Panama City Beach is located in the panhandle of the state of Florida, on the Emerald Coast. A separate city from Panama City, which lies across from it over St. Andrew´s Bay, it is the more vacation-oriented of the two, featuring the 27 miles of pristine white beach that the Emerald Coast is famous for. The area was popular with pirates back when trading ships used to sail past on their way to Mexico or Spain. They would lay in wait in the bay, and according to legend, many a treasure was buried in the fine sands at Spanish Shanty Point on Shell Island. Nowadays, the area is very popular with holiday-makers and especially spring-breakers, earning it the title of “Spring Break Capital of the World”. Beyond the obvious attraction of one of the best beaches in the world, it has many other entertainment options to offer the whole family, some of which are listed below in “Things to Do”.
The climate in Panama City Beach is subtropical with wet, humid summers and dry, cool winters. One of the best times to visit is in spring, when temperatures are moderate. During fall, the region can be vulnerable to tropical cyclone and hurricanes.
- Panama City Beach is known as the “Wreck Capital of the World”.
- It is also known as the “Seafood Capital of the South”, so definitely try the seafood while you´re there!
- The nearby town Seaside was the set location for the film “Truman Show” with Jim Carrey.
- There are an average of 320 days of sunshine each year.
- The area has one of the highest concentrations of bottlenose dolphins in the world.
Things to Do
1) Visit the U.S. only museum dedicated to deepwater diving, the Museum of Man in the Sea.
2) See the beauty of Panama City Beach from the water, in the Sea Screamer, a passenger sightseeing boat that takes you on a 2 hour cruise along the coast, with dolphins surfing on the wake, and experienced and friendly crew to ensure you have a great time.
3) Wine lovers can head over to the Panama City Beach Winery for a very friendly welcome by the ladies who run it, and to taste some unique fruity wines.
4) Take a luxurious trip on a catamaran or yacht out into the bay through one of the many outfits offering such services, such as Paradise Adventures Catamaran, or Island Time Sailing.
Panama City Beach´s Food Delights
Panama City Beach has a large offering of eateries, restaurants and bars to suit all budgets. The area is known for its seafood, and Gene´s Oyster Bar is known for its fresh oysters. This small and cosy oyster shack has been family-run since it opened in the 1940s and certainly is an experience worth checking out, if only for the great food. For those with a sweet tooth, the snow balls and beignets at Davids New Orleans Style Snow-Balls are very fresh and tasty.
Getting To and Around Panama City Beach
The closest airport to Panama City Beach is Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, which is a short drive from the east end of the city. There a number of Interstates, Routes and Highways servicing the area, depending on where you´re coming from. Once in the city, you can take the public transport system, the Bay Town Trolley, to get around cheaply, however the system is not very regular which may mean long waiting times. Another option is to rent a car, or a scooter, with most of the rental places located along Front Beach Road and Thomas Drive.
Accommodation and Rentals in Panama City Beach
A good number of accommodation options are available in Panama City Beach, including hotels, motels and condos by the beach. There are also numerous self-catering options available if you would prefer to do some of your own cooking, and if you want to go one step further and experience the lifestyle of a resident of this vibrant city, then check out our rental offers on Wimdu. Be it a beachside villa, an apartment for rent in the city itself, or a room with bed and breakfast, a rental with Wimdu gives you not just an insight into the life of the locals, but also access to insider tips by your friendly host.