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Panama City Rundown

Panama City, Florida, is 27 miles of unadulterated relaxation and fun. The crystal white sands contrast starkly with the emerald green waves, and the tropical palms provide shade for the perfect beach getaway. Panama City is known for its water activities, both on top and down below, but on dry land you’ll find a city that moves to a relaxed and steady beat, at least until the sun goes down. By then it’ll be time to sit back on the deck and have a quiet beer or two while the party gets into gear.

Choose one of dozens of bars and clubs in Panama City for dinner, and stay for a wide range of entertainment or grab your partner and boogie at one of the nine dance clubs under one roof at Club Le Vela. If you’re here for a family holiday, get lost at the Panama City Coconut Creek Family Fun Park maze, or putt around with the kids playing mini golf, but for the real excitement and beauty of this tropical paradise, get into some scuba gear and slip under the water for a while. The natural wonders on the seabed will fascinate you so much you’ll have to be careful to remember to come up for air.

Panama City’s Top 10

10. Entertain the family at the Gulf World Marine Park by trying to name all the species of sea creatures.

5. Give your grey matter a work out at Wonderworks, with interactive games and displays for kids and grown-ups.

9. Take a good book to the beach atsecluded Shell Islandand get some well deserved you time.

4. Get into some breathtaking thrills with Aquatic Adventures when you parasail high above the emerald waters of Panama City Beach.

8. Catch a blockbuster in 3D at the Grand Theater IMAX at Pier Park and get yourself immersed in sight and sound.

3. Get a little tipsy at the Panama City Beach Winery when you sampletheir unique citrus, berry and fruitwines.

7. Land the kids on Shipwreck Island in the heart of Panama Beach and take the Pirate Plunge.

2. Spend an idyllic day at one of Panama City’s 27 miles of beaches, and drink a tropical cocktail under a palm tree.

6. Have a day at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, Blountstown and see how the world got by without technology, all those years ago.

1. Get in and swim amongst the dolphins on a Water Planet cruise, and experience nature up-close and personal.

Panama City History

  • Panhandle Pioneer Settlement - Spend the day at this living museum with re-enactments of early settler life in Panama City.
  • Betsy Ann Riverboat - Book a dinner cruise on this vintage-style riverboat modelled after the original 1890 vessel.
  • St Andrew - Visit this historic town, a former Civil War resort community and site of a notable battle.
  • S.S. Tarpon - Go diving through the wreckage of this late 19th-century iron-hulled steamship.
  • Sapp House - An antique home designated as a national historic landmark in 2003.

Panama City Art & Culture

  • Panama City Beach Winery - Tour this winemaking facility to learn about the process of making wine and to enjoy a complimentary tasting.
  • Paul Brent Gallery - An art museum with displays of artwork by watercolour artist Paul Brent.
  • Visual Arts Centre of Northwest Florida - Kids and adult can take an interactive workshop at this visual art facility featuring pottery, paintings and photography.
  • Museum of Man in the Sea - Exhibits and information about the history of diving near the Florida coast.
  • Junior Museum of Bay County - An interactive children’s museum, a great place for little visitors and their parents.

Panama City Shopping

  • Pier Park - An open-air market with designer shops, gourmet food vendors and coffeehouses.
  • Grand Panama Beach Resort - A shopping and entertainment district with salons, restaurants and upscale boutiques.
  • Carillon Beach - Browse at the surf and souvenir shops near Market Street.
  • Panama City Mall - The largest indoor shopping mall in Panama City, with over 100 department and specialty stores.
  • Shoppes at Edgewater - Indulge in some retail therapy at this shopping plaza with clothing stores, restaurants and a 10-cinema movie theatre.

Gay & Lesbian Panama City

  • Splash Bar - The biggest gathering place for gays, lesbians and bisexual individuals in Panama City.
  • LGBT Equality House - Located in nearby Pensacola, this community centre provides services and support for LGBT adults and youths.
  • Wisteria Inn - An adults-only beachfront bed and breakfast inn that welcomes LGBT individuals.
  • Club Rayn - Drive over to Tallahassee to party the night away at Club Rayn, a gay and lesbian nightclub.
  • Red Carpet Lounge – It’s ladies only at this lesbian bar a short drive away in Pensacola.

Panama City Outdoor

  • Water Planet - Swim with wild dolphins at this natural water attraction.
  • Coconut Creek Family Fun Park - An outdoors entertainment centre with miniature golf, a walking maze and a play area.
  • Beaches - Sunbathe or build sand castles on one of Panama City’s sandy beaches.
  • Gulf World Marine Park - Watch sea animals and trainers put on a live entertainment show at this park.
  • ZooWorld Zoological Conservatory - See hundreds of animal and plant species at the local zoo.

Panama City Sport

  • Shoot 18 holes of championship golf at the Hombre Golf Club.
  • Race go-karts at Race City, a family entertainment centre.
  • Go boating in the lagoon at St Andrews State Park.
  • Book a snorkelling tour in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Take parasailing lessons on Panama City Beach.

Panama City Events

February in Panama City starts with the party atmosphere of the Krewe of Massalina and Krewe of St. Andrews Mardi Gras. Head downtown and to the beach and join in the celebrations.

In early March, Panama City hosts the Gulf Coast Home and Garden Expo downtown, so come along and see the latest designs and inventions, and take something unique home.

April is time to kick up your heels and get yourself down to Panama City’s Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show & Music Festival, where you’ll find a wide range of activities for the kids, as well as food and awesome music.

Later in the month, get excited at the Annual Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally at Panama City Beach and if you’re up to it, register and ride for free.

Be in Panama City in May and cheer on the athletes at the Gulf Coast Triathlon as they battle it out for the top prize.

The Panama City Summer Concert Series begins in June and runs Saturdays at Pier Park until August. Come along and get into some good vibes.

Celebrate the Fourth of July in Panama City at the Fourth of July Fireworks Display on the Dan Russell Pier.

Later on, check out the Bay Point Invitational Billfish Tournament, and watch the world’s best reel them in.

In August, it’s time for more fishing, so cast a line at the Grand Lagoon National Fishing Tournament, on Panama City Beach, and reel in a whopper.

October in Panama City is great for the kids at the Fun Never Sets Explorer of the High Seas Fest. Get an eyepatch and enjoy the pirate-themed parades and activities. Aaarrrrr!

Finish the month off at the Panama City Oktoberfest. Drink a stein of beer, dance to the polka version of Margaritaville and shout ‘Das ist gut!’

Get multicultural in November at the Festival of Nations in downtown Panama City, and buy a gift for your loved one at the annual Holly Fair held at the Boardwalk Beach Resort on Panama City Beach.

When To Go

Panama City heats up in summer to an average of around 80°F (26°C), and drops in the winter months to about 52°F (11°C).

Precipitation is heaviest in summer, with an average rainfall of about 222 mm, and is lightest around April through October with an average of 90 mm during those months.

The summer months are the best for beach weather, but Panama City is temperate and comfortable the rest of the year, so anytime you find yourself by the crystal white sands, you’re sure to have a pleasant holiday experience.

Getting There

The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is situated around 13 kilometres from downtown Panama City, and is serviced by Delta and Southwest Airlines with nonstop flights to seven major US cities.

Getting around town is a breeze on the affordable Bay Town Trolley, which runs seven routes around the city. If you’re in a hurry, there are taxis everywhere, and if you’re going for the long haul, there’s a Greyhound Bus station right downtown.

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Hotels in Panama City

101 hotels in Panama City

1 American Quality Lodge

2 stars
1.8 / 5

4810 West Highway 98 Map

Offering comfortable accommodation and convenient facilities American Quality Lodge Panama City is an ideal place to reside while in the city for business or pleasure. Visitors can set out to... More

2 Howard Johnson Inn - Panama City

2 stars
2.9 / 5

301 E 23rd Street Map

Offering amicable atmosphere and homely service, the Howard Johnson Inn Panama City caters to the needs of discerning travellers. GeneralGuests can have plethora of fun by visiting the popular... More

3 Paradise Palms

2 stars
3.4 / 5

12907 Front Beach Road Map

Set amidst water parks and recreation sites, Paradise Palms Panama City Beach makes for a convenient starting point for families on vacation, holidaymakers and beach lovers exploring Panama City... More

4 Econo Lodge Panama City

2 stars
1.6 / 5

4411 W. US 98 Map

Offering a favourable location and relaxing atmosphere, Econo Lodge Panama City is the right choice of accommodation, while visiting Panama City. GeneralThe lodge's swimming pool is also an ideal... More

5 La Quinta Inn & Suites Panama City

3 stars
3.6 / 5

1030 East 23rd St Map

Assuring comfortable accommodation with quality service, the La Quinta Inn and Suites Panama City offers an inviting atmosphere and the most gracious hospitality to its guests. GeneralIdeal for... More

6 Days Inn Panama City/Central

2 stars
3.5 / 5

4111 West Hwy98 Map

Presenting tranquil ambience and comfortable accommodation, this property is an ideal place for a pleasant as well as a relaxing stay. General There is also a swimming pool available onsite for... More

7 Ramada Panama City

2 stars
3.4 / 5

4306 West Highway 98 Map

Enjoy your vacation at the Panama City while staying at the Ramada Hotel Panama City which offers unparalleled accommodation with a unique combination of appealing aesthetics, adapted service and... More

8 Hampton Inn Panama City Beach

3 stars
4.3 / 5

2909 Thomas Drive Map

Providing accommodation and service in Panama City Beach, the Hampton Inn Panama City Beach is close to the Shell Island Natural Reserve where guests can swim with wild dolphins. GeneralThe... More

9 The Beachside Resort

2 stars
2.8 / 5

21905 Front Beach Road Map

Offering comfortably furnished spaces situated on the west end of Panama City Beach, The Beachside Resort creates a suitable base for travellers seeking a relaxing Panama City getaway.... More

10 Red Roof Inn Panama City

2 stars
3.7 / 5

217 North US Hwy 231 Map

Experience the comfortable accommodation blended with a warm hospitality and unsurpassed service at theRed Roof Inn Panama City. GeneralTake a bracing dip and enjoy in the charming swimming pool... More