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Old 11-22-2008, 10:35 PM   #1
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Must Do/See in FL Panhandle???

Hi All,

My wife and I will be based in Panama City, FL between Christmas and New Years (we are ages early 60's). We will have a car and cheap gas so we can go go go.

Navel Air Museum in Pensacola is #1 on my list. What else are must see/do's in the FL Panhandle region??

Our main interests are general aviation and boating (both sailing and runabouts,) and good eats (especially at dockside restaurants.) Oh yea, wife thinks premium discount malls are the greatest invention in the whole wide world.

Thanks All.
Ed
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:12 PM   #2
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Hi Ed there will be a lot of Airstreamers for New Years and the next weekend in January at Topsails State Park. Some arriving possibly earlier than that. Come on over if you can!!! The rally threads are here.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/cale...-31;&e=465&c=1

http://www.airforums.com/forums/cale...1-9;&e=457&c=1
The park is very nice with natural beach area and board walk. There is also a shuttle to the beach and activities. The sites are full hookups with lights and landscaping. It used to be a private rv park. I think you and your wife would love it.
Main Page - Topsail Hill Preserve State Park » Florida State Parks

I like to go out on the city pier in Panama City Beach, but when I went for the link it said it was currently under construction. Great fishing and goes way out into the Gulf. there were surfers and pelicans.
The Official Site of the City of Panama City Beach, Florida - Visitors: City Pier

I like to take a drive to Seaside. It is a great little tourist area and beach.
Seaside

You can take a glass bottom boat ride in natural springs where the Monster from the Blue lagoon and tarzan movies were filmed. great natural area and the water crystal clear. Very park like with many flowers and walks and a grand historic hotel. The boat rides highlight many variety of birds and alligators.
Florida State Parks - EDWARD BALL WAKULLA SPRINGS STATE PARK

Now another favorite would be to stay the the state park at Saint George Island, but even a drive in is more than worthwhile. It juts out into the water for miles of beach on two sides, it's the real Florida, all natural. You can hike and be alone and pick up shells and walk through the dunes or drive to boardwalks and pavillions. Gorgeous!

Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park Ranger Photos » Florida State Parks


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Old 11-23-2008, 12:09 AM   #3
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Ft. Walton Beach area

My folks lived in Niceville, which is not too far from Ft. Walton Beach, for 30+ yrs. and we went every year. This is one of the prettiest parts of FL. as far as we are concerned. There is alot to see if you take your time.
There is a wonderful little Air Force Armament Museum if you are into military history. Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin Air Force Base Fort Walton Beach Destin Florida Airplanes Fighter Jets Bombs Missiles.

The beaches right at Destin, FL are amongst the most beautiful beaches anywhere. There are lots of little areas to shop.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:55 AM   #4
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Gulf and bay fishing!

Eat some fresh seafood for us!

If you're into stimulating the local economy, there's a wonderful outlet mall in Destin.

We just love to drive the Beach Hwy and look at the homes. Seaside is a quaint little place. Kinda touristy, but cute. The Truman Show (movie) was filmed there.

Enjoy your stay. It's one of our country's most beautiful beaches.

/Lois

P.S. Both museums mentioned before are fun...Lots to learn/remember
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
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Rivet Another Aviation Museum

A lesser known museum it the Air Force Armament Museum - Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It is smaller than Pensacola, but definitely worth the visit.

Sounds like a good time. Have fun.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:48 AM   #6
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We came here from Jacksonville fifteen years ago. I worked in Panama City and SuEllyn worked in Pensacola, and we traveled the Panhandle extensively. Here are our favorite places to see and visit, in no particular order.

- The Historic State Capitol in Tallahassee

- The Red Bar Restaurant in Grayton Beach

- Black River State Park near Milton

- The Fishing Fleet in Destin

- The Lucky Snapper Restaurant on Destin Harbor

- Grayton Beach State Park on the Ocean

- Silver Sands Outlet Mall in Miramar Beach

- Perdido Key in Pensacola

- Henderson Beach State Park on the Ocean in Destin

- American Hot Dog Stand in DeFuniak Springs

- Historic homes on The lake in Defuniak Springs

- Highest point in Florida at Lakewood near Florala, Alabama

- Seaside on Highway 30-A in Seagrove Beach

- The Pier at Panama City Beach

- Pensacola Beach

- Captain Anderson's Restaurant in Panama City Beach

- The Historic Gibson Inn in Apalachicola

- Saint George Island

- Port Saint Joe and Cape San Blas

- Wakulla Springs

- The Saint Marks Lighthouse

- The brick historic Florida State Road 1 east of Milton

- View of the Florida Mountains on SR 81 south of Red Bay
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:12 PM   #7
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I think Moosetags, and the others covered just about all the bases I cant think of any others right off hand I do have them beat I have lived here for 46 years I live approx. 5 miles from where I grew up (sad isn't it) but why leave when everything is right here. Give me a holler if you need anything during your stay....SAM
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Old 11-23-2008, 01:37 PM   #8
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Florida Caverns State Park - Marianna, Florida

[quote=macsfriended;640963]...My wife and I will be based in Panama City, FL between Christmas and New Years (we are ages early 60's). We will have a car and cheap gas so we can go go go....What else are must see/do's in the FL Panhandle region??/quote]

One other item of interest -

Main Page - Florida Caverns State Park » Florida State Parks

What a great little park!

The caverns, while small, contain huge amounts of history and "cave" features...also lots of blue holes, sinking rivers, and unusual rock formations (unusual for Florida).

I was surprised that the Cave tours filled up before noon on the weekends.




The park layout was good, but the camping area itself could be muddy (or dusty) depending on the weather.

Recommended for a layover or a one-night destination.

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Old 11-23-2008, 05:45 PM   #9
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Almost, but not quite Florida....

Just a few miles to the West of Pensacola, just before the Mobile, Alabama I-10 Tunnel, there is the Battleship USS Alabama (BB-60), the submarine USS Drum (SS-228), a B-52D bomber, a P-51D Mustang, and an A-12 (the CIA's version of the SR-71) Blackbird spy plane.
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:49 PM   #10
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Ed,

We live in Ft. Walton Bch. and I believe Moosetags gave you a very comprehensive list. Considering your interest in aviation, and the Naval Museum being on the top of your list, make sure and visit the Armament Museum just outside the West Gate of Eglin AFB.....it's not as big, but it may surprise you....and, it's free! The MOAB (Mother-Of-All-Bombs) was developed/tested at Eglin.....there is a model sitting outside the entrance to the museum. There are also some static displays that you don't normally see: SR-71, MIG-17/19/27, C-130 Gunship, etc.

One restaurant that was left off the list is "The Back Porch" in Destin....not dockside, but has a killer view of the beach/ocean.....also has the best Grilled Amberjack sandwiches in the area.

Since you're staying in the Panama City area, I would look at some of the restaurants in Apalachacola......if they are not closed for the season, there are some neat ones on the water which just happen to have great seafood.

If you can extend your visit a bit, the Canopener Rally at Topsail is one not to miss.......especially if you like great food!

Ron
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:28 PM   #11
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I am hoping that "Aviation" means more than just museums. There is a general aviation airport in Panama City (KPFN). Looks like there is flight school and plane rental. You can look them up on this site and call for details. Please report back.
AirNav: KPFN - Panama City-Bay County International Airport
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:33 PM   #12
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On the east side of Panama City is Tyndall Air Force base I believe they train pilots there for F15 and that new one called Raptor? I am not up on all that military lingo stuff also have a Navy base here to it is billed as a diving training center....SAM
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:06 PM   #13
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I know I'm tacking on to an old thread, but I can't recommend the National Naval Air Museum in Pensacola enough.

We visited there last November, and man, what a blast! The tours were great: informative and given in a very charming fashion. Yes, there are two: one of the planes outside on the tarmac, and another one on the beautifully restored planes inside.

History all over the place, and a thorough dedication to maintaining it and explaining it to the many visitors.

The most-visited mueum in America, I am told. Well worth the trip!

Oh, and great! food at the Cubi bar!!
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