Destination: National Naval Aviation Museum

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Stretching from Panama City, Fla. westward to the Alabama border lies arguably the finest white sand beaches to be found anywhere in the United States. Home to four major military airbases, the area somehow manages to combine a laid-back civilian lifestyle with a by-the-book military mindset. And it does it all with élan.

This part of Florida is called the Four Seasons area, but even in the dead of winter the daytime temperatures are balmy by North Country standards, averaging in the low 60s. Spring comes early here and the azaleas are in bloom by mid to late February. (A word of caution, though: Panama City is the destination for college Spring Breakers. Unless you enjoy enormous crowds, don’t even think about driving through Panama City at that time, much less staying there.)

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