Hotels in Panama City (Florida, USA)
Hotels in Panama City
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A Popular Stop Along the Florida Panhandle - It’s Panama City
Located along Route 98 on Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast, Panama City is a popular stop between Tallahassee and Georgia. The city boasts a subtropical climate and is popular with families, not least because of its easy access to area theme parks and proximity to the Gulf Coast beaches in neighbouring Panama City Beach. Accommodation options here come in a variety of flavours so whether you’re looking for cheap B&Bs or plush hotels, finding a bed for your stay shouldn’t prove too tricky.
Cultural Highlights in Panama City
The Panama City cultural scene is on the small side but interesting nonetheless. Visitors can explore Historic St. Andrews, located two miles east of Hathaway Bridge. This area is home to the Panama City Publishing Company (established circa 1920) as well as annual events such as the Blessing of the Fleet and the city’s Mardi Gras celebrations. The area also plays host to a weekly waterfront Farmer’s Market (Saturdays at the Smith Yacht Basin) and the annual Boat Parade of Lights. Free walking tours of Historic St. Andrews are available twice-weekly; meet at the Publishing Museum at 2.30pm on Wednesday or Friday. Additional cultural highlights to explore in Panama City include the Science & Discovery Center of Northwest Florida (Airport Road) and the Panama City Center of the Arts (East 4th Street).
Enjoy Shopping, Dining, and Entertainment
The shopping scene in Panama City is thriving. Retail enthusiasts can get their fix at several large malls and shopping centres. Among the most popular of these is the Panama City Mall, the one million square foot Pier Park, and the Carillon Beach open-air mall. All these destinations offer a good selection of dining options alongside big box and speciality independent stores. Those visitors seeking seafood, however, should head to the Panama City or St. Andrews Marinas; the dining spots found here are often first in line for the catch of the day. During the day, you can explore artistic spaces such as the Vision Quest Artist Emporium and the Paul Brent Gallery and, as night falls, entertainment options in the city include the Kaleidoscope Theatre, a community theatre since 1970, and Martin Theatre, a cultural hub offering movies, concerts, and theatre performances since 1936.
Theme Parks and Day Trips in the Area
Many theme park type attractions in Panama City are actually found in Panama City Beach. However, the 15-minute drive is well worth the effort. Attractions such as the Shipwreck Island Waterpark and the Aerial Adventure Park offer a great deal of fun for the whole family. Animal lovers can explore Gulf World and the ZooWorld Zoological and Botanical Conservatory while golfers can while away a few hours on the fairways of the Bay Point Resort Golf Club, home to the Nicklaus and Meadows Courses. And if you’d rather get off the beaten track for a while, escapism comes easy thanks to the nature trails and fishing piers at the beautiful St. Andrews State Park. You might also consider heading over to Shell Island; an uninhabited island far removed from the busy tourist areas. Here, you can snorkel and kayak or simply relax and count how many Bottlenose dolphins you can see from your spot in the sand.
Exploring the Wider Area
Panama City provides a great base from which to explore your wider surroundings; there are several points of interest along the coast as well as further inland. Start your exploration with the many beautiful beaches within easy reach; both Mexico Beach and Grayton Beach State Park are both worthy of a spot on your must-visit list. To the north of Panama City, and within an 80-minute drive of the downtown district, lies the spectacular Florida Caverns State Park; the only state park in Florida to offer tours of dry (air filled) caves. This park boasts features such as the nine-hole Florida Caverns Golf Course and the stunning Blue Hole Spring. Plus, with Pensacola and Tallahassee within a 2.5-hour drive, a day trip to these popular cities is on the cards. Further information about what to see and do in the city and its surrounding areas is available from the Panama City Museum and Visitor’s Center on Beck Road.