Guide to Panama City Beach: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to sunbathe. The best things to do in Panama City Beach: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, branded entertainment and beaches.
According to act-test-centers, Panama City Beach is located in northern Florida, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. This resort town has only about 10 thousand inhabitants, but in the summer and during the spring break of American schools and universities it is flooded with tourists from all over the United States. The resort is less famous among foreigners, which, however, does not affect the quality of its beaches and hotels – in Panama City Beach, 45 km of snow-white fine sand wash the warm waters of the bay, and the coastline is built up with hotels, restaurants and bars for every taste and wallet.
This city is quite young by modern standards: it began to be built in 1977, and since the early 2000s, the authorities have seriously taken up its image – they demolished old unprepossessing hotels and erected new majestic skyscrapers overlooking the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
How to get to Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach is adjacent to the city of Panama City, and you should not confuse them. It does not have its own airport and bus station, so the easiest way to get there is through Panama City, where Greyhound buses run from anywhere in the United States. At the Panama City bus station, you can order or catch a taxi to the resort (about 25 USD, half an hour on the way).
Another option is to fly to Northwest Florida Beaches airport (30 km), but there are flights from Moscow with only two transfers (operated by Aeroflot). This airport, formally owned by the city of West Bay, is also used by Delta and United Airlines domestic flights.
For tourists with international rights, the best option would be to rent a car in the nearest major city and drive to Panama City Beach along one of the highways. The prices on the page are for August 2021.
Find cheap flights to Panama City Beach
The city has no public transport and bike paths. Most of the locals travel by private cars or taxis.
In some busy streets there is not even a sidewalk for passers-by.
But in the city there are two dozen competing taxi companies that can be called by phone, ordered through the application or caught on the street (the average cost of a trip is 15-20 USD ). Nearby Panama City has a city tram, line 7 (red) runs along the beaches of Panama City Beach, however the trams run infrequently and irregularly.
City Beach Hotels
In Panama City Beach, people rest comfortably: here even modest hotels offer high-class service, and there are no youth hostels in the city at all. A double room in a 4-5 * hotel on the coastline will cost 480 USD. Double room in a 3 * hotel – 150-230 USD with access to the beach or 100-120 USD three to four blocks from the beach. Apartments can be rented in one of the apart-hotels, most of which have their own restaurants, swimming pools, access to the beach, excursions and other services (from 115 USD for two). Most villas and private houses are located outside the city, this accommodation option is available for 100-330 USD for 3-4 people. A place for a tent or a trailer in one of the beach parks costs from 40 USDfrom a person.
The entire coastline of Panama City Beach consists of beaches, most of which are only conditionally divided or named after the hotel that controls a particular segment. It is not customary to borrow hotel sun loungers if you do not live in this hotel. The rest of the beaches are public, except for those located in the parks.
Shell Island Beach is calm and wild, there is no infrastructure here, only snow-white dunes stretching into the jungle. Middle Beach (near Russell-Fields Pier) is family friendly. There are all amenities, shops, cafes and rescue towers. There are rental points for equipment for snorkeling, surfing, paddleboarding, etc. scattered along the coastline. Renting a set of two sun loungers + umbrella will cost 25-35 USD per day.
An excellent place for fishing, diving, kayaking and other water activities are the beaches of St. Andrews. On its territory there are showers, toilets, cafes, several piers for fishing and instructors’ services. For nature lovers, there is a well-equipped campsite and trekking trails.
Cuisine and Restaurants in Panama City Beach
Most of the restaurants and cafes of the resort are concentrated on the waterfront. Almost every establishment boasts an open-air terrace and amazing ocean views. In Panama City Beach, sea delicacies, American red neck cuisine, Italian and Mediterranean traditions, and, of course, all kinds of Mexican dishes are held in high esteem. Try “tacos” – small corn tortillas with vegetables, minced meat and beans, or “quesadillas” – the same tortillas, only with toasted cheese and finely chopped chicken.
Fine dining restaurants will charge 35-50 USD for a main course. In buffet establishments, you can take an unlimited number of servings for 10-20 USD. You can have a bite with a hamburger or a hot dog for 10 USD, even cheaper is fast food from street “carts” scattered with beads all over the embankment.
Entertainment and attractions
There are no historical sights in this young city, but tourists who are tired of the sun and beaches should not be upset – there will be something to do here at any time of the day.
Panama City Beach has excellent spas, several shopping and entertainment centers, a separate go-kart track, a dolphinarium and other entertainment for the whole family. The “Strange Museum”, or Odditorium ( off. site in English), will surprise, shock and entertain anyone – incredible optical illusions, 3D entertainment, unusual exhibits and much more are collected here.
The city has a family water park, Shipwreck Island, a Dolphinarium Golf World Marine Park ( off. site ) and golf courses known throughout America. Nightlife lovers will love 24/7 restaurants and clubs, beach bars, outdoor parties and waterfront concerts.