkissed beach, a happening and exciting beach town vibe, world-class restaurants and many water spots to enjoy. 

People looking for party vibes to accompany Florida’s southern charm will love this Panhandle spot. 

Destin is considered the original beach destination of the Florida Panhandle, full of restaurants, shops and various places to visit. 

This family-friendly and affordable spot offers great options for spring break in Florida for families. 

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Here, you can have a lot of fun things to do, including fishing opportunities. Find a state-of-the-art golf course, aquarium and theme park or go on a cruise for an unforgettable experience. 

You can also spot dolphins or try water sports such as parasailing to have fun. Pro-tip: head to the beach earlier to stake out your favorite spot and enjoy the natural splendor before the crowds set in.

General Vibe: Exciting party town with a long, gorgeous beach.

Things to Do: Go fishing, celebrate with the locals and eat some of the state’s finest food.

Navarre Beach 

Navarre Beach - FLTrendz

Do you want to hit up two amazing beaches in one day easily? Navarre Beach is right down the road and is renowned for its massive, walkable pier and a fantastic array of marine life. 

May and October are magic times when visitors can see the majestic creatures, turtles, come out of the waters to nest on Navarre Beach’s smooth shores.

General Vibe: A natural relaxing place with plenty of marine life.

Things to Do: See all the marine life, including stingrays, turtles and fish.

Crystal Beach 

Crystal Beach - FLTrendz

Crystal Beach in the Panhandle is a popular vacation spot known for adorable pastel-coloured beach cottages.

This beach, located south of Destin Commons, is home to favorite seafood eateries and boutiques.

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You can rent an umbrella on the beach and make your beach time more comfortable. In Crystal Beach, concerts or dog costume contests are local events to attend.

They are renowned for a particularly hungry underwater population while earning the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village nickname. 

Before heading, it’s best to check the times of tides since they affect how you set up on the sand for a day.

Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa Beach - FLTrendz

People craving idyllic, sugary beaches of the Gulf Coast will love Santa Rose Beach in Walton County.

This beach is a sun worshipper’s paradise with smooth sands, bright cobalt, and green waters.

However, travelers can also get their fill of hiking and biking on the beach’s sunny trails.

General Vibe: Beautiful & scenic with plenty of space.

Things to Do: Bike, hike, sunbath, nature.

Panama City Beach 

Panama City Beach - FLTrendz

Panama City Beach, a coastal metropolis boasting over two dozen miles of sugar and white sands, is packed with amenities and activities.

Explore the abundance of nature with many wild hiking trails, or ride on the Sky Wheel to enjoy a bird’s eye view.

Once, it was thought of as a Spring Break destination, but today, it is known as a more family-friendly beach.

Panama City is also renowned as the Wreck Diving Capital of the South. It’s a favorite spot for discovering the underwater world while scuba diving.

This beach is full of waterfront resorts where you can expect quite a relaxing stay. Eating your way through Panama City is always recommended as well.


Discover diverse and captivating beaches in the Florida Panhandle, from the clear waters of Pensacola to the family-friendly charm of Destin. Whether seeking vibrant nightlife or serene landscapes like Henderson Beach State Park, the Panhandle offers a perfect summertime getaway with exciting sports, charming towns, and picturesque beauty.


Following are a few of the prettiest beaches in the Florida Panhandle.

  • Navarre Beach.
  • Henderson Beach State Park.
  • Pensacola Beach.
  • Miramar Beach.
  • Destin.
  • Tallahassee.
  • St. George Island.
  • Panama City Beach.
  • Grayton Beach.

Cape San Blas, located at the southernmost point of the Panhandle, is less crowded than other Florida beaches.

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