Florida Panhandle In February: The Florida Panhandle is an exquisite stretch of coastline starting in Pensacola and ending at Cedar Key. The area is renowned for its sugar-like sand beaches and sparkling emerald green ocean along the Gulf of Mexico. Many of the towns along the Florida Panhandle have retained a small-town feel and charm that isn’t experienced elsewhere in the region.
Once you’ve decided a visit to the Florida Panhandle is next on your travel bucket list, the next question is when the best time to go is. Many folk prefer to avoid snowbird season in December and January when towns are crowded with tourists. So, many wonder whether visiting the Florida Panhandle in February is the next best option. Let’s find out…
Florida Panhandle in February: Weather
February in most areas in North America and Canada is still downright miserable and cold, so even though February is one of the Panhandle’s colder months, it’s still a heck of a lot warmer than back home!
Now, the Florida Panhandle doesn’t stay as warm as its subtropical Floridian counterparts, however as mentioned above, it’s still a lot warmer than most places up North in February. The average temperature is around 54°F with some days towards the end of February reaching highs of 64°F.
There is only an 18% chance of rain in the Florida Panhandle in February, with a maximum of 5.6 inches of rainfall the whole month.
Florida Panhandle in February: Crowds
If your goal is to avoid crowds during your vacation, then visiting the Florida Panhandle in February is prime time for crowd avoidance! Because the bulk of tourists flock to the panhandle in December and January, February tends to be a quiet month to visit. Some of the advantages include:
- No queues at restaurants, bars and coffee shops
- Empty shops for uninterrupted and leisurely browsing
- Tours are emptier giving you a more personalized experience
- Have the beaches to yourself
- Golf courses are quiet with your pick of tee-off times and no waiting at each hole for other teams to play their shots
Florida Panhandle in February: Prices
Another big advantage of visiting the Florida Panhandle in February is that prices drop dramatically. You’ll find excellent rates on vacation rentals as well as on stays at luxury resorts.
Everything from tours to restaurants to rounds of golf are cheaper in February, so it’s an optimal time to visit for any traveler watching their budget.
Florida Panhandle in February: Suggested Activities
With the weather not being too hot or cold in the Florida Panhandle in February, it is pleasant to spend time outdoors. While the water can be a little chilly for snorkeling and swimming, there are still plenty of other fun things you can do outdoors.
- Explore the town by bike: Whichever Panhandle town you find yourself in, explore your seaside vacation destination by bike to get the most out of your time there.
- Play golf: the Florida Panhandle has some stunning golf courses which can be unpleasantly packed during peak season. Visiting during off season and playing a round gives you a much more relaxed golfing experience. If you’re planning a long stay, take out a short term membership which works out cheaper per round.
- Grab a coffee and go walking: The beautiful, crisp mornings are perfect for starting the day with a walk. Grab a takeaway coffee and head out for a peaceful walk through the town or along the beach. Bliss.
- Dine at a waterfront restaurant: Even on its chilliest days, nothing can take away from the beauty of the shimmering white beach sand and emerald green ocean in the Florida Panhandle. Whichever town you visit, you can be assured there’ll be a number of seaside restaurants you can soak up the views in while enjoying a delicious meal.
- Read by the pool: If you’re staying at a resort, it’s likely their pools will be heated so don’t be afraid to dip in for a swim. Reading by the pool is also a holiday must-do for any vacation. Nothing quite says vacation more than a book in one hand and a cocktail in the other.
- Go on a winemaking course: Learn all about winemaking and enjoy a tasting at Panama City Beach Winery. They have some pretty wild flavors like banana and spicy pepper, so prepare to be intrigued!
- Spend a day at Pensacola Beach: Pensacola Beach is strikingly beautiful and while it may be a little chilly for swimming and snorkeling, you can still do some fishing off the pier or walk along the beach. In fact, sometimes just sitting on the beach and soaking up the natural beauty is all that’s needed to help you feel re-energized. After spending some time on the beach, head up to the boardwalk to explore the shops and tuck into some fresh seafood.
- Walk around Eden Gardens State Park: If you love historical gardens, then you’ll want to check out Eden Gardens State Park in Santa Rosa Beach. The park is centered around a grand historical home with a butterfly garden, reflection pond, nature trails and picnic areas. After spending a morning in the park, quench your thirst with a cold craft beer at Idyll Hounds Brewing Company.
To go or not to go?
If your main purpose when visiting the Florida Panhandle is to soak up the sun on the beach, then visiting the Florida Panhandle in February is not the right time to go. You’re going to end up disappointed that the weather isn’t prime beach weather, that the water is cold and that there is a higher chance of rain. However, if you’re happy to enjoy the cultural activities and want to save money and avoid crowds, then February is a good time for you to visit.
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