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Beyond the Beach: Epic Road Trips from Panama City Beach

Posted on 16 Jul, 2019 at 06:28 am - by Keirsten Bartley

While Panama City Beach offers an abundance of natural beauty and exciting activities, there's even more to explore just a short drive away. Embark on epic road trips and discover the hidden gems that surround this coastal paradise. From picturesque coastal towns to scenic state parks and fascinating historical sites, these road trips will take you on unforgettable adventures beyond the beach.

1. Apalachicola: A Historic and Picturesque Getaway

Located approximately an hour's drive east of Panama City Beach, Apalachicola is a charming coastal town with a rich history and picturesque surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll along the historic downtown area, lined with well-preserved 19th-century buildings that now house art galleries, boutique shops, and cozy cafes.

Indulge in fresh seafood delights at one of the local restaurants or visit the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve to explore the diverse ecosystem of the Apalachicola Bay. For a truly immersive experience, embark on a scenic boat tour along the Apalachicola River, where you can spot wildlife and soak in the serene beauty of the surrounding marshes.

2. St. Andrews State Park: Nature's Paradise

Just a short drive south from Panama City Beach, St. Andrews State Park awaits with its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. This pristine state park boasts sugar-white beaches, clear emerald waters, and a diverse range of flora and fauna. Spend the day swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking in the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Explore the nature trails that wind through dunes, forests, and salt marshes, offering glimpses of native wildlife and bird species. Don't miss the opportunity to climb to the top of the park's historic WWII-era watchtower, where breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline await. St. Andrews State Park is a nature lover's paradise, perfect for a day trip or a camping adventure.

3. Grayton Beach State Park: Serenity and Seclusion

A scenic drive west from Panama City Beach will lead you to Grayton Beach State Park, a hidden gem known for its unspoiled beauty and tranquil atmosphere. The park features pristine beaches, shimmering coastal dune lakes, and towering sand dunes that provide a stunning backdrop for outdoor exploration.

Take a leisurely hike along the park's nature trails, keeping an eye out for wildlife and rare plant species. Rent a paddleboard or kayak to explore the serene coastal dune lakes, where the calm waters create a unique ecosystem teeming with marine life. Pack a picnic and enjoy a peaceful afternoon on the secluded beach, surrounded by nature's beauty.

4. Pensacola: History, Culture, and Beaches

For a longer road trip adventure, head west to Pensacola, a vibrant city that offers a blend of history, culture, and beautiful beaches. Explore the historic downtown area, known as Pensacola Historic Village, where you'll find charming brick-lined streets, colonial-era buildings, and museums that chronicle the city's fascinating past.

Visit the National Naval Aviation Museum, one of the world's largest aviation museums, where you can marvel at vintage aircraft and interactive exhibits. Take a stroll along Pensacola Beach, known for its soft white sand and turquoise waters, or visit the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a protected area with pristine beaches, historic forts, and nature trails.

5. Tallahassee: Capital City and Natural Wonders

For a road trip that combines history, culture, and natural wonders, venture north to Tallahassee, the capital city of Florida. Explore the beautiful grounds of the Florida State Capitol, visit the historic Mission San Luis, and immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene at the Railroad Square Art Park.

Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the proximity to several state parks, including the majestic Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. Take a boat tour on the Wakulla River, known for its crystal-clear waters and abundant wildlife, or hike through the lush forests of the Apalachicola National Forest, one of the largest national forests in Florida.

In Conclusion

Panama City Beach, FL, serves as a gateway to a world of adventure and exploration. Embark on epic road trips and discover the charming coastal towns, scenic state parks, and historical sites that surround this coastal paradise. From Apalachicola's rich history to the serenity of Grayton Beach State Park and the cultural delights of Pensacola and Tallahassee, these road trips offer a diverse range of experiences for every traveler.

About Author
  • Keirsten Bartley

    Keirsten left her career in engineering to travel the world. She is a 28 years old girl with some tremendous girl power; she has been traveling for five years now and has been producing awesome content based on her experience. 

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