Crazy as it seems, the winter months generally isn’t warm enough for swimming or even for sunbathing in Florida’s panhandle! We were shocked to find ourselves shivering in our jackets and long pants on this part of the Gulf coast when we were there one January.
By March, however, it was lovely on the beach, and we were assured that by summertime the water is downright toasty for swimming. And that’s when the RV park rates go up.
So, for RVers planning a winter trek to the northern Gulf Coast, it may be chilly but the RV parks will be cheaper. Summer visitors might pay a premium, but they’ll have one big beach party!
The coast around Pensacola Beach and Panama City Beach is called the Emerald Coast, and it is for good reason. The water is a stunning shade of green.
And the sugary sand is blindingly white, super soft, and fun to play in.
One of our favorite areas is the Gulf Islands National Seashore between Pensacola Beach and Navarre. This is a thin 10 mile long strip of barrier island that has a paved bike path and a paved road connecting the communities at either end.
On one side of the Gulf Islands National Seashore barrier island there is a calm bay that is wonderful for kayaking.
On the other side the open ocean is emerald colored and there are endless miles of white sand beaches.
The beaches are busy at each end of the strip near the communities of Pensacola Beach and Navarre. But for the many miles in between there is nothing but sand and ocean. And the beach is sensational at sunrise.
There are lots of beautiful beaches along Florida’s northern Gulf coast, and they range from remote and peaceful to urban and bustling. Panama City Beach is loaded with highrises.
The fun thing about Florida is that as soon as you drive into the state you feel like you’re on vacation. Riding our bikes along the beach, we found ourselves riding past resorts with beach bars, live music and a tropical feel.
Florida has lots of beautiful state parks, and three we enjoyed in this area were St. George Island State Park, St. Joseph State Park and Ochlockonee River State Park. The first two parks not only have beaches loaded with seashells, but they have cool boardwalks. The third has stands of tall trees and pure white squirrels. And they all have RV camping too.
No matter where you go along the waterfront, seagulls will be hanging around and squawking!
The town of Apalachicola has lots of history and is home to a large shrimping fleet tied up at the docks. There are also some fun restaurants and neat little shops too. For oyster lovers, there are many places to get a plate of oysters.
We have lots of blog posts about our RV travels in and around Florida’s Northern Gulf Coast at these links:
- Florida’s Emerald Coast – Into the Sunshine!
- Crazy Sightings on the Beach in Florida – Sharks and Snakes!
- Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, St. Joseph State Park & Ochlockonee River State Park
- Apalachicola, St. George Island State Park & Gulf Islands National Seashore
- Apalachicola, St Joseph State Park and Sarasota (further south)
Motorhome Magazine is a terrific magazine that is published every month. Besides highlighting fun RVing destinations like Florida’s northern Gulf Coast, it also has lots of articles about RV maintenance, RV repair, and reviews of recently released motorhome models.
For those interested in learning about RVing, Motorhome Magazine is a great way to pick up little golden nuggets of info about RVs and where to take them! An annual subscription to either the print or digital edition is not expensive and can be obtained at this link:
We have been publishing articles in Motorhome Magazine for a few years now, and some of our articles, including one about RVing full-time, are posted on Motorhome’s website at this link:
Never miss a post — it’s free!
Here’s some info about these areas:
- Pensacola Beach RV Resort
- St. George Island State Park Camping
- St. Joseph State Park Camping
- Ochlockonee River State Park Camping
- Gulf Islands National Seashore (National Park Service)
- Apalachicola Chamber of Commerce
- Where are these places?
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