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Exploring the Florida Panhandle Real Estate Market: Your 2023 Guide

The Florida Panhandle is arguably one of the most beautiful parts of the state. It’s home to some of the best beaches, resorts, and historic villages on the Gulf Coast—and it’s also a great place to buy real estate.


People choose to relocate to Florida for various reasons: the warm weather, job market, low taxes, beaches, and outdoor activities. All these reasons (and more) make Florida one of the hottest real estate markets in the United States. In fact, Florida’s home values increased by an average of 30% in 2022, making it one of the strongest housing economies in the U.S.


If you’re looking for your next home or investment property in Florida, here are some things you should know about buying Florida Panhandle real estate.

In this article:


 What is the Florida Panhandle?


 Things To Do in the Florida Panhandle


 Why Invest in Florida Panhandle Real Estate?


 Brock Built Florida Communities

What is the Florida Panhandle?

The Florida Panhandle is a geographical term that refers to any portion of Florida’s northwestern region, from Escambia County to the west through Citrus county to the east above the Gulf of Mexico. It gets its “Panhandle” nickname from its shape, similar to the handle of a chef’s cooking pan. Tallahassee, Florida’s state capital, is the most populous city inland in the Panhandle.


The Panhandle is world-renowned for its gorgeous beaches and tourist economy. Dr. Beach has placed several area beaches on his annual Top 10 Beaches in America list. Most recently, St. George Island State Park was rated #4 on the 2022 edition of the Top 10 Beaches in America.


Panama City Beach is the largest beach town in the Panhandle area, with over 11 miles of pristine beachfront property on the Gulf Coast. The city also offers excellent outdoor activities like kayaking or paddle boarding. Other popular destinations include Destin and Pensacola Beach—both known for their beautiful white sand beaches, perfect for relaxing on warm summer days.

Things To Do in the Florida Panhandle

There are so many things to do in the Florida Panhandle that it’s hard to know where to begin! From 36 state parks to 10 aquatic preserves and all of the golf courses, dining, and shopping in between, the activities alone make Florida Panhandle real estate a hot commodity.

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  • Popular Beaches

It’s no secret that this part of the country is known for its beaches. In 2021, Panama City Beach alone saw nearly 118 million American visitors, the highest number of domestic travelers in the state’s history. Thanks to the area’s proximity to the bordering states of Alabama, Georgia, and other nearby destinations, the Florida Panhandle’s tourist market heats up during Spring Break and summer vacation travel.

However, if the famous “hot spots” aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other Panhandle beaches worth checking out. A few of our best-kept secrets along the Gulf Coast are Santa Rosa Beach, Rosemary Beach, Inlet Beach, Sandestin, and many more! These beach towns along Florida’s State Road 30A may be quieter than their Panama City Beach neighbors, but they don’t lack crystal clear water and soft, sandy beaches. 


  • Outdoor Activities & Attractions

The Panhandle is known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. You can enjoy hiking trails, kayaking, or boating on the many rivers, lakes, and springs. While many visitors come for the beach, they stay for the outdoor adventure.

Many coastline towns offer private and group boating tours, sunset cruises, and even dolphin and snorkel adventures on the ocean. The Crab Island Sandbar, off the coast of Destin, is a major ocean destination you can tour by boat! Freshwater activities include fishing on the Choctawhatchee Bay, clear kayaking at Florida Caverns State Park, and plenty of eco-adventures in the state’s popular parks like Camp Helen State Park and St. Andrews State Park.

Are you feeling adventurous? Bungee jumping and sky diving are options for the adrenaline junkies in your crew! In Destin, you can visit The TRACK Family Recreation Center for both options. In addition to bungee jumping and a skydiving attraction, it has a unique three-tiered go-kart/roller coaster hybrid that will excite kids and adults of all ages. It’s also home to a safari-themed golf course, water Blaster Boats, bumper cars, a train, and a carousel.

If you’re looking for something more laid-back, there are several local museums and indoor attractions to keep you occupied, even on rainy days. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Panama City Beach offers hundreds of rare and unusual hands-on interactive displays, a mirror maze, and even a 7D Moving Theater to keep you occupied all day long. The Air Force Armament Museum, Tallahassee Automobile Museum, and Pensacola Museum of History are popular historic museums for the whole family to enjoy.


  • Bars & Restaurants

When it’s time to turn in for your next meal, you’ll find plenty of fun places to eat while traveling around the Florida Panhandle. You can stop by any number of seafood restaurants or BBQ joints known throughout Florida as having some of the best food around.

In Inlet Beach, on 30A, Amici Italian Kitchen is a must-visit for fresh pasta, pizza, and Italian favorites. Santa Rosa Beach’s Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar is a fan favorite with seafood and bar favorites for the entire family. Another seafood favorite, The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House in Panama City Beach keeps families returning for the shrimp, crab legs, and lobster year after year.

Don’t forget the donuts! This decadent breakfast treat is a must in the Florida Panhandle. The Donut Hole, Charlie’s Donuts, and Thomas Donut & Snack Shop are local favorites.


  • Shopping

There is no shortage of shops to peruse through the Panhandle. Destin is a common spot to stop for shopping with many major retailers, open-air shopping centers, and an outlet mall. Destin Commons features beautiful outdoor shopping, special events, dining, and an AMC movie theatre. At Silver Sands Premium Outlets, shop bargain deals from some of your favorite brands like Nike, J. Crew, and Saks OFF 5TH.

Panama City Beach also offers a wide array of shopping at Pier Park outdoor mall, with big-name department stores, small mom-and-pop shops, and an IMAX theatre.

For smaller surf shacks and locally-owned boutiques, discover unique shopping in some of the smaller beach towns along 30A. Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach, and Seaside have central shopping districts with souvenirs, luxury clothing, home accessories, and gifts.


Why Invest in Florida Panhandle Real Estate?

Whether you’re moving to the Florida Panhandle permanently, purchasing a vacation home, or just searching for an investment property, investing in the Florida Panhandle real estate market is an excellent idea for several reasons.

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    The Panhandle area is experiencing rapid growth and development, especially in the housing industry. Northwest Florida real estate has seen tremendous population growth and economic development as more people choose to relocate to Florida.
    The Florida Panhandle real estate market is booming because the state has a lower cost of living compared to many major metropolitan areas in the United States. Thanks to the many attractive Florida tax benefits, such as the lack of personal income tax, Florida offers its residents a lower tax burden than other states that enjoy year-round sunshine.
    Florida provides plenty of work, play, and relaxation opportunities, all in one destination. Thanks to the rise in popularity of work-from-home arrangements, employees choose to live in places that offer more than just a short commute to the office. For those who enjoy proximity to the beach, outdoor activities, shopping, and dining, the opportunities to enjoy it all make the Panhandle one of the best places to invest in Florida.
    The area’s robust tourism industry makes it one of the best places to invest in Florida. With the popularity of new developments like luxurious Alys Beach and many other cozy beach towns along Florida’s 30A, visitors are traveling in high numbers to experience the one-of-a-kind blue-green water and soft sandy beaches. Florida Panhandle real estate is popular for rental accommodations for travelers and visitors.


Brock Built Florida Communities

Are you ready to invest in Florida Panhandle real estate? Look no further than these Brock Built communities for the best places to invest in Florida! Our northwest Florida real estate communities are bringing stylish new construction designs to the Sunshine State—now selling and coming soon!


    At Twin Palms, luxury and family-friendly living meet in a cozy community next door to lively Rosemary Beach. Just minutes from the sandy beaches of Inlet Beach, this community is filled with three-story, five-bedroom homes with incredible private rooftop terrace views. Two-car garages include space for golf carts and bike storage!
    You’ll never have to choose between the bay or the beach at Brizo! This quiet community of stylish new homes is less than 5 minutes to Choctawhatchee Bay and nearby beach access in Santa Rosa Beach. Built with flexible floorplans designed for entertaining and relaxing, the spacious two-story plans feature tall ceilings, luxury flooring, and a glamorous owner’s retreat.
    The Shoal is a hidden gem tucked away between the bay and the gulf. This intimate community of just 30 homesites features spacious two-story homes with plenty of room for entertaining. The community offers a shared pond, alongside luscious landscapes.

Florida Panhandle real estate has a lot to offer residents and is a great place to buy a home or investment property. If you’re looking for the best new construction homes available in the Florida Panhandle real estate market, look no further than Brock Built’s Florida properties to take your pick of spectacular new homes in various stylish designs.