When Labor Day rolls around, a warning sign that summer’s coming to a close, many people crave one last beach weekend getaway. With its emerald green waters, sugar white sand, and warm sunny days, Northwest Florida is the choice for many. The Sunshine State’s stretch of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico offers plenty of towns for a retreat. From the lively Panama City Beach to quiet areas like Navarre and Pensacola Beach, here are the top spots for a Labor Day weekend beach getaway in Florida:
For families looking to soak up more time in the sun, Destin’s award-winning beaches are as wide open as a welcome mat. Spend your days on the sand, indulge in some fresh seafood, or take a trip to Crab Island – an underwater island accessible by boat only with activities for all ages. Shop Labor Day deals at Destin Commons or visit The Destin Harbor Boardwalk, which offers eateries and shops. Destin has plenty of Labor Day weekend events along with fireworks over the Harbor at night to celebrate the holiday.
Panama City Beach
Labor Day Weekend marks the return of the Pepsi® Gulf Coast Jam to this hot vacation spot. Featuring three days of country music on the coast, the festival is one of the best Labor Day weekend activities to enjoy in Florida. The lineup for 2018 includes the impressive headliners Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church and Thomas Rhett with performances by stars like Justin Moore, Chris Janson and more. In addition to great music, Panama City Beach has gorgeous beaches to boot.
Fort Walton Beach
With pristine sand dunes and aqua-blue waters, Fort Walton Beach sets the right beach scene. Enjoy attractions like dolphin shows at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, championship golf courses, deep-sea fishing charters and more. The Boardwalk is a popular spot too with shopping, waterfront dining and live music. To keep the kiddos entertained, visit the Emerald Coast Science Center with hands-on science exhibits meant for kids.
For a little more peace and quiet, Navarre Beach is home to uncrowded, laid-back beaches surrounded by the Gulf Island National Seashore nature preserve. The serene location offers an oasis between Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, which offer plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment options nearby. Spend time relaxing at your rental home and savoring as many beach sunsets as you can before summer comes to a close.
Tucked away off the beaten path, yet just a short drive away from the excitement of Pensacola proper, Pensacola Beach is another quiet spot for a Labor Day beach getaway. Enjoy nature trails through the neighboring Gulf Island National Seashore, or visit Blackwater River State Forest for some canoeing and kayaking. You’ll get up-close views of the area’s unspoiled beauty and native wildlife. The National Naval Aviation Museum – one of the largest aviation museums in the world – is also nearby, with approximately 150 aircrafts on display.
Small and secluded, Perdido Key is a strip of crystal-white beach located on a barrier island just west of Pensacola. State and federal preserves protect nearly half of the Key, leaving much of its unspoiled beach accessible only by foot. Spend the long weekend sunning, swimming, fishing and hiking in the nearby state parks, or take the little ones over to Perdido Kid’s Park, a local playtime favorite. Then head back to your rental home to grill up some burgers and hot dogs.
Beaches of South Walton
The 26-mile stretch of South Walton houses quiet beach towns, eclectic shops and art galleries perfect for lingering the day away. Unique restaurants and local boutiques give the area its charming character, which is the perfect complement to its beautiful, stretching beaches. Take a guided horseback tour through the pristine parks or paddleboard across coastal dune lakes. After days spent exploring, dine on everything from fresh seafood and spicy Mexican dishes to classic Italian fare.
Plan your Labor Day weekend getaway by finding the perfect Florida beach home rental.