t The stunning facade of the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum
Experience The Panhandle
There is a saying in Florida that “the farther north you go, the farther south you get.” Certainly, the Panhandle has a history and sensibility closer to its Deep South neighbors of Georgia and Alabama than to the rest of the Florida peninsula. Climate, history, geography, and even time (the western Panhandle is one hour behind the rest of the state), distinguish this intriguing region from other parts of Florida.
The Panhandle was the site of the first attempt by the Spanish at colonizing Florida. A community was set up near present-day Pensacola in 1559, but was abandoned after a hurricane. It later re-emerged and was the main settlement in the region until the 1820s, when Tallahassee was chosen as the capital of the new Territory of Florida. The Panhandle’s lumber and cotton trade were big industries in the 1800s, but the region was bypassed by the influx of wealth that came to other parts of Florida with the laying of the railroads. Tourism in the Panhandle is a more modern development, even though its fine white-sand beaches are unparalleled in the state.