Exploring Northwest Florida
Exploring Northwest Florida
Do you want to know more about Northwest Florida?
So do a lot of other people. It's the hottest gulf coast vacation destination and it includes Pensacola, Destin, Panama City Beach and the state capital of Tallahassee. It's often called Florida's last frontier because so many people just haven't discovered it - yet.
The region's biggest claim to fame are the beautiful award winning white-sand beaches. Northwest Florida Beaches are renowned for their pure white quartz sand, a gift from the Appalachian Mountains, and stunning blue-green Gulf of Mexico waters. The the towns are filled with history going back to the Spanish Explorers and Southern hospitality that can't be beat, but there are also all kinds of attractions, annual festivals, great golf, shopping, eating and, of course, water sports. The region is an eco-tourism paradise with over 1.5 million acres of state and federally protected lands, but the question is, where is it?
Most everyone knows where Florida is. It's that long tail hanging off the southern United States, but Northwest Florida may not be familiar. Traditionally called the Florida Panhandle, the region is located west of the long tale, and south of the state of Alabama. Here the Spanish explorers first landed on the north American continent in 1559, making Pensacola the first European colony. The state capital of Tallahassee is located here as is the second largest estuarine research reserve in the country. There's much more about Northwest Florida to be found here if you want to do your own exploring.
Driving to Florida? For decades visitors to Northwest Florida traveled here via the highways that flow like the rivers and streams to the gulf coast from Alabama and Georgia. Getting here by land is easy and the drive is scenic. We can tell you how and where.
The region is served by four major airports; Tallahassee Regional Airport, Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City Beach,Northwest Florida Regional Airport serving Destin and Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola International Airport. Several major airlines fly here including, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, U. S. Airways and Delta Airlines.
The region is also home to seven military bases including Eglin Air Force Base, the largest in the free world, so, yes that may be an f-35 fighter jet outside your airplane window.
Like trivia? Where was actress Faye Dunaway born? Where can you find some of the best deep water diving in the world? Where is the country's only possum monument? You'll find answers to these vital questions and more in our Fun Facts. Read them before your next cocktail party and you'll be a hit.
One thing to note is that Northwest Florida spans two time zones, USA Eastern Time and Central Time. This is especially important to know when you're going to one of the many festivals and events in the region.
Need to know how to contact the Pensacola Convention and Visitors Bureau? How about where to find the best Destin or Panama City Beach hotels? All the tourist information about Northwest Florida you'll need to plan your trip is right here.
We also have a list of the Chamber of Commerce offices in Northwest Florida. They have travel information along with details on local businesses.
You can also visit one of the many fun and interesting bookstores in the region and pick up a helpful Florida guide book that will give you lots of great ideas for Exploring Northwest Florida.
One unfortunate reality about Northwest Florida is that hurricane season runs from June to November. After all, Florida is in the subtropics. The good news is that with modern hurricane tracking and forecasting, you'll have plenty of warning. You can click here to learn more about hurricanes and here to see the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane category scale. It's also a good idea to have a hurricane plan for evacuation and emergency preparedness.The chances are low that a hurricane will hit Northwest Florida; low, but not impossible and it's better to be prepared.
Even without a hurricane in the gulf, beach safety is something you should be aware of at all times. Know about rip currents and how to swim out if you should get caught in one, and know what the beach flags mean. Florida has a uniform beach flag warning system that tells you if the water conditions are safe for swimming, so know the flags and what they mean before you go to the beach
Who am I? Well, I'm not a travel agent or tourist board, nor am I a vacation packager or a paid promoter. What I am is a traveler, just like you, who enjoys finding new places to go and fun things to do when I get there - then I write about them. You can learn more about me and my travel writing here.
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