What is the Northwest Florida?
The areas included in the Northwest Florida (a/k/a Florida Panhandle) vary depending upon the context. For our purposes for this site, we have included the following counties and, for organizational purposes, have divided them into three regions:
Western Panhandle includes: Escambia County (Pensacola, Century, Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key), Santa Rosa County (Gulf Breeze, Jay, Milton, Navarre, Navarre Beach, Pace, Oriole Beach), Okalossa County (Crestview, Destin, Ft. Walton Beach, Laurel Hill, Mary Ester, Niceville, Shalimar, Valparaiso, Cinco Bayou), and the northern part of Walton County (DeFuniak Springs, Freeport, Paxton)
Central Panhandle includes: Jackson County (Marianna, Alford, Bascom, Campbellton, Cottondale, Graceville, Grand Ridge, Greenwood, Jacob City, Malone, Sneads), Calhoun County (Altha, Blountstown), Gulf County (Port St. Joe, Wewahitchka), Holmes County (Bonifay, Esto, Noma, Ponce de Leon, Westville), Washington County (Chipley, Caryville, Ebro, Vernon, Wausau), Bay County (Panama City, Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach, Callaway, Lynn Haven, Parker, Springfield), and the sourthern part of Walton County 'South Walton' (Grayton Beach, Miramar Beach, Seaside, Santa Rosa Beach, Alys Beach).
Eastern Panhandle includes: Madison County (Madison, Greenville, Lee), Taylor County (Perry, Dekle Beach, Hampton Springs, Keaton Beach), Jefferson County (Monticello), Leon County (Tallahassee), Wakulla County (Sopchoppy, St. Marks, Crawfordville(uninc.), Gadsden County (Chattahoochee, Havana, Quincy), Liberty County (Bristol), and Franklin County (Apalachicola, Carrabelle, St. George Island, Eastpoint).
Other terms oftern associated with Northwest Florida are:
Florida Panhandle - essentially synonumous with Northwest Florida. Sometimes the term is used to include eastern counties that are not considered to be included in Northwest Florida.
30A - This is an area defined by State Hwy 30A which runs along the beach in southern Walton County. 30A is characterized by modern planned communities including Alys Beach, Grayton Beach, Seagrove Beach, Seaside, Santa Rosa Beach, and Miramar Beach.
South Walton - Includes the "30A" area with some expansion north into Walton County to include Point Washington and other areas.
Emerald Coast - Generally refers to the beach area west of Bay County through Okaloosa County, with Ft. Walton Beach in Okaloosa County as its hub.