The beaches from Destin to Panama City are often awarded as some of the most beautiful sand, surf, and sun spots in the country; however, what makes the Florida panhandle beaches of 30A the best in the U.S. are the vibrant, honest communities that they serve as the backdrop to.
Florida’s Best Kept Secret It’s no secret that the State of Florida is surrounded by stunning beaches on nearly all sides, nor is it any secret that the Florida panhandle –that strip of roadway that horizontally runs across the state until it starts to dip south, is home to beautiful beaches. After all, Panama City is a popular Spring Break destination and has topped many Spring Break hot lists and has been featured on MTV during Spring Break Live.
While these things are nothing new, many do not realize that the beaches of the Florida panhandle are more than tourist destinations. They’re also more than brilliant white sands and crystal clear emerald Gulf tides; they’re communities resplendent with charm and character. It’s the nuances that elevate the beaches of the Florida panhandle from being just another pretty beach to being something special and truly the best beaches in the U.S.
Given their popularity, it’s no surprise that both Destin and Panama City Beach reign as chart-toppers on “Best Beaches in the U.S.” lists. Destin made the U.S. News Travel list for several reasons, its unique Appalachian quartz sand (which is what gives it its incredibly bright white appearance) highlighted among them.
Meanwhile, Panama City Beach made Tripadvisor’s Traveler’s Choice awards for 2015 and are praised as being enjoyable year-round. The reason Destin, Panama City, and all of the beaches of 30A in between are desirable to visit year-round is because they aren’t just beach towns. These beaches are the natural landscape for charming communities rich in personality.
More than Just a Pretty Beach
While spending time on the water and that water being exquisite is certainly important in a beach getaway, it is also important that the surrounding community have things to do. The coastal stretch between Destin and Panama City known as 30A is peppered with local shops, restaurants, and community activities that help make the panhandle beaches top tier.
- Farmer’s Markets: On weekends in 30A, local farmers, chefs, and artisans gather in the communities to sell locally cultivated meat, produce, cheese, dairy, herbs, and other fine creations. Organic growers are quickly becoming a bigger and bigger part of the farmer’s market scene.
- Imagine staying or living on 30A where you can wake up and watch the waves roll in before riding your bicycle to the farmer’s market for glossy, juicy carmine strawberries that you can savor on the spot or slice into your aperitif later, adding a hint of summer brightness to your cocktail.
- Farmer’s markets on 30A run year round. On Saturdays, there is a farmer’s market in Seaside; on Sundays, the markets are in WaterColor and Rosemary Beach.
- Variety of Real Estate Options: Between Destin and Panama City Beach, there is every type of real estate option you can envision. For resort-style vacations, there are condominiums in Sandestin. Meanwhile, the communities of 30A are populated with beach houses, bungalows, and cottages, which are ideal for a more intimate respite.
- Shopping & Dining Galore: One of the most enjoyable things about Florida panhandle beaches is that there are plenty of places to go for shopping and dining. There are recognizable grocery stores and local fresh seafood shops for cooking dinner. There are familiar shops and stores, from affordable to high-end, as well as dozens of locally owned businesses that sell much more than souvenir tees (especially on 30A). You’ll discover restaurants you have heard of and even more than you haven’t. The quality of cuisine is exquisite and is often served in unassuming atmospheres for next-to-nothing.
What makes this special is that these are the amenities made available to the people who live in these areas. These communities weren’t design for tourists; they were designed for locals. The residents of the Florida panhandle happily welcome visitors to the beach with good old-fashioned southern hospitality. After all, they love their home and would like for you to, as well.
The beaches of the Florida panhandle are truly the best because they’re the ones you’ll never want to leave, and honestly, between the sand, surf, and sun and the local culture, you might find that you don’t.
Florida panhandle beaches often make top-10 lists because of their pristine beauty. The blazing white sands juxtaposed against the glistening emerald turquoise of the Gulf Coast make for a stunning visual. What really makes the span of beachfront between Destin and Panama City something else is the culture and the community. It’s something special, and it feels like home. If you decide to turn your favorite vacation spot into the place you wake up every morning, contact local real estate expert, Melissa Clements, who will help you find the perfect place to call home.