Panama City Journals

Panama City Beach for Families

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An April 2004 trip to Panama City by Laura Z

Panama City Beach Photo, Panama City, Florida More Photos
Quote: Panama City Beach has been touted as a teenage destination for Spring Break. However, it can also be a fun and relaxing place for adults and families alike. You just have to know where to go and when to be there.

Panama City Beach for Families

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Overview

Panama City Beach Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
I’ve vacationed on all coasts of Florida. This is my first time visiting the Panhandle. I was surprised by a number of things. First, this area has a Southern flair. I found more cars from Georgia here than from Florida. The culture is different than other areas in the state. The food has more of a Southern flavor. Second, the beach is gorgeous. The sand is comparable to the Sarasota area. The water is emerald green and clear. This part of the Gulf is exceptional. It is calm and perfect for kids. Only negative is that the water is too chilly for swimming in April. I imagine it is just perfect by May or June. Third, the east end of Panama City Beach feels a lot like Myrtle B...Read More

Landmark Beach Resort

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Hotel | "Landmark Holiday Beach Resort"

Landmark Beach Resort Photo, Panama City Beach, Florida
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:The resort is in the west end of Panama City Beach - the more family-oriented area. You can drive to many restaurants and activities.Best Things About the Resort:The resort is located directly on the beach. It is off of the Miracle Strip, congested area. Yet, you are still close to many wonderful restaurants and things to do. All units have balconies that overlook the Gulf of Mexico. The service is exceptional. The General Manager and Front Desk person were thoughtful in ensuring our unit was clean in order to check out from our rental to our exchange. All personnel at the resort were friendly and helpful.Resort Experience:The ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

Landmark Beach Resort
17501 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach 32413
(850) 233-1500

Shuckum's Oyster Pub & Seafood

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Restaurant | "Shuck 'ums"

Shuckum's Oyster Pub & Seafood Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
If you know Panama City Beach, you know Shuckums Oyster Pub and Seafood Grill known for their motto: We shuckum, you suckum. They have been in the same location since 1967, relatively unchanged. The place is visited by people of all ages, from men in sunglasses and baseball caps sucking oysters at the bar, to the couples sitting on the outside patio watching the Spring Break traffic and sharing appetizers and a pitcher of beer, to families with kids coloring dollars sitting at the initial-carved picnic tables surrounded by dollars everywhere a staple can be affixed. We thought we would enjoy the local food and fun atmosphere. The service lived u...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

Shuckum's Oyster Pub & Seafood
15614 Front Beach Rd
Panama City, Florida
(850) 235-3214

Anderson's Captain Restaurant & Waterfront Market

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Restaurant | "Captain Anderson’s Restaurant"

Anderson's Captain Restaurant & Waterfront Market Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
Anybody you talk to will tell you to eat at Captain Anderson’s in Panama City Beach. Established in 1958 and currently owned by the Patronis brothers, they have a reputation for being the best in the area. And you know what? They are! The wait times are legendary. The restaurant fills up when they open at 4:30 for the diners to watch the fishing boats unload their catch. After 6:00, there is a wait. We enjoyed dinner at this restaurant twice. Once we arrived at 5:30 and had a seat near the back of the restaurant with no view. When we went the second time, we got there at 4:30 and got a beautiful seat right by the windows by the fishing boats. You de...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 9, 2004

Anderson's Captain Restaurant & Waterfront Market
5551 N Lagoon Drive
Panama City 32408
(850) 234-2225

Hooks Grill and Grog

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Restaurant

Hooks Grill and Grog Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
When you first see this huge brown pirate ship, it seems as if the inside is going to be dark and uninviting. We had second thoughts about going in, but decided to give it a try. We were glad we did! The Treasure Ship is divided into levels. The restaurants all have large picture windows that offer panoramic views of the Grand Lagoon in Panama City Beach. The lower level is Hooks Grill and Grog, a dockside restaurant with an outside covered patio. They are open for lunch and dinner, 11am-10pm, and offer a menu with a Caribbean flair. The Children’s Menu is the same pirate hat that is offered in the Main Dining Room on the second level, open only for d...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 10, 2004

Hooks Grill and Grog
3605 Thomas Drive
Panama City, Florida 32408
(850) 234-8881

Treasure Ship

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Restaurant | "The Treasure Ship"

Treasure Ship Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
The Main Dining Room of the Treasure Ship Restaurant offers a panoramic view of Grand Lagoon on Panama City Beach. From the outside, the restaurant looks like a giant pirate ship, with no windows. Costumed pirates walking around the ship lend to the theme. Far from being another Medieval Times kind of place, however, the Treasure Ship offers excellent food in a wonderful atmosphere. Arrive when they open at 4pm, and you get to be seated on the second level by the huge picture windows. When inside, kids are given pirate hat menus. A magician comes around and does sleight-of-hand tricks that delight the kids (pulling hot dogs out of their ears!)...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 10, 2004

Treasure Ship
3605 Thomas Drive
Panama City, Florida 32408
(850) 234-8881

Spinnaker's Paradise Grill

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Restaurant | "Paradise Grill at Spinnakers"

Spinnaker's Paradise Grill Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
The Flamingo Grill at Spinnakers was a pleasant surprise. It is located next to Club La Vela and, as such, I thought it was going to be nothing more than a beach bar. It does serve as a nightclub and hangout for the Spring Break crowd. During the day, however, it is a great place to grab a hamburger and a beer by the beach with your family. We were seated on the covered patio at high tables overlooking the beach. The only thing that overlooked us was the resident calico cat that never comes down (her sister sits in the corner). We were greeted by friendly service and received good food. The kids ordered kids hamburgers that ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 11, 2004

Spinnaker's Paradise Grill
8795 Thomas Drive
Panama City, Florida 32408
(850) 234-7882

Boon Docks Restaurants

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Restaurant | "Boon Docks"

Boon Docks Restaurants Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
We found Boon Docks as we were driving into Panama City Beach on Route 79. We spotted it below the Intercoastal Waterway Bridge. We returned to the bridge and took a dirt road underneath to access the restaurant. It is located next to an airboat ride marina. You enter into a door where a hostess gets your party information and gives you a beeper. Their store is a series of rooms with specialty, too high-priced items. You can sit on the back porch but the mosquitoes are out and not worth the scenery. You can also sit in a room with a TV and a bar or another room with chairs and the restrooms. The place is decorated in what may be called shabby chic. When your beeper lights, you walk out...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 11, 2004

Boon Docks Restaurants
14854 Bay View Circle
Panama City Beach 32413
(850) 230-0005

Hamiltons Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Hamiltons Restaurant and Lounge"

Hamiltons Restaurant Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
I read the history of Hamilton’s on their website. It is interesting how a Greek immigrant brought the place to its current popular status in the Panama City Beach area. Today, Steve Stevens carries on this legacy. I expected Hamilton’s was going to be outstanding. I had read that it was on the same par as Capt. Anderson’s, located across the street. The lines of people waiting outside seemed to testify that this was the place to eat. Our food, service, and the ambience, however, begged to differ. The restaurant is a large open timbered room with views of the waterway. Unlike Capt. Anderson or the Treasure Ship where you have a view of the marina, t...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 23, 2004

Hamiltons Restaurant
5711 N Lagoon Drive
Panama City, Florida 32408
(850) 234-1255

Saltwater Grill

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Restaurant

Saltwater Grill Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
The Saltwater Grill was voted the best new restaurant in Panama City Beach. I can fully understand why. The food here was the best we had in two weeks of dining out in Panama City Beach. As soon as you enter the door, you are struck by a panoramic view of their seven-foot high, 25,000-gallon tropical saltwater aquarium. To take a look at the sea life, they have a live aquarium webcam on their website. The Mermaid bar surrounding the aquarium seemed a popular spot, offering happy hour specials. We chose a table for our family in the rich, dark wood dining room. The décor was very...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 23, 2004

Saltwater Grill
11040 Hutchison Blvd
Panama City Beach 32407
(850) 230-2739

Gulf World Marine Park

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Attraction | "Gulf World"

Gulf World Marine Park Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
Gulf World seems high priced at first, but in reality, you get your money's worth. We had a coupon for $2 off a child's admission. With our paid admission, we received free tickets with no expiration for the evening laser show. We went on a very rainy day. While the weather could have been better to enjoy the exhibits, everything was under roofs and overhangs so that we didn't miss a thing. Not being able to enjoy the beach, this was a great alternative. At the entrance, they give you the schedule of shows. Each follows the previous so that within three hours, you can see all of them. They offer a dolphin show, a sea lion show, an underwater show, a parrot show and shark and stingray feedings. The...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 11, 2004

Gulf World Marine Park
15412 Front Beach Rd P C Beach
Panama City Beach 32413
(850) 234-5271

Goofy Golf

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Attraction

Goofy Golf Photo, Panama City, Florida
Quote:
We’ve played a lot of miniature golf courses. This was one of our favorites. It isn’t like the modern courses of today with elaborate waterfalls and robotics that compete with Disney. Rather, it recalls the courses of years ago where your skill was measured in how many strokes it took to get the ball into the dinosaurs mouth or through the windmill. Serious miniature golfers (that seems like an oxymoron) might find this course too juvenile. My juveniles, however, found it delightful. In 1958, Lee Koplin reinvented and reenergized the idea of miniature golf when he opened Goofy Golf in Florida. Previous miniature courses were no more than putting greens. Koplin made obstacles oversized and toweri...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 12, 2004

Goofy Golf
12206 W Highway 98A Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach 32407
(850) 234-6403