best area to stay in panhandle, Florida

Old Mar 6th, 2022, 05:57 AM
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best area to stay in panhandle, Florida

Hello all, we are a professional couple in our 60's planning our vacation 1st time in the Emerald Coast area in May.
Which city should we stay in? We want to stay at a Marriott hotel.
Recommended things to see and restaurants? We love the water and heard so much of the blue green water and the white sandy beaches of this region.
Thank you in advance.
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Old Mar 6th, 2022, 09:36 AM
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I would pick Pensacola Beach and I believe there is a Marriott there. While Destin is more well known, it is also crazy crowded all the time. You can walk to shops and restaurants on Pensacola Beach and would only need to drive if you want to see Fort Pickens or the National Seashore (which you should do). Also, downtown Pensacola has undergone a revitalization lately and is bustling with new shops and restaurants. Traffic can be very bad crossing the bay so you'd want to time your visit downtown to avoid rush hour. Also, weekend traffic from Pensacola to the Beach can be very bad. Best just to stay on the island on weekends. Pensacola also has the Naval Air Museum (home to the Blue Angels) which is really interesting and worth seeing.

Another area that I really like is east of Destin in the area known as 30A. Grayton Beach is one of my favorites. But, you would be dealing with all the crazy Destin traffic if you wanted to go into Destin for shopping, etc. And yes, the sand is very white and the water can be beautiful, but it isn't always. It completely depends upon weather conditions. It is not like the Caribbean, so don't be disappointed when you get there.
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Old Mar 11th, 2022, 03:58 PM
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https://www.marriott.com/hotels/trav...nsacola-beach/





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Old Mar 13th, 2022, 10:45 AM
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Take a look at Panama City Beach. We enjoy that area.Not sure about Mariott but a great Holiday Inn resort on the beach as well as a very nice Hampton Inn, again, right on the beach.
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Old Apr 8th, 2022, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by charsuzan View Post
Take a look at Panama City Beach. We enjoy that area.Not sure about Mariott but a great Holiday Inn resort on the beach as well as a very nice Hampton Inn, again, right on the beach.
Thank you! We book a new Marriott hotel right at Panama City Beach and used that as a base to visit along the coast there. How long ago did you visit that area? Was it too touristic and crowded?
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Old Apr 8th, 2022, 05:45 AM
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Thank you! Did not know that there is Marrriott at Pensacola Beach
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Old Apr 8th, 2022, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by AustinTraveler View Post
I would pick Pensacola Beach and I believe there is a Marriott there. While Destin is more well known, it is also crazy crowded all the time. You can walk to shops and restaurants on Pensacola Beach and would only need to drive if you want to see Fort Pickens or the National Seashore (which you should do). Also, downtown Pensacola has undergone a revitalization lately and is bustling with new shops and restaurants. Traffic can be very bad crossing the bay so you'd want to time your visit downtown to avoid rush hour. Also, weekend traffic from Pensacola to the Beach can be very bad. Best just to stay on the island on weekends. Pensacola also has the Naval Air Museum (home to the Blue Angels) which is really interesting and worth seeing.

Another area that I really like is east of Destin in the area known as 30A. Grayton Beach is one of my favorites. But, you would be dealing with all the crazy Destin traffic if you wanted to go into Destin for shopping, etc. And yes, the sand is very white and the water can be beautiful, but it isn't always. It completely depends upon weather conditions. It is not like the Caribbean, so don't be disappointed when you get there.
Thank you for your advices. We did look at 30A but very few hotels on the beach. Definitely would visit there.
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Old Apr 8th, 2022, 01:31 PM
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I grew up in the Panhandle area and can say with certainty that Pensacola Beach is much nicer than Panama City Beach. Different crowd and different vibe.
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