'Emerald Coast'
of Florida

'Emerald Coast of Florida

Florida's Emerald Coast

The EMERALD COAST is an unofficial name for the coastal area in the US state of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico that stretches about 100 miles through five counties, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay, from Pensacola to Panama City.

The large EMERALD COAST area is comprised of a number of smaller Florida counties which border the Gulf of Mexico: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties. Fort Walton Beach is the EMERALD COAST’s largest city, and other cities and communities in this coastal area include Perdido Key, West Pensacola, Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Avalon Beach, Destin, Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Panama City Beach, Panama City, Mexico Beach, Port St. Joe and Apalachicola.

The entire EMERALD COAST can be easily accessed using US Hwy 98 which follows the entire coastline all the way from Apalachicola to Pensacola and on into Alabama.

The Name

While a variety of coastal names appeared to take hold for the area at different times, the EMERALD COAST finally did. In 1946, for marketing purposes the coast from Fort Walton Beach to Panama City was called the "Playground of the Gulfcoast", as witnessed by the name of the Fort Walton Beach newspaper, the Playground News, later to become the Playground Daily News, and finally the Northwest Florida Daily News.

In 1952, the same area was dubbed the "Miracle Strip" by Claude Jenkins, a term which is still reflected in the name of the Miracle Strip Amusement Park and other local businesses. "Miracle Strip" was officially adopted by three district Florida Motor Courts Association chapters in 1956, for the 100-mile stretch of scenic Highway 98's "fabulous string of motels, hotels and nightspots" from Pensacola to Panama City.

However, the term EMERALD COAST was coined in 1983 by a junior high school student, Andrew Dier, who won $50 in the contest for a new area slogan and since then, the name has been expanded by popular usage to cover all of the northwest coast of Florida from Pensacola Beach to Panama City Beach. Interestingly, some South Alabama communities on the coast of Baldwin County, such as Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, embrace the term as well.


Florida's EMERALD COAST is famous and is known to have some of the world's most stunningly beautiful beaches - its gentle rolling waves and warm, sparkling clear, emerald-green water of the Gulf. The clean, sugar white sandy beaches and bottom create the emerald-green appearance as sunlight is reflected beneath the clear blue water. The white EMERALD COAST sand is due to the fact it contains Appalachian quartz that has filtered down to the coast from the mountains, contrary to the popular belief it is bleached by the sun.

The EMERALD COAST offers, as many of the other coasts do, a variety of golf courses to suit anyone’s taste. Other local outdoor activities include volleyball, tennis, sailing, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, boating, skiing and of course swimming and sunbathing on some of the best beaches anywhere. Destin, which is also referred to as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”, is home to the state’s largest charter fishing fleet and offers world renowned charter fishing.

From the active partying nightlife of Panama City Beach to the serene beauty of Navarre, this coast offers everything. Popular vacation destinations include Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, Gulf Breeze, Navarre, Navarre Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, WaterColor, Panama City Beach, Destin, and Seaside. Deep-sea fishing is a large draw for the area, with Destin holding the nickname ""World's Luckiest Fishing Village"" with several saltwater world records, and Panama City Beach hosting the annual high-dollar Bay Point Billfish Invitational. Seafood restaurants are well in abundance.

If you are looking to sell or purchase property on one of these coasts, please contact us for a no cost evaluation of your property or search for your property. Also, by registering with SFCP, you have access to current and historical property values that helps you see where real estate values have been and where they currently are. We can also help you valuate your property with the unique data we provide.