Ten Best Stops on the Gulf’s Emerald Coast

gulf emerald coast

I moved from New England to South Carolina a few years ago to escape the snow. Like many other parts of the country, it was an unseasonably cold winter, even in the South. So when we got that half-inch of snow in February, I jumped in my car and headed even further south!

Emerald Coast beaches, here I come! Here are the ten best stops on the Gulf Emerald Coast.

1.  Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach sunset

Panama City Beach sunset

With 27 miles of palm-lined emerald green beaches on the Florida Gulf Coast, Panama City Beach offers lot of fun activities in the water, under the water, or even in the air. The best snorkeling is in the crystal waters of St. Andrews State Park or on nearby Shell Island, an amazingly pristine, uninhabited island. This is definitely the “tourist spot” on the Emerald Coast, sure to please families with myriad of attractions such as Wonderworks, Race City, Ripley’s Believe It or Not and a slew of amusement parks. It’s also a great place to catch a brilliant beach sunset.

Flying over the beach with pilot Katie!

Flying over the beach with pilot Katie!

The best adventure in Panama City Beach is with Panhandle Helicopter where you can get a stunning birds-eye view of the coast, and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of sharks swimming in the nearby sea.

2.  Mexico Beach, Florida

The pier at Mexico Beach

The pier at Mexico Beach

In contrast to Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, about 20 miles east on the “Undiscovered Gulf Coast” is the place to get away from it all. Brimming with small town, relaxed atmosphere – and no traffic lights – you won’t find any high-rise hotels here. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic getaway.

Click here to read the rest of the Best Stops on the Emerald Coast.