The Florida Panhandle stretches 200 miles along the Gulf coast of northwest Florida. There are countless towns to stop at on a Florida Pandhandle road trip making it a great drive and the perfect place to plan a road trip. For my road trip, I focused on scenic highways, delicious food, beach towns, and adventure. Let this be your guide to planning your Florida Panhandle Road Trip.
Adventure on the Florida Panhandle
The best adventures along the Gulf coast are out on the water and Panama City Beach offers no shortage of options. You can kayak at night, rent pontoon boats, or jet ski out to see dolphins on the Gulf. The choice is yours but my highlight was visiting Shell Island. Shell Island is a local hangout and only accessible by boat. It’s a great place to set up for a beach day and explore another unique part of Panama City Beach.
In north Gulf County, Florida you can explore the Dead Lakes of Wewahitchka. This 6,700-acre network of waterways is for nature lovers and adventurers alike. Captain Matt, of Off the Map Expeditions, offers detailed tours of the Dead Lakes tours. I highly recommend this as a nice change of pace from a day at the beach.
Eating and Drinking Along the Florida Panhandle
No road trip is complete without good food and drinks and the Florida Panhandle offers amazing options along the coast. Once you make your way to Apalachicola head to Indian Pass Raw Bar. It is only a short 20-minute drive from Apalachicola and one of my favorite meals from the road trip. They offer raw oysters, baked oysters, stuffed shrimp, and an on-your-honor tap beer list. Don’t skip this place on your Florida Panhandle road trip.
When you make your way back to Apalachicola head to the local brewery for a tasty beer flight. Oyster City Brewing has a great selection of beers and my personal favorite was the Apalach IPA. It’s right in the center of town and the perfect place to end the day.
Favorite Photo Spots on the Florida Panhandle
The beach cities offer no shortage of amazing sunrises and sunsets. You will be rewarded for a sunrise view of the pier in Panama City Beach or along the water in Apalachicola. However, my favorite on the drive was Cape San Blas. It is a beautiful spot to get on the water, go for a hike, and eat at a local restaurant. It is between Port St. Joe and Apalichola and an easy drive no matter the route you take on your road trip.
The Cape San Blas lighthouse in Port St. Joe is another great photo spot. It’s located right in town and you can even climb it for a better view of the city.
Making the Most of Your Florida Panhandle Road Trip
Driving the Florida Panhandle is a laid-back adventure with cities and towns to fit anyone’s style. Hit the beach one day and explore small towns along the coast the next. The wide variety of experiences in a short 200-mile drive makes this a really unique part of Florida to explore. I can’t wait to return and see more of what northwest Florida has to offer.