What will you see at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge this fall? There’s a flamingo who has been spotted regularly for several years; monarch butterflies migrate through as do many varied types of birds. It’s a vast place with scenic vistas and a historic lighthouse — a hidden gem in the Big Bend region.
Things to do in Florida’s Panhandle, Tallahassee, Apalachicola, Pensacola, Redneck Riviera and getaways to outdoor recreation, best beaches, hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, trails, places to camp, places to stay, unique restaurants, historic places, road trips and Funky Florida.
Florida Panhandle’s greatest treasure might be Gulf Islands National Seashore, with an unspoiled barrier island, sand as white as snow and a rare Civil War fort whose spooky spaces you can wander.
Grayton Beach is consistently ranked among the Top 10 beaches in America, making it a prime candidate for your bucket list. This park and the whole region is worth make great fall and spring trips, but you have to plan early.
Floridians survive the heat and humidity of our brutal summers by turning to the state’s wealth of cool, clear, refreshing springs. But you need to get to the best Florida springs early, especially on weekends.
Apalachicola is a charming, walkable small town full of history, good food & shops. It’s 20 minutes from the nation’s No. 4 beach on St. George Island.
Florida Seafood Festival celebrates Apalachicola’s vibrant fishing industry, which produces 90% of the state’s oysters. This guide features camping, lodging and things to do near Apalachicola. The 2023 festival is scheduled for Nov. 3-4.
The white sugar-sand beaches of Florida’s Panhandle are something to behold. Let’s go camping!
On their 2,000-mile fall migration, thousands of monarchs stop in Florida’s Big Bend and Panhandle in October and November. A top viewing site is St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, a half hour south of Tallahassee. There is a monarch festival at the refuge Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. On the same day, you can also go to the nearby St. Mark’s Stone Crab Festival.
Eden Gardens State Park is 20 minutes away from the bright white Panhandle beaches. It offers a rest for the eyes amid camellias, azaleas and a handsome 1897 mansion with an interesting history. Right now, the 100 varieties of camelias are in full bloom.
Milton has grown from the “canoe capitol” in Florida’s Panhandle into an outdoors center with eco-resorts and multiple activities. The area’s white-sand rivers are terrific to kayak or tube and there are good hiking and biking trails. Milton has an interesting historic district too.
The Big Bend Scenic Byway links a big national wildlife refuge, three state parks, three historic lighthouses, one of the best beach islands in Florida and picturesque fishing towns. It winds through an area that sees fewer tourists, and offers rustic Old Florida delights at every turn–from black bears to white squirrels.
The Pensacola Seafood Festival kicks off the festival season in Florida.
Topsail Hill State Park preserves 3 miles of pristine beach, magnificent white sand dunes and sparkling coastal lakes. With lots of camping and cabin sites, it’s a gem in the Panhandle.
State park campgrounds in the Florida Panhandle are popular in summer, while spring and fall are best to enjoy spectacular beaches, paddling, hiking, fishing — and Florida’s highest waterfall.
There are 35 pawrific dog beaches in Florida. Find one near you.
Wakulla Springs State Park has a historic lodge, spectacular spring/swimming hole, scenic boat rides and many spots to hike, bike and kayak nearby. The Big Bend region of Florida is often overlooked by visitors, who are missing out on a rustic, rural area.