Panama City Beach (www.visitpanamacitybeach.com) is located in Bay County, Fla., in the Northwest part of the state. The destination is best known for its more than 27 miles of white sand beaches edging emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge. With an average 320 days of sunshine annually, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers.
The new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport attracts travelers from major markets, both domestic and international. Leading low fare carrier Southwest Airlines operates daily flights through the airport non-stop from Baltimore, Houston, Austin, Chicago and Nashville. Delta Airlines operates non-stop flights from Atlanta. United Airlines offers direct flights to their international hub in Houston.
Panama City Beach has a variety of different accommodation options. More than 16,500 rooms ranging from resorts, hotels, condos, town homes and villas are available for quick getaways or extended stays in Panama City Beach. Each accommodation caters to travelers of different interests, from families and sun-seekers to couples, honeymooners and meetings groups.
Known as the “Seafood Capital of the South,” Panama City Beach offers an array of dining options to please all palates including award-winning restaurants, casual beachfront cafes and family-friendly tables. Cajun influences abound as chefs fuse bold flavors and fresh seafood to create signature dishes in distinct spaces that make the most of their seaside setting.
Visitors can enjoy island cuisine, steakhouses, barbecue, ethnic cuisine, and specialty sushi. Experiences are available for any occasion from elaborate multi-course meals and dinner cruises to buffets, grills, casual beachside dining and ice cream parlors.
In addition to a vibrant culinary scene, Panama City Beach also offers an array of recreational activities and entertainment options that cater to visitors of all ages. Please see below for a list of local favorites:
This 1.1 million square-foot, open-air regional lifestyle center developed by the Simon Property Group, brings unique shopping, tourist attractions and dining to the heart of Panama City Beach. Located on 100 acres directly across from the Gulf of Mexico and City Pier, department stores and restaurants include Dillard’s, JCPenney, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Old Navy, Ron Jon Surf Shop and Target. Other fashion retailers include Ann Taylor Loft, CachÃ©, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Hollister Co., Ulta Beauty and dozens of one-of-a-kind boutiques and specialty shops.
In addition, Pier Park embraces diverse dining options such as Hofbrau Beer Garden, Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Longhorn Steakhouse, Panera Bread, Pompano Joe’s Seafood House, Tootsies Orchid Lounge and many more. Shoppers can also enjoy movies at The IMAX Grand 16 Theatres, which was recently retrofitted to offer the high-tech sensory experience for up to 350 moviegoers.
Panama City Beach offers a variety of activities for all ages such as marine attractions, water parks, zoos, pirate cruises, boating, fishing, snorkeling, diving and parasailing. Some of the most popular family attractions include:
- Pier Park Amusement Rides
- Gulf World Marine Park
- Shipwreck Island Waterpark
- Coconut Creek Family Fun Park
- ZooWorld Zoological and Botanical Park
- Museum of Man in the Sea
In this destination known as the “Wreck Diving Capital of the South,” scuba divers explore historic wrecks and artificial reefs while snorkelers observe Manta rays, brightly colored tropical fish and marine life. Sailing, windsurfing, leisure boating, parasailing and Jet Skiing are all popular ways to explore the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors may also hop aboard tour boats for excursions to Shell Island.
For landlubbers, Panama City Beach features five 18-hole championship golf courses. The destination’s golf is world-class, thanks to temperate weather, stunning landscapes, challenging holes and more. Also on land, visitors can fish, hike and camp in St. Andrews State Park or Camp Helen State Park.
Panama City Beach is a bustling place for local festivals and events. Some upcoming events include:
Panama City Beach Mardi Gras and Music Festival – March 1-2, 2019: Combine the excitement of authentic Mardi Gras celebration with the spectacular views of our emerald green water and sugar white sand, and you’re in for a real treat at the Panama City Beach Mardi Gras and Music Festival. In conjunction with the Krewe of Dominique Youx’s great Mardi Gras at the Beach parade, the festival is always held the weekend before Fat Tuesday and features entertainment for the whole family.
UNwineD – March 22-23, 2019: A two-day Southern garden party in Aaron Bessant Park featuring superb craft beer, spirits, and wine from around the world, plus culinary creations by Northwest Florida’s leading chefs.
The weekend begins with the Kickoff Party Friday night presented by Southern Living. Raise a glass while you mix and mingle with elite chefs and listen to live music.
Saturday will comprise of a Grand Afternoon Tasting and Cocktail Competition followed by live entertainment.
Seabreeze Jazz Festival – April 25-28, 2019: Named a “Top 10 Jazz Festival in the USA” by JazzIZ Magazine and recently nominated as “Best Jazz Festival” at the Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City Beach combines the top national smooth jazz artists with a full weekend of fun, sun, great beaches, and good times – all on the west end of Panama City Beach. The event now attracts over 20,000 fans from the USA, Canada, and Europe for the ultimate performance-packed weekend of jazz.
There is no bad time to experience all that this great destination has to offer as Panama City Beach offers year-round sunshine and an average temperature of 77 degrees. Moreover, it is within a six-hour drive to many major Southeastern cities including Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans and more, and with daily commercial air service provided through Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, is seamlessly easy to fly to.