Location/Region: Southeast United States; Northwest Florida
Geographical Description: Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach is located in the Northwest region of Florida. Panama City Beach averages an elevation of 13 feet above sea level. Located 98 miles southwest of Tallahassee, Panama City Beach is a part of Bay County. Bay County boasts an average population of 150,000. Approximately 5,000 of these citizens reside in Panama City Beach.
Climate: Average water temperatures of 72 degrees combined with an average air temperature of 78 degrees creates mild subtropical temperatures for year-round enjoyment.
Population: As of 2003 estimates: City of Panama City Beach 9,600; Unincorporated – approx. 35,000
Area History: Bay County is an area rich in American history. The St. Andrew Bay area was home to many Indians before it was settled as a community in the 1800s. Pirates found the deep pockets of the Bay ideal to “lie in wait” for richly laden ships in route to Mexico or Spain. Legend has it that many a pirate buried his share of treasure at Spanish Shanty Point on Shell Island.
Another area teeming with history in Panama City Beach is St Andrews State Recreation Area. During World War II, it was part of the St. Andrews Sound Military Reservation.
Circular cannon platforms are still in place near the jetties. Opened in 1951, the park now covers more than 1,200 acres.
Since its founding, Panama City Beach’s economy has greatly depended on its natural blessings making it home of “The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.”
Cultural info: Downtown Panama City has become known as the Art District of Bay County. Since 1978, the Bay Arts Alliance has served as the local non-profit agency for Arts in Bay County. The goal of the Alliance is to provide cultural enrichment to the community and its visitors through educational experiences and quality performances.
What to see and do: Saint Andrews State Recreation Area is one of the most popular outdoor recreation spots in Florida. Rated the Number One Beach in America in 1995 by coastal authority Dr. Stephen Leatherman, it is best known for its 1 1/2 miles of white sand beaches, natural dunes and crystal-clear water.
For a full listing of attractions in Panama City Beach visit www.thebeachloversbeach.com
Visit Panama City Beach for the annual Indian Summer Festival held every October at Frank Brown Park. This three-day music, art and seafood festival hosts top name entertainment and wide array of fresh local seafood. For more information on the Indian Summer Festival and other exciting events on Panama City Beach visit www.thebeachloversbeach.com or call 1-800 PCBEACH.
Tips on visiting:
- You CAN get sunburned even if it is cloudy.
- Apply sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15, paying special attention to the face, nose, ears and shoulders. Re-apply after swimming and sweating.
- Drink plenty of water when participating in outdoor activities.
Trivia and Interesting or Little Known Facts: The soft Panama City Beach sand is actually quartz crystals, which over time has been broken down, bleached, polished and deposited on the shoreline. This natural process has made Panama City Beach home to the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.”
Information and photos submitted by:
Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau
17001 Panama City Beach Parkway
Panama City Beach, Florida 32413