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  • Panama City Beach
  • Pensacola
  • New Orleans

Florida's Panhandle & the Big Easy Fly Drive Holiday

10 days from £1,245pp

Tallahassee – Panama City Beach – Pensacola – New Orleans

Our suggested fly drive itinerary showcases the natural beauty of Florida’s Panhandle and the coastline along the Gulf of Mexico, where southern hospitality, sublime beaches and glorious sunshine await. Begin your trip in Tallahassee, Florida's history-filled state capital, with its laidback pace and streets lined with antebellum mansions. Then it’s on to Panama City Beach, for seaside relaxation along 27 miles of sugar white sandy beaches. Pensacola is next, where a visit to the popular boardwalk along Santa Rosa Sound is a must! Your journey then takes you along the stunning coastline to end in New Orleans, where the sounds of jazz and smells of Cajun cuisines will tantalise your senses.

Holiday Highlights

  • Pay a visit to Tallahassee’s 1845 Old Capitol Building, with its grand rounded dome, turn-of-the-century furnishings and exhibition offering an insight into Florida's political history
  • Find out why Pensacola Beach was voted among the top 20 beaches in the States, with its miles of sugar white sands
  • Enjoy great food and music in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and the Mardi Gras capital of the USA

Remember, we can tailor-make your fly drive holiday to suit your needs, contact our travel experts today, call us on 0208 290 9751.

Holiday Map

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: London – Tallahassee

Your holiday starts when you arrive into Tallahassee. On arrival, collect an Alamo car rental and head into the city. Close as it is to the Georgia border, there's a real Southern edge to Tallahassee, Florida's history-filled state capital. Discover a whole world away from the beachside sun 'n' fun of the Gulf resorts. Stay 2 nights at the Doubletree Tallahassee (or similar).

Day 2: Tallahassee

The Apalachee and Creek Indians, Spanish conquistadors, the British, and a surge of 19th-century cotton and timber barons have all left their mark on Tallahassee. And since this was the only Southern capital spared in the Civil War, their ghosts live on in the city today. Follow the downtown Historic Trail and feel history come alive as you explore a whole chain of historic buildings like the Union Bank, the old city jail, the cemetery and the grand homes of once prominent citizens. Getting out and about in the glorious Florida sunshine is also high on the agenda, so explore the watery expanse of Lake Ella and visit the fantastic tracts of countryside, like the St Marks Wildlife Refuge and Wakulla Springs.

Day 3: Tallahassee – Apalachicola – Panama City Beach (approx. 153 miles)

Take a drive along Florida’s secret ‘Gulf Coast’ and discover well-kept wildlife preserves, elegant southern homes, and the fishing and oystering village of Apalachicola. Take in the beauty of the coastline, fringing the emerald green waters as you head to Panama City Beach. Stay 2 nights at the Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach (or similar).

Day 4: Panama City Beach

Southern hospitality continues in this laidback beach town, known as the ‘Seafood Capital of the South’. With a 27-mile long stretch of sugar-white sand lapped by the warm emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach is the sweetest place to be for beach lovers - not least because it basks in over 300 days of sunshine each year. Enjoy the action of Schooner Beach or the quieter enclaves of Shell Beach and St Andrew's State Park. Then there's the action on the water, from jet skis to paragliding and all types of surfing, whilst divers can explore the beauty of the Gulf's hidden underworld. Plus there's shopping, attractions, theme parks, great restaurants – and some of the best nightlife you'll find anywhere.

Day 5: Panama City Beach – Emerald Coast – Pensacola (approx. 96 miles)

Today, continue along Florida’s Panhandle and soak up the scenery of the Emerald Coast with its string of postcard-perfect beaches in Destin and Fort Walton, before arriving into Pensacola where the black and white, reputedly haunted Pensacola Lighthouse will greet you on arrival. Stay 2 nights at the Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Gulf Front (or similar).

Day 6: Pensacola

Sugar-white sands, emerald-green waters and gently swaying sea oats are what Pensacola is all about. There's an Old Florida feel to Pensacola, which has one of the longest piers in the Gulf of Mexico and a fine boardwalk along Santa Rosa Sound. Casino Beach is at the heart of the action, but there's plenty of options when you want to get away from it all: the silken sands of the protected Gulf Islands National Seashore stretch away to the east, offering solitude, spectacular vistas and amazing birdlife. There’s also the city of Pensacola to discover, with its fine old buildings and interesting historic districts. Golf addicts have a great choice of greensward, with plenty of local championship courses like the Lost Key Golf Club.

Day 7: Pensacola – Mobile – New Orleans (approx. 202 miles)

This morning, your drive will follow the Gulf of Mexico coastline, taking you out of Florida to reach the Grand Dame of Alabama’s cities, Mobile, founded nearly 300 years ago by the French. Enjoy a spot of lunch in this quintessentially southern port town, before driving on to New Orleans, the city on the bayou. Stay 3 nights at the Wyndham New Orleans French Quarter (or similar).

Day 8-9: New Orleans

Discover the unique atmosphere of this city, where spicy Cajun cuisine thrills the senses, and the sounds of blues and jazz bring the city to life. Perched on the Mississippi River, New Orleans is like nowhere else - an intoxicating mix of colliding cultures. Wander through the atmospheric French District, its old buildings decorated with wrought iron balconies. A trip to the Historic Voodoo Museum gives a taste of the city’s Caribbean influence and there are other things to squeeze in too - like a ride down St Charles Avenue on a clackety streetcar. Why not experience the lively jazz scene along Bourbon Street or taste the sumptuous gumbo and po’boys at the French Market, where you can also find bespoke souvenirs to commemorate your trip?

Day 10: New Orleans – London

Your discovery of Florida’s Panhandle and the coast of the Gulf of Mexico Gulf comes to an end as you head to the airport to drop off your hire car and board the overnight flight returning to London. Your non-stop flight arrives this morning into London.

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Included in your Fly Drive Holiday

  • Hotel accommodation
  • Economy flights
  • Airport taxes, fuel & duty
  • Car rental where stated
  • Any applicable offers

Not included: Airport transfers, hire car one way drop-off fees, meals, sightseeing & personal expenses.

Flights from regional UK airports available

Remember, we can tailor-make your holiday to suit your needs, contact our travel experts today, call us on 0208 290 9751.

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