From Panama City Beach to Grayton Beach, Northwest Florida is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly beach with plenty of activities or a secluded spot to relax and get lost in nature, there's something for everyone. From fishing and snorkeling to shopping and golfing, this guide will take you through the best beaches in Northwest Florida. Panama City Beach, also known as PCB, is a popular destination for both spring breakers and family tourists.
With 27 miles of public beaches and 100 access points, there's no shortage of activities. From golfing and shopping to bar hopping and dining, there's something for everyone. Plus, PCB has two impressive state parks: Andrews State Park and Camp Helen State Park. Andrews State Park is unique because it's surrounded by three bodies of water: the Gulf of Mexico, St.
Andrews Bay, and Grand Lagoon. Camp Helen State Park is an oasis of 185 acres of oak trees, freshwater dune lakes, and white sand beaches. For those looking for a more active vacation, Shipwreck Island Water Park and Gulf World Marine Park are two favorites for the whole family. Vacation rental services offer charming huts and spacious beach houses with enough space for the whole family—including your pet from St. George Island, one of the few pet-friendly beaches in the region. St.
George Island is a quiet 22-mile barrier island with plenty of beach parking and coastal nature. The translucent waters are ideal for diving, swimming, fishing, and kayaking. Plus, St. George Island State Park offers hiking trails through the forest, walkways, and observation platforms to observe wildlife, flora, and marshes of the bay.
Don't forget to check out St. George Lighthouse for an incredible view. For seafood lovers, Apalachicola's savory and sweet oysters are a must-try. Destin is known as “The Luckiest Fishing Town in the World” for its world-class fishing opportunities in its emerald waters. Fish on coasts and docks or rent a boat or take an excursion on the high seas—you won't leave empty-handed.
Plus, Destin has acclaimed shops, restaurants, and golf courses. Grayton Beach is a fashionable beach lover's paradise with white fences and modern artwork, magnolias and beach grass, saltwater and freshwater—all within Grayton Beach State Park. Western Lake is a brackish lake that connects to the ocean offering both freshwater and saltwater fishing—perfect for swimming, kayaking, or canoeing. Plus, The Red Bar is a must-visit spot. Cabo San Blas is a 17-mile peninsula near Port St. Joe with uncrowded pet-friendly beaches.
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers 119 camping sites plus nature reserves, beachside camping, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, bird watching, scalloping, and fishing—plus you can see the Cabo San Blas lighthouse from Port St. Joe. Perdido Key is a 247-acre barrier island near Pensacola—the perfect spot to rent a house on the beach with plenty of peace and relaxation. Plus Gulf Breeze Zoo and Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center are nearby. Finally Seaside is acclaimed around the world for its iconic architecture with pointed ceilings, pastel colors, picket fences—plus you might recognize parts from popular movies! Soak up the sun on the virgin sand or visit Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park for multiple animal encounters.
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