Best Beach Getaways
Best known for its sugar-white sand beaches and clear, emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The soft sand is actually quartz crystals, which over time has been broken down, bleached, polished and deposited on the shoreline. This natural process has made Panama City Beach home to the "World's Most Beautiful Beaches." Located in the Northwest portion of the state, Panama City Beach boasts over 27 miles of award-winning beaches and has been recognized by the Travel Channel, Southern Living Magazine and Dr. Beach as a top US beach destination. Panama City Beach averages an elevation of 13 feet above sea level. This is the perfect spot for a beach vacation in Florida. Close enough from just about anywhere in the Southeast, but far enough away that you know you're in a different vacation spot.
Climate Average water temperatures of 72 degrees combined with an average air temperature of 78 degrees creates mild subtropical temperatures for year-round enjoyment.
Area History Bay County is an area rich in American history. The St. Andrew Bay area was home to many Indians before it was settled as a community in the 1800s. Pirates found the deep pockets of the Bay ideal to "lie in wait" for richly laden ships in route to Mexico or Spain. Legend has it that many a pirate buried his share of treasure at Spanish Shanty Point on Shell Island. Another area teeming with history in Panama City Beach is St Andrews State Recreation Area. During World War II, it was part of the St. Andrews Sound Military Reservation. Circular cannon platforms are still in place near the jetties. Opened in 1951, the park now covers more than 1,200 acres.
What To See And Do St Andrews State Recreation Area is one of the most popular outdoor recreation spots in Florida. Rated the "Number One Beach in America" in 1995 by coastal authority Dr. Stephen Leatherman, it is best known for its 1.5 miles of white sand beaches, natural dunes and crystal-clear water. Visit Panama City Beach for the annual Indian Summer Festival held every October. This three-day music, art and seafood festival hosts top name entertainment and wide array of fresh local seafood.
Shopping and Entertainment Make sure you make your way to Pier Park. This has all the shopping you'll find in any major city. CHICO's, Abercrombie, Hollister, you name it. Plus, you'll find Dillards, JC Penney & Target. And dozens more unique boutiques that are designed with the beach in mind.