Snowbirds may be here for the beach and the warm(er) weather, but there’s more to see beyond the beach. Here’s a few spots you don’t want to miss.
The highest point in Florida
It’s no surprise that Florida is flat. But if you want to see the highest point of the Sunshine State, you’re not too far away. Britton Hill, located in north Walton County about one-half mile south of the Alabama border, sits at 345 feet above sea level. It’s no mountain, but you can at least say you’ve seen it.
The first European settlement in the U.S.
After you cross a few bridges heading west, you’ll come to Pensacola. Established in 1559 by Tristan de Luna, Pensacola is considered the country’s first European settlement. In the downtown area, you can visit museums, tour the historic lighthouse and check out Fort Pickens, which was a Civil War post.
The longest pier in Florida
Head to Navarre Beach and for just $1 you can walk the longest pier in the state of Florida. Standing 30 feet above the water, you can look out at the Gulf of Mexico, sit back and enjoy the view or make the trek down the 1,545-foot pier, watching local fishermen reel in their catches.
Check out the library
The Walton-DeFuniak Library in historic DeFuniak Springs has more than books lining the walls — there’s history. Opened in 1887, the library is the oldest continuously operated library in the state of Florida. Even when a recent case of bats threatened to close the library, staff still checked out books from a cart outside the building. Ask someone about the ghost sightings of Alice Fellows, who was the first paid librarian.
Salute the military
Did you know that Eglin Air Force Base is the largest Air Force base in the world? The base’s expanse reaches into three counties (Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton), covering 724 miles of land and 123,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico. You can learn even more about the local military by visiting the Air Force Armament Museum.