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At one time, there was little to Florida except what is now called the Panhandle. The first area to be extensively developed (while much of the interior was considered useless swampland), the Panhandle now includes some of the most rural areas of the state. Close to the borders of Alabama and Georgia, the Panhandle is more like the rest of the Deep South than like the rest of Florida—but it shares with other regions an extensive coastline that includes estuaries rich in wildlife and long beaches of sugar-white sand that attract droves of vacationers and new residents.

Pensacola, the chief city of the Panhandle and once the chief city of the state, is a fascinating and beautiful small city with a rich history dating back to its founding by the Spanish in 1559. From Pensacola east to Panama City stretches the "Emerald Coast," one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Gulf South.

The Panhandle is also home to the state capital, Tallahassee.



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