Located in Florida’s northwestern ‘panhandle’, Panama City is a seafront vacationland footed by sugar sand and crystal clear water that has not been affected by the mass tourism dogging other parts of the state. The city is considered in tandem with its beachfront twin, Panama City Beach, located just over the bridge of Highway 30A, and together these two small settlements boast 27 miles of beaches, a wealth of restaurants and bars, and more than their fair share of up-market accommodation.
Museums and educational attractions are also well represented, with a highlight for many being the city’s marine park. Furthermore, the Panhandle area of Florida shares a cultural identity akin to that of the Deep South, allowing visitors to experience a unique way of life expressed through all manner of home cooking eateries, as well as bars shaking to the sounds of live blues music.
Best Time to Fly to Panama City
Without question, Panama City is best enjoyed as a seaside retreat, so aim to travel between April and June when the average daily highs range from 71 and 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest period is July until October, when the heat can rise to 93 degrees, but realistically beach visits can be made throughout the year as the temperature rarely falls beneath 62 degrees.
Special events are also held throughout the year, with almost every day seeing some sort of festival or annual attraction. Be sure to visit Friday Fest, a street party of live music, local cuisine and entertainment held on the first Friday of every month. Another exciting event is the Panama City Mardi Gras and Music Festival held the weekend before Fat Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) in February. The atmosphere is buzzing and there is entertainment to be enjoyed by all the family, such as, a parade and live music, as well as, great food.
If you are looking for a place to let down your hair, Panama City is a prime location for students taking their Spring Break. A host of all-inclusive packages are available to help make the experience that much easier, as are facilities geared-up for the annual deluge of students. If you enjoy a more peaceful atmosphere then you may want to avoid traveling to the city during this time.
Getting around Panama City
Cars can be hired at the airport, and both the city as well as the beach offers a wealth of parking space. Due to the city’s relatively intimate size, walking is also an option, while renting a bicycle is another popular method of getting around. The Bay Town Trolley provides public bus transportation, and includes routes to Panama City Beach, as well as major shopping centers, tourist attractions and transport depots.