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A Weekend Getaway To Panama City, Florida

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Lying on St. Andrews Bay in the Florida panhandle, Panama City is a quaint community with plenty of fun things to do from dusk to dawn.  It’s a great place to go for a weekend getaway. I have compiled a list of Six Things To Do in Panama City – think of it as the weekend visitor’s mini guide to Panama City.

Sign in Historic St. Andrews pointing the way

1.  Go for a Leisure Drive

Take a drive down West Beach Street and you might remind you of the likes of New Orleans or Charleston.  Tall pine trees, as well as palm trees, line the road that borders St. Andrew’s Bay.  If you are heading west, you will run into historic St. Andrews, the marina, antique shops, an art studio, and great places to eat.  How awesome is it to be driving along underneath the blue sky with a view of the bay!

View of West Beach Street from inside car

2.  Buy Farm Fresh Produce on Saturdays

Fresh tomatoes at the Farmer's Market in historic St. Andrews

St. Andrews Waterfront Farmers Market is open most Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm at Smith’s Yacht Basin next to The Shrimp Boat Restaurant.  Not only will you find fresh fruit and vegetables, but also handmade and homemade items such as children’s clothing, jewelry, wooden kitchen ware, homemade bread, and soap.

The Farmer's Market in Panama City, Florida

3.  Explore St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico

Hermit Crabs

Lying on St. Andrews Bay makes it easy for visitors to Panama City to engage in water activities.  From searching for shells like the ones pictured above which were found near the marina to dolphin cruises, you can do it in Panama City.  (Note:  If you do find a shell with a live hermit crab still occupying it, you will need to return it to the water unless you have a saltwater fishing license.)

Panama City Beach Dolphin Cruises

4.  Get Creative

Floropolis in historic St. Andrews, Florida

Panama City is home to Floriopolis, a non-profit art studio, gallery, and market run by volunteers.  Anytime that Floropolis is open, they offer Art on the Spot – a quick art project that you can drop in to make.  They also have $10 Studio Days, where for only $10 you can get as creative as you’d like using Floropolis’ materials or your own.  For those who are less creative but have an appreciation for art, unique creations by over 100 local artists are for sale.

Floropolis is open Tuesday through Saturday and is located at 1125 Beck Ave.

Don't Feed the Artists...Buy Their Art and They Will Feed Themselves

5.  Eat Fresh Seafood

Shrimp and Grits at g. Foley's in Panama City, Florida

You can’t make a trip to Panama City without indulging in seafood.  After all, the oysters are from nearby Apalachicola Bay and the shrimp is from the Gulf of Mexico. There are so many local restaurants that you might decide to make annual trips to Panama City just to be able to eat at them all.  There are plenty of options for those landlubbers out there who aren’t too keen on seafood, too.  (Click here for a few dining suggestions.)

French Toast at Bayou Joe'sFrench Toast at Bayou Joe’s

6.  Enjoy Incredible Sunsets and Sunrises

Sunset at St. Andrews Bay in Florida

There is something magical about watching the sun set over St. Andrews Bay.  The soft glow of the sun as it kisses the horizon in one last goodbye until it rises to shine again over the deep blue water.  Both the Panama City Marina and the St. Andrews Marina are great spots to take in them both.


More Things To Do in Panama City

For more ideas of things to do in Panama City and historic St. Andrews, visit DestinationPanamaCity.com.  There you will find information about Lodging, Dining, Things To Do, and Events.

There’s also a Trip Planning feature that includes:

  • Sample Itineraries such as Fit For Foodies, On the Waterfront, Ecotourism, Kids, and Antiquing & Shopping,
  • A map and information about getting to and around in Panama City, and
  • Information for planning a wedding in Panama City.

Have you been to Panama City?

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