DescriptionOnce a collection of quaint beach cottages and small motels scattered along the coast, Panama City Beach now boasts a skyline of towering waterfront hotels and vacation condominiums with more luxury resorts being added all the time. What’s the attraction? Simply put: sand and water—some of the most beautiful sand and water to be found anywhere in Florida.
The sand here owes its distinctive white, powdery appearance to quartz crystals that were carried to the coast by streams from the distant Appalachian Mountains and then pulverized by the relentless surf and bleached by the sun. The nearly 30 miles of fine, sugary sand took centuries to accumulate, and the result is soft to the touch and dazzling to the eyes.
And then there’s the sea. The Gulf of Mexico’s warm, green-tinted water gives this portion of the Florida Panhandle its Emerald Coast nickname. The Yucatan Current, part of the Gulf Stream, runs close to the shores of Panama City Beach, bringing with it nutrient-rich Caribbean water and a variety of marine life. Visitors strolling among the dunes are likely to spy the arched backs of dolphins breaking the sparkling water’s surface just a few yards away.
While many vacationers are content simply relaxing on the sand, others take advantage of the various recreational activities Panama City Beach offers: pleasure boating, sailing, jet skiing, wind surfing and parasailing. Dozens of shipwrecks and almost 50 artificial reefs provide plenty of scuba diving options, and with nearly 320 days of sunny skies and a temperate climate, Panama City Beach is known for its “golfability” factor. Five championship golf courses are close to the beaches.
Visitor InfoPanama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau 17001 Panama City Beach Pkwy. PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL 32413. Phone:(850)233-5070 or (800)722-3224
ShoppingPier Park, at Front Beach Road and Pier Park Drive, is a large open-air shopping village with more than 100 stores, including Dillard’s and JCPenney.
Things to SeeCapt. Anderson III