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Sunshine State is the most popular beach vacation hotspot in the US, but if you are looking for secluded coastlines where you can really relax, this list, which features the least crowded beaches in Florida Panhandle should be your itinerary! The lack of high-rise hotels and huge malls mean fewer people but pristine places with undisturbed nature providing visitors with total relaxation.
Cape San Blas
Cape San Blas on the St. Joseph Peninsula is best known for its natural beauty. No big hotels can be found here so this is definitely one of the least crowded beaches in Florida Panhandle where visitors can experience nature since the area hosts one of the richest ecosystems in Florida.
In Cape San Blas, you can choose from a wide variety of beach activities such as fishing, kayaking or horseback riding. If you love adventures, don’t leave your bike at home and ride the Loggerhead Run Bike Path that curves along St. Joseph’s Bay. This is not only a great activity but provides visitors with the opportunity of bird watching and wildlife viewing.
To make your vacation trip unforgettable, this Florida beach allows bonfires too.
Perdido Key barrier island along the far western shores features fantastic secluded beaches in Florida Panhandle. Even its name means lost island in Spanish, so it is easy to understand why this place is favorite of those beachgoers who look for wildlife and stunning views. There are several parks around such as Perdido Key State Park or the Big Lagoon State Park.
It is a good option for families because many activities can be done here. You can do crab hunting, fishing, have a picnic at the pavilion or just relax and watch sunsets. When not at the beach, there is excellent golfing in the area.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Gulf Island National Seashore is where you find dreamy white sand with crystal clear waters. This 160-mile coastline features fantastic natural attractions, but it is usually extremely quiet with very few people making it one of the least crowded beaches in Florida Panhandle.
The beach has a gradual slope, which is good for kids. If you choose to visit the Gulf Islands National Seashore on your beach vacation in Florida, you can fish, swim, camp, picnic, and/or visit historic sites in the area. Even better, you might also see dolphins and osprey nests!
St George Island
St. George Island is 28 miles long and feels like it’s your own private beach. It is a great spot for a honeymoon or a couple’s getaway.
The best-kept secret of St George Island that it has a very dark sky at night, which allows you to see the stars very clearly which creates a truly romantic experience. For the best views, go to the top of the lighthouse.
When walking around on this beautiful island, expect to see some wildlife. This might include dolphins, sharks, and eagles. It’s also dog friendly, so feel free to bring your four-legged friend.
Should you wish to visit a classical Florida beach town that has a nostalgic vibe, add Miramar to your secluded Panhandle beaches 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 does deliver that traditional beach town vibe, including surf shops and beachside condos, but somehow it still remains quiet. The negatives include a bad road system, which can lead to traffic, but the scenic views will certainly compensate you for that extra time you spent in your car.
When spending a few days around Panama City Beach (that is certainly one of the best Gulf Coast beaches but can be pretty busy) make sure to visit Shell Island. This 700-acre barrier island between Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay is easily one of the least crowded beaches in Florida Panhandle. It might be because you need to either the shuttle to get there or rent a pontoon boat, but it is certainly worth the effort.
If you choose to go for it, you can relax on sugary white sands here, go for long walks while enjoying nature, snorkeling and of course, shell collecting.
It is a perfect place for wildlife lovers since Shell Island is home to a big population of bottle-nosed dolphins. The only drawback is that there are many biting flies, so make sure to bring bug spray for defense!
Santa Rosa Beach
Just a little further from the busy Seaside, Santa Rosa awaits its visitors with beautiful white sand and water. In fact, the region was a popular fishing vacation destination, but today, it is a local secret.
There are bathrooms and showers right when you enter the beach, which is a plus if you’re going with kids. Those who are interested in observing wildlife, you’re here, you might see stingrays, herons, and/or crabs.
There are walking trails here as well, so it’s not just the beach itself. The one negative is the parking situation. It can be challenging due to limited space, so make sure to arrive early!
Navarre Beach, this hidden secret with white sand and emerald green water is known as one of the most secluded beaches in Florida Gulf Coast. Here you can have a picnic, spot dolphins or just enjoy the incredible views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Navarre remained pretty undiscovered 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.
You will also find a fishing pier here as well as a Turtle Rescue Sanctuary and the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Even though it’s so quiet, there are lifeguards that makes it a family friendly beach so you can go safely swimming and let your kids play in the surf. If you get hungry, there are excellent sushi and pizza places around!
When it comes to the best Florida beaches in Panhandle where you can really relax, Seagrove should be right at the top of your list. On the Emerald Coast, Seagrove is a long beautiful beach that got its name for the surrounding trees such as oaks and sand pines.
What’s so cool about Seagrove is that the town offers a lot but it is still one of the most uncrowded beaches in Florida Panhandle. The best way to describe Seagrove is that it is the perfect combination of new and old: there are newer luxurious cottages but also historic beach homesteads.
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