You can find many different types of beaches on the Florida panhandle. For instance, if you go to Panama City Beach or Destin, you will find crowds and tourist traps. Destin is a little calmer, but we’re going to focus on even calmer than that. Below are the nine least crowded beaches on the Florida panhandle.
1. Cape San Blas
Cape San Blas is best known for its natural beauty. Even the colorful homes on your way to the beach add to the experience. Fortunately, you will not find any high-rises here. If you choose to go to Cape San Blas, be sure to bring your fishing poles and/or beach chairs. If you have an adventurous spirit, you can take a three-mile round trip on the beach to explore a shipwreck. Other activity options include kayaking and horseback riding, but most people come here for serenity and relaxation.
2. St. George Island
St. George Island is 28 miles long and feels like your own private beach. It’s also dog friendly, so feel free to bring your best friend. Either way, expect to see wildlife when you’re here. This might include dolphins, sharks, or eagles. For the best views, go to the top of the lighthouse. However, the best-kept secret for St. George Island is that it has a very dark sky at night, which allows the stars to shine extremely brightly. St. George Island is a great idea for a honeymoon or any kind of romantic vacation.
3. Navarre Beach
Navarre Beach is known as Florida’s Most Relaxing Place. It’s a hidden secret with white sand beaches, emerald green water, and calm surf. It’s a well-kept secret because this is a big military area and the general population doesn’t spend much time in those areas, but the beach is open to anyone. Even though it’s quiet, there are lifeguards. In the area, you will also find a fishing pier, the Turtle Rescue Sanctuary, and Gulf Islands National Seashore. If you’re hungry, you can grab some quality sushi or pizza close to the beach.
4. Miramar Beach
Miramar Beach is less crowded than most beaches on the Florida Panhandle, but it’s more crowded than most beaches on this list. It’s a large beach with white sand and beautiful water, but you really go here for the activities in the area. This includes restaurants, outlet malls, bars, jet skiing, and parasailing. Miramar Beach has a traditional beach town vibe, including a surf shop. The biggest negative is a bad road system, which can lead to traffic congestion.
5. Gulf Island National Seashore
Gulf Island National Seashore is extremely quiet with very few people, making it one of the least crowded beaches in Florida panhandle. When you’re here, you will find soft white sand, turquoise water, and serenity. You might also see dolphins and osprey nests. The beach has a gradual slope, which is good for kids. If you choose to visit this area for your beach vacation in Florida, you can fish, swim, camp, picnic, or explore historic sites in the area.
6. Seagrove Beach
When it comes to Florida beaches and family vacations, Seagrove Beach should be right at the top of your list. You can either bring your bike or rent a bike for the day or the week. Either way, most people travel by bike here. What’s so appealing about Seagrove Beach is that the town offers a lot to do yet it maintains a small-town beach vibe. The best way to describe Seagrove Beach is luxurious relaxation. A new beach access was recently added, which means more space for relaxation.
7. Santa Rosa Beach
Santa Rosa Beach has many free access points to its beautiful white sand and water. There are bathrooms and showers right when you enter the beach, which is a plus if you’re going to the beach with kids. When you’re here, you might see stingrays, herons, and/or crabs. There are walking trails as well, so it’s not just the beach itself. The one negative is the parking situation, which can be challenging due to limited space.
8. Shell Island
Shell Island is easily one of the least crowded beaches in the Florida Panhandle, but visitors tend to love or hate it. Most are on the love side, but not all. That’s because you need to either take the shuttle or rent a pontoon boat to get there. Either way, it will take about 25 minutes. If you choose to go for it, be sure to walk across the island to get to the Gulf side, which you will appreciate more thanks to a wide beach and more space for relaxation. Beware of the biting flies; bring bug spray for defense.
9. Perdido Key
Perdido Key is a good option for families thanks to bathrooms and a lot of space. It’s also good for crab hunting, fishing, and watching sunsets. It’s one of the largest beaches on this list. The one negative is limited parking. When not at the beach, there is excellent golfing in the area.
Now you know about the least crowded beaches on the Florida Panhandle, plan accordingly. If you’re really adventurous while still seeking peace and relaxation, you can map out the beaches above and visit all of them in one trip.