Panama City Beach Vacation Information
An average of 320 sunny days annually make Panama City Beach the ultimate seaside getaway year-round. Long a favorite with students on spring break, the area has plenty to offer visitors of all ages, not the least of which are 27 miles of white-sand beaches lapped by the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
For those who prefer action to lounging on the sand or dabbling in the surf, fishing, swimming, sailing, diving, snorkeling, and other water sports are popular diversions. And nearby Shell Island is one of the best spots in Florida for shelling. This unspoiled island, which can be reached only by boat and still looks much the way it did hundreds of years ago, is also a great place to go snorkeling.
Even if you’re really a landlubber at heart, you’ll find plenty to do at Panama City Beach. Shopping, golfing, and hiking the nature trails at St. Andrews State Park are all popular pastimes away from the water. Or, for an up-close look at the dolphins and other undersea wonders that doesn’t involve getting your feet wet, opt for a tour in a glass-bottom boat. Many tour operators also make stops at Shell Island.
The mild, sunny weather means that Panama City Beach is a popular venue for special events year-round, and the area hosts everything from seafood festivals to wine tastings, arts and crafts fairs to open-air concerts. Many visitors return every November for the prestigious Florida Ironman Triathlon. Other popular annual events include October’s Southeastern Barbecue Fest Cookoff, April’s Emerald Coast Triathlon, December’s Boat Parade of Lights, and the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show and Music Festival, held in April.