Anyone in the Panhandle?

Greg23LSB

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So my wife and I continue our search for a retirement location. The panhandle is currently at the top of the list. Haven't visited in a while but plan to head down this year. We are currently looking at the Freeport/Southport/Niceville areas. Anyone have any input? Naturally we want a place where we will be able to enjoy our new Benny (on order). We also enjoy doing a lot of walking with our dog. Any input folks might have would be great. Currently in Western Massachusetts.
 

billw6560

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Well, living in Central Florida for more than 20 years, where you live really depends on what kind of weather you're willing to live with. In general, Florida is very humid in the summer. The Panhandle can have cold winters, and in some cases, flurries. South Florida (i.e. Fort Meyers, etc.) has warmer winters. Another thing, being that you're asking this on the Bennington site, I assume that you (or will) have a pontoon boat. Research your location carefully. In Central Florida, we have the primary options of the St Johns River (runs from Sanford to Jacksonville), or the ICW on the East Coast (i.e. Daytona, New Smyrna, etc.). West coast is mostly open Gulf, although you have the Hillsborough River in Tampa. Of course, Florida has a lot of lakes. Again, it just depends on what kind of boating you're looking for. Also, consider if you're planing to put the boat in a marina year round, or trailer it to various locations. Good luck!
 

Greg23LSB

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Thanks for the input. Yes, the Bennington site is one of the places I'm asking based on having a new one coming sometime in March. I have family in Panama City Beach but haven't been able to visit in a long time. My uncle always had boats down there and I recall St Andrews Bay was beautiful and seemed "pontoon friendly" although at that time pontoons were not what they are now. The 3 bays between Panama City and Pensacola seem like great places to use the pontoon boat. And as for the weather, I love the heat and humidity. Wife not as much but she hates the winters more and more up here. As I watch 12 - 18" of the white stuff falling while I am writing this, some cold nights in the winter in the panhandle is something I can live with. Ft Myers has been the other alternative but is so much more densely populated that the areas we are looking in the panhandle.
 

BigD

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Wish we were in Florida. 4th snow event of January here in central NC. Very unusual. But it's nothing like Mass.. Went up there regularly for 25 years, and as much as they begged me to relocate there on my job, there wasn't enough money to make that happen. No amount could have made me move. Not for me. Enjoyed visiting the Boston area, but to live there.....NO.
 

Greg23LSB

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Our marina is open Memorial Day to the last weekend in September. And September gets iffy...it's a ghost town even on the weekends in September. Realistically 3 - 3.5 months of boating is the best we hope for. Expensive to live up here as well. Cost of electricity and natural gas is some of the highest in the country and real estate taxes are through the roof. Past experience is folks in the panhandle are pretty friendly. Not sure if that has changed. And the time I spent out on my uncles boat, the water is incredible.
 

BigD

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Destin Beach in the Florida panhandle is one of my favorite places. Fort Walton Beach, etc.. Spent a lot of time working on the Special Forces AFB there. And on the beaches and playing golf. LOL
 

lakeliving

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I’m in south east Florida in the Stuart area. Lots of inshore boating and the intracoastal gives access to anywhere. We can also boat to okeechobee and over to fort myers from here.
 
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