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There is so much to do in the Panhandle throughout the year, but this article covers the best reasons you should visit the Florida Panhandle this fall.
Many popular cities in the Panhandle include Destin, Miramar Beach, Seaside, Pensacola Beach, Fort Walton Beach, and Panama City Beach.
With beautiful beaches, secluded state parks, fun fall festivals, and other attractions, the Florida Panhandle is a good choice for a getaway this fall.
Here are 5 of the best reasons to make the Florida Panhandle your vacation destination this fall.
Enjoy The Light Crowds During The Fall Season
The Florida Panhandle is a fun place to visit during the busier summer months but the fall is a perfect time to come here for a slower pace.
Once the summer tourist season is over and the kids are back in school, the fall is the perfect time to enjoy many activities without the crowds.
In the summer, many restaurants in cities such as Destin have 2 hour wait times for dinner so it’s much easier to book your plans if you wait for the busy season to be over.
Once the summer ends, the fall festivals are great events to bring visitors back to the Florida Panhandle.
Destin hosts the Destin Seafood Festival in early October, with vendors, food stands, and you guessed it, lots of seafood.
This event brings in the best seafood for food tastings, both locally and from across the region.
The Seafood Festival also has beer, music, and other entertainment.
For the adventure types, another popular event in Destin is the Fishing Rodeo which is throughout the month of October.
Photo Credit: Destin Fishing Rodeo
More than 30,000 people fish and try to catch the biggest fish, while onlookers can see the daily weigh-ins at AJ’s in HarborWalk Village.
There are cash and prizes up for grabs in this fishing tournament.
For more fall festivals in the Florida Panhandle, go here.
Cool Weather & Hot Prices
The fall is the ideal time to visit the Panhandle if you’re on a budget.
You can still do most of the summer activities as in the fall, but the demand drops off after Labor Day so you’re going to get some good prices on hotels and resorts.
The temps are often still hot early in the month so if you’re also looking to beat the heat, you may want to wait until late September or early October to visit. (Just keep in mind that this is during hurricane season, so travel insurance is recommended.)
Perfect Time For Florida Panhandle Road Trips
One of the best things to do during a fall visit to the Florida Panhandle is take a road trip.
The drive from Pensacola to Panama City Beach is about 2 hours with a lot of adventures in between.
Between Miramar Beach and Panama City Beach, be sure to take the Scenic 30A Highway route which takes you through several charming, small towns located along the coast.
Santa Rosa Beach, Blue Mountain Beach, Grayton Beach are just a few of the cities on the route, and offer great shopping, hiking, biking, and waterfront restaurants.
Then there’s Seaside, which is also along Scenic Highway 30A, and is where the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show was filmed.
Secluded Beaches & State Parks
A fall visit to the Florida Panhandle wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the beaches and state parks.
If you visit the beaches in early October, the water is still warm enough to swim in but you won’t have to worry about packed beaches, especially during the week.
You can also enjoy a quiet visit to the state parks when traveling to the Panhandle in the fall.
Here are some of the best parks and beaches in the Florida Panhandle:
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve
Okaloosa Island Boardwalk
Casino Beach Pier
Navarre Beach Pier
Grayton Beach State Park
Henderson Beach State Park
Point Washington State Forest
Miramar Beach Regional Access
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park