Thirteen counties border what is known as the Forgotten Coast, with miles of undeveloped natural beaches, barrier islands, quiet fishing villages, quaint historic districts and popular beach-side cities and towns.
Renowned for sparkling white sands and emerald waters stretching from Pensacola southeast to Cedar Key along the Gulf of Mexico, the Panhandle is one of Florida's best-kept secrets. Mostly rural, it boasts some of Florida's best beaches and a climate for year-round boating, biking, hiking, canoeing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, camping and fishing. Panhandle sanctuaries include 10 aquatic preserves, 36 state parks, the Gulf Islands National Seashore and the 234,000-acre Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve – one of the most important bird habitats in the United States' southeastern waters.
Panhandle Counties (west to east)
Escambia's sugar-white sand beaches of Pensacola Beach are its main attraction. It is on Santa Rosa Island, one of two barrier islands that shelter the mainland. (More)
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.