7 Reasons Panama City Beach is Still the Perfect Vacation Spot!

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by June 11, 2010 • 15 comments

With all the media coverage, conflicting news reports and heartbreaking images surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it’s understandable to fear for the spectacular white beaches of Panama City Beach. Local residents and business owners are already feeling the effects without so much as a tar ball in sight, and concerned vacationers are left confused about whether the potential for oil will jeopardize this year’s hard-earned family vacation. While predictions are optimistic and the beautiful beaches of Panama City Beach remain clean and open for business, here’s a reminder that even away from the beaches, Panama City Beach is a great choice for a fun getaway or a relaxing break in our sun-drenched paradise. Here’s a list of reasons to come on down anyway.

  1. Pools, Pools, and More Pools! If it’s hours of lazing by the water with a cool drink and a suntan you’re after, there’s no better place. Resorts, hotels and condos in Panama City Beach come complete with some of the best pools in the state. Choose from large pools with waterslides, lazy river and poolside grill/bar to quiet, boutique pools where all you can hear are the palms swaying in the breeze.
  2. All our Amazing Attractions. Who needs the beach? Panama City Beach has always offered lots of fun activities and things to do, but now we have more attractions than ever! The list includes Gulf World Marine Park, ZooWorld, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, WonderWorks, Miracle Strip Amusements at Pier Park and a ton of others for all ages.
  3. Shipwreck Island Water Park. There’s no better way to beat the Florida heat and get your splash fix than to enjoy the multitude of rides, lazy river and wave pool at Shipwreck Island. Located in the center of Panama City Beach, Shipwreck is a tropically-themed water park with something for everyone, and is one of northwest Florida’s top attractions.
  4. Our Action-Packed Nightlife. Panama City Beach is a family-friendly destination, but if you’re a fan of going out after the sun goes down, then our nightlife alone is worth the trip. Enjoy everything from live music to karaoke, Tootsie’s world-famous country hotspot and Club La Vela – one of the nation’s largest dance clubs. Bringing the kids? We’ve got bowling, mini-golf, go-karting and movies, all fun after dark!
  5. Legendary Panama City Beach Dining. Our famous, fresh seafood is all still readily available, and in addition we now have a huge variety of eclectic and international dining options to choose from! Dining on the water is a vacation in itself, so kick back for a few hours and relax with some great food, gorgeous water views and warm Gulf breezes.
  6. Come to Shop! Shopping is always a fun part of being on vacation, and there’s some great bargains to be had! Thanks in part to Pier Park, a large outdoor lifestyle center boasting everything from department stores to quirky galleries, you can find anything and everything here. Beach gear, trendy apparel and accessories, gifts and furnishings – Panama City Beach truly is a shopper’s paradise!
  7. 7. True Southern Hospitality. It’s no exaggeration – the southern charm and gracious hospitality of the locals is reason enough to visit Panama City Beach. Forget for a minute that these are the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.”  Panama City Beach is also located in deep south USA, and everything from the regional cuisine to the laid-back atmosphere reflects this fact. Visit historical landmarks, stroll an antebellum mansion, or enjoy live blues music. Embrace the area’s southern roots and see a whole different side to Panama City Beach!
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1 Ginger June 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm

These ideas sound great, and like lots of fun! It’s just that the expense of these things for the family as opposed to playing on the beach is quite a difference! We plan to do a couple of these things… but maybe some of the places should consider a discounted rate for those of us planning to continue with out vacation plans regardless of the oil!

Visiting for the first time june 21-26!


2 Renee June 12, 2010 at 3:03 am

I agree i am comeing oil or no oil but i am a single mom and can only afford the room and food i bring my kids there but after we pay for a place to stay and food we cant afford activities so we do the pool and beach.i thin that is why a lot of people are canceling to go to the atlantic side because all they can do is the beach and if it is messed up what will they do i think if the owners would give discounts so it will be more affordable more people would still come even if there is oil maybe they could come up with some agreement with hotels or something it would even be better for them to lower prices and still have people come tan not and lose people who would come if they knew they could afford the activities offored there


3 Michael Shovill June 13, 2010 at 7:41 am

We have decided to go to Destin as there is a lot more “non beach” activities to do there.


4 Michael Columbus June 13, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Can anyone tell us where that photo in the story is taken? Looks like a fun place to take my boys to play.


5 Karen June 13, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Splash Resort Condominums
17729 front beach road
Panama City Beach, FL 32413

I own condo there that we rent out. It’s a lot of fun!


6 debbie shaw June 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

We will be there July 11 – 16. What kind of accomadations do you have for 3 adults and 3 small children. What is the rate. Is there a baby and adult pool in addition to the pictured water activity


7 Kris June 14, 2010 at 11:29 am

It is taken at the condo – Splash in PCB. It is the kids splash pad.


8 Eric June 14, 2010 at 6:43 am

I wish I was there now…was just there the week before Memorial Day. The water was the most amazing I have ever seen there.

My top 7:

1. Thomas’ Donuts
2. Morning walk on the beach
3. Chillin on the beach
4. Sitting at the pool (we stay at Aqua)
5. Hunt’s for the best seafood
6. Sharkey’s (maybe for lunch)
7. Margaritaville

Wow, I have a lot more than seven. Wish I were there…


9 Ellie June 14, 2010 at 9:03 am

Just to let you guys know – as of today, June 14th, the water is still crystal-clear (with just a little of the traditional June grass) with no trace of any oil or tar balls. Panama City Beach’s beaches are as fabulous as ever!!


10 kristin June 14, 2010 at 10:10 pm

where is this picture from? we’re planning a trip there in august, depending on the oil and this looks like a fun place for my little girl.


11 James June 15, 2010 at 2:20 am

Splash Resort
17739 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach FL 32413


12 mark June 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Hmmmm…From a metro Atlantans point of view, your list offers nothing that cannot be found better in Atlanta. Better shopping, dining, attractions, water parks, amusement parks, aquariums, etc. What PCB offers that we don’t have is a beautiful beach. When that beach is rendered useless by June grass, oil, enterococcus bacteria…or any other reason…it makes the trip down useless.

I also have to disagree with you about the hospitality of the locals. The general feeling in Atlanta is that you guys dislike us…hey, you even want to cut off our water!

Here would be my list of the seven best things to do in PCB.
1. Go to Miracle Strip Amusement Park
2. Go to Zooland Golf or any other funky miniature golf course.
3. Walk the uncluttered beaches that aren’t shadowed by skyscraping condos.
4. Surf fishing, if the June (May, July, August September) grass isn’t in.
5. Snorkeling at the jetties.
6. Fishing from the pier if… (see #4 above)
7. Deep sea fishing (well, okay, maybe that one was from 1965)


13 mark June 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Oops! I would have to agree with Eric. Thomas’ Donuts should have been on my list!


14 Sonya June 21, 2010 at 3:41 am

Hi! Just returned from Panama City Beach on 6/19/2010. Originally had reservations in Gulf Shores, AL, changed to PCB due to oil situation. The beaches were beautiful and there were lots to do (Gulf World, Zoo, Ripley’s, Go-carts, Golf, Pier Park, etc.), and many wonderful places to eat. The only negative thing I can say is people were just not very friendly, from waitresses to clerks in stores, to the people at the amusement parks. I have always taken 2, week long beach vacations, every summer, always at Gulf Shores, AL, and I tell you, the hospitality at PCB is nowhere close. Just smile a little bit! : ) Be happy you have tourists!!!


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