20 BEST NORTHWEST FLORIDA
TOWNS AND CITIES

By  Mike Miller Updated September 20, 2023

These 20 Northwest Florida towns are in the area of the state generally known as the Florida Panhandle. 

The Northwest Florida counties are Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington.

Florida Department of Agriculture Map of Northwest Florida, the panhandleMap of Northwest Florida, the panhandle
Northwest Florida MapRoad Map of Northwest Florida, the Panhandle

Clicking through to the individual town pages will give you information about the town's history, what it's like today, real estate, things to do, local government, lodging and restaurants.  


Apalachicola

This quaint fishing village was once the oyster capital of Florida.  It has a nice downtown district, with shopping, lodging, and restaurants.

Downtown ApalachicolaDowntown Apalachicola

Bristol

Bristol is a small town that was the site of an unusual tourist attraction. The attraction suggested that the town was the possible site of "The Garden of Eden".

Bristol Florida Garden of Eden SignBristol Adam and Eve Attraction Sign

Carrabelle

This fishing village is on the "Forgotten Coast", so called because of its quiet nature and typically small number of tourists.

Carrabelle Aerial ViewCarrabelle, Florida Aerial View

Chipley

I think that Chipley is one of the nicest small towns on the Florida Panhandle. It is quiet and quite "old Florida authentic" with many interesting old buildings.

chipleydowntown.jpgDowntown Chipley Florida

Crestview

Crestview is a transportation hub in Northwestern Florida. It is on one of the state's highest elevations.

Crestview Downtown NightDowntown Crestview

DeFuniak Springs

DeFuniak Springs is a historic city. It was the home of the Southern Chautauqua, and it has hundreds of interesting homes from that era.

Defuniak Chautauqua HallDeFuniak Springs Chautauqua Hall

Destin

This was a simple fishing village that became one of Florida's leading tourist destinations for its beaches and entertainment.

Aerial View of DestinAerial View of Destin

12 Communities on Florida Scenic Highway 30A

This beautiful highway runs along the Gulf of Mexico from Panama City Beach to Santa Rosa Beach.  Some places along the way include Inlet Beach, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, Seacrest, WaterSound, Seagrove, Seaside, WaterColor, Grayton Beach, Blue Mountain, Santa Rosa, and Dune Allen.

Seaside, FloridaSeaside, Florida

Fort Walton Beach

Fort Walton Beach is an older town that serves workers from the nearby Eglin Air Force Base. It also has a strong beach oriented tourist industry.

Aerial View Fort Walton BeachAerial View Fort Walton Beach

Graceville

Graceville is a small town near the Alabama border. It is in the center of peanut farming country.

Graceville Welcome SignGraceville, Florida Welcome Sign

Grayton Beach

Grayton Beach is one of the oldest beach towns in Florida. It's on Scenic Highway 30A and has been, and continues to be a resort destination for generations of families.

Grayton Beach CottageCottage in Grayton Beach

Marianna

Marianna is a historic town. It was one of the centers of Florida's "Old South" plantation economy during the 1800s.

Marianna Confederate MonumentMarianna Confederate Monument

Milton

One of Florida's oldest cities, Milton is in  western Florida on the Blackwater River near Pensacola.

Milton Aerial LoopnetMilton, Florida Aerial View

Niceville

Niceville is a historic town near Eglin Air Force Base. It's on one of the backwater bays in the Panhandle.

Niceville Rocky BayouNiceville Rocky Bayou

Panama City

This city and its companion town, Panama City Beach, have become vacation destinations for beach lovers.

Panama City Beach Pier Park ShopsPanama City Beach Pier Park

Pensacola

Pensacola is an old Florida town that was founded by the Spanish in the 1500s. It's known as the "Cradle of Naval Aviation" because it is the place where Naval aviators begin their training. The city has an interesting downtown and great museums.

Downtown PensacolaDowntown Pensacola

Port St. Joe

Unfortunately, Port St. Joe was known for years as a really stinky place. The paper mill there filled the air with a rancid smell. Today the mill is gone and the air is filled with sweet fresh air from the Gulf. The beaches and downtown areas are now very pleasant.

Downtown Port St. JoeDowntown Port St. Joe

Seaside

Seaside is a community on Scenic Highway 30A. It is considered by many to be the birthplace of New Urbanism Community Design.

Seaside CottageCottage in Seaside,Florida

Sopchoppy

Sopchoppy is a small historic town that in modern times has reinvented itself as the "Worm Gruntin' Capital of the World."

Sopchoppy Rail DepotSopchoppy Railroad Depot

Two Egg

Yes, really, it's called "Two Egg"! That's it's name, and there's a very interesting story of how that came to be! Incidentally, actress Faye Dunaway was born nearby.

Two Egg Florida Sign

Vernon, Florida: The Documentary

Near the Alabama state line, this small town became the subject of a quirky Errol Morris documentary.

Vernon Florida Movie Poster

There is some great scenery in this part of the state.  Here are some short day trips and scenic drives for you to enjoy.

Northwest Florida Day Trips and Scenic Drives


Our Facebook page has more than 129,462 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more.  We post articles every day.  Please check it out and if you like it, we would appreciate a "like" from you.


SHARE ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA