For 27 miles (43 km), a winding ribbon of snow-white sand lines the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The sun shines during some 320 days of the year. One of Northern Florida's most popular vacation spots, this slice of paradise, Panama City Beach, boasts family fun with a family price-tag. If you're in the mood for wet and wild fun, you'll find it here in the beautiful waterways of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew's Bay. Boating, jet-skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, scuba diving and water-skiing are only some of the watersports popular here. Like most of Northwest Florida, Panama City Beach fishing is exceptional. So get aboard one of the country's largest sport-fishing fleets or cast a line off the state's longest pier.
Panama City Beach is where you will find the most beautiful beach in America. Rated by The University of Maryland's Laboratory of Coastal Research, St. Andrews State Recreation Area was named the best beach in the country out of 600 considered. Encompassing 1,063 acres of beaches, windswept dunes, pine flat-woods and marshes, the park has all the necessities, from camping facilities and a store to showers, restrooms, picnic areas and a playground. Another great beach getaway is secluded Shell Island. Accessible only by boat, it is one of those rare places where things are just as they were a generation ago.
If you prefer to stay dry, Panama City has several award-winning golf courses. For family fun, there are several theme parks in the area. Gulf World houses an exciting marine showcase; a boardwalk atmosphere and over 30 rides can be found at Miracle Strip Amusement Park; Zoo World Zoological and Botanical Park is home to a colorful variety of animals, including rare and endangered species; and Shipwreck Island is the largest water park within 300 miles (483 km). For the college crowd, from March to Easter Panama City Beach throws one of the biggest Spring Break parties in Florida. No matter how you like to spend your time in paradise, Panama City Beach has something to offer.