States in the United States with a panhandle

Travel Destinations

By Felicity Long

When we think of a panhandle, we often picture the iconic shape of Florida’s panhandle stretching out into the Gulf of Mexico. However, Florida is not the only state in the US with a prominent panhandle. In fact, several other states also boast panhandles of their own.

One such state is Oklahoma, which is often referred to as having the “panhandle of Oklahoma.” This narrow strip of land extends from the main body of the state, sandwiched between Texas and Kansas. The panhandle of Oklahoma offers a unique blend of landscapes, ranging from the rolling plains of the Great Plains to the mesas and canyons of the Red River region.

Another state with a notable panhandle is Idaho. Located in the northwest corner of the state, Idaho’s panhandle is bordered by the states of Washington and Montana, as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia. This picturesque region is known for its scenic beauty, with towering mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests that attract outdoor enthusiasts from all over.

Texas is yet another state that boasts a panhandle. Situated in the northernmost part of the state, the Texas panhandle extends out towards the Oklahoma border. This region is characterized by its wide open spaces, flat plains, and large ranches, earning it the nickname “the Big Empty.” Despite its relatively barren landscape, the Texas panhandle is rich in history and culture.

While these are just a few examples, they highlight the diversity and uniqueness of the panhandles found throughout the United States. Each panhandle offers its own landscapes, attractions, and character, making them fascinating destinations for exploration and discovery.

Which States in US Have a Panhandle?

A panhandle is a narrow strip of land projecting from a larger political division, such as a state. In the United States, there are several states that have a panhandle, which is often named after the shape and resemblance to the handle of a cooking utensil.

One of the most well-known states with a panhandle is Florida. Florida’s panhandle extends westward along the Gulf of Mexico, creating a distinctive shape on the map. The region is known for its beautiful beaches, charming coastal towns, and unique blend of Southern and Gulf Coast culture.

Another state with a panhandle is Oklahoma. Oklahoma’s panhandle protrudes from the western portion of the state, bordering New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. The area is sparsely populated and known for its wide-open spaces, ranching, and agricultural production.

Texas also has a panhandle, which is located in the northernmost part of the state. The Texas Panhandle borders Oklahoma and New Mexico, and is characterized by its flat plains and agricultural economy. The region is known for its cowboy culture and wide-open vistas.

West Virginia is another state with a panhandle, known as the Eastern Panhandle. It is located in the easternmost part of the state and borders Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The Eastern Panhandle is a popular bedroom community for people who work in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Other states in the United States with panhandles include Idaho, Nebraska, Maryland, and Alaska. Each of these states has a unique geographical formation that sets their panhandle apart from the rest of the state.

In conclusion, several states in the United States have a panhandle, each with its own unique geography, culture, and economic characteristics. Whether it’s the sunny beaches of Florida, the wide-open spaces of Oklahoma and Texas, or the bedroom communities of the Eastern Panhandle in West Virginia, these panhandles add to the diversity and beauty of the United States.

Overview of Panhandles

A panhandle is a term used to describe a narrow strip of land that protrudes from the main body of a state or country, resembling the handle of a frying pan. In the United States, several states have panhandles, each with its unique geography and significance.

One well-known panhandle is the Florida Panhandle, located in the northwest corner of the state. It stretches along the Gulf of Mexico, offering beautiful sandy beaches and popular tourist destinations such as Destin and Panama City. The Florida Panhandle is characterized by its rich cultural heritage, diverse wildlife, and lush natural beauty.

Another notable panhandle is the Oklahoma Panhandle, which is a small strip of land nestled between Kansas and Texas. It is an arid region known for its cattle ranching and agriculture. The landscape of the Oklahoma Panhandle features vast grasslands, rolling prairies, and picturesque mesas.

Texas also has two panhandles – the Texas Panhandle and the Trans-Pecos Panhandle. The Texas Panhandle is located in the northern part of the state and is known for its wide open spaces, oil drilling, and ranching. The Trans-Pecos Panhandle, on the other hand, is located in the far west and is characterized by its arid desert climate and rugged mountain ranges.

The Idaho Panhandle is a narrow strip of land located in the northernmost part of the state and is known for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. With its dense forests, sparkling lakes, and towering mountains, the Idaho Panhandle offers a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

These are just a few examples of the panhandles in the United States. Each panhandle has its unique characteristics and attractions, making them interesting and diverse regions to explore.

Florida: The Sunshine State

Florida is known as the Sunshine State due to its warm and sunny climate. It is located in the southeastern part of the United States and is the southernmost state in the country. Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and diverse wildlife.

One of the unique features of Florida is its panhandle, which is a narrow strip of land that extends from the northwest corner of the state. The Florida Panhandle is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the south and Alabama to the west. It is known for its stunning white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.

In addition to its natural beauty, Florida has many attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. The state is home to renowned theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. Visitors can also explore the Everglades National Park, which is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.

Florida is also known for its vibrant cities, including Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. These cities offer a wide range of entertainment options, from shopping and dining to live music and sports events.

  • Capital: Tallahassee
  • Largest City: Jacksonville
  • Population: Approximately 21.5 million
  • State Bird: Northern Mockingbird
  • State Flower: Orange Blossom
  • State Tree: Sabal Palm

Overall, Florida offers a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant cities, and exciting attractions. Whether you are looking to relax on the beach, explore the outdoors, or immerse yourself in the lively city scene, Florida has something for everyone.

Idaho: The Gem State

Idaho, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, is known as “The Gem State” due to its abundance of natural resources and stunning landscapes. With a population of over 1.7 million people, Idaho is the 39th most populous state in the country.

The state’s capital and largest city is Boise, which is situated in the southwestern part of the state. It serves as the economic hub and cultural center of Idaho, offering a wide range of activities and attractions for residents and visitors alike.

Idaho is renowned for its beautiful mountains, including the famous Sawtooth Range, known for its jagged peaks and pristine alpine lakes. The state is also home to several national parks and forests, such as Yellowstone National Park and the Clearwater National Forest, which provide endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.

In addition to its natural beauty, Idaho is an important agricultural state, known for its production of potatoes, barley, wheat, and dairy products. The state’s rich soil and favorable climate make it an ideal location for farming and ranching.

Idaho has a diverse culture influenced by Native American, European, and Hispanic traditions. The state hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating its heritage and showcasing its vibrant arts scene.

Whether you are exploring the wilderness, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the state’s culture, Idaho truly lives up to its nickname as “The Gem State.”

Oklahoma: The Sooner State

Oklahoma, also known as the Sooner State, is located in the central region of the United States. It is bordered by Kansas to the north, Colorado and New Mexico to the west, Texas to the south, and Arkansas and Missouri to the east.

Oklahoma is unique among the states because it has both a panhandle and a western “handle.” The panhandle is a narrow strip of land in the northwestern part of the state that extends between Texas and Kansas. It is long and skinny, resembling the handle of a frying pan, hence the name “panhandle.”

In addition to the panhandle, Oklahoma also has a western “handle” that protrudes into New Mexico. This western handle is not as well known as the panhandle, but it adds to the state’s distinctive shape.

Oklahoma is a diverse state with a rich history and culture. It is known for its Native American heritage, as it is home to numerous Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw. The state also played a significant role in the westward expansion of the United States, as it was a major route for settlers during the 19th century.

Today, Oklahoma is known for its vibrant music scene, particularly in the genres of country, rock, and blues. It is also home to several professional sports teams, including the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team and the Oklahoma Sooners football team. The state’s natural beauty is also a draw for tourists, with attractions such as the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge and the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

Overall, Oklahoma’s panhandle and western handle make it a unique state in terms of its shape. Its rich history, diverse culture, and scenic beauty make it a fascinating destination for visitors and a place that residents are proud to call home.

Texas: The Lone Star State

Texas, also known as the Lone Star State, is one of the largest states in the United States. It is located in the southern-central part of the country, sharing a border with Mexico. Texas is known for its vast size, diverse geography, and rich history.

One of the most recognizable symbols of Texas is the lone star, which is why the state is often referred to as the Lone Star State. This symbol represents Texas’ struggle for independence from Mexico and its status as an independent republic before joining the United States.

Texas is home to several major cities, including Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. These cities have thriving economies and offer a wide range of cultural, entertainment, and educational opportunities. The state is also known for its oil and gas industry, as well as its agricultural production.

When it comes to geography, Texas has a diverse landscape. The western part of the state is dominated by deserts and arid plains, while the eastern part is characterized by rolling hills and forests. The Gulf Coast of Texas is known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant coastal communities.

Texas is also known for its sports and outdoor activities. The state has a strong football culture, with high school and college football being particularly popular. Additionally, Texas has numerous national parks, state parks, and recreational areas where people can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating.

In conclusion, Texas is a state with a unique identity and a rich history. From its iconic lone star symbol to its diverse geography and thriving cities, Texas has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or sports, the Lone Star State is sure to provide a memorable experience.


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Felicity Long

Felicity Long, a seasoned travel journalist with 15+ years of experience, specializes in exploring Europe, family travel, and skiing, as evident in her book "Great Escapes: New England" (The Countryman Press). She edits the Europe eNewsletter and contributes significantly to TravelAsker's destinations sections. Felicity has received esteemed awards, including the Cacique and Yo Leonardo Awards, in recognition of her outstanding international travel writing accomplishments.

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