Planning a road trip in the Sunshine State? Pull up Panama City Beach, Florida, on your GPS. The sunny coastal town is jam-packed with beaches, popular hotels, and rental properties. For first-time visitors, choosing where to stay in Panama City Beach can be tricky.
Nestled on the Florida Panhandle, this self-proclaimed home to “The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” is a magnet for travelers. Boasting 27 miles of pristine beaches that stretch along the Gulf of Mexico, the coastal destination offers a wealth of Gulf-view accommodations and attractions.
The best areas to stay in Panama City Beach are as varied as the city itself. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, an eco-adventure, an adrenaline kick, or a romantic getaway, you’ll find accommodation options at a nightly price that’ll suit you to a “T”.
Ready to plant your feet in some sugar-white sand? Pack your towel, grab this guide to the best places to stay in Panama City Beach, FL, and get ready to experience your dream vacation.
Best places to stay in Panama City Beach, FL
Panama City Beach is brimming with great places to stay and things to do. And depending on your taste, there’s an ideal beachside neighborhood that’ll guarantee you an unforgettable stay.
If you’re up for shopping, dining, and entertainment, cruise down to Pier Park. Located around the city’s main shopping area, the neighborhood is home to great hotels, boutique shopping, fantastic eateries, and lively nightclubs. Plenty to satisfy your craving for urban action.
Looking for awesome accommodation for families? Head down to Long Beach. The district features, not just great frontage, but parks and attractions that’ll keep kids of all ages entertained.
Nature lovers will want to set up camp in Lower Grand Beach. This coastal haven offers everything from dolphin tours to fishing charters. Or dive right in for some snorkeling and scuba diving.
If you’re seeking a more relaxed seaside vibe, stake out a spot in Laguna Beach. Quieter and less crowded than its beachy neighbors, Laguna Beach offers an array of activities including fishing, surfing, and boating.
If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to make yourself at home in Downtown Panama City. The historic Florida Panhandle town has an intriguing past; take time to explore the area’s many carefully-preserved historic sites and landmarks.
The best areas to stay in Panama City Beach, FL, are:
✓ Best area to stay in Panama City Beach for shopping, dining & entertainment
Looking for an all-around activity hub? You’ll find it all in Pier Park, Northwest Florida’s leading shopping and attractions destination. This one-stop spot offers the full experience: first-rate shopping, superb dining, and exciting entertainment.
Want to flex your shopping muscles? Browse over 120 premier stores offering everything from trendy clothing to home furnishings.
Ready for action? Try your hand at laser tag. Or for an awesome movie experience, drop into the Grand IMAX theatre. Want to test your selfie skills? Check out the Selfie Museum PCB and get the picture-perfect shot for your IG feed. Feeling energetic? You can explore nearby Frank Brown Park, where you can swing a bat, hike a trail, or take a dip.
For another kind of adventure, head over to Gulf World Marine Park, where you can get close up and personal with marine mammals. Feel like flying high? Hop onto Pier Park’s SkyWheel to soar 200 feet skyward and get a unique perspective on the beauty of Panama City Beach.
Overlooking white-sand beaches, Tidewater Beach Resort offers a plethora of amenities. Sit out on your sun terrace to soak up the sun or enjoy a home-cooked breakfast before heading out on a day of exploring. The luxury resort offers spacious condos with an impressive array of amenities, including free Wi-Fi. Take in the view from your balcony. Dip into the outdoor swimming pools or hot tubs. Enjoy a glass of wine or a bite to eat at the poolside tiki bar or BBQ, then burn it off in their well-equipped fitness center.
The Holiday Inn Club Vacations Panama City Beach resort is a contemporary villa-by-the-sea featuring all the modern amenities. You’ll feel right at home with a fully equipped kitchen—not to mention your own private balcony. Enjoy an array of beach amenities. Play in the surf and sand at your doorstep, or relax in the outdoor swimming pool or hot tub. Shoot some pool or play some table tennis in the activity center. The resort’s 24-hour front desk staff are always ready to help you perfect your vacation plans.
The brand new Hampton Inn & Suites Panama City Beach-Beachfront hotel offers bright and modern Gulf-view accommodations. Savor a gulf-front continental breakfast. Relax in the Gulf-front outdoor pool or hot tub. Amble along the dune walkover to the shorelines and luxuriate in the sand and surf. Finish off a sunny day with a cocktail served up by the friendly staff at the gulf-front bar.
Enjoy spacious beachfront condo-style accommodation at Club Wyndham Panama City Beach. With its Gulf-front location, the hotel offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Make yourself at home with a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living room, and an awesome balcony with ocean views. Luxuriate in a massage, then relax in the heated pools. Sip a cocktail at the tiki bar.
✓ Best place to stay in Panama City Beach for families
On the hunt for a family-friendly crowd-pleaser? Pack up your crew and head for Long Beach. This centrally located neighborhood, nestled on Panama City Beach, is the perfect spot to enjoy quality.
Check out Coconut Creek, one of the top places to visit in Panama City Beach. Challenge the kids to a round on one of Coconut Creek’s tropical 18-hole mini-golf courses. Or test your skills as a navigator by wending your way through the giant-sized Gran Maze.
Ready for a thrill ride? Cruise on over to Race City. Race City is Panama City Beach’s largest amusement center, boasting the tallest, fastest, and steepest go-cart tracks on the Gulf.
Ready to dive into some aquatic fun? Head to Shipwreck Island Waterpark, where you can splash, slide, swim, float, and raft down the Lazy River all day long. Soak it up!
Set along 1,300 feet of beautiful emerald waters and pristine beaches, Long Beach Resort dazzles with stunning waterfront views from its spacious balconies. Cool off in the surf or the Lagoon Pool after a day of sunbathing. Wine and dine poolside at The Hangout, and wind down at night with a relaxing soak in the Polynesian pools or whirlpool spas.
Make yourself at home in a suite at Shores of Panama. This comfortable beachfront accommodation includes a hot tub, seating area, flat-screen TV, and kitchen with dishwasher. Soak up some sun on the private beach or sun terrace, take a dip in the pool, or hit the well-equipped fitness center for a workout. Wind down at the end of the day with a pampering spa treatment.
Set on sugar-white sands, the Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach lets you feel at home with amenities like free Wi-Fi, a full-size fridge, and laundry facilities. The friendly staff addresses all your needs. Savor the morning breeze from your private balcony. Dig into a homemade omelet at The View Restaurant. Splash in the outdoor pool or the children’s water playground. Unwind at the Gulf-front spa, or sip a cocktail as you take in live entertainment.
Lower Grand Lagoon
✓ Top place to stay in Panama City Beach for nature lovers
Want to indulge your love of the great outdoors? Make time in your itinerary for Lower Grand Lagoon. A small town with a laid-back feel, this destination offers loads of restaurants, bars, and cafes. But its wide variety of aquatic adventures is the real attraction.
Check-in at one of its beautiful beachside condos, and map out your plan. Want to experience close-up encounters with dolphins? Hop on a tour boat. Or if you feel like casting a fishing line, book a fishing charter and see what’s biting.
Want to explore below the waves? Lower Grand Lagoon offers plenty of amenities. Rent some scuba diving or snorkeling gear, and plumb the depths for great views of colorful aquatic life.
Get the full-on outdoor experience at St. Andrew’s State Park. Bring your binoculars to view a diverse range of migratory bird and butterfly species. Take a dip and enjoy over a mile of pristine white beaches, and stroll through pine stands and along the dunes. Stake out a campsite and experience a night under the stars.
Seychelles Beach Resort offers comfortable air-conditioned accommodation along with beautiful Gulf-side views and the convenience of free Wi-Fi. These holiday suites provide guests with a private balcony, pool views, and a seating area for TV viewing. Make yourself at home in a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge and microwave, plus a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries.
Get cozy in Villa Paradise. This pet-friendly accommodation sits just over 200 yards from Panama City Beach, you won’t have far to go to kick up some pristine white sand. Enjoy the lodgings’ flat-screen TV in air-conditioned comfort, or soak up the sun on the private patio or sun terrace. Fire up the BBQ and grill up some goodies.
Settle in at Regency Towers and you’ll be just steps away from the seaside. Along with its beachfront location, this condo-style accommodation is equipped with a flat-screen TV, DVD player, dishwasher, microwave, and fridge. Relax in the living room, or fire up the BBQ and enjoy some alfresco dining. Soak up the sun on the hotel’s private beach, then cool off in the outdoor pool.
Set on the Upper Grand Lagoon, Marriott’s Legends Edge at Bay Point Hotel is just a 20-minute drive away from the beautiful Emerald Coast beaches. Enjoy Bay Point Marriott’s panoramic views of the lagoon and resort. Get active in the outdoor pool or fitness center. Play a round at the world-class Bay Point Golf Club. The spacious, soundproofed suites offer a fully equipped kitchen as well as laundry facilities to make yourself at home.
✓ Top district to stay in Panama City Beach for quieter vibes
Craving a relaxed seaside lifestyle? Plan a stay at Laguna Beach. Just minutes outside the city center, this small community offers a haven away from the urban bustle. Quieter and less crowded than its beachy neighbors, it gives you a little more space to really savor PCB’s finer moments. And Laguna Beach has plenty to offer, including a diverse range of vacation rentals to suit every taste and price point.
Also on offer are plenty of outdoor activities, including swimming, fishing, and boating. Don’t miss out on Camp Helen State Park, an often overlooked ecological gem with evidence of a human presence dating back 4,000 years. Dig your toes into the white sand, savor leisurely walks, and savor some tranquil quality time. Hike scenic trails that wind through dunes and oak forests. Inhale deeply—and feel recharged.
Relax and recharge in air-conditioned comfort with easy beach access at Emerald Shores. You’ll feel right at home in a suite that’s fitted with an oven, dishwasher, microwave, and coffee machine. Makes it easy for you set up for a busy day outdoors and wind down in comfort at day’s end.
Want to be where the action is? Located just a few steps from Panama City Beach and minutes from the city center, Beachside West Townhome is a great accommodation option. These suites feature a fully equipped kitchen, balcony, terrace, and private beach area. Enjoy a flat-screen TV and free WiFi in airconditioned comfort. Whip up a snack or meal and enjoy it in the dining area.
Just steps away from Panama City Beach, Luna De Mar by Panhandle Getaways offers air-conditioned lodgings and plenty of space. The apartment is equipped with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a flat-screen TV, and a fully equipped kitchen. Rustle up a snack or meal, and take it out to the apartment’s patio to enjoy a seaside view.
✓ Recommended area to stay around Panama City Beach for historic sightseeing
Ready to discover what lies beyond the beautiful sugar-white beaches surrounding Panama City? Shake off the sand and hit the pavement in Panama City. You’ll be glad you did; this vacation epicenter is about more than soaking up the sun.
Explore the many beautifully preserved buildings in Historic Downtown Panama City. Take in its vibrant arts and cultural scene. Browse the area’s lively shopping district and pop into its trendy boutiques and high-end retailers.
Up for a road trip? Put the pedal to the metal for a scenic coastal cruise along US Highway 98, home to some of the most desirable beach communities and exclusive getaway spots in Florida.
Pull up in Destin—the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village”—and dig into a delicious seafood meal. Or pop into Pensacola, just an hour away. More than just a beach town, Downtown Pensacola boasts a historic district that brims with charming homes, museums, galleries, restaurants, and more.
“Old 98” showcases all the beauty and wonder of Florida’s Emerald Coast. It’s the perfect finish for your Panama City Beach getaway.
Want to enjoy the benefits of easy access to both seaside beauty and urban bustle? Check in to the Holiday Inn Panama City, offering all the amenities a modern vacationer looks for. Each guestroom is equipped with a microwave, fridge, flat-screen TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Work out in the fitness center, dine at the Bellini Cafe and Lounge, then unwind in the sauna.
Just minutes from beautiful beaches, Hilton Garden Inn Panama City is a good pick for your vacation getaway stay. All suites are furnished with a microwave and fridge, as well as complimentary internet access. Enjoy a continental breakfast and dinner in the Great American Grill and Lounge. Or grab a snack day or night at the 24-hour Pavilion Pantry convenience store.
Settle in at Courtyard by Marriott Panama City to enjoy all the attractions in the heart of Panama City – but still be just minutes away from seaside action. Enjoy a spacious room with complimentary Wi-Fi and cable TV. Brought work? Get it done at the work desk in an ergonomic chair. Then relax in the outdoor pool or unwind in The Bistro restaurant and bar.