Panama City Beach Vacation Guide

Where to Eat, Shop, Play, and Stay in Panama City Beach

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About Panama City Beach

Why Is Panama City Beach So Popular?

Find Out Why Families, Friend Groups, And Snowbirds Love Panama City Beach.

Found in Northwest Florida, Panama City Beach is the perfect vacation spot for families, golfers, fishermen, beachgoers, with world-class dining and shopping.

In between Pensacola and Tallahassee on the Gulf of Mexico, it is the ideal destination for those looking to visit state parks, beaches, swim, scuba dive & snorkel, and fish. With a small population of 12,700 people, you are able to escape to a quaint beach town with all the amenities and attractions one could want.

This beach city captivates the essence of Florida with great waterfront restaurants offering fantastic seafood, true to its name the 'seafood capital of the South. With an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, Panama City Beach is always the perfect vacation destination!

Cities in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is a Jewel located in the northwest Panhandle area of Florida

Located along the Emerald Coast with its stunning blue-green waters and sugar-white beaches.

Cities near Panama City Beach:

  • Panama City, FL
  • Lynn Haven, FL
  • Springfield, FL
  • Callaway, FL
  • Destin, FL
  • Niceville, FL
  • Fort Walton Beach, FL
  • Wright, FL
  • Crestview, FL
  • Dothan, AL
  • Enterprise, AL
  • Pensacola, FL
  • Ferry Pass, FL
  • Brent, FL
  • Bainbridge, GA

Panama City Beach zip codes: 32413, 32407 

Panama City Beach area code: 850

Panama City Beach County: Bay County

Panama City Beach Area Vacation Rentals

Panama City Beach Area Vacation Rentals

Panama City Beach Vacation Rentals

Panama City Beach Vacation Rentals

Highlights of Panama City Beach

  • Pier Park: main shopping area and the hub for large events
  • Man is In the Sea Museum: the only deepwater diving museum in the US!
  • Home to one of the world's largest populations of bottlenose dolphins. Head out on a boat cruise or snorkeling adventure to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Shipwrecks: several ships that had previously run aground as well as those which have been placed to create beautiful reefs and habitats.
  • Perfect for guys and girls getaways, Orlando boasts over 15 professional golf courses.
  • Shopping is abundant! Enjoy Nearby Destin Premium Outlets, Pier Park, and lots of other shopping districts.
  • There are hundreds of world-class restaurants and dining options in the Panama City Beach area, perfect for real foodies.
  • Best Suited for many, many types of travelers singles, couples, small and large families, reunions, sports groups, and business visitors.

Things to do in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is one of the most popular retreats on Florida's Emerald Coast, perfectly suited for an action-packed holiday or a relaxing beach getaway. Here's a handy list of things to do to help you find out if it's the perfect fit for your next vacation. 

  • Visit State Parks: Kayak, fish, hike, or leisurely enjoy the wildlife and nature found at one of the area's 2 state parks.
  • St. Andrews State Park - has one of the few barriers with 4 habitats (ocean, dune, deciduous forest, lake)
  • Camp Helen State Park
  • Fishing: with one of the largest sportfishing fleets, there are many charter companies offering deep-sea fishing (catch includes - tuna, blue marlin, red snapper, grouper, mackerel, etc.)
  • Water Activities: boat rentals, parasailing, beaching, swimming
  • Diving: the NOAA has mapped many of the natural reefs in the northeast Gulf but there are also many artificial and shipwreck reefs, including the new 5 super reefs made of limestone designed to create an abundance of natural aquatic growth in the area
  • The Pirate Cruise: take a 2-hour cruise on the Sea Dragon for a combination of sightseeing and activities on the ship - fantastic for kids
  • Shipwreck Island Waterpark
  • Animal habitats and zoos
  • Golfing
  • Shopping (Destin Premium Outlets, Pier Park)
  • Fine dining and casual restaurants


Plenty! Here's a list, be sure to book your vacation during one of these fun and exciting events:

  • New Years Eve Beach Ball Drop
  • PCB Mardi Gras (late February)
  • Free summer concert series
  • 4th of July: largest fireworks display on the Gulf Coast
  • Lobster Festival & Tournament (Mid-September)

Explore Panama City Beach

Food and Drinks in Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach is well known for its abundance of restaurant choices. It is a truly rich cultural area with an abundance of funky drinking establishments and a fabulous selection of award-winning dining establishments with a large variety of epicurean options. Some favorite restaurants include:

  • Firefly boasts an atmosphere of twinkling lights under an Oak tree. Specializing in locally caught seafood, sumptuous steaks, as well as a sushi bar.
  • Hooked Pier Bar and Grill
  • Runaway Island
  • Saltwater Grill
  • Shrimp Basket

Where to find Vacation Rentals in Panama City Beach, FL

You're in luck! You can find vacation rentals right here on Florida Rental By Owner (FLARBO)! Our rental listings are 100% managed by the property owner or manager. Ditch the pesky third-party fees and interference - no middle man (Or woman) here!

Do you have questions about Cape Coral Florida, or need help planning your trip? Join our Cape Coral Travel Facebook group here

Transportation for Panama City Beach

Getting To And Around Panama City Beach

Flying To Panama City Beach

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP)

Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport is the closest airport to Destin. It is about 16 miles (26 km) away. Travel time is approximately 26 minutes. This airport is serviced by six major U.S. carriers are United, American, Delta, Allegiant, Glo, and Contour Check available flights with each carrier.

Taxis, limos, Uber, Lyft, and car rentals are available

Pensacola International Airport (PNS)

The Pensacola Airport is located in nearby Pensacola, Florida.  It is a destination of five US carriers. The main airline carriers are American, Delta, United, Southwest, and Silver Airways. 

Taxis, limos, shuttles, Uber, Lyft, and rental cars are available

Destin-Fort Walton Beach (VPS)

In the Destin area, this airport is approximately a 1.5h drive from Panama City Beach but includes additional carriers: United, American, Delta, Allegiant, Glo, and Contour Airlines.

Taxis, limos, shuttles, Uber, Lyft, and rental cars are available


Greyhound Bus Lines - many routes run into Panama City Beach from surrounding areas.

Driving To Panama City Beach FL

For those driving in, Hwy. 98 is a direct route to Panama City Beach, but the I-10 or Hwy. 20 can be taken westbound to Hwys. 77, 79, 231. Consider driving from these closer states;

  • Birmingham, AL - 280 miles
  • Atlanta, GA - 297 miles
  • New Orleans, LA - 305 miles
  • Nashville, TN - 476 miles
  • Little Rock, AR - 605 miles
  • Louisville, KY - 644 miles

Getting Around In Panama City Beach FL

There is an abundance of transportation options at the major airports including Uber, taxis, shuttles and limousine services. Most are open 24 hours a day but we highly suggest booking transportation in advance. There are lots of transportation shuttles available, but your own vehicle will give you much more freedom to come and go as you please. There are also lots of local restaurants to explore, not to mention the endless attractions and shopping! 

A car is highly recommended so you can easily get around in Panama City Beach as well as visit other areas up and down the coast, but there are other modes of transportation available if you don't want to drive:

  • The Baytown Trolley has stops at major shopping areas, hospitals, and the beach
  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • Taxis

Statistics about Panama City Beach

54+ Properties for rent

Prices range from $0/night

Weather for Panama City Beach

The hottest months are June, July, and August, and with the heat comes the rain - don't worry though, Florida rains are typically short, and then the sunshine returns.

October through March are cooler with daytime temperatures in the 60's

FAQs about Panama City Beach

Answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Yes, there are many vacation rentals that offer monthly stays in Panama City Beach Florida that would be perfect for snowbirds

While dogs are not permitted on the beaches in Panama City Beach, there is a designated dog beach, dog park, and many restaurants welcome dogs on their patios.

Yes! We love our pets and we are sure you do too! has many pet-friendly Panama City Beach rentals. You can use our search filters to narrow down our Panama City Beach rental properties to just show those that are pet-friendly.

You're in luck! You can find vacation rentals by owner right here on Florida Rental By Owner (FLARBO)! Our rental listings are 100% managed by the property owner. Ditch the pesky third-party fees and interference - no middle man (Or woman) here!

Yes! We have several subscription levels to advertise your vacation rental suitable for any budget. Our Book Direct, No Commission Fee Subscription Model suits the majority of short-term rental owners, learn more here.

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