panama city beach florida relaxing

The 10 Best Beaches in Northwest Florida

Sharing is caring!

Recently updated on July 29th, 2022 at 06:59 pm

There are the best beaches in Northwest Florida, but the best ones are hard to find! You might think that all of these beautiful beaches are within a few hours’ drive from each other. However, this is not the case. The best beaches can be found on both coasts of Florida, and they span for miles across the state’s coastline.

For example, if you’re getting ready for spring break or an entire family getaway, you could go to Pensacola Beach for some great white sand of Panama City Beach if you want something with more waves. We have compiled a list of the best beaches in Northwest Florida to help you plan your next trip!

1. Panama City Beach

Tourists can enjoy a relaxing time in Panama City Beach by joining in on the many parties and drinking sessions. The beach is much more than a stretch of white sand. Even before nightfall, it becomes a huge open club.

Panama City Beach is a great place to eat, especially with the treasure ship that’s renowned worldwide. It’s an exact replica of a Spanish galleon measuring 200 feet. Enjoy fine food and wine along with the friendly service of its staff. You can also visit the Flaming Joe’s Grill for everyday seafood like oysters.

2. Mexico Beach

Mexico Beach, located just 20 minutes from Panama City Beach, is a quiet secret. You will find charming cottages along the five-mile stretch of beach, as well as delightful vacation homes. There is ample parking and easy access to the beach for day visitors.

The city built beach walkovers along Highway 98 to provide easy and direct access to the beach. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the warm, bubbling waters of the tub and slow down your pace.

3. Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa Beach also includes Point Washington, a historic community. The hidden treasure of Eden State Gardens is located here. It houses a large collection of original Louis XVI antiques and the Wesley Mansion. It was once a bustling lumber mill at the turn of this century. Since then, the state has dedicated itself to preservation.

halo sunset northwest florida santa rosa beach

Santa Rosa Beach has several ways to access Point Washington State Forest. This 15,000-acre preserve includes more than 10 miles worth of trails. Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club lie between the Emerald Coast’s most popular attractions ….the sugary-white sand beaches and lush woodlands. It has 18 challenging holes that run through Santa Rosa Beach’s white sands and lush vegetation.

4. Grayton Beach State Park

Grayton Beach State Park in Florida is located between Destin and Panama City Beach. It is near Grayton Beach on CR 30A in northwestern Florida. Deer Lake State Park is its sister park. The park covers 2,200 acres (9km2) of land that was acquired from the Florida Board of Education in 1964. It opened in 1968. One mile (1.6km) to the west of the main park is a separate unit that offers duplex rentals and beach access.

5. Destin

destin florida beaches northwest florida

Destin was awarded the title of “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” because it offers world-class fishing opportunities in its emerald waters. You won’t go home empty-handed if you fish from the shores and piers, rent a boat, or charter a trip.

Vacationers from all over the world reserve months ahead to book luxury rentals and resorts along the beaches. Destin is a popular destination for its many signature events.

The main draw is the beaches, but the area’s highly-rated shopping, dining, and golfing draw many. 

You can shop till you drop at Destin Commons and HarborWalk Village, Silver Sands Premium Outlets, and The Village of Baytowne Wharf, as well as other locations such as Destin Commons, HarborWalk Village, and Silver Sands Premium Outlets.

There are many restaurants that offer seafood and stunning sunset views.

These range from casual dining to fine dining.

You can trade the white sand for green at Kelly Plantation, Emerald Bay Golf Club, or Sandestin.

Destin is a great choice because of its many options by sand or sea.

6. Navarre Beach

People who have visited this stretch are drawn back to the feeling of peace and tranquility they feel there.

Navarre is a beach that doesn’t require much styling. It’s beautiful in its naturalistic state and has been awarded the best beach every year. You can sunbathe, picnic and bike along the nature trails, or just enjoy the beautiful sand. They say relaxation is the main attraction.

The Gulf Breeze Zoo is close by, as well as Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center.

7. Okaloosa Island

Gulf Islands National Seashore is It is a relatively new park that sits in a historic location. Not only does it overlook the Gulf of Mexico and the beaches that have been there forever, but also the forts that surround the area to protect against pirates and Union gunboats, Confederate troops, and post-Civil War incursions.

Although it was in 1971 that the first protection of the area was established, the Gulf Islands National Seashore has been attracting more than three million people each year. They come to breathe in the Gulf air, enjoy the white sandy beaches and take a look at the fascinating Civil War-era history.

While you’re there, be sure to check out Ed Walline Park, it’s a stunning location.

8. Pensacola Beach

Pensacola is a place that’s always buzzing. American Planning Association has named Palafox Street, its main artery as one of the “10 Great Streets” in America.

pensacola beach northwest florida beaches

There are many restaurants, shops, and nightlife options in the vibrant downtown area. For live music and the famous Bushwacker, visit Florabama.

Take a stroll along the beach at sunset to notice the sand. It has a faint braking sound and a slight iridescence. Quartz in the sand is from the Appalachian Mountains. This causes both of these effects.

Pensacola is known for its 18 miles of Gulf seafood, picturesque beaches, and lively downtown.

9. Cape San Blas

Whispering Pines is a private, intimate getaway that offers privacy, comfort, and relaxation. The cottages on the bayside are surrounded by lush, native palm and oak trees. They are also within walking distance of the beach.

You can enjoy the local delicacy of scalloping by walking out to the shallow waters during the season.

You can rent kayaks, bikes, and canoes from local rental companies to enjoy the beautiful, unspoiled natural beauty of the region. Happy Ours Kayak & Bike Outpost provides canoe, kayak, and bike rentals at Cape San Blas. They also offer guided eco-tours as well as snorkeling trips where you will see nesting sea turtles, white sand dunes, and turquoise waters.

You can fish in the bays’ “potholes” to find the redfish or you can learn how to cast a net to catch fresh mullet. Another seafood delight is flounder.

10. Perdido Key

Perdido Key, a barrier island of 247 acres located near Pensacola is considered the city’s more laid-back, quieter cousin.

This is a great beach town for those who seek solitude and tranquility, as well as the possibility of having nearby amenities. It is easy to let your hair down and enjoy the clean, well-kept environment.

Perdido Key State Park can be found about 30 minutes from Pensacola. It is a place to relax and take a break. These scenic dunes are home to a variety of wildlife including endangered Perdido Key beach mice, nesting sea turtles, and seabirds. The sand is covered with gems that delight shell selectors.

Perdido in Spanish means “lost.” Rent a house on the beach, grab a book, and head to the sand to get lost!

Wrapping Up…

The beaches in and around Pensacola are some of the best in the world. With sugar-white sand and beautiful turquoise waters, they offer a perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Florida.

From Pensacola Beach to Perdido Key, there is a beach for everyone to enjoy.

So, whether you are looking for a place to soak up the sun or explore the local history, be sure to add Pensacola to your list of must-visit beach towns.

 

Sharing is caring!

Scroll to Top