Head on down to sunny Florida and its famous panhandle for a fun and rejuvenating escape from it all. The panhandle is known and loved for its numerous beaches, parks and recreational activities for kids and adults. During the spring, the weather is typically in the 70-degree range. Once summer hits, expect balmy temperatures in the 80s with plenty of clear skies for picture taking. You can find stunning Florida Panhandle vacation rentals along the entire 200-mile stretch of white sand beaches with magnificent views of the ocean.

Enjoy living in beachfront condos, homes and quaint bungalows located close to fun-filled activities, restaurants, and shops. Besides sunbathing and swimming, there are many outdoors activities to keep you busy such as bicycle riding, hiking, snorkeling, and paragliding. Be sure to bring a fishing pole and gear if you enjoy angling. Drop your pole off the side of a pier, or join a group of anglers for a pleasant day of charter boat fishing. Kids enjoy places where they can make original craft items, see zoo animals and play fun games. Trek to secluded spots that are perfect for romantic beach walks, and feel a sense of peace as the tranquil ocean waves lap upon the shore.

1. Pensacola Beach, Florida

house with blue roof

As you settle into your vacation rental bungalow, B&B or two-story home, you’ll be ready to spend your days discovering new adventures. Visit uptown and downtown historical spots to learn about the city’s Spanish and British roots. At the National Naval Aviation Museum, you can gaze upon thousands of aviation artifacts, learning intriguing things about avid flyers and the planes they loved. Comfortable shoes are all you need when climbing to the top of the Pensacola Lighthouse for a spectacular ocean view. When you stop by the Gulf Breeze Zoo you and the kids can observe exotic animals up close.

2. Orange Beach, Florida

people walking at the beach
Source: Flickr / lordsutch

If you’re in the mood for a nice hike, the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry trail is a peaceful way to get back to nature. Enjoy eating lunch at your conveniently located vacation rental home. Choose to spend the rest of the day watching dolphins and whales cavort in the blue waters, trying your hand at paragliding or playing an exciting game of laser tag at Adventure Island.

3. Destin, Florida

fishermen at the seaport
Source: Flickr / mcandrus

Find the ideal seaside vacation rental home near the bustling Harbor Boardwalk. Anytime you want to breathe fresh sea air, take a stroll along the boardwalk. For a quicker pace, learn all about the history of this busy harbor, and the local fishing scene as you glide over Marler Bridge on a motorized Segway. The fishing action here is amazing, and charter fishing boats are available for all-day fishing tours. For a fun change of pace, enjoy a live entertainment show and delicious meal at the Maximum Magic Dinner Theater. Fun in the sun always beckons, and you’ll be happy as a clam visiting the beautiful white sands of Henderson Beach State Park. Pick a spot to relax in your beach chair as you sip refreshments and enjoy a slice of untouched paradise.

4. Seaside, Florida

couple at the spa
Source: Flickr / Tara Angkor Hotel

There’s a cozy bungalow or B&B vacation rental awaiting you in this charming seaside community. This is a wonderful destination if you love discovering new artists and hand-crafted artwork. Go full-on bohemian as you browse books at the local bookstore, and then take in the local art scene at the cool galleries and museums. At some point in your vacation take the time to loosen up by getting pampering massage or facial at the spa. The Seaside Farmers Market is where you’ll find fresh produce and all the fixings for a homemade salad. For the equestrian lovers in the family, pick a horse to ride at the stables and enjoy moseying along a country trail.

5. Panama City, Florida

little boy touching a dolphin
Source: Flickr / jdg32373

Live your fantasy of swimming with friendly dolphins during your visit to Water Planet where you can take snapshots of your human and porpoise interactions. Maybe you prefer staying dry. In that case, take your family’s dolphin learning indoors at the indoor dolphin experience at Gulf World Marine Park. The walking maze at Coconut Creek Family Fun Park is a real challenge for kids and adults, but you’ll find your way out eventually. At ZooWorld share with your family the intrigue of colorful tropical parrots, lemurs and tall giraffes ambling around. Once you’re back home at your vacation rental, it’s time to relax again, sip a glass of local wine and chat about your fun day while eating dinner.

6. Grayton Beach, Florida

fishermen at the sea
Source: Flickr / Richard Elzey

Gone fishing is what you’ll be doing when you escape to this peaceful seaside town. For the ultimate angler, fishing adventure is sure to take your favorite fishing gear along, storing it away at your choice of cozy vacation rental bungalows or homes. Charter fishing boats are available for daily rental, and once you’re on board, cast your line and wait for a bite as you breathe fresh sea air. Take in some arts and crafts by heading over to the Shard Shop. Here you can create beautiful handmade art pieces that you’ll proudly display back home. Kids have their own place to create unique art projects, too: the Wunderland Candy & Craft Factory.

7. Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

dog playing at the beach
Source: Flickr / Thomas Cook

The magnificent beach is what draws you to spend time at this sunny Florida getaway. This idyllic spot is where you’ll want to spend hours sitting in a beach chair reading, gazing at the tranquil aqua-colored water, or taking long walks along the shore. A nice array of vacation rental cottages, townhomes and condos lie just a short distance from the beach. Nearby, Blue Mountain Beach offers spectacular ocean views with the added bonus of pretty wildflowers. For a change of scenery, go for languid bike rides along the 19-mile Timpoochee Trail, getting exercise as you admire scenic views.

8. Gulfport, Florida

couple snorkeling
Source: Flickr / bpkfishinglodge

There is a multitude of fun activities to engage in Gulfport, Florida, once you’ve chosen a comfortable local vacation rental home. Take the whole family, including the family dog, on a stroll along Beach Boulevard, which is the main place for eating out, shopping and people watching. The mix of talented live street musicians is fun to watch. Local art galleries always have something interesting to see. Clam Bayou Nature Park offers a beautiful locale to go for a run or a long walk. Exciting water activities include snorkeling and kayaking. After dinner, head over to the local disco and dance the night away.

9. Fort Walton Beach, Florida

white sand beach
Source: Flickr / dconvertini

Escape the maddening crowds when you secure a quaint vacation rental home on this strip of sandy coastline. Upon your arrival, you’ll feel the stress drain from your body as you relax on the beach at Okaloosa Island. Here, take a walk along the pier, stopping at points to gaze into the blue ocean waters. For cultural enrichment, you can visit local museums to learn about historical native artifacts and local lore. When the kids want fun stimulation, bring them to Wild Willy’s Adventure Zone and spend an afternoon playing arcade games, miniature golf and doing other fun activities.