Believe it or Not

Permanent Vanlife is still about one year away, so I decided to get a feel for it, by planning multiple one-week trips in the van, throughout the US Southeast.

Part of a 7-day trip to the Florida Panhandle in my Ford Transit Van Build.
Day 3

Besides enjoyment, the goal of these multi-day journeys is also to get a sense of Vanlife and to add or change part of the setup in the van, if necessary.

Florida Panhandle

Butcher Pen Landing campsite

I arrived at my free camping spot in the dark, so the next morning I was pleasantly surprised that Butcher Pen Landing was entirely unoccupied. I had it all to my own.

It was a small circle with campsites for tents or small RV’s like vans and a pier for river access.

St. George Island lighthouse

The Cape St. George Light is a 72-foot high brick lighthouse, which had originally stood for 153 years on St. George Island, Florida, until toppling into the Gulf of Mexico on October 22, 2005. The pieces of the lighthouse were retrieved, and in April 2008, the light’s restoration was completed, but this time a bit further inland.

East Slough trail

Planning to walk the Gap Point trail, a wrong turn led me onto the East Slough trail on the other side of the inlet, closer to the main road.

vanlife in Florida Panhandle

This 3.2 mile out and back hike features a series of boardwalks connected by a sandy, open forest path, with views of the inlet and dunes on the other side.

Callaway Goat Farm

Since the 1950s dozens of goats have roamed free behind a low fence on a residential street of Panama City, eating whatever people give them.

It’s fairly large lot and no goats where to be found, but just a minute later several dozen goats appeared behind the fence, each pushing its way forward through the crowd, just to be first in line.

vanlife in Florida Panhandle

Wonderworks & Ripleys

Both buildings stand out among their peers. The Ripleys building is appropriately fashioned like an impressive, but sinking old steamliner, which makes one even more curious to find out what more this museum has to offer.

On the opposing side of the street, Wonderworks teases your sense of creativity by turning a whole building Upside Down as if it tumbled to its final resting place during one of those hurricanes.


  • Butcher Pen Landing ➜ 29.8033, -84.9669
  • St. George Island lighthouse ➜ 29.6630, -84.8627
  • East Slough TH ➜ 29.7189, -84.7495
  • Callaway Goat Farm ➜ 30.1237, -85.5897
  • Wonderworks & Ripleys ➜ 30.1782, -85.7994
  • Walmart campsite ➜ 30.3648, -87.1694






3.2 mi – Out & Back





Mostly a combination of boardwalks and sandy forest trail with several benches and views of the dunes and inlet.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *