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Panama City Beach

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Revision as of 13:29, 23 June 2008 by DrakesTravels (talk | contribs) (added listing Pinnacle Port Rentals)
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Panama City Beach

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Panama City Beach is a city in the panhandle of Florida located within Bay County. It is approximately halfway between the state capitol, Tallahassee, and Pensacola. The area including Panama City Beach is known as the Emerald Coast, as well as the Redneck Riveria, due to a large number of regional tourists. While many people call Panama City Beach, Panama City, it should be noted that they are separate cities, separated by a St. Andrew's Bay, with the beaches and a large proportion of tourist activities being in Panama City Beach, and more business-oriented activities being in Panama City.

Get in

By Plane

Panama City Beach is served by the Panama City-Bay County International Airport (IATA: PFN) [15] in neighboring Panama City. PCBCIA, while International in name, currently does not offer any regularly scheduled international flights. Delta Air Lines offers daily non-stop service under the Delta Connection brand from Atlanta and Orlando, as well as a Saturday-only flight from Cincinnati. Northwest Airlines offers daily non-stop service under the Northwest Airlink brand from Memphis. From the airport it is a short drive to the east end of the Panama City Beach, but due to the long shape of the beaches, it can take a bit longer to reach the west end.

Opening in 2009 will be the new Panama City-Bay County International Airport located in West Bay, Florida. This will be much more convenient to travelers heading to the beaches and could result in more airlines and destinations served.

By Car

Travelers headed to Panama City Beach often drive to the destination, due to the strong regional appeal the area has. There are several routes to take depending on which direction a traveler is coming from. If coming from the North, US Highway 231, State Route 77, State Route 79 are all excellent roads into the area. US Highway 98 is the major East-West Highway along the coast and with the Alternate route the only long distance East-West roads in Panama City Beach.

Arriving by US 231 or SR 77, turn onto 23rd Street in Panama City, Florida. Travel the length of the highway until you reach Port Panama City/Gulf Coast Community College and then turn right onto US 98. A few moments later you will be across St. Andrews Bay and in Panama City Beach.

Arriving by US 98 or SR 79, there is nothing more to do to reach Panama City Beach as these two highways take travelers directly to the beaches, with SR 79 terminating at the beach.

If using Interstate 10 to reach Panama City Beach, there will be several exits to take depending on your direction of travel. If arriving from the East, use the exit for US 231. From the exit it is a 50 mile drive to Panama City. If arriving from the West, exit at SR 79. As an alternative you can exit at US 331/DeFuniak Springs in Walton County and head south. US 331 terminates at US 98 and from there is a short drive to Bay County and Panama City Beach.

By Bus

Panama City Beach itself does not have a bus terminal. However, neighboring Panama City does have one that is served by Greyhound.

Get around

Public Transportation

Panama City Beach is served by the Bay Town Trolley, which serves routes throughout Bay County. Service is limited on the beach with two routes: Route 8 running from the west end of Front Beach Road to the Panama City Beach Senior Center on Middle Beach Road and Route 7 which runs from the Panama City Beach Senior Center along Middle Beach Road to Thomas Drive to the Gulf Coast Community College transfer station. If you miss the trolley, you can expect to be waiting for a while before the next one comes by. This is a common complaint with the system and has been helped slightly with the splitting of Routes 7 and 8 to provide more frequent service. One-way fare is $1.00.

Taxi and Limousine Services

  • American Beach Taxi, (850) 230-9090.
  • Executive Taxi, (850) 233-8299.
  • Checker Taxi, (850) 784-1115.
  • Yellow Cab, (850) 233-8083.
  • Your Taxi Service, (850) 233-8299.
  • Affordable Limousine Service, (850) 233-0029.
  • Mel's Limo Service, (850) 230-6641.

Car Rentals

On Panama City Beach there is an Enterprise Rent-a-Car located in the Shoppes at Edgewater next to the Waffle House. If you are arriving by air, all of the major care rental companies (Hertz, Avis, Budget, National, Alamo, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car) are located at the airport, just across from baggage claim.

Other Rentals

Many visitors to Panama City Beach rent scooters or electric cars to drive along Front Beach Road. There are several different companies and locations to rent from, most of them located along Front Beach Road and Thomas Drive.

  • Aquatic Adventures, 647 Clara Ave; 11214 Front Beach Rd, (850) 235-8051, [1]. Aquatic Adventures has two primary locations that are located in the hear ot Panama City Beach. Rental prices cary on the varying factors, so contact or visit the website for more information.
  • Classic Rentals, 13226 Front Beach Rd., (850) 235-1519.


  • Miles of white sandy beaches with beautiful emerald green waters. It's considered to be part of the, "World's most beautiful beaches" beacause of the spectacular white sand and glistening emerald green waters. It is so soft it literally squeaks under foot. You will be spoiled forever after experiencing this.


  • St. Andrews State Park, 4607 State Park Lane, (850) 233-5140, [2]. 8AM-Sunset. St. Andrews State Park is located on the east end of Panama City Beach along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, St. Andrews Bay, and the Grand Lagoon. The park has plenty of pristine white beaches that the area is known for, but also has a few short trails that snake around in the dunes. The park features multiple stores to buy supplies for the day, and plenty of parking. There is camping available, mostly facing the Grand Lagoon, but there is also a Primitive campsite that faces both the Lagoon and Bay. There is an entrance fee required, which is currently set at $5 per vehicle. Other fees are listed on the park’s website. $5 Entry Fee.
  • Pine Log State Forest, 5583-A Longleaf Road, Ebro, FL 32437, (850) 535-2888, [3]. Pine Log State Forest is a short drive from Panama City Beach going north on Highway 79. This state forest which spans two counties has numerous recreational opportunities such as camping (developed and primitive), multiple trails including a segment of the Florida National Scenic Trail, and a horse trail as well. The fees vary and are usually based on the honor system. Please check the forest's website for more information.
  • Camp Helen State Park, 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway, (850) 233–5059 (fax: (850) 236–3204). 8AM-Sunset. The newest state park in Panama City Beach, is located at the far west end of the beaches right before the county line. Camp Helen is a small park but does manage to offer opportunities for hiking, fishing, picnics, boating, as well as a portion of the beach that is much more quiet than other areas of the beach. Camp Helen also features many buildings that are reminiscent of the history of the site as well. The entry fee is paid into an honor box upon entering. $2 per vehicle, $1 per bicycle/pedestrian.
  • Frank Brown Park, 16200 Panama City Beach Parkway, (850) 233-5045 (, fax: (850) 233-5161), [4]. Sunrise-Sunset. Frank Brown Park is a city park of Panama City Beach, that is located near the intersection of US 98 (Back Beach Road) and SR 79. This is the city's main park and as such as expansive facilities including soccer fields, baseball/softball fields, trails, walking paths, a youth fishing pond, and the newly opened Panama City Beach Aquatic Center. Free.


  • Alvin's Island, [5]. The ever-popular tropical department store chain, with six locations in Panama City Beach providing all your beach needs.
  • Pier Park, Between Front Beach and Back Beach Roads, [6]. Pier Park is a huge outdoor shopping complex being currently built by Simon. As it is under construction there are a limited number of businesses open at the time. A Target, Panera Bread and the 16-screen Grand Theatre are all currently open. There is also a city park across the street from the theatre with a a few short trails, a local veterans memorial, and an ampitheatre for concerts in the summer.
  • The Shoppes at Edgewater, Intersection of Beckrich Road and Front Beach Road, [7]. The Shoppes at Edgewater is one of Panama City Beach's most established shopping centers. Located here are several restaurants, a ten screen theatre, Rock-it Lanes (a bowling alley, arcade, roller skating rink and sports bar in one), a spa and more.
  • The Village of Grand Panama, 11501 Hutchison Blvd, [8]. This brand new shopping center is small and is affiliated with the new Grand Panama Beach Resort that is currently under construction. Here you will find a variety of dining and other retail outlets.




  • Pinnacle Port Rentals, 23223 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32413, 800-874-8823, [9]. Pinnacle Port Rentals offers beach front condos and real estate services in Panama City Beach. Includes amenities, photos and reservations.
  • Beachbreak by the Sea, 15405 Front Beach Road, (850) 234-6644, [10]. Adjacent to its sister hotel Legacy by the Sea, Beachbreak is a smaller hotel that has more of an emphasis on families.
  • Legacy by the Sea, 15325 Front Beach Road, (850) 249-8601, [11]. Legacy by the Sea is a fairly new beach front luxury hotel that is centrally located. It is located next to the Quality Inn Beach Front and as such, near the same attractions.
  • Edgewater Beach Resort, 11212 Front Beach Road, (800) 874-8686, [12]. One of the largest and well known resorts in Panama City Beach, Edgewater offers a variety of lodging options on the property ranging from the high-rise towers facing the beach to the villas across the street. There are several onsite amenities including restaurants, pools, beach activities, spa and more.
  • Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort, 11127 Front Beach Road, (850) 234-1111, [13]. The Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort is located along Front Beach Road and is popular with families and spring breakers. There are a host of onsite amenities and varying room types.
  • Marriott Bay Point, 4200 Marriott Dr., [16]. This resort overlooks the beautiful St. Andrew's Bay in Panama City Beach. The resort houses a spa and fitness center, and offers guests an array of activities in the area including world-class golf courses, water sports, deep sea fishing, and more.
  • Quality Inn Beach Front, 15285 Front Beach Road, (850) 234-6636 (fax: (850) 235-4202), [14]. The Quality Inn Beach Front is located in near the center of Panama City Beach between Front Beach Road and the Gulf of Mexico. This hotel is much more limited in onsite amenities, but located nearby are many restaurants, Gulf World Marine Park and Pier Park - a shopping center currently under development.
  • Majestic Beach Towers, 10901 Front Beach Rd, 1-866-682-0008 [17]. A high-rise condominium resort overlooking the gulf.
  • Panama City Beach vacation rentals by Waterstone Resorts. Find coastal condo and home rentals in Panama City Beach.

Get out

  • Tallahassee is the state capital of Florida and is a short two-hour drive to the east. Also located in Tallahassee are two major state universities, The Florida State University and Florida A&M University.
  • Destin is located roughly one hour west of Panama City Beach located in Walton and Okaloosa Counties. There are plenty of shopping opportunities (Destin Commons, Outlet Center, and other smaller venues) as well as golfing at the Sandestin Resort and many other activities.
  • Pensacola is two hours to the west by way of Highway 98. Pensacola is home to NAS Pensacola, which is home to the Blue Angeles flight demonstration team, and the National Naval Aviation Museum. Also, Pensacola is considered to be the oldest European settlement in America, unlike St. Augustine it was not continuously settled from first settlement. There are many historic sites relating to the Spanish Colonization, which includes a series of forts.
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