Rubbing hard against Alabama in the west and Georgia in the north, the long, narrow Panhandle has much more in common with the states of the Deep South than with the rest of Florida. Hard to believe, then, that just over a century ago, the Panhandle was Florida. At the western edge, Pensacola was a busy port when Miami was still a swamp. Fertile soils lured wealthy plantation owners south, helping to establish Tallahassee as a high-society gathering place and administrative centre – a role which, as the state capital, it retains. But the decline of cotton, deforestation and the coming of the East Coast railroad eventually left the Panhandle high and dry. Much of the inland region still seems neglected, and the Apalachicola National Forest is perhaps the best place in Florida to disappear into the wilderness. The coastal Panhandle, on the other hand, is enjoying better times: despite rows of hotels, much is still untainted, boasting miles of blinding white sands.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

15 of the most beautiful places in Alaska

15 of the most beautiful places in Alaska

With mountains to climb, rivers to raft, glaciers to coo over and a bevy of bears to photograph, Alaska is the ultimate wilderness. From the moment you arrive, …

18 Jan 2017 • Sarah Reid camera_alt Gallery
8 ideas for cheap vacations in the US

8 ideas for cheap vacations in the US

Only a few of us can take a vacation that includes a private jet and a 15-course chef’s tasting menu at a top restaurant. For the rest of us, we have to make …

17 Jan 2017 • Jason Frye insert_drive_file Article
Why Atlanta is one of the top 10 cities you should visit in 2017

Why Atlanta is one of the top 10 cities you should visit in 2017

Georgia’s leafy capital is due its time in the spotlight. Dynamic, progressive and home to one of the country’s most exciting food scenes, Atlanta is the ne…

11 Jan 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month