February 23, 2014 12:00 AM

Florida's Panhandle has outgrown its lowbrow reputation

The beaches of South Walton, a stretch of surf and sand on Florida's Panhandle that takes in 16 communities, once was known as much for its tacky shops as its creamy white-sand beaches. But it has grown up, and it has earned its new nickname: the Emerald Coast.

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