9 Best Small Beach Towns in Florida Panhandle

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Are you planning a vacation to the pristine and sunny Florida Pandhandle and looking for places with a small-town charm? This area of the Sunshine State is home to some of the most beautiful and quaint beach towns around.

From Pensacola to St. George Island, there are countless small beach towns that offer a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere than other more touristy destinations.

So grab your flip-flops, sunscreen, and sunglasses, and let’s take a look at some of the best small beach towns in the Florida Panhandle!

Here are 9 Best Small Beach Towns in Florida Panhandle that you must visit!

St. George Island

St George Island

The first stop on our list is St. George Island, a quiet barrier island located at the western end of Apalachicola Bay.

The island is home to miles of white sand beaches and plenty of outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking, and bird-watching.

Stroll down historic Apalachicola Avenue, explore nearby state parks, or just kick back on your own private stretch of beach.

Plus, its laid-back atmosphere makes it perfect for a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


Destin Harbor Boardwalk views

Located in northwest Florida, Destin is known as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village” due to its abundance of fish species like red snapper, grouper, and flounder that can be caught right off its shoreline.

But fishing isn’t all that this town has to offer; its pristine beaches are perfect for swimming and sunbathing while boat rentals give visitors an opportunity to explore other areas along the coast.

Plus, with plenty of shopping and dining options nearby, you never have to worry about running out of things to do here!

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Port St. Joe

Port St. Joe- Small Beach Towns in Florida Panhandle

Most people who have traveled to Florida might have never heard about this quaint little town before.

Port St Joe is a hidden gem on Florida’s Gulf Coast that offers not only great beaches but also plenty of outdoor activities like hiking trails winding through pine forests or kayaking tours around nearby islands.

Whether you want to relax on the beach or explore nature up close, this sleepy little town has it all!

Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach Pier

Panama City Beach is one of the most popular spots in all of Florida thanks to its wide variety of attractions like Pier Park or Shipwreck Island Waterpark perfect for families looking for a fun day out.

Plus, if you’re feeling adventurous there are always parasailing trips available over the emerald-green waters below or dolphin-watching tours just off shore.

🏖 Suggested read: Destin Vs Panama City Beach for Family Vacation? An Honest Comparison to Help you Choose!

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Grayton Beach

Grayton Beach

An upscale beach community located just east of Destin, this charming village has everything you’d expect from a luxurious coastal getaway—stunning views, world-class restaurants, and art galleries—but without any of the pretension or crowds that often come with these types of destinations.

Plus, it’s only a few minutes drive away from some other great spots like Seaside and Rosemary Beach as well!


Seaside Florida

Located in the western part of the Panhandle, Seaside is a charming town with white sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and a laid-back atmosphere.

With its New Urbanist design which features narrow streets, front porches, and a mix of residential and commercial buildings, it’s no wonder why this small beach town has become one of the most popular vacation spots in the area.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy beach activities like swimming, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, and shopping with your family or you just looking for a quiet spot on the beach to enjoy the seaside bliss, Seaside has everything to make your vacation a memorable experience.

Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach
Image by Brooke.ramos on Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for an unforgettable small town beach vacation, there’s no better destination than Rosemary Beach.

This coastal town located in Florida’s panhandle boasts a unique ‘old-Florida’ charm in its iconic white buildings complete with lush courtyards – and it comes with no lack of activities to keep you entertained during your stay.

From horseback riding on the beach to hiking nature trails, playing tennis, browsing galleries filled with local artwork, and getting pampered at the spa, Rosemary Beach offers something for everyone regardless of their individual interests.

Plus its powdery soft sand and crystal clear waters make it the perfect spot to relax and soak up some Vitamin Sea. What more could you possibly need?

Alys Beach

If you’re looking for a stunning bit of paradise to add some excitement to your life, make sure you visit Alys Beach for an unforgettable getaway.

This beautiful, immaculate coastal town situated along Florida’s scenic Highway 30A is the perfect place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

From its colorful Mediterranean architecture to its oyster-shell sidewalks and world-class dining, Alys Beach has something for everyone—whether you want to soak up the sun on the pristine shoreline or wander off into one of its unique art galleries.

There’s no shortage of delights waiting around every corner in this charming seaside community; once you arrive, you won’t be wanting to leave!


WaterColor is truly a special place, and I can’t think of any better place to spend your next beach vacation. It has all the timeless charm of Florida’s gulf coast at its finest and would be an ideal setting for your outdoor getaway.

Here you’ll find crystal clear waters and white sand beaches begging you to come dip your toes in all day long. And when it comes to activities, there’s no shortage of options – from amusement parks and museums, to kayaking and snorkeling excursions.

Really, the hardest part about visiting WaterColor may be trying to fit everything into one trip because I guarantee you won’t want to leave by the time your stay is over.

So why wait? Pack your bags; WaterColor awaits!


No matter if you’re looking for an action-packed vacation filled with activities or just want to sit back and relax on some secluded beach—the Florida Panhandle has something to offer everyone.

From bustling cities like Destin or Panama City Beach full of attractions and restaurants all set against sparkling blue waters ideal for swimming—to smaller towns like Port St Joe where nature takes center stage—you won’t regret visiting any one of these nine small towns during your next trip down South.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and book that flight—you won’t regret it when you arrive at any one of these amazing places!

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About the author
James Williams
Hey there! I'm James Williams, the guy behind floridatripguide.com. I'm a born-and-raised Floridian, and I'm stoked to share my travel adventures with you. On my website, you'll get a taste of Florida through my eyes – the places I love, the hidden gems, and the stories that make the Sunshine State special. Join me on this journey as I take you through the heart and soul of Florida, one post at a time!

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