Plan Your End of Summer get-a-way in Northwest Florida

Upcoming events

September 1 thru 8

Big Bend Quilt Trail & From the Cedar Chest: Southern QuiltingLaunching
September 1st 

 The Gadsden Arts Center & Museum is excited to coordinate the Big Bend Quilt Trail Project. A public art installation of large wooden quilt blocks placed around the community. The trail will be launched September 1st with a website detailing all participants and locations. In conjunction with the promotion of the Gadsden Community Quilt Trail, the Museum will host From the Cedar Chest: Southern Quilting, 1830’s to Today at the Museum September 14 – December 14. 2019. Check Gadsden County TDC for quilting event details as well as the many other fabulous exhibitions held at the Center.

6th Annual Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam
September 1st on Panama City Beach

Sun, fun and country music scheduled for September 1st will round out the 2019 event held on the Gulf Coast shores of Panama City Beach annually during Labor Day Weekend. Festival-goers will stand on the white sugar sand beach and dip their toes in the water during the day and watch their favorite performers at night. Get Jam info at Visit Panama City Beach

Art Break Day 2019
September 6th in Panama City

We’re doin’ it! We’re getting all the St Andrews merchants involved (lots of new ones!) and ALL of our art friends and groups are coming to make this the most spectacular Art Break Day ever, for them and for you! Grab your favorite creative hobby and come do it in St Andrews. We’ll be arting, dancing, music making, and performing all over Historic St Andrews – we want to do it with you. Details at Destination Panama City

Washington County Sheriff’s Rodeo
September 7th in Chipley

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is holding its first PCA sanctioned rodeo at the Washington County Equestrian Center. This is an 8 event rodeo including vendors, concessions, clown act, kids events with Mutton Busting and steer dressing by our very own WCSO Deputies. Come for a family-friendly, fun-filled evening. All proceeds from the rodeo will be to assist the Sheriff’s Office in funding its community projects. Schedule of events and more information available at Visit Washington County

33rd Annual Sandestin TriathlonSeptember
7th at Sandestin’s Beaches and Bayside Community

This annual triathlon will lure more than 700 participants for a half-mile Gulf of Mexico swim, a 20-mile bike along the coast, and a 4-mile run through Sandestin’s beaches and Bayside community. Proceeds benefit Sandestin Foundation For Kids. Come out to cheer on your favorite athlete and spend the day at our beautiful beaches. Get more information at Visit South Walton

September 9 thru 15

Food Truck Fridays
September 13th in Quincy

Join us for Food Truck Fridays in front of the Quincy Courthouse. Enjoy a variety of food trucks, live music, games and giveaways! FREE admission to the Gadsden Art Center’s ArtZONE and much more! Visit Gadsden County TDC for details.

Crooked River Lighthouse
September 14th in Carrabelle

Full Moon & Sunset Lighthouse Climb from 7:30-10 pm. Climb to the top of the tallest lighthouse on the Forgotten Coast to see breathtaking views of the bay with the sun setting and the full moon rising. 

Lighthouse “Full Moon Climb”

The September full moon is called the Harvest Moon because Native American tribes began harvesting their staple foods, such as corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and rice at this time. Full Moon names are attributable to native American tribes, most notably the Algonquin, who named the moons to mark the changing seasons.Visit Franklin County TDC to learn more about this monthly full moon event.

Cape St. George Lighthouse
September 13thon St. George Island

Watch the sun set & full moon rise from the top of the Cape St. George Lighthouse during the full moon climb on from 8:30-10 pm. 

Holmes County Outdoor Expo
September 14th in Bonifay

All things Outdoors are happening at the Holmes County Outdoor Expo. Florida State championship turkey calling contest, scavenger hunts, silent auction, giveaways, live demonstrations, resource management exhibits along with live animal displays and more. There will be vendors and games for the kids, some of the South’s finest food and more. The family-fun free event is hosted by University of Florida/IFAS Holmes County. Expo information is available at Holmes County

September 14th in Panama City

Hunt in over 30 businesses and some of your favorite public spots. Explore shops and restaurants, hunt for interesting items and discover a side of Downtown Panama City you may have never seen before. You can win prizes by getting your map punched at participating locations as well as posting photos to social media with hashtag #downtownpanamacity. Visit Destination Panama City for more details. 

Back to School Bash
September 14th on Panama City Beach

Join us for our Back to School Bash on Panama City Beach! We will have live music from 6-9 pm, a silent auction, bonfire, and much more! A portion of the event proceeds benefit Bay County Public Schools. Bash details Visit Panama City Beach

September 14th on Panama City Beach

This event will feature beautiful local art, fun creations, fabulous food, music, and great people! More info at Visit Panama City Beach

September 16 thru 22

September 20th in Miramar Beach

The Sacred Heart Charity Golf Classic is a prestigious event amongst area golfers. Since its inception in 2002, the annual golf classic has raised more than $4 million for Sacred Heart Hospital, supporting a variety of departments. This year’s fundraising will benefit the Comprehensive Spine Program expansion that includes the addition of a 5th operating room and equipment. Visit South Walton has more info.

8th Annual Scarecrow Express Celebrates Fall
September 21st in Downtown Chipley

The Chipley Garden Club and Washington County Historical Society are proud to host this annual event that includes a Scarecrow Building Contest & History Festival. Everyone is encouraged to “get on the train” and participate by creating scarecrows and visit our local museums. Get scarecrow info at Visit Washington County

Museum Day in Carrabelle
September 21st

Back by popular demand all three of Carrabelle’s wonderful museums will open their doors on Saturday, September 21st as part of Smithsonian magazine’s 15th annual Museum Day. This national celebration honors museums that follow the example of the Smithsonian with free admission. In salute to this day, Carrabelle History Museum, Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum, and Crooked River Lighthouse Museum will have special activities and exhibits. More details at Franklin County TDC

Antique & Classic Car Show
September 21st in Havana’s Historic Downtown

Come and find out why Havana was named “Florida’s Friendliest Small Town” while enjoying some amazing shopping and cafes. Plus, we’re Pet Friendly. This event is held the 3rd Saturday of each month. Full details at Gadsden County TDC

September 23 thru 30

Washington County Heritage Festival
September 27th & 28th at Falling Waters State Park

Come out and experience how life used to be lived, demonstrators will highlight everything from a blacksmith to a flint knapper to a full agricultural display. Enjoy local art & craft vendors, a Kid Zone, and live entertainment on Saturday night. North Florida Artillery will set up a Civil War reenactment camp. Great food and the backdrop of one of the most beautiful state parks in Florida will round out this event. Find more information at Visit Washington County

Downtown Panama City OktoberFest
September 28th

Make plans to put on your lederhosen, grab a proper hat, and join in the fun at our 31st Annual OktoberFest! Enjoy authentic German food, stein hoisting contest, Kids Zone, pumpkin decorating contest, artisan and craft vendors, and live music from everyone’s favorite Polka band: Krankenhaus. Festival details at Destination Panama City

more information to share

Rockin’ M Farms2763 Caniehead Road in Campbellton

A family run business, that takes pride in their orchard and chestnuts produced. The farm is open from September 1st thru Mid October. Call ahead to make sure someone is available at the farm, so you can come out and pick your own chestnuts. Farm details at Visit Jackson County

Support our local farmers and handmade craft providers!Local Farmers Markets and Roadside Stands are set up throughout Northwest Florida all year long, offering locally home grown vegetables, wild honey, and other fresh produce and dairy products, as well as fresh homemade breads, fruit pies, soaps and regional crafted specialties for your enjoyment or to take home to share with your family and friends. 

Ecotourism Summit Re-scheduled to February 25, 2020

Be sure to mark your calendar!Summit sponsored in partnership with Explore Northwest Florida and Florida State University – Panama City

Saltwater License-Free Fishing Day Saturday, September 7th

Try your hand at saltwater fishing Saturday, Sept. 7, without needing a saltwater fishing license. License-free fishing days are a great way for Florida residents and visitors to get out on the water and find out why Florida is known as the Fishing Capital of the World. This day is part of eight total license-free fishing days the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers each year. All bag limits, closed areas and size restrictions apply on these dates. To learn more visit 

Bay Scallop Season 2019

Ready to explore and hunt for scallops? The 2019 season ends September 15, 2019. This season opening is from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. A daily bag limit consists of 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person; maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel. Recreational harvesters need a Florida saltwater fishing license to harvest bay scallops unless they are either exempt from needing a license or have a no-cost shoreline fishing license and are wading from shore to collect scallops (i.e. feet do not leave bottom to swim, snorkel, or SCUBA and harvesters do not use a vessel to reach or return from the harvest location). To learn more about these requirements visit

Apalachicola Riverkeeper’s Eco-outing Field Trips

Explore the Apalachicola River and Basin with the Apalachicola Riverkeepers! These volunteer-led eco-outings are fun and memorable. Hikes are planned in the spring and fall and there are kayaking adventures all year round. Group size is limited and registration is required. Skilled trip leaders truly enjoy introducing people to the river system. Trips are donation based. To learn more visit

Most Recent Florida Panhandle Wildflower Alert

Provided by Eleanor Dietrich, Florida Wildflower Foundation Wicky (Kalmia hirsuta)

This wildflower is an evergreen shrub that grows to about two or three feet tall. It is in the same genus as Mountain Laurel and the pink flowers look very similar. The stems and leaves are covered with sticky hairs (hirsute). The flowers are around one-half inch wide and cup-shaped, with a ring of dark pink spots inside. It typically grows in sunny sandy areas.

Be sure to visit our county partner links to view a complete listing of county specificadventures, events and activities to Explore Northwest Florida.

Explore Northwest FloridaPO Box 473Apalachicola, Florida 323-0567