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Welcome to one of Florida’s best-kept secrets – the glorious beaches, charming cities and fabulous natural escapes of The Panhandle, the state’s extreme north-west. This wide-ranging region includes the state capital, Tallahassee, several major state parks – including the scenic Wacissa River and timeless vibe of Wakulla Springs – and miles after mile of fabulous coastline. Not for nothing is this known as the Emerald Coast, with wildlife-rich waters that are usually crystal clear. It’s not uncommon to spot Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and even stingrays from the shore, while the extensive powder-white beaches seem to offer unbroken sands to both east and west, a full 100 miles, in fact. This holiday provides you with the opportunity to experience the highlights of the region and really get under the skin of an oft-overlooked part of the state. The coastal gems here include Pensacola, Fort Walton, Destin and Panama City Beach, which each boast unique history, as well as a real get-away-from-it-all feel for much of the year. From the fascinating Naval Aviation History Museum in Pensacola to St Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge just south of Tallahassee, this is an area packed with surprises that rewards visitors ready to take their time and fully explore a destination. It is a near six-hour drive from Orlando, but, happily, there is also a daily 90-minute flight to Pensacola from both Orlando and Tampa, so you can mix and match fly-drive options. Take the drive from Orlando and you can enjoy a taste of old world Florida at Cedar Key on the return journey.
Tallahassee International Airport
Pensacola International Airport
3 nights – Destin
Hilton Sandestin Resort & Spa
Welcome to a blissful beach retreat with all mod cons, idyllically set in the heart of this coastal paradise and an excellent introduction to the region’s many charms and attractions.
2 nights – Panama City Beach
Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach
Soak up some more fabulous beach vistas in this modern setting, but still close to natural wonders like St Andrews State Park and Grayton Beach State Park, where you will be far from the madding crowds!
1 night – Tallahassee
Aloft Tallahassee Downtown
2 nights – Cedar Key
Pirate Cove Bayside Cottages
Step back into Old Florida in this small-scale fishing town quietly nestled among a group of barrier islands just off the Gulf Coast, where you can be sure of a warm welcome and lots of unspoiled Sunshine State nature.
1 night – Orlando
Aloft Downtown Orlando
Conclude your long fly-drive excursion with a day to enjoy the lively city scene of Orlando, packed with great restaurants, museums and the delights of Lake Eola, with its one-mile walk, iconic fountain and signature swan boats.
Flights are based on arriving into Pensacola Airport (often via Atlanta) and returning from Orlando International.
Consider extending your stay in the Orlando area at the end of your trip.
Enquire about this holiday
To get your tailored day-to-day itinerary or to request a quote, please fill out the form below or call 0800 669 6409 to speak with a member of our team. FREE UK airport Lounge Pass for each person when you make a booking