I’ve written before about how the Panhandle is really Florida’s Final Frontier.
It’s probably the least developed part of Florida, and that also means there’s plenty of unspoiled nature here to explore.
In this article, let’s take a closer look at three of the must-see state parks located in the Florida Panhandle.
Florida Caverns State Park
Florida Caverns State Park is one of the few state parks with dry caves and it is the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours to the public.
In addition, the Chipola River and Blue Hole spring provide visitors areas for fishing, canoeing and boating.
As if the park wasn’t unique enough to begin with, it also features a nine-hole golf course built back in the 1930’s, set in beautiful rolling terrain.
Guided tours of the cavern last 45 minutes but be aware there are no tours on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.
Falling Waters State Park
Thought the only waterfalls you’d see in Florida were of the man-made variety at the hundreds of resorts around the state?
Falling Water State Park is home to Florida’s highest waterfall which is 73-feet high!
Huge trees and fern-covered sinkholes line Sink Hole Trail, the boardwalk that leads visitors to the waterfall.
Since this park is located just a few miles south of I-10, it’s a great place to stop and relax when driving through this area.
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
One of the most unique things about St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is its location.
As the name suggests, it sits on a Peninsula, right across from Port St. Joe.
Here you can can swim and play on 9.5 miles of white sand beaches surrounded on both sides by mostly-clear waters.
Explore the Wilderness Preserve or fish and snorkel in the gulf or tranquil grass flats of St. Joseph Bay.
If you want to stay the night, St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers over 100 campsites with water, electricity, picnic table and grills. If camping outdoors is not quite your thing there are also seven cabins available furnished with kitchens, fireplaces, bathrooms, heat and air.
The park is very popular among birders and wildlife observation enthusiasts.
So Much More to Explore
We’re just scratching the surface as far as great parks in the Panhandle to explore are concerned.
With more than 30 state parks in this region, there’s enough to keep anyone busy for a while.
Images via FloridaStateParks.org