By: Tracyn Thayer and Esther Lee
In the Panhandle or Northwest Florida, folks talk with a twang and invite you in with Dixie hospitality. Oaks and pines, not palms and orange trees, grace roadsides brightened by magnolia, camellia, and azalea blossoms. Restaurants serve fried catfish and hush puppies. This may be northern Florida, but it’s still the Deep South, sure as neighboring Alabama—and much surer than Florida’s southern reaches, where influences from the Yankee states hold sway. Sometimes known as the Redneck Riviera, Florida’s Panhandle holds the most prideful beaches in the entire state. Created over the centuries from quartz rock flushed westward from the Appalachian...
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