For many Brits thinking about resorts along Florida’s idyllic Gulf Coast their minds will turn to those along the western seaboard: to Clearwater & St Pete’s, Sarasota, Naples or Fort Myers; maybe to the Keys way down in the South.
But take a peak northwards, let your eyes drift up the map and around the panhandle and you’ll likely see the name Panama City, nestling away in that little North-West stretch that we, on this side of the pond, have tended to ignore. It’s not really been out of ignorance, you understand, more out of practicality.
Over the years we’ve drawn to the attractions of Orlando, the glamour or Miami and appeal of the Keys and our routes to the state have reflected this. Those other Gulf resorts have benefited from European tourism by their proximity; it’s a fairly easy drive out to Clearwater from Orlando, for example.
It helps of course, that these resorts are beautiful destinations; from their long stretches of white sandy beach, the warm waters of the Gulf and the variety of eating, dining and accommodation on offer.
That said, however, if you are looking for an alternative place to visit then maybe it’s time to look a little north and discover the delights of Panama City. And, by the way, while it might not be the primary ‘go-to’ resort for British tourists adding a bit of beach to their theme park trip, we’re NOT talking about a sleepy little undiscovered town here. Panama City is a fully developed, lively and hugely popular American holiday resort that can offer entertainment and seaside fun for all ages. Its long (27 mile) stretch of white sand beach is the rival to many other resorts on the Gulf Coast (yes Panama City is still on the Gulf) while the town itself thrives on a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, bars and entertainment. Like Daytona over on the Atlantic Coast, Panama City Beach comes alive during Spring Break season (late Feb-late March) as thousands of students from across the US descend upon the town for a week of party-time as they let off steam on their annual jaunts away from their campuses. If you fancy joining in the late night, hard partying revelry – if that’s your thing – then give it a try. On the other hand, if it’s a more traditional chilled out beach holiday that you want to experience, whether as a family or a couple, then PCB has plenty to offer, including: [su_spacer size=”30″]
- A range of stunning beach side / gulf view restaurants
- Accommodation to match your budget from stunning beach front condos to family friendly hotels and apartments
- 27 miles of stunning white beaches with the warm, azure waters of the gulf lapping against the shore
- Boutique shopping at Pier Park with a range of cafes, ice cream parlours and restaurants
- Catamaran rides out to Shell Island for some amazing snorkelling and diving opportunities
- Amazing wildlife in the wetlands and conservation areas from tropical birds to the occasional alligator
- Waterpark fun at Shipwreck Island with its 65 foot Pirates Plunge
- On-shore or deep sea fishing excursions available right on the doorstep.
As for accessibility, well if you want to head out on a bit of a road trip from central Florida it’s about a 5 and a half hour drive – albeit a very pleasant drive through some beautiful Floridian country if you want to make a day of it. However, there is now an easy access way to get the area via flight links to Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), located just 10 minutes from town. With flights from Delta Airlines available you can pretty easily add this destination to your itinerary or head straight there from one of Delta’s hubs.
To find out more about a holiday (either stand-alone or twinned with another destination) why not drop us a line here…