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Old 03-11-2012, 10:30 AM
 
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Default What is the best town/area to live in The Panhandle?

Thanks for your opinions?
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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It depends on what your priorities are. What's important to you?
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:36 PM
 
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I would look at Pensacola. They are about to open a new minor league stadium with team in the double-A Southern League. That will add a great entertainment option. Also, New Orleans is only 2.5 hours away.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
It depends on what your priorities are. What's important to you?
Hypothetic question, just curious not moving there. I guess I would say top priorites would be;

Safe
Clean
Great schools
Affluent neighborhoods
Good shopping
Not too much crowds/traffic
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
61 posts, read 83,498 times
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Given that list I have to say Destin. I have family all along the pan handle and the location I prefer is Laguna Beach, but it isn't affluent, has very little shopping and I don't know about schools. PC proper (not far from Laguna, but far enough) is a possibility also.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:53 AM
 
Location: Beautiful beaches of Florida!
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Destin is safe, clean and has affluent neighorboods. The rest do not apply!
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Well, info on Destin schools is second hand (my brother lives there) and I do tend to schedule trips off peak so what I see of traffic may be best case. But it seemed to have plenty of stores, including large grocery and discount stores as well as beach stores and trendy boutiques.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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Summer traffic can be bad in Destin. I used to end up commuting through there for work, and there were a few times when it took be almost an hour to get from the Mid-Bay Bridge to downtown Ft. Walton Beach. And even trying to take back road shortcuts... well everyone local is trying to take those shortcuts and the shortcuts end up not really saving much time.

I'd have a look at some of the bigger master-planned communities on the east side of Niceville and points east (Swift Creek, Rocky Bayou Country Club, and Bluewater Bay). They're upscale areas that are a quick drive to the best of Destin beaches & shopping but you don't have to deal with the beach chaos if you don't want to. You also are guaranteed to feed into the Ruckel Middle School-Niceville High School secondary school path, two of the best traditional public schools in the state. Down side is that unless you're willing to pay a premium for Swift Creek, you're probably going to want to budget for at least $50K in home improvements if you want to bring everything up to HGTV showcase standards. Lots of 70s-90s housing stock that has been well kept but is still on its first kitchen and set of lighting fixtures. It's also got a bit of a different demographic by Florida standards- lots of very highly educated folks who work on Eglin AFB including a core group of literal rocket scientists doing weapons R&D. I've only got one master's degree and feel a little dumb compared to some of my neighbors.

The South Walton County area (Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside, Seagrove Beach, Watercolor, etc.) is really nice and there are still post-crash deals to be had but except for the Seaside Middle School charter school (lottery entrance) the schools just aren't as good as what you get in Okaloosa County (Destin & Niceville) especially when you get to the secondary level. Niceville & Ft. Walton Beach high schools (Destin is zoned for FWBHS) send a good number of kids to Ivies and Ivy equivalents; South Walton HS thinks FSU is a highest and best option.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:30 PM
 
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Crime Map

Use this to help you out.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:10 AM
 
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Default best place in the panhandle for retirees...

we want to move to the panhandle area but not sure which area would be the best for us. Husband has two more yrs. before retiring and i am already. we just enjoy an area of quite beach, friendly people, and alot more our age but we love families too... any ideas...also a good walmart in the way the employees act...any advice will be greatly appreciated... also how is the weather in that area for breathing problems and allergies...
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