Panama City Beach Florida....Panama City Beach Florida....the beautiful gem of Florida. The beach is known for its 27 miles of emerald crystal clear water, sugar white sands, spectacular sunsets, and more. It has earned many accolades from many different sources and has been called, “The World’s Most Beautiful Beach,” “Emerald Coast Paradise,” “Best Beach in America,” “Seafood Capitol of the World,” and more...and it’s all true.
This area started out more than 100 years ago as a sleepy little fishing village and has grown into one of Florida's top vacation destinations. In the 1930's, 1940's and 50's, the beach consisted of mainly small cottages dotting the coastline with a few other establishments. But as time passed, motels sprang up and by the mid 1960's, Panama City Beach was a favorite family vacation spot for mainly Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi residents. In the last few years, with the great expansion of the fishing fleets, and condo, golf courses, world renown restaurants and shops having been built, it has now made Panama City Beach known over the world, with many well-known public personalities making this area their second home.
We represent a different beach to different people...but whatever you’re looking for...Panama City Beach and the surrounding cities deliver. Some come here for just the beach, to have a quite, restful vacation....and that can still be fount, especially on the western end of Panama City Beach, and on the eastern end of Thomas Dr. There, one will find a quieter, more laid back atmosphere. Families have traveled to the beach for years, and now third and fourth generations come to the beach for family reunions and to introduce the latest arrival to their family to Panama City Beach. Some folks come for the fun, the crowds and love the exciting activities of the beach. In the more central areas of the beach you’ll find all your heart’s desire.....there’s always fun and sun to be enjoyed with all the water activities....wave-runners, boat rentals, parasailing, etc., and just strolling the beach, meeting new friends...and as they say, seeing and being seen. This area is also known for its fantastic golf courses, some designed by top golfers on the circuit. And for those that like to hit the ball on a smaller scale...several miniature golf courses can be found. Shopping is also an activity that is a “must do” while here. A new shopping park opened on the beach a couple of years ago and has become an “attraction” with lots of shops and restaurants. But, there are also other shopping centers and a lot of shops on the beach and in downtown to check out (see the article on shopping on the shopping page). A favorite for many is renting a pontoon boat and going over to Shell Island State Park or taking one of the Shell Island Cruise Boats. On the Island you’ll see the beach in its original, pristine state, as no building is allowed. A picnic, collecting shells, sunning, swimming, snorkeling, diving, or just exploring the island are some of the activities that are enjoyed at Shell Island.
Then you have the fishing enthusiast who looks forward every year to a trip or two for spending time on the Gulf of Mexico reeling in the catches that this area is known for. Whether you take a trip on a party (head) boat, charter boat, guide or dive boats, you’ll have a great time fishing off the shores of Panama City Beach. For more on this go to our fishing page where you can check out the boats available for fishing and also lots of fishing pictures.
In the "heart" of both St. Andrews (Beck Avenue from 15th Street to 10th Street) and downtown Panama City (mainly along Harrison, Grace, Jenks, and Magnolia Avenues), you'll find a unique shopping, dining and touring experience. There, you'll not find the national large franchise stores and restaurants that one can find in any state or city. All stores are local and individualized establishments. Here one may truly shop and taste the "local flavor,” from one of a kind items, many hand-crafted merchandise, and "hometown atmosphere", to the friendly personal service. The restaurants feature many cuisines, but with the local chefs recipes and all delicious. These two areas should definitely be on your "to do" list of places to visit while in our area. In St. Andrews you’ll find the historic district...located just a mile or so east of the beach, across the Hathaway Bridge. Beginning with Sun Harbor Marina, at the eastern end of Hathaway Bridge and on into St. Andrews, you’ll find several restaurants, shops, a museum to learn more about our area, fishing marina with ship store and fuel for those with boats, charter fishing boats, pontoon and jet ski rentals and a yacht basin with St. Andrew Bay Ferry for Shell Island tours and narrated historic tours of the bay as well. Just up the road a couple of miles from St. Andrews, is downtown Panama City, which has become known as the “art and theater district” of the area. With the Marina Civic Center and Martin Theatre, there seems to be something happening all the time. The Visual Arts Center has different exhibits’ year around and there are many art stores, book and antique stores, boutiques, quaint shops and restaurants. Every first Friday of the month (March - November), main street is closed down at 6 p.m. for a street party...with lots of activities for the whole family. The downtown Panama City Marina has a ship store with everything one needs for their boating, gift store, or bring a picnic and eat off the back deck or fish off the marina...you don’t need a license either.
Contrary to what many believe...we do have seasons. A very short spring....a nice long, long summer, a little bit a fall....and oh yeah, a brief winter (mainly January and part of February). Most winters we have just a few weeks of cold weather, with really cold days in the 30's and 40's lasting only a couple days before warming to the high 40's to 60's. Many of our “snowbird” visitors are in short sleeves most of the time. We can recognize our season by what is happening in the area. Winter...Snowbirds are here, time for "A Dickens of a Christmas" celebration downtown, The annual "Boat Parade of Lights,” Mardi Gras, and the live performances and art exhibits during the "Theatre & Art season.” When Spring arrives...it’s spring break time with college and high school visitors, and "Friday Fest" the popular downtown celebration begins, Jazz Festival, the annual Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show & Music Festival, Easter celebrations, and Thunder Beach (bikers festival).....Summer....yea....family time again....with fishing, boating, swimming and the many" little league baseball teams coming to our area for tournaments, and several "Farmers Markets" for fresh produce and seafood, and just all the fun that summer brings....and then it's Fall...the quiet time of year at the beach, with “Indian Summer” and some the prettiest days of the year. There are also plenty of activities in our area during this time, such as Okotober Fest, Friday Fest, Thunder Beach, the County Fair, Circus, Halloween activities and the more theater and arts season kicks back in. So pick your season....and come spend some of your time with us at “The World's Most Beautiful Beach.”