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Panama City Beach

Community Guide: Panama City Beach

A trip to Panama City Beach can be filled not only with world-class relaxation but also with incredible adventure and excitement for the whole family. Whether you’re looking for a vacation spent living like a beach bum or an adventurous getaway, Panama City Beach is packed with options to suit everyone’s holiday desires. What makes Panama City Beach so enticing is the abundance of options it contains, including arcades, amusement parks, restaurants, bars, and festivals. 

The crowds that visit this Florida oasis are as diverse and full of character as the locals that populate it. The tourism industry is abundant with repeat vacationers who return yearly to experience the natural beauty and culture that Panama City Beach offers. The local businesses in this region are known for their southern hospitality, making visitors feel at home even when on vacation. Many vacationers decide to make this slice of paradise a permanent residence after visiting, which is one reason that the real estate market in Panama City Beach continues to boom year after year.  

You will never be restless when visiting this gem of a city along the Emerald Coast. We’ve put together a guide of everything you need to know before purchasing in Panama City Beach so you’ll feel like a local before move-in day.

Where Is Panama City Beach? 

Located just 20 minutes east of the very popular 30A highway, Panama City Beach is known for its 27 miles of snow-white sandy beaches and the exciting attractions and local activities for families and young adults alike. The proximity of this coastal town to other nearby communities makes it a popular day trip destination for visitors. Other metropolitan cities such as Pensacola are a short 2-hour drive away, giving residents of Panama City Beach a plethora of city-life options to visit. 

Where To Stay? 

The accommodations in Panama City Beach vary from campsites to motels to luxury condos, so sleep soundly knowing there is something for everyone who visits. When choosing your rental location (or vacation rental investment property), the most crucial factor to consider is ensuring you stay close to the beach. Location is everything when it comes to the city’s culture. The most popular restaurants and attractions line the beaches, so even if you’re not one for sunbathing, be sure to book close to the businesses you plan to frequent.

For those looking to invest in real estate, there is an abundance of luxury vacation rental homes and high-rise condos on the market. Even if you don’t plan to make PCB (that’s some local jargon for you) your permanent residence, investing in a rental property is a great way to grow your portfolio and reap the benefits of utilizing your new property for vacations. Be sure to review our current listings if you are in the market to purchase a property in the area. 

Family-Friendly Attractions

Fun in the sun may be what you immediately think of when planning family activities in Panama City Beach, but eventually, you and the children will crave some air-conditioned adventure. The area has a multitude of arcades, museums, and amusement parks that will get you away from the beaches into something different. For the gamers in your family, Next Gen VR Arcade is an indoor arcade and lounge with a 360 room-scale virtual reality experience and over 75 games to choose from. You could spend a day letting the children go wild in this incredible facility. For more techy-gamer fun, head to Race City for a state-of-the-art arcade and other activities, including mini golf and a racecar track on the beach! 

To experience the thrill of nature, ZooWorld is the 7-acre home to PCB’s most amazing creatures. The zoo is open year-round with daily shows and events that allow the public to experience the exotic natural wonders of the region firsthand. You can even pet a wolf! The facility hosts events and discounted rates regularly, so visit the events page to schedule your next visit.

Annual Festivals

Planning your visit to Panama City Beach around a festival is a great way to ensure you get a taste of the local culture, and there is no shortage of events in the area. For the music fans in the crowd, the annual Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is a summer festival hosting country music and southern rock artists. Performers range from Brooks & Dunn to Brett Young to Garry Allan. The festival is held in June, making it s popular event destination for summer vacationers, so book your reservation in advance to ensure ticket availability. 

The festivals in PCB aren’t limited to just music; they also include wine festivals such as the beer and wine festival UNwineD, which takes place each spring, as well as the Florida Jeep Jam for car lovers visiting or residing in the area. Whatever your interest may be, Panama City Beach has something to offer to all of its visitors. 

Delicious Eats & Cocktails

Perhaps the most desirable aspect of dining on the Gulf Coast is enjoying the fresh seafood with unobstructed water views. There is no more decadent pleasure than sipping a tropical cocktail while you snack on fried calamari with the people you love, and Panama City Beach has endless options for coastal dining. From fine dining to casual eats, its diverse restaurants offer delicious food and quality service at your fingertips. 

If you’re looking to dine on the water (which we recommend you do), look no further than Barefoot On The Beach Bar & Grill. As the name implies, this laid-back casual restaurant doesn’t require a shirt or shoes to dine, so you can walk straight off the beach to enjoy its delicious cuisine. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, filling the space with satisfied patrons. Crowd favorites off of the menu include fried alligator and the seafood platter. Before you visit Barefoot On The Beach, be sure to check their entertainment schedule if you’re in the mood to enjoy some live music while you dine as well. 

After dinner, you can enjoy a sweet treat at Pink Pelican Ice Cream Bar and sample one of the 40 flavors of ice cream that they offer. You can also purchase a prepackaged pint to store in the freezer for late-night snacking. 

An evening of dining wouldn’t be complete without a nightcap, and Pineapple Willy’s offers the best cocktails in the area. Their signature drink, appropriately called the “Pineapple Willy,” is a local favorite that you can sip as you watch the sunset over the horizon along the Gulf Of Mexico. 

New Resident Resources

Chamber Of Commerce

Parks & Recreation

Places Of Worship

Scenic Stays Community Guides

Which Northwest Florida beach community is right for you? Browse our real estate community guides to learn more about these unique coastal markets.