Beautiful weather and sugar-white beaches are what bring people to Panama City. Surrounded by St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, the sea is a real part of life in this town, but if you stay on land long enough you'll find that the city has lots to offer besides the beach.
Bahama /Gulf /Panama City Beaches
Days Inn Beach is a great place to start your tour of the city's beaches. Stop by Sunsations warehouse first to pick up beach supplies. Ripley's Believe It or Not! offers a break from the surf with their freaky-cool exhibits and rides.
Gulf Resort/ Lullwater Beaches
A history of scuba diving dating back to the 16th century is housed in Museum of Man In The Sea. Fine dining and award winning wine can be had at Boar's Head Restaurant & Tavern, while Palmetto Inn & Suites and Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort offer casual fun and relaxation for the whole family. Every October the Indian Summer Festival rocks out at Frank Brown Park with musical stars.
Edgewater Gulf Beach
A hopping nightlife has brought Panama City its own Coyote Ugly, just like the NYC original, and a number of resorts such as Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort and accommodate all traveling styles.
Downtown Panama City is the backdrop to some of the city's best festivities, including the Lighting of the Christmas Tree & Parade, when the whole town gathers around City Hall to see the lights come on and the parade start off. Downtown is decorated every November and December for the Home for the Holidays festival, which includes holiday shopping and horse-drawn carriage rides. The arts are also represented at the Visual Arts Center of Northwest Florida, which houses international and local art, and the Paul Brent Gallery where Paul Brent's beach-inspired home and garden items are displayed.
West Panama City Beach
Watch summer come to life at Hammerhead Fred's where both the seafood and the margaritas are fresh and delicious. Then check out the home of the first MTV spring break, Spinnaker Beach Club. Families can also enjoy this part of town at the water park Shipwreck Island.
Grand Lagoon Area
This part of town has more than its fair share of natural beauty and opportunities for fun excursions. Blue Dolphin Tours lets you swim with wild bottle-nosed dolphins on small tours of Florida waters. Captain Anderson's Marina has boat rentals for deep-sea fishing plus great shops and seafood markets. St. Andrew's State Park is a beautiful stretch of white sand and gulf waters with two piers for fishing and great snorkeling spots.
Outside the City
Florida's treasures don't all come from the water; on land there is an abundance of natural beauty preserved in the state's parks. Just over an hour outside of the city Florida's highest waterfall can be found in Falling Waters State Park. Experience more of Florida's unique flora and fauna at Torreya State Park, Wakulla Springs State Park, and T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, all within two hours of Panama City. Beautiful St. George Island is well worth a trip, as is Florida Caverns State Park where visitors can tour underground caves full of awe-inspiring stalactites.