Are you planning to visit the Florida Panhandle in July? Between the great weather and wealth of events and activities, July is an excellent time to visit the Panhandle. Whether you are planning to spend your vacation relaxing on the Panhandle’s beautiful white sand beaches, swimming in the emerald gulf waters, participating in water activities and sports, or enjoying the bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, July is the perfect time to do it. Here is everything you need to know about visiting the Florida Panhandle in July.
Weather in the Panhandle in July
July is the hottest month of the year in the Panhandle, with average temperatures around 81-82°F and highs of 89°F. Humidity rises, and so does the number of rainy days, which average around 15 in July. That being said, the breeze and cool air around the gulf make it much more bearable near the beach, so there is no better way to beat the July heat than heading for the Panhandle’s shores.
Although rain and thunderstorms are more common in July, they often only start in the afternoon, leaving beachgoers plenty of time to enjoy the morning weather before packing it in and enjoying the restaurants and bars.
Best Things to do in the Florida Panhandle in July
The Florida Panhandle has no shortage of things to do, especially in July. Some of the most popular activities on the Panhandle include:
Waterskiing and Jet Skiing – the Panhandle’s emerald coast is one of the best places in the world to waterski and jet ski. Zip around in the calm waters, visiting islands in the gulf and exploring inlets and coves. Keep an eye out for the dolphins, fish, and turtles that frequent the waters off the Panhandle.
Parasailing – What better way to see the Panhandle than from 400 feet in the air? Parasailing over the gulf waters gives you the most scenic possible view of the region. See how the water transitions from emerald green to deep blue as it gets deeper, or look inland and see all the houses, condos, and people in the Panhandle’s cities. Parasailing over the Panhandle is as breathtaking as it is thrilling.
Visit the Bars and Nightclubs – Destin, Panama City Beach, and Pensacola beach are all famous for their nightlife. Experience some of the best bars and nightclubs in Florida, with great live music, drinks, themes, and even pools.
Visit the Malls and Venues – The Panhandle has great outdoor shopping centers that feature a wide variety of stores, live music, games, rides, and more. Be sure to check out HarborWalk Village in Destin, the Silver Sands Premium Outlets in Miramar Beach, and Pier Park in Panama City Beach.
July Annual Events
The Panhandle’s most popular cities have plenty of annual events that are great for the whole family. If you are in the Florida Panhandle in July, here are some events you should be sure to check out:
Pensacola Beach Air Show – Held each year in early July, the Pensacola Beach Air Show is a thrilling aerial event performed by the Blue Angels. The Blue Angels is a flight demonstration squadron of the United States Navy, known for their incredible air shows, which involve flying in formations, executing low and high-speed passes, tight turns, rolls, loops, and transitions from one formation to another. The Blue Angels are based in Pensacola, and their shows are well worth seeing if you are in the Panhandle Area.
Real Fun Fourth – Panama City Beach’s Fourth of July celebration starts two days early and lasts through the night of the fourth. Enjoy fireworks displays, music, and bar crawls along the beach. There is no better way to celebrate the Fourth of July!
Fat Tuesday Parade – A parade and concert celebrating Fat Tuesday with floats, beads, and a fire spinning show.
Firecracker 5k – A great race for a great cause, the Firecracker 5k is held each year just before the Fourth of July, with all proceeds from the race going to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida. The race is Fourth of July themed, with many runners completing the race while dressed in a patriotic costume. Whether you plan on running or just spectating, the race is well worth attending.
Seaside Farmers Market – A weekly farmers market that takes place throughout the month in Seaside, Florida. Try some of the best fresh produce that the state of Florida has to offer.
How to Avoid the Crowds in the Florida Panhandle in July
When summer arrives in the Panhandle, so do the masses of tourists. Fortunately, the Panhandle has over a hundred miles of wide, sandy beaches and dozens of popular tourist towns, so there is more than enough room for everyone. That being said, parking at the beaches and popular venues, and reservations at restaurants and rental shops can get tight during July, especially in the Panhandle’s biggest cities, like Destin, Panama City Beach, and Pensacola.
To avoid dealing with crowds, you should carefully plan your trip and decide what you want to do in advance. If you want to jetski, boat, or parasail, make sure to call the shop well in advance and book a date and time.
You should also plan to stay in the area that you think you will be spending most of your time. For most visitors, this means staying in a hotel or rental in walking distance to the beach. If you are further from the beach, you will end up having to drive around trying to find parking, as most of the prime spots fill up fast and stay occupied for the whole day.
You may also want to consider going to a lesser-traveled destination. Although the popular party cities, like Destin, Panama City Beach, and Pensacola Beach tend to get most of the attention, there are many smaller, less crowded alternatives that have beaches that are just as nice or nicer than their more popular counterparts. If you want to avoid the crowds, consider going to Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside Beach, St. George Island, or Perdido Key.
What to Pack
To get ready for your trip to the Florida Panhandle in July, make sure to bring the following items:
- Cotton t-shirts and shorts – the weather is hot, so pack clothes made from light materials to keep cool
- Sunblock – make sure to bring plenty of sunblock, or you could spend your trip recovering from a burn. If you forget to bring some, there are plenty of stores along the beaches that sell it.
- Sunglasses – The sun beats down and reflects harshly off the white sand. Sunglasses are a must-have on any Panhandle beach
- A hat – Cut down on glare and shield your face from the sun with a brimmed hat
- Bathing suits – Do not forget to bring at least a couple bathing suits. You will want more than one, so you swim while leaving your used one out to dry.
- A light jacket and umbrella – As mentioned above, rain is not uncommon in the Panhandle in July. Be sure to bring a light jacket in case of rain or wind, and an umbrella so you can continue to go out and enjoy everything the Panhandle has to offer, rain or shine.
Should You Visit the Florida Panhandle in July?
In short, yes, you absolutely should visit the Panhandle in July. The weather is great, there is plenty to do, and the Panhandle has some of the beautiful beaches in the world. There is no better place to spend your summer than on the Panhandle, and July is a great time to go.