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Panama City, FL
Travel Guide

Panama City featuring general coastal views and a sunset

Visit a popular northwest Florida coastal city, known for its pretty marinas, striking beaches, historic neighborhoods and downtown attractions.

Panama City offers sunshine, sea and surf with many activities occurring on, near or under the water. Here you can swim, dive, look for dolphins and tour a historic waterfront district.

Go to Capt. Anderson’s Marina to book a deep sea fishing charter or a dolphin sightseeing tour. Take a boat trip to nearby Shell Island. Surf, snorkel and dive off the coast or sunbathe on the beaches.

In Panama City, visit St. Andrew’s Bay to stroll around the marina and browse small boutiques. Sample some of the fresh fish at a waterfront restaurant. Alternatively, try the “Hook and Cook” experience; go out on a fishing boat and one of the restaurants will cook your catch.

Explore the historic downtown area, an interesting collection of antique stores, art galleries, coffeehouses and bookstores. View the work of local, national and international artists at the Visual Arts Center of Northwest Florida.

Take a self-guided history tour of the area. See the Gideon marker commemorating a landmark court judgment that established the public defender system in the United States. Stroll past late 19th-century historic homes. Note the mixture of architectural styles at the John Christo (Senior) Home. Stop by the Saltworks marker noting Panama City’s vital salt production during the Civil War. Round off your visit by sitting in the shade of a tree in McKenzie Park.

From February through October, enjoy food, fun and entertainment at Friday Fest, a large street festival on the first Friday of each month. Restaurants and shops stay open until late, market stalls line the streets and free live music fills the air.

Reach the area by flying into Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. Get around by rental car, taxi or public transportation. The Bay Town Trolley Bus System operates several routes, but has no service on Sundays.

Panama City’s pleasant subtropical climate makes it a year-round vacation destination. Visitors often explore neighboring Panama City Beach to enjoy its many family attractions.

Where to stay in Panama City

Boardwalk Beach Hotel
Boardwalk Beach Hotel
2.5 out of 5
9600 S Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL
The price is $116 per night from May 10 to May 10
Nestled on the beach, this Panama City Beach hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Thomas Drive, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and WonderWorks. Shipwreck Island ...
2.8/5 (1,645 reviews)
"It was bike week. Parking lot was packed. But we always found one."

Reviewed on May 7, 2021

Boardwalk Beach Hotel
Beachcomber By The Sea
Beachcomber By The Sea
2.5 out of 5
17101 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
The price is $189 per night from May 9 to May 9
Located in Panama City Beach, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within 1 mi (2 km) of Russell-Fields Pier and Pier Park. Frank Brown ...
3.8/5Good! (1,154 reviews)
"LIKED location"

Reviewed on May 7, 2021

Beachcomber By The Sea
Beachside Resort Panama City Beach
Beachside Resort Panama City Beach
2 out of 5
21905 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $159 per night from May 9 to May 9
Nestled on the beach, this Panama City Beach hotel is 1 mi (1.5 km) from Powell Lake and 1.8 mi (2.8 km) from Carillon Beach. Camp Helen State Park is 2.2 mi ...
3.9/5Good! (967 reviews)
"The hotel was clean. More remote than being in the city."

Reviewed on May 7, 2021

Beachside Resort Panama City Beach
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort by Resort Collection
Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort by Resort Collection
4 out of 5
11211 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL
Situated in Panama City Beach, this beach condo resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Edgewater Gulf Beach and Shipwreck Island Waterpark. Ripley's Believe It or Not ...
3.6/5Good! (2,086 reviews)
"Gorgeous views"

Reviewed on Apr 30, 2021

Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort by Resort Collection
Shores of Panama Beach Resort
Shores of Panama Beach Resort
3.5 out of 5
9900 South Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, FL
The price is $179 per night from May 9 to May 9
Nestled on the beach, this Panama City Beach condo resort is within a 10-minute walk of Thomas Drive, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and WonderWorks. Shipwreck ...
3/5 (593 reviews)
"The room was spacious the large sliding door/patio windows allowed for beautiful views. The carpet needs replaced in the condo we had and there were other minor items that could/should be updated or replaced as well. Overall the resort itself was clean though with beautiful views and great location ..."

Reviewed on Apr 3, 2021

Shores of Panama Beach Resort
Origin At Seahaven
Origin At Seahaven
3.5 out of 5
15100 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
The price is $125 per night from May 10 to May 10
This family-friendly Panama City Beach aparthotel is located on the waterfront, within 1 mi (2 km) of Hidden Lagoon Golf and Racetrack and Gulf World Marine ...
3.5/5Good! (2,259 reviews)
"Enforcement of wristbands was overboard! If you put it on you could not slide the ring back to get it off. Parking inforcement to struck. Had a large truck across to spots so it would not stick out it to driveway with my motorcycle parked with it in the same two spots and was warned to move or be ..."

Reviewed on May 3, 2021

Origin At Seahaven
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Panama City

Panama City’s downtown area is easy to explore on foot. Alternatively use the Bay Town Trolley, an efficient streetcar system which covers the center of town. You can also get the trolley across Bay County, including to nearby Panama City Beach, which is very popular for its beautiful beaches. Renting a car is another good option. Visit the Florida Department of Transportation website.Browse Panama City rental cars.

Best time to visit

Although it is in Florida, Panama City is not subject to quite as extreme a climate as some of its neighbors, and summers are not quite as wet. However, hurricanes can be an issue during summer and fall, and the height of summer can reach searing temperatures, so spring is a good time to visit. If you don’t like the sound of vacationing with spring breakers, though, visit in May rather than March or April.

Popular places to visit in Panama City

Top things to do in Panama City

Reviews of Panama City

3.9

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
54
5 - Excellent 30.857142857142858%
4 - Good
74
4 - Good 42.285714285714285%
3 - Okay
34
3 - Okay 19.428571428571427%
2 - Disappointing
5
2 - Disappointing 2.857142857142857%
1 - Terrible
8
1 - Terrible 4.571428571428571%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

If you know where the back roards are to drive around traffic, its great.

3/5 - Okay

Heriberto

May 30, 2020

I lived there in 2001. Lots of new blds. But a lot of runned down properties. But the ocean is always beautifull.

2/5 - Disappointing

Brent

May 26, 2020

30 minute drive to the beach

4/5 - Good

Bridget

Mar 10, 2020

Even though much of the area had been destroyed/damaged by hurricane michael, much progress has been made in the past 1.5years and there were many many wonderful places to visit and things to do!

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Mar 2, 2020

Unfortunately, Hurricane Michael cleanup efforts has lots more to return Panama City to the levels of the past. Money should be put forth to areas that have been abandoned. The landscape, cemeteries and infrastructure which are 'eyesores' for all.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Feb 26, 2020

A lot needs to be done to the city

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