Getting Here: Non-Stop Flights to Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City Beach

January 12, 2024

Welcome to Northwest Florida, a slice of paradise where sugar-white sands and emerald waters await with beckoning warmth. Whether you dream of a relaxing getaway along Navarre Beach or an adventure launchpad in Destin, getting to Northwest Florida’s top beach destinations has never been easier, with various direct flights from major U.S. cities and airport hubs across the country.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the most convenient ways to fly into Northwest Florida—including three of the major airports in the area—as well as the best ways to get around once you’re here. So, sit back, make sure your trays are in their upright positions, and let’s take a quick and breezy trip to paradise!

Flying into Pensacola International Airport (PNS)

Just over an hour’s drive from Destin, the Pensacola International Airport (PNS) is a key gateway to the Gulf Coast. Major airlines like American, Delta, Southwest, and United offer non-stop flights from cities nationwide. Whether you’re flying from a major hub or a smaller city, chances are there’s a direct flight to Pensacola waiting for you.

What airlines fly in and out of Pensacola Airport?

Seven airlines offer non-stop flights in and out of Pensacola International Airport from about 15+ major American cities. 

American Airlines offers year-round direct flights to Charlotte, DC, Dallas, and Miami and seasonal service to Boston, NYC (LaGuardia), Chicago, and Philadelphia. Delta offers year-round service in and out of Atlanta. Frontier has you covered with year-round service to Denver. Silver Airlines offers more local access to Florida hubs like Orlando and Tampa, as does Spirit, with direct flights to Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando. Meanwhile, Southwest offers year-round flights to Nashville, Dallas, and Houston and seasonal service to Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, and St. Louis.

In short, if you’re looking for non-stop flights to the Emerald Coast, Pensacola International Airport delivers the direct goods.

Getting from Pensacola International Airport to the Beach

From PNS, reaching your beach destination is easy. While the airport is a stone’s throw away from Perdido and Pensacola Beach, we recommend pushing on to beautiful beach towns like Navarre Beach or Destin. Navarre Beach is a scenic 12-mile stretch of coastline bordered by the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Santa Rosa Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico. Destin, meanwhile, is the central hub of the Emerald Coast. No trip to this part of the country is complete without checking out the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.”

Flying into Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS)

In terms of proximity, it doesn’t get much closer than Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport. (Well, unless you’re flying private into Destin Executive Airport, of course!) Located 25 minutes from Destin, the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) is the epitome of convenient travel.

What airlines fly in and out of Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport?

Airlines operating out of VPS include Allegiant, American, Delta, Southwest, and Sun Country, offering non-stop connections from various cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Philly, Nashville, and DC.  

The real breadwinner of the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, however, is Allegiant. From Asheville to Wichita, and 29 other nonstop flights in between, if you’re flying into VPS, there’s a good chance you’re flying Allegiant.

Getting from Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport to the Beach

Located just 25 minutes away, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport is your first-class ticket to beach towns galore. If you’re planning to explore Panama City Beach (PCB) or Navarre Beach, the central location of VPS makes it a convenient starting point. Other accessible beach towns include Okaloosa Island, with its three stunning miles of sugar-white shores and endless water activities, and the iconic 30A, with its intimate array of distinct beach hamlets and communities. 

Flying into Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)

Just 30 minutes north of Panama City Beach, Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) is another fantastic option for travelers.

What airlines fly in and out of Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport?

ECP is serviced by airlines like Southwest, Delta, and United, providing non-stop flights from various U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Nashville, Philadelphia, and more. 

Getting from Northwest Florida Beaches Airport to the Beach

ECP offers the smoothest-of-smooth entry point to the beautiful beaches of Northwest Florida. Panama City Beach and the beach communities of 30A are the closest options to the airport—you can go from tarmac to tide in less than 30 minutes. Beyond 30A, Okaloosa Island, Destin, and Navarre Beach towns are also easily reachable. 

Getting Around Northwest Florida

When visiting Northwest Florida’s picturesque beach towns like Destin, 30A, and Panama City Beach, transportation options are diverse and plentiful. Renting a car is ideal for those who value convenience and freedom. Major airports like VPS, ECP, and PNS host well-known car rental agencies such as Hertz, Enterprise, and Avis, making it easy to embark on a flexible journey across the region.

Alternatively, for those who prefer not to drive, efficient shuttle services such as Sunshine Shuttle & Limousine offer airport transfers and local routes. Public transportation, like the services provided by Emerald Coast Rider, connects key destinations and is a cost-effective way to travel. There are also rideshare options, including Uber and Lyft, which are widely available and offer door-to-door service, perfect for shorter distances. Finally, for the more active traveler, biking is a scenic and enjoyable way to explore the area, with local shops such as Big Fish Bike Rentals in 30A offering bicycles for rent.

Where to Stay

When it comes to where to stay in Northwest Florida, you’ve got plenty of options. Whether you want a luxurious home in Seacrest Beach that sleeps 16 or a resort experience in Destin, there’s no shortage of scenic places to stay when you stay with Scenic Stays. 

With easy non-stop access to the area and a beautiful portfolio of places to rest your head and relax in paradise, what are you waiting for? Book your stay with Scenic Stays today!

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