Located in Northwest Florida, Panama City Beach offers both abundant natural beauty and enough affordable family activities to delight sea enthusiasts and landlubbers alike. With more than 27 miles of white sandy beaches sprawling along the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and a comfortable climate ideally suited for year-round fun, Panama City Beach has been recently named one of the “Best Beaches in the South” by Southern Living.
Offering an authentic, fun and high-quality beach experience, it is an easy drive from major cities of the Southeast. Traveling by air, Panama City Beach is just a 15-minute ride away from Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. Let us dive in to Panama City Beach and make it yours!
The natural wonders of this region of Florida mean that Panama City Beach offers some of the best options for marine activities in the Southeast. With everything from airboat adventures to boat tours on the Gulf of Mexico, there are many ways to enjoy the natural splendors of Panama City Beach without breaking the bank.
If you’re looking to jump in feet first, scuba diving can provide one of the best tours of the natural landscape. With a choice of artificial reefs, scuba divers can enjoy a great variety of dive sites in the calm clear waters of the Gulf. In fact, the area is known as the “Wreck Diving Capital of the South,” and adventurous divers will be able to visit several historic wreck sites.
In addition, the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico teem with a diverse variety of fish and marine life, making it an ideal spot for fishermen, snorkelers and boaters. Visitors looking for guided tours of the surrounding waterways will be well served to visit Capt. Anderson’s Marina, located centrally on the Grand Lagoon. The renowned tour service offers chartered boats for deep sea fishing, dolphin spotting and eco-tours of nearby Shell Island.
Those in search of a change of pace will appreciate Panama City Beach’s kayak fisheries. With three different scenic locations available, anglers are able to fish at their own pace while encountering very few fishermen—from either a kayak or even paddleboard. This unique opportunity is ideal for those looking for a more affordable option to chartering a boat and also to visitors who appreciate the serene simplicity of casting a line in peace. Local companies like Half Hitch are able to provide information on the right gear and the best times to fish.
Visitors who would rather observe wildlife will enjoy the extensive network of trails and protected beaches at St. Andrews State Park. One of the top outdoor recreation spots in Florida, this 1,260-acre area contains some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities around along with two fishing piers, a boat ramp, concessions and many key spots for nature lovers. Button Bush Marsh is known to be an ideal spot for bird watching, and it serves as favorite feeding place for herons and ibis.
A visit to Panama City Beach is not only about the wealth of outdoor activities available to visitors. Known as the “Seafood Capital of the South,” the area includes an array of award winning dining options and activities. Dining experiences include everything from family-friendly beachside eateries to multi-course meals and dinner cruises. Family entertainment can also be found at the various museums and attractions of the region which include Gulf World Marine Park, an IMAX movie theatre, waterparks, zoos, and pirate cruises. In addition, the 1.1million square-foot regional lifestyle center known as Pier Park offers dozens of one-of-a-kind boutiques along with a selection of well-known department stores.
Rest and relaxation is easy to come by in Panama City Beach! More than 16,500 rooms ranging from resorts, hotels, town homes, condos and villas are available for quick getaways and extended stays alike. Each accommodation caters to a visitor’s specific interests, whether they are on a honeymoon, on vacation with the family or seeking a little peace and quiet in the sun. The area also offers a variety of full-service spas and retreats and is home to five 18-hole championship golf courses.