Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

One Tank Trip for North Florida Camping

Total mileage / average drive time:
99.7 miles – 2 hours, 27 minutes

Northern Florida is an area of vast, untamed woodlands, miles and miles of meandering streams, and limitless opportunities for recreation and
exploration. Abundant in wildlife and natural beauty, Northern Florida is vastly different from other areas of the state, borrowing much of the look and feel of its landscape from the states along its borders, which makes it a very unique travel destination when combined with incomparable Florida beaches.

Gulf Breeze
Start your northern Florida adventure in Gulf Breeze, a small island located just south of Pensacola in Butcherpen Cove. Well-known for its white sandy beaches and 300 days of sun each year, Gulf Breeze offers travelers a wide variety of beach fare from para-sailing to fishing. A short distance away you’ll discover Gulf Islands Seashore where hiking, boating, and birding are all readily available. If you can bear to leave the sun, sand, and sea, tear yourself away and visit some of the wonderfully preserved historic fortifications found here spanning nearly 150 years, from the Spanish Colonial Bateria De San Antonio to the WWII-era Battery 234. The fortifications are a fascinating part of this area’s history and stretch from Florida all the way to Ship Island in Mississippi.

Fort Walton Beach
34.9 miles – 53 minutes
Head out of Gulf Breeze for a stunning 35-mile drive along the coast to Fort Walton Beach. Boasting the sugar-white sands of the Emerald Coast, Fort Walton Beach is a popular destination for beach getaways, world-class golf, and numerous sportfishing excursions. There is no end to activities in Fort Walton, all of which can be enjoyed nearly year-round. Head over to Henderson Beach where you’ll enjoy 208 acres of magnolias, wildflowers, and several boardwalks that take you right to the beach. If you’re looking to broaden your activities beyond the beach, visit the Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, located in the downtown area and offering a little taste of Fort Walton’s past. Or you could beat the heat for a few hours at the Emerald Coast Science Center where you are actually allowed to touch and explore many of the exhibits! You’ll discover how your five senses work; get to fly, bank, and land a model airplane within a miniature wind tunnel; and discover the inner workings of several gizmos and gadgets. When you’re good and cooled down, head back out and travel to the Choctawhatchee Forest where you can catch a glimpse of Florida’s famous wildlife, bike, do a little day hiking, and set yourself up for a little picnic in a beautiful natural setting. It just doesn’t get much better than this!

8.8 miles – 18 minutes
Travel about nine miles further down the coast from Fort Walton Beach and you’ll arrive in beautiful Destin. This delightful city is a thriving resort community that somehow manages to maintain a small-town feel visitors find irresistible. You can’t pay a visit to the “World’s Luckiest” fishing village and not hire a local charter to take you out and explore the beautiful, teeming waters of the Gulf. Sure, you might catch nothing but a great tan, but then again, you just might land yourself a whopper! If you walk away from your fishing trip empty-handed, maybe a trip to the Destin History and Fishing Museum will brighten your day. Here, you’ll see numerous examples of fish caught right here in Destin lining the walls, and antique rods and reels, one of the most treasured being a rod constructed out of split bamboo that once belonged to Ernest Hemmingway. There is much to see and love about this museum, and you might just find yourself wandering around it for hours. If you make your way to Emerald Grande, you’ll get a chance to indulge in a huge variety of activities and entertainment — from waterfront shopping and dolphin cruises to water sports and a superb collection of restaurants.

Panama City
56 miles – 1 hour, 16 minutes
Your last destination has you journeying east for 56 miles to Panama City. This small seaside community is home to several large marinas and one of Florida’s finest and most memorable stretched of sand, Panama City Beach, which extends more than 20 miles along the Gulf shoreline. Across the bay, you’ll find the historical Saint Andrews Bay. The area consists of many wetlands, forests, and beautiful natural coastal dunes waiting to be explored. Hike, boat, or do a little fishing from the jetties and piers, any of which are a great way to laze away the day. Get a glimpse of life underwater by going on a scuba diving or snorkeling adventure or just walk for miles along the beach gathering shells and enjoying the sound of the waves lapping the shore. However you choose to enjoy this area, there is enough sand, shells, and sun to weave a magic spell on you throughout your entire stay.

Check out the 2011 One Tank Trip For Northern Florida
Check out the 2010 One Tank Trip For Northern Florida
Woodall's Recommended Campgrounds in Northern Florida

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