Florida’s panhandle is often overlooked by travelers, but a quick look at what makes this such a fascinating place to visit is sure to change your mind. The northwest portion of America’s southeasternmost state, shaped just like it sounds — like the handle of a frying pan — is home to stunning beauty and wildlife. Bordered by Alabama, Georgia and the Gulf of Mexico, this part of Florida is laid-back, sparsely populated and ripe for exploring.
White, sandy beaches that line the coast with rolling dunes and outcroppings of towering sea oats make strolls along the raised boardwalks a serene experience. The Gulf is abundant with fascinating sea life, including dolphins that can often be seen playing in the surf. Don’t be surprised to see these playful creatures swimming along next to you as you drive down the coastal roads.
During the cooler winter months, the area is perfect for strolling along the boardwalks, enjoying lunch with an unobstructed view of the gulf or walking along the waves to collect shells and sand dollars. During the warmer months, the coast is alive with activity including numerous water sports like paddle boarding, deep sea fishing, jet skiing and parasailing.
Backwaters and Swamps
While the coast of the panhandle is lined with beautiful beaches, the interior is awash with greenery, backwaters and swamps that provide ample opportunity for exploring. A guided swamp tour is a great way to explore this natural phenomenon and see firsthand what makes the area so unique.
The area is rich in local history, with numerous Civil War-era forts such as Fort Pickens, Fort Barrancas and Fort George. Not only are these sites great for history buffs, they are an excellent way to experience the raw beauty of the area.
Among the myriad concerns the everyday traveler may have when approaching any trip, safety and security are most likely the most important, but protecting yourself from both bodily harm and petty theft can distract you from the real reason for your travel: to escape daily life and immerse yourself in another culture. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in travel accessories that can perform multiple functions, like carrying your gear while also protecting it with state-of-the-art security features.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the largest airline in Japan. With flights from the United States to Japan and all of Asia, it's the perfect airline to book your next trip with. From ANA's amazing in-flight food to its excellent customer service, it comes as no surprise ANA has been awarded five stars for its seventh consecutive year by the SKYTRAX World Airline Rating.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.