Panama City Beach beach vacation rentals
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Your guide to Panama City Beach
Welcome to Florida’s Panhandle paradise, where the sand is bone white and and the fish-filled gulf is a translucent shade of emerald. Though “PCB” has also become legendary for its Spring Break vacationers, sunbathers and watersports enthusiasts of all ages flock here for the 27 miles of shoreline, and divers are rewarded with shipwrecks, coral formations, and artificial reefs galore.
The bustling streets are lined with tourist shops, miniature amusement parks, and seafood restaurants, but the city’s landscape is largely dominated by high-rise resorts and condos, along with five undulating golf courses. And while the area was hit hard by Hurricane Michael in 2018, a recovery is under way and the natural attractions remain awe-inspiring while vacationers continue booking trips here.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Panama City Beach?
Prepare to get toasty. This region receives an average of 320 days of sunshine each year, with temperatures usually ranging from 47 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The months of May through October offer particularly warm days, with the breeze off the Gulf of Mexico helping to cool things down a bit. In the winter the warm Gulf water helps keep the coast from getting too chilly (the water temperature ranges from the low 60s in the winter to the high 80s in summertime).
It’s hard to go wrong at Panama City Beach weatherwise, as long as you’ve packed a sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a swimsuit, and a pair of flip-flops (which will definitely help you feel like a Floridian). Don’t forget to stay hydrated!
What are the top things to do in Panama City Beach?
St. Andrews State Park
Escape PCB’s high-rises on this natural stretch of seafront with 1,200 acres of pristine coastal habitat, nature trails, and calm seas. Adventures in kayaks and canoes are popular, as are diving and snorkeling trips. You can also spot Florida’s famously toothy reptile in Gator Lake. Reel in some big fish off the piers, then eat them for lunch.
This barrier island is only accessible from the mainland by boat, but this seven-mile stretch of undeveloped seashore — which is also part of St. Andrews State Park — is an absolute dream for sunbathing, snorkeling, and kayaking. You’ll definitely spy some colorful fish and conch shells on the beach here, and if you’re lucky, a dolphin or a sea turtle.
Panama City Beach has been nicknamed the “Wreck Diving Capital of the South” and indeed, sunken tugboats and warships are common in these waters. Divers’ favorites include the 185-foot Black Bart (an oilfield supply ship), the 441-foot World War II Liberty Ship, and the “Twin Tugs” — a pair of tugboats that have become conjoined over time. Pick up the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail Passport from a local dive shop and earn a stamp for each wreck you explore.