Embraced by the crystal-blue waters of St. Andrews Bay, Panama City is a four-season paradise. With outstanding year-round fishing, world-class sailing and boating, Panama City retains much of the charm and beauty of a historic fishing village. Off the water, visitors to the Northwest Florida city delight in the sunny destinations eclectically rich neighborhoods offering a thriving performing arts scene, a range of charming waterfront restaurants serving fresh seafood and of course, oysters!
Panama City, Florida is an oyster lovers’ paradise – home to the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Champion, we even have our own Oyster Trail. The trail connects visitors to more than a dozen oyster purveyors, raw bars and restaurants serving fresh oysters and good times year-round. What better way to celebrate and support the local watermen who harvest wild oysters – a generations-old sustainable industry and a cherished part of our culture.
The first stop on the Panama City Oyster Trail is Gene’s Oyster Bar, a quintessential oyster bar with 10 stools that is so famous, it has its own historical marker. From there, the trail takes visitors to stops as diverse as Bayou Joe’s Marina & Grill, where boaters step directly onto Joe’s outdoor dining room, to g. Foley’s, a chef driven restaurant serving a creative seasonal menu based on locally sourced ingredients. Panama City doesn’t disappoint with the astonishing range of how local chefs prepare oysters, so diners are certain to discover something to please every palate. Whether diners are craving raw, baked, char-grilled or fried, the tasty local bivalves are served up in almost every method imaginable.
With Panama City’s proximity to the Gulf, we take our oysters seriously – our passion for oysters was recognized with a national title two years in a row. Panama City is home to multiple oyster shucking champions, including Honor Allen who took home the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Championship in 2016 and 2017. He even broke a national record with the fastest oyster shucking time!
Water and Great Outdoors
Panama City is an idyllic destination for travelers seeking outdoor pursuits in a scenic waterfront setting. Known as an angler’s paradise and a world-class sailing destination, Panama City welcomes travelers year-round.
Offering near perfect winds that many coastal communities envy, visitors to Panama City have the opportunity to sail in the deepest and largest protected bay in Northwest Florida. Sprawling more than 68,000 acres behind the protection of the Gulf of Mexico shoreline, St. Andrews Bay is home to abundant aquatic life. The bay spans more than 20 miles and includes a wealth of saltwater flats and seagrass beds that offer rich bounty. Redfish, speckled trout, black drum, cobia, sheepshead and flounder are just a few of the species populating these channels. Shell Island is an undeveloped barrier island occupying a 7 mile stretch between the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay. Only accessible by boat, Shell Island is a protected preserve with pristinely white beaches, natural dunes, and emerald waters. The clear waters of this extensive ecosystem are ideal for both novice and expert anglers.
Long revered as a sailing destination, Panama City is home to numerous regattas throughout the year. The 2018 ISCA Masters World Championship Regatta will be held on March 17 – March 20 and the 2018 USSCA National Championship at Midwinters will be held on March 21 – March 24. Now is a great time to start planning your trip to Panama City!
Spend the day with one of Panama City’s experienced boat captains on a guided fishing expedition. You’ll love the excitement of hooking one of the Gulf Coast’s many popular varieties of seafood, but what you’ll love more is enjoying your fresh catch for dinner. Upon docking, a local chef expertly cleans and prepares your bounty for a beautiful meal at one of Panama City’s fine restaurants.
Panama City hosts a number of outdoor events, including the Warrior Dash, a 5k obstacle course race. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a beginner, you’ll be able to conquer 12 world-class obstacles, like the Goliath and Fisherman’s Catch, wade across wooded lakes and venture through mud-caked backroads as you make your loop to the finish line. Join us for the Warrior Dash Panama City on March 10, 2018 for an unforgettable weekend!
Live Music, Arts & Entertainment
Panama City is a diverse and dynamic destination for both the performing and visual arts. With the creative energy of a progressive city, Panama City is home to an eclectic mix of venues and a thriving live-music scene.
Historic Downtown serves as Panama City’s art and theatre district, anchored by the stage of the 1930s art deco Martin Theatre and the Marina Civic Center, hosting numerous national and award-winning acts throughout the year.
The neighborhoods of Panama City are filled with local art galleries and studios featuring a variety of contemporary mixed media art by numerous artists. The Panama City Center for the Arts hosts numerus art shows throughout the year. Paul Brent, a world-renowned artist, owns the Paul Brent Gallery where you can find watercolor and oil paintings portraying many of the beautiful aspects of Panama City. Floriopolis is a community arts center that features the work of local artists and hosts live music and performances. Visit Panama City and explore the local neighborhoods to discover more!
You won’t have to wander far to find a waterfront venue. Located on a historical World War II site, the Shipyard Grill offers live music and entertainment, along with a good dose of history. Restored from an 1800s historical home, Uncle Ernie’s is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the bay and listen to live music. Overlooking Lake Ware, sits Little Village, a waterfront dining, shopping and entertainment venue, and a local favorite. Listen to live music and Panama City’s very own 200-person Ukulele Orchestra!