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5 Best Places to Live In Florida Panhandle

5 Best Places to Live In Florida Panhandle

When looking for a place to settle, we all want to live in a neighborhood accommodating our needs. Fortunately, Florida is a heaven full of ambiance and diversity. There is something for everyone, from the rambunctious toddlers to the sweet sixteens, lovebirds, to the cool and calm elderly. Better yet, anything fun and luxurious will be found in the Sunshine State.

On this note, FL Panhandle is favorable because it has some of the most affordable cities and towns in Florida. This being said, here are some of the best places to live in Florida Panhandle area. The climate is milder when put on a scale with the others, plus it boasts numerous top-notch sandy beaches.

The northwestern Florida region has some of the most chilled and relaxed areas to unwind after a long week at the office dealing with emails, clients on your neck, and other sorts of work pressure. It can be an amazing area to settle in, but only if you know where to find that which suits your lifestyle.

5 Best Places to Live In Florida Panhandle

5. Destin

If you adore beach life, Destin can be a great place to fulfill all your hydro fantasies. Bordering the Choctawhatchee Bay, this beach town is literally surrounded by water, making it ideal for fishing, boating, and kayaking, among other water activities.

Popularly known as the “world’s luckiest fishing village” you can imagine how much fish is found there. If fishing is not your regular cup of tea, nonetheless, you have loads of activities to explore.

The sun dunes of the scenic beaches are perfect for the “sun-kissed” captions on your Instagram. The picnic arrears can offer good wallpapers for your photo gallery, not forgetting the numerous campsites which are ideal places for meeting up and rekindling affection with friends and family.

Nearby is the famous Crab Island, where the water fun does not stop, and tourists are a significant catch here. It can be accessible by boat or water taxi. There, you will also find jet skis and trampolines.

If you’re a lover of beaches and water fun Destin is potentially destined for you. The slight downside is that Destin is a bit remote, plus the costs of living can scare some people off.


  • A silver city for beach lovers
  • Amazing boardwalk area
  • Incredibly safe


  • Not so affordable
  • Distant from major cities
5 Best Places to Live In Florida Panhandle

4. Tallahassee 

If you are a career head looking to live in Northern western Florida, this could be just the right place for you. The area is education-focused, making it ideal for all learners and those looking to make career moves.

Apart from offering a plethora of outdoor activities, the commute times in Tallahassee are incredibly low; thanks to the seemingly low population in this Florida Panhandle town. Tourist attractions in Tallahassee are also minimal, making it less busy and saturated.

For the scholars, their efforts pay after school because the job prospects are quite promising. It is also a work-dominated environment. Nonetheless, the mentioned activities have hiked the standards of living in the area, including housing costs.


  • Numerous outdoor activities to indulge in
  • Excellent for career growth
  • Low congestion


  • Distant from major beaches and cities
  • Spiking housing and living costs

3. Pensacola 

Bordering the West on the Florida Panhandle and neighboring Alabama, Pensacola has a laid-back mentality. It draws the most tourists with its sandy beaches along the Gulf Coast, FL.

Thanks to its low housing costs, Pensacola, FL ranks top among the most affordable beach towns in Florida, making it an ideal place for those on a low budget. The low cost of living has also had a significant impact on its tourism sector.

Moreover, it is home to the Pensacola Historic District, a popular attraction for tourists each year. It is also an hour away from the top beaches in the whole of Florida, making it a very convenient location to settle in. The rock-solid school system and good job prospects make it easy for learners to start making a living here, once they are done with their education.

Sadly, with all the strongholds, Pensacola has a weak point. There have been reported crimes in some areas.


  • Excellent school system
  • Attractive job prospects
  • Affordable housing


  • Crime in certain parts

2. Port St. Joe

5 Best Places to Live In Florida Panhandle

Suppose you are looking to live in a laid-back environment with an ambiance and a gentle pace, Port St. Joe could be just the place for you.

This small Florida Panhandle town that was once an industrial town has over the years transformed into a great beach town where residents find great solace in. Port St. Joe is closeby to most of the top beaches in Florida, making it an ideal place for tourists to stay while on vacation.

There are numerous wining and dining opportunities. Here, security is also top-notch, and livelihood is pretty much more affordable than most other towns in Florida.

This is perhaps why the town is more appealing to retirees and remote workers who look out for meager living costs. However, job opportunities are fairly limited in this Panhandle two, but you can work in the cities if you choose to make it your home.


  • Affordable living 
  • Quiet and laid-back 
  • Top beaches nearby 


  • A tiny city
  • Employment opportunities limited

1. Lynn Haven

The name sounds soothing. Reread it, and you will feel the heaven in this little Haven before you experience it when you visit and feel the serenity in the tree-lined streets.

First of all, compared to some other places, Lynn Haven has meager crime rates making it a space for your sanity. It is quiet and relaxed, and the cost of living is quite affordable.

However, the job market is low, limiting some people’s career choices. Compared to Destin, Lynn is reasonable with a 5-10% rate difference.

That little difference can go a long way considering that this Haven is like 15 minutes to the Panama City Beach and 10 minutes from the actual Panama City. It is home to several golf courses and several parks to chill and unwind over the weekend.


  • Highly affordable
  • Suitable for quiet living
  • Impeccable security


  • Not so walkable
  • The job market is a bit wanting
5 Best Places to Live In Florida Panhandle

Other Notable Mentions 

There are many more places to live in Florida with magnificent sights and scenes, but in this piece, we settled on what most people would go for on different levels. Apart from the ones discussed above, other potentially decent places may include the following:  

  • Seaside: The town offers decent security and walkability. It is home to lots of great restaurants, boutiques, shops, and top-class beaches. The architecture is beautiful and the culture is rich, with year-round entertainment from movie theatres and music concerts. However, tourist congestion is often a problem, and the costs of living can be scary to some people. 
  • Navarre: Located east of Pensacola Beach, this humble seaside community can be perfect for those after the waterfront kind of lifestyle. It has lots to offer, from spacious beaches to parks, seafood restaurants, and a relaxed atmosphere to suit you and your family. It also promises numerous outdoor activities, plus it is not so frequented by tourists.  
  • Fort Walton Beach: Sandwiched between Destin to the east and Okaloosa Island to the south, Fort Walton Beach is another great city to live in the Florida Panhandle. It offers numerous exciting outdoor activities for kids and adults, including fishing, parks, museums, and miniature golf. Combined with a great school system, Fort Walton Beach can be an amazing place to consider your next home in Florida’s Northwestern area.
  • Santa Rosa Beach: Located on the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle, this is another great place to consider living. Here, residents boast a lavish suburban feel, and the costs of living in this small beach town community are not above the roof as many people would suppose. 

There are plenty of housing opportunities, including beachfront real estate property as well as those within close proximity. From the Topsail Hill Park to the Point Washington State Forest and the Eden Gardens, there are lots of other attractions to explore in Santa Rosa, FL. It is ideal for young professionals and families alike, especially active outdoor enthusiasts. 

5 Best Places to Live In Florida Panhandle

Here Are the Five Best Places to Live In Florida’s Panhandle 

  • 5. Destin
  • 4. Tallahassee
  • 3. Pensacola 
  • 2. Port St. Joe
  • 1. Lynn Haven

Lastly, there are numerous major attractions in Florida’s Panhandle, like the St. Joseph Peninsula Park and St. Joseph Aquatic Preserve in Cape San Blas near Port St. Joe. For instance, the Cape San Blas is for those who are cool, calm, collected, and love to take it slow.

There is fresh seafood at the ConeHeads and an ambiance to chill and sip some whisky at the Indian Pass Raw Bar. You can have a perfect place to unwind your week at Cape San Blas Beach.

It can be a pretty awesome place to make memories while experiencing the gifts from Mother Nature. All in all, the places highlighted in this piece should help you make a sound decision when looking to settle in the Florida Panhandle.

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