Florida is one of the most popular destinations in the United States, and a big reason for that is the Sunshine State’s beautiful beaches.
While the most popular beach destinations are located in South and Central Florida, the most beautiful beaches in Florida are actually tucked away in the Florida Panhandle.
This is a lesser-known region that is perfect for a fall beach getaway.
Where Is The Emerald Coast?
The Emerald Coast is a nickname that refers to about 100 miles of coastline along the Florida Panhandle. In my opinion, the 50 or so miles between Panama City Beach and Destin is the best part of the Emerald Coast to visit for the most beautiful beaches.
As you can probably guess, the Emerald Coast gets its name because of the clear green-hued waters of its beaches. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, this part of Florida has beautiful beaches with powdery white sand and water in shades of bright blue, green, and turquoise.
The main Emerald Coast airports are located in Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City.
Why should you visit the Emerald Coast? Here are a few reasons why it’s the perfect destination for a fall getaway.
A Beach Town For Everyone
One of the most iconic stretches of the Emerald Coast is 30A. This 24-mile stretch of coast named for Scenic 30A Highway is dotted with more than a dozen beach towns and communities, each with its own distinct personality.
Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach, both modeled after Dutch West Indies and Bermudan architecture, are havens of luxury with upscale dining and shopping.
Seaside has a quaint small-town vibe where everyone rides bikes to get around, and yet there’s always plenty going on. Grayton Beach is known as an artsy, bohemian enclave with a laidback atmosphere.
These are just a few of the towns on 30A, and each one has something unique to offer.
Some other great Emerald Coast destinations include Sandestin, which is just next to the more developed and bustling Destin, and Panama City Beach, an affordable, fun destination that is perfect for families.
Affordable Or Luxury, Your Choice
The great thing about the Emerald Coast is that there are options for every budget.
Whether you are looking for a luxurious getaway or an affordable family vacation, there are a variety of accommodations, food options, and activities to suit every budget.
For example, you can spend $1,000+ a night renting a beachfront mansion in an upscale area like Rosemary Beach or Alys Beach.
Or you can spend $100 a night on a hotel room in Panama City Beach, the second-cheapest destination in Florida. Several other Emerald Coast towns are among the cheapest destinations in Florida, including Fort Walton Beach, Miramar Beach, and Pensacola Beach.
Fewer Crowds In The Fall
Unlike many Florida beaches that are year-round destinations, the Emerald Coast is more seasonal, with most tourists coming from early March for the spring break season through the end of summer. This makes it an underrated fall getaway.
After Labor Day in September, the Emerald Coast beaches are quieter during the fall and winter months. This means that fall is a great time to visit for fewer crowds while still enjoying nice weather.
In the fall, you can still expect daytime temperatures in the high seventies in October and the low seventies in November.
With lower crowds in the fall, you won’t have to worry about staking out the perfect spot on the beach or waiting for a long time to be seated for dinner at a popular restaurant. Instead, you can enjoy a more relaxed and spontaneous trip.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com