Panama City, Florida perches on the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico midway between Pensacola and Tallahassee. Capitalizing on natural resources of sunshine, surf and sugar-white sand beaches, Panama City is a good destination for travelers who enjoy water sports, beachcombers or those who want to simply relax and daydream to the music of lapping waves and sea breezes through southern pines.
Most activities in Panama City naturally revolve around the water…on the water, above the water and below the water. Salt-water fishing is more than a sport here, it is a way of life and the sea is very generous with her bounty. A large charter fishing fleet takes anglers off-shore to catch grouper, snapper, amberjack, cobia, triggerfish and other tasty salt-water species. Spend a day with nature at St. Andrews State Park. It’s the perfect spot to fish from shore along the rocky jetties, grab a net and go crabbing or take the ferry to Shell Island, a pristine barrier island just across from the mainland perfect for beachcombing. For adventure on the water, Jet Boat Tours speed through bay backwaters with breathtaking speed and 180 degree spins and Swampvette tours venture away from the beaches into the creeks and marshlands in search of native Florida wildlife. Sail with swashbucklers and play pirate aboard the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise or cruise by glass-bottom boat and watch the action above and below. Rent a jet ski and feel the thrill of piloting your own vessel through calm area waters. For adventure beneath the water, snorkeling and dive expeditions offer an up close look at the sea life on area reefs. And, for those brave enough to take to the sky, parasailing above Gulf waters is an exhilarating experience.
Away from the beach, Panama City amusement and water parks provide fun for the whole family. Seven area public and private golf courses combine palm tree, sand traps and water hazards for scenic and challenging play. Learn about man’s endeavors to live, work and play by the sea at The Museum of Man in the Sea. Shop til you drop at the Panama City Mall or dozens of unique, chic boutiques. Panama City is the perfect spot to indulge your appetite for shopping, sailing, seafood, sun, and sea.
Written by: Lynne Christen