Introduction to Panama City, Florida
Panama City is situated on St. Andrews Bay along the Florida Panhandle in Bay County. The municipality is the county's center for business, culture, and education. Tyndall Air Field Base and Coastal Systems Station are primary factors for the economy. It contains a few large marinas. The popular tourist location, Panama City Beach is nearby. The town is somewhat unspoiled by the crowds of tourists who vacation at the beaches along the Emerald Coast. The hotels in Panama City are about 15 to 30 minutes away from the beach area.
In the 1830s, settlers arrived from the states of Georgia and Alabama and constructed cabins near the shoreline. In 1909 the city was incorporated and soon commerce began to thrive. The Florida Land Boom during the 1920's significantly increased the growth of Panama City. Another major growth spurt occurred during World War II due to Tyndall Air Field and the building of ships at the Wainwright Shipyard.
Saint Andrews State Park is located across the bay and features coastal dunes, forest areas, nature trails, wetlands and an undeveloped island. Camping, boating, fishing, crabbing and hiking are popular in the park. Wildlife viewing tours are available which take visitors into the marshlands and creeks. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy the numerous scenic golf courses. The Bay Point Yacht & Golf Club is one of the prominent locations to play golf in Florida. The clear ocean water provides excellent opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling on the nearby reefs.
Salt water fishing is popular and charter boats are available. Glass-bottom boat excursions provide opportunities for viewing the ocean's wildlife. Excellent Nature trails are available for hikers and bicycle riders. The tourist destination, Panama City Beach incldudes beautiful beach areas, amusement parks, including Cobra Adventure Park and plenty of cafes, restaurants and gift shops. Shipwreck Island Water Park and Water World are nearby. There are numerous notable state parks including Pine Log State Forest. The Indian Summer Festival is a prominent event and the Iron Man Florida Triathlon takes place in the area.
Panama City has numerous art galleries, excellent restaurants and plenty of places for shopping, including the Panama City Mall. Museum of Man in the Sea is a noteworthy attraction. The Panhandle Pioneer Settlement showcases historic structures including several of the pioneer's log cabins. Visual Arts Center of Northwest Florida features the artwork of local, regional as well as national artists. The Martin Theatre provides plays and a variety of events.
The city is home to the Panama City-Bay County International Airport.
Troy University and Gulf Coast Community College are located in the region.