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Old 03-25-2010, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Peaks of Otter-Blue Ridge Mountains
1,183 posts, read 1,859,823 times
Reputation: 1237

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Hello, I'm a Florida native(Broward born & raised) but I know virtually nothing about the Panhandle so I have some questions. First off, where does the Panhandle start? Is it all of the northern part of the state or just the part under Alabama, or some of both? Second, what's the geography like? Is it all wooded, rolling hills like Tally or are parts flat? Is there a difference between the part of the state under Georgia and the part under Alabama? What is the lifestyle like? I know it's a lot of questions but I'm really trying to get a feel for the place as I need to make some major relocating decisions soon. I truly despise South Florida and would love to move as far away as possible however, I have a relative that may be relocating with me and her health(& insurance) may not permit a move away from Fla's warm climate. From what I hear, the Panhandle is supposed to be completely different from South Fla. so it may be a viable choice. I do want a different climate, geography, style of living, ect. I do love rolling hills so maybe Tallahasee would be good. Anyways, thank you in advance for any/all info. or experience!
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:52 PM
 
18 posts, read 22,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilred0005 View Post
Hello, I'm a Florida native(Broward born & raised) but I know virtually nothing about the Panhandle so I have some questions. First off, where does the Panhandle start? Is it all of the northern part of the state or just the part under Alabama, or some of both? Second, what's the geography like? Is it all wooded, rolling hills like Tally or are parts flat? Is there a difference between the part of the state under Georgia and the part under Alabama? What is the lifestyle like? I know it's a lot of questions but I'm really trying to get a feel for the place as I need to make some major relocating decisions soon. I truly despise South Florida and would love to move as far away as possible however, I have a relative that may be relocating with me and her health(& insurance) may not permit a move away from Fla's warm climate. From what I hear, the Panhandle is supposed to be completely different from South Fla. so it may be a viable choice. I do want a different climate, geography, style of living, ect. I do love rolling hills so maybe Tallahasee would be good. Anyways, thank you in advance for any/all info. or experience!
The Panhandle is unique. It has rolling hills and some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. You will see distinct season changes in the spring and fall. Panhandle citizens have access to some of the most gorgeous beaches in Florida.. Panama City Beach is gorgeous as is Destin.
DeFuniak Springs has rolling hills and the highest point in Florida is near DeFuniak. Britton Hill in Lakewood Park is the highest point it is 345 feet above sea level.
Niceville, Destin, Panama City and Pensacola all have plenty to offer a displaced city dweller. If you prefer the laid back country life there are plenty of small towns that offer that also.
In the summer there are vegetable stands galore where you can purchase your vegetables or in some places you can even pick your own vegetables.
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
4,678 posts, read 8,677,081 times
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It's very flat along the coast with lovely sandy beaches and barrier islands until you get to about Port St. Joe east of Panama City. Once you get past the bend in the Big Bend, the coastline gets swampy.

I tend to think of anything west of Lake City as 'counting' as Panhandle. You can pretty much split that area into three different areas- the coastal military towns of Pensacola, Ft. Walton Beach and Panama City, the inland farm and timber areas, and metro Tallahassee.

The military towns are generally politically conservative, have the shopping/dining amenities of what you'd expect from a small metro area (Destin actually goes far beyond what you'd expect from an area its size in terms of food) and are actually relatively young by Florida standards. Pensacola has a sizeable black population, the other two areas are largely white. Not that many Hispanics; until migrants came through to help with post-Ivan rebuilding, Ft. Walton Beach had a bigger Asian population than a Hispanic population.

The inland areas are pretty much still generic Southern with some rolling hills. Whether that's good or bad comes down to your own preferences.

I'll let the Tallahassee boosters sell you their city. Which has a lot going for it and can be a very nice place to live if you prefer small metro areas.

One note- winters here can actually get quite chilly by Florida standards, even in non-el nino years.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Floribama
9,063 posts, read 16,547,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Not that many Hispanics; until migrants came through to help with post-Ivan rebuilding, Ft. Walton Beach had a bigger Asian population than a Hispanic population.
Very true, unlike SE Florida it's not necessary to understand Spanish at all in the panhandle, but you will hear plenty of Southern accents (especially inland).
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Peaks of Otter-Blue Ridge Mountains
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Thank you all very much for all the info, I really appreciate it. So east of Port St. Joe the beaches are swampy? What does it look like? Is it like the Everglades leading right up to the water? That's hard for me to picture but would explain the sparse populations of the counties around Apalachee Bay, Taylor Co., Levy Co., and Dixie Co. About the rolling hills, that's only inland? Where does that area start/end, from the Alabama(western) border to say Tallahassee? I think I'm going to be driving up that way soon and I'm trying to narrow down areas to check out. How's crime in the Panhandle?
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:18 AM
TD*
 
1,085 posts, read 1,638,399 times
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The rolling hills start as you near Tallahassee probably 30 miles west, and they continue to roll for the next 100 miles or so.


Just a guess estimate ^^^


Tallahassee is a wonderful city.. You would Definately like it here. Tons of people from south Florida come up here and they love it, every one I know stayed and decided to call it home.


Once your east of wakulla county, The beaches aren't developed at all, and you cant really see a "beach"

Luckily, If you live in Tallahassee You have access to everything as we are in the middle...

2 hours or so to Panama city,

add an hour to pensacola or destin.


Jacksonville is 2.5 hours,, and Orlando is only 3-4 hours

Gainesville is only 2 hours



Its a great location in the state.

Crime is crime, its never known where it could happen or take place, but it happens everywhere.

Its better up here than south florida for sure

.

Best thing to do is come up here and check it out.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:25 AM
JAS
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
494 posts, read 1,212,070 times
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Default Beachmouse had a good summary

Very concise and to the point.

The "swampy" coastline begins around Carrabelle for the most part and extends around the "big bend" of FL. Instead of sandy beaches with waves, the water is very calm and the marsh extends almost up to the water line. There is more commercial fishing and oystering than tourism in that area. That is also the flattest area in the TLH region -- the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge south of TLH is the closest thing to the Everglades in the Panhandle -- not nearly as big as the Everglades, but just as point of reference.

I'll mention TLH since that's my hometown. Politically speaking, it's a slightly left-of-center town with a strong conservative element, if that makes any sense. Very little industry since it's a govt/service-based economy ... the good news is that it's very clean and green ... the bad news is that high-paying jobs can be hard to find unless you're an attorney or physician, or if you already have contacts. State, university, non-profit and other service jobs dominate the traditional middle-class employment sector.

TLH is also somewhat isolated compared to other areas of FL. It's true that it's only a short drive to some much larger metropolitan areas (Atlanta, Jacksonville, central FL) ... but there's nothing between TLH and those places except for trees, grouper, and fields, depending on which direction you go. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I'm just pointing it out. TLH has enough amenities for most people.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:32 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,325 posts, read 30,364,919 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilred0005 View Post
Thank you all very much for all the info, I really appreciate it. So east of Port St. Joe the beaches are swampy? What does it look like?
These are Port St. Joe beaches.
I remember seeing a few lagoons and lots of woods east of PSJ.


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Old 03-26-2010, 08:39 AM
 
2,997 posts, read 2,821,379 times
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In addition to what others have said , I find the residents of the Panhandle far more friendly and outgoing than other parts of Florida. Having a strong christian influence, the Panhandle reflects the values, morals, and ethics by and large. Jobs are not as good up here however. Housing is considerably cheaper especially if you are inland by 40 minutes or so. IE: I know of a 4 bedroom Mobile Home in the woods, nice area, on 1.5 acres , unincorporated, just a few years old that was appraised at $116 k . being offered for $50 k. as a foreclosure. Been inside it and it is immaculate inside and out. (Holt, Fl) . Theres other such good deals as this about too. The area is not as stressful as southern Florida and not as populated either. Ive RV'd around all of Florida recently and the Panhandle is best overall. Come up for a visit.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:43 AM
 
2,997 posts, read 2,821,379 times
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www.trulia.com . Punch in Crestview, Milton, Pace, and Baker, Fl. for home prices

Last edited by 007.5; 03-26-2010 at 08:44 AM.. Reason: add
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