Facts About Panama City Beach
Located in Northwest Florida, just 98 miles southwest of Tallahassee and 297 miles southwest of Atlanta. Perfect spot for a Northwest Florida vacation! The city has a year-round population of just over 12,000.
Ever wonder why our beaches stay so clean & powdery white? The legendary pure white sand of PCB is attributed to quartz crystals washing down from the Appalachian Mountains centuries ago. Along their journey, the crystals were bleached, ground, smoothed, and polished. The surf and tides of the Gulf of Mexico is responsible for depositing these millions of grains of sugar-white sand onto the pristine shoreline. The result of this rigorous process is the beautiful, renowned beaches of PCB.
St. Andrews State Park
St. Andrews State Park is named the #2 Beach in America by TripAdvisor. The 1,260 acre park has forests, sand dunes covered with sea oats, fresh and saltwater marshes, a lagoon swimming area, fishing jetties, hiking trails, 1.5 miles of beach and two campgrounds. Opened in 1951, St. Andrews was once the site of a World War II Military Reservation and has won the World’s Best Beach Award.
- Florida Ironman Triathlon held here since 1999.
- Home to the only deepwater diving museum in the U.S., the Man in the Sea Museum.
- PCB is bordered on either side by State Parks: St. Andrews and Camp Helen.
- The city is also known as the Wreck Capital of the South due to the large number of historic wrecks for scuba divers to explore.
Panama City Beach is home to one of the country’s largest sport fishing fleets. The area boasts one of the highest concentrations of bottle-nose dolphins in the world, one of the many reasons Panama City Beach travel is so popular.
The fishing is world famous, and fisherman troll for multiple varieties of fish in our waters, including Blue Marlin, Red Snapper, Mackerel, Trout, Pompano and Cobia.
A community-coordinated project with Panama City Marine Institute led to the development of 50 artificial reefs off Panama City Beach. The natural reefs range in depth from 80 to 100 feet and are just a few miles offshore. These reefs range in height from three to eight feet and are teeming with sea life, including small corals and colorful sponges.
Shopping and Entertainment
Imagine a 1.1 million square foot outdoor entertainment complex with the sparkling gulf and beach as a backdrop. Throw in some of the hottest names in shopping and dining, an IMAX theater and an amusement park. And let’s not forget some really cool nightspots! If this sounds like the kind of place you fancy spending some of your time, then welcome to Panama City Beach!! This is Pier Park – it’s all new, it’s open year-round, and it’s the place to see and be seen!
To say that Pier Park is the premier shopping destination for Panama City Beach is quite an understatement. There’s something for absolutely everyone, and plenty of opportunities to spend some of that hard-earned cash! The park’s three main department stores are Dillard’s, JC Penny and Target, and then there’s hundreds of other specialty, famous name and boutique stores to boot.
So let’s talk food. If you get a taste for something, you’ll find it at Pier Park. Seriously, from sushi to seafood, burgers to bagels and pasta to prime rib, there are so many choices for grub here that it would be almost impossible not to indulge. Pier Park is also the place to bring the family or your buddies when you’re looking to have some fun, and the list of attractions is getting longer by the day. Who says just because you’re on vacation you have to miss that big blockbuster movie?
The Grand Theater is A-mazing, featuring 16 screens, an IMAX screen and even comfy high back rocking chairs. Emerald Coast Laser Craze consists of a maze of mirrors plus a laser system that you have to maneuver without tripping one of the lasers. Pier Park is also home to the majority of the rides from Miracle Strip Amusement Park! It’s an amusement park within an entertainment park!
Nighttime is especially awesome at Pier Park, as the Miracle Strip rides illuminate the area and some of the restaurants transition into hotspots for live entertainment and dancing. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge features live country music nightly, (can we get a yee-haw!) and Hofbräu’s Beer Garden offers traditional German favorites including some really, really good beer! There’s even a brand new dueling Pianos Bar – Rum Runners, located right across from the Grand Theater.