Panama City, Florida, Resorts & Hotels

by Mark Heidelberger Google

A majority of the resorts and hotels in Panama City, Florida, are geared toward families and active younger vacationers who want to enjoy daytime activities under the sun followed by exciting nighttime entertainment. Resort properties almost all feature their own private beaches and scores of customized amenities as well as on-site restaurants that primarily serve casual American-style cuisines. Prices are reasonable in the off-season, but peak in warmer months as college students take advantage of the area's Spring Break notoriety.

Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort

The Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort is a full-service property offering guests direct access to an array of activities -- from parasailing to jet-skiing to yoga classes on the beach. The property features 11 pools, four Jacuzzis, six tennis courts and a shuffleboard court. Golf lovers can enjoy 36 holes of play through the resort's "stay and play package," with an on-site nine-hole executive course and 27 holes at the nearby Hombre Golf Club. Fitness classes are taught in a high-end mirrored studio, and water aerobics are offered in the lagoon pool. And for those looking to be pampered, a spa menu features a bevy of treatments like hot stone therapy, deep tissue massages and seaweed body wraps. Resort dining options include an oceanfront bar and grill, Pizza Hut Express and Starbucks coffeehouse, with fine dining available across the street at Firefly. Guests can choose from one-, two- or three-bedroom suites with washer/dryer, cable TV, DVD player, fully equipped kitchen and views of the gulf.

Holiday Inn Resort

This Polynesian-style Holiday Inn Resort allows guests to enjoy discounts at the nearby Holiday Golf Club, which features an 18-hole, par-72 championship-level course. The resort property is anchored by a giant tropical lagoon pool with a cascading waterfall, while other resort amenities include a secluded hot tub, kiddie pool, lush gardens, a waterpark and a private walkway to the gulf. The fitness facility boasts cardio equipment and weight machines, while seasonal live entertainment and a nightly torch-lighting ceremony are performed around the pool deck. In addition, an activity program for kids includes volleyball, board games, arts and crafts, pirate-themed lunches and "dive-in movies." On-site dining choices include a casual poolside grill and a seafood restaurant serving fresh local catches. Room accommodations feature either one or two queen beds with triple-sheeting as well as a 27-inch cable TV with HBO, microwave and full-size fridge.

Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort

The Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort is the original biker headquarters of the city's Thunder Beach motorcycle events. Guests can take advantage the free airport shuttle as well as amenities like a laundry facility, on-site grocery store, beach chair rental, and a coupon book packed with discounts to local area attractions and restaurants. Recreational opportunities range from sailboat rides and lessons to miniature golfing to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, waterslides and a lazy river. In particular, younger guests can take part in family karaoke events, face painting and treasure hunts. Nighttime entertainment includes song-and-dance performances native to Samoa and French Polynesia. Daquiris are made fresh at the tiki bar, BBQ grills are situated along the back deck of the resort, and an ice cream shop offers the perfect family desserts. Accommodations range from one-, two- and three-bedroom units with kitchens to spacious condos, villas and beach houses, all with flat-screen TVs, private safes and four-person dining tables.

Beachcomber by the Sea

The family-oriented Beachcomber by the Sea resort is convenient to the Pier Park shopping plaza and Frank Brown Park, while also serving as an official sponsor of area events like the Emerald Coast Cruizin' car show. Guests have access to an expansive sugar-white beach and activities like waverunning and parasailing. The property features a heated outdoor pool and whirlpool, guest laundry, free morning newspapers, shuffleboard and picnic area, while additional services include a free airport shuttle and 24-hour on-site security. Additionally, a computer lounge is ideal for those without a laptop. All guests receive a complimentary continental breakfast included in the room rate, while the ultra-casual beachfront bar and grill offers one free kid's meal for every adult meal purchased. Spacious guest suites come with private ocean-view balconies, cable TV with pay-per-view movies, and fully equipped kitchens with utensils, dishes and cookware. Jacuzzi suites are also available upon request.

About the Author

Mark Heidelberger has been writing for more than 22 years, from articles and short stories to novels and screenplays. He is a consummate foodie, loves to travel and has run several businesses, all of which influence his work. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA.