Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach joins the coastal communities dedicated to meeting the standards of water quality, beach and inter-tidal conditions safety, services, habitat conservation, public information and education. Panama City Beach offers beachside amusement and theme parks, water parks, golf courses, public parks, museums, zoos and aquariums.
Location/Region: Southeast United States; Northwest Florida.
The latitude of Panama City Beach is 30.176 N.
The longitude is -85.805 W.
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 9,500 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 2008 estimates: City of Panama City Beach 13,453; 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."
Panama City Beach has lots of vacation shopping, restaurants and outdoor cafes and coffee shops. Weekday bus service is available to the Panama City Mall and all other major shopping centers in the nearby area. St. Andrews State Park has over 1,200 acres of beaches, sand dunes, nature trails, pinewoods and marshes to explore. The family-fun destination of Panama City Beach is just minutes away and offers beachside amusement parks with arcades, miniature golf, gift shops, sidewalk cafes and restaurants.
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: St 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.
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."
Panama City Beach and the surrounding areas maintain 37 parks that offer swimming, fishing and boating, nature trails for hiking and biking, picnicking, golf and tennis. St. Andrews Bay surrounds much of Panama City Beach, providing it with a natural, protected harbor. Several charter boats are available from the harbor for deep-sea fishing.