Florida Panhandle Vacation Rentals Make a Great Home Base for Exploring
Here are some Free activities you’re sure to enjoy …
. We hesitate putting this first because it's so obvious, but in case you didn't know, the Florida Panhandle has more than 200 miles of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Sure, you can probably find a better beach or two somewhere in the world, maybe even in Florida. But for uninterrupted and relatively undeveloped beaches, nothing beats the Florida Panhandle. It's literally uninterrupted from Pensacola to Apalachicola. Finding a private spot, or a crowded spot, if you're in the mood, simply won't be a problem.
2. Scenic 30a
. What does "30a" mean? It means a nice, leisurely drive along Florida Highway 30a, stopping at charming beach towns, shopping in quaint villages and squares, eating delicious seafood and great restaurants, or just enjoying the scenery and beaches. You'll be hard-pressed to find a prettier and more entertaining stretch of road anywhere in the US. This 18.5 mile route gives you easy access to some of the beaches mentioned above. You can drive, ride a bicycle or even walk the route. You'll find four Florida state parks, encounter 27 miles of trails, pass through 11 beach towns, see 11 coastal dune lakes and countless protected sea-oat dunes. 30a is a great way to spend a day (or two). It starts just slightly to the west of Panama City Beach and runs up to about Sandestin to the east.
4. St. Andrews State Park
. Near Panama City Beach, the beach at St. Andrews State Park has made several top 10 beaches lists. While it's not free, the admission fee is $8 per vehicle (up to 8 people). That's a bargain when you consider there's an abundance of nature trails, fantastic fishing spots, places to snorkel, kayak scuba dive and swim, as well as plenty of room for camping, picnicking and beachcombing. Shell Island Boat Tours run during the spring and summer (additional charge, but well worth it).
5. National Naval Aviation Museum
. Experience the history of flight from the earliest wood and fabric airplanes to supersonic jets. The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola is one of the most popular museums in Florida. You'll see more than 150 restored aircraft from the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. The museum has 300,000 square feet of exhibit space and sits on 37 acres. You can watch the Blue Angels practice their daring and exciting show on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March through November. There are a variety of permanent interactive exhibits (flight simulators and an IMAX theater film that puts you in the cockpit with the Blue Angels. Admission and parking are Free.
6. Gator Beach, Destin
. Get up close to Florida's most famous creatures, but not too close. There are 100 love alligators, and kids can safely touch small gators. It's free to see the animals, but if you want to feed them you'll need to buy the feed. They get full by dinner time, so get there earlier in the day rather than later. Its located in Fudpucker's Restaurant, so you can grab a bit yourself.
7. Wentworth Museum, Pensacola
. If snapping gators aren't your style, maybe you'd like the more cerebral TT Wentworth Museum. Admission is Free, and you'll find three floors of exhibits on Florida history. It's part of the State of Florida museum system and includes artifacts from Florida's original residents through colonization and all the way up to modern settlement. They museum is located in the beautiful former Pensacola City Hall.
Find more Free and nearly Free activities and entertainment options on the Perfect Places blog