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Postcard from Panama City, Florida

It isn’t every day you might take in a performance of the 200-piece Ukulele Orchestra of St Andrews, unless you are visiting Panama City, Florida.

That’s just one of many experiences that awaits you at the destination.

Overlooking St. Andrews Bay, the largest city between Pensacola and Tallahassee, Panama City offers a balance of culinary delights, outdoor activities and cultural encounters while radiating a laid-back feel. It’s this combination that makes it an irresistible getaway for individuals, couples and families.

Whether you’re coming in for the weekend or longer, you don’t want to miss certain aspects of the destination.

Hugging the shores of the Bay, Historic St. Andrews is one of Panama City’s four distinctive neighborhoods. Reminiscent of an old Florida fishing village, it’s filled with an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. Oh, and you don’t miss St. Andrews murals and selfie spots.

You’ll also find the welcome center housed in the former Bank of St. Andrews (ca. 1907) and the Panama City Publishing Company Museum (ca. 1920), highlighting the industry in the area through photographs, documents and other artifacts. Explore further with either a guided walking tour or a self-guided walking trail - don’t miss the Pelican Tree and Oaks by the Bay Park.

Panama City’s Historic Downtown is the destination’s arts and theatre hub. Home to Panama City Center for the Arts and Martin Theater, there’s also CityArts Cooperative, hosting exhibits, classes and more. For more hands-on art experiences, check out LH Bead Gallery, Panama City Hot Glass and UnReal ARTists Gallery.

And, yes, there are murals here, too.

There’s history to discover as well. The Bay County History Museum introduces through exhibits the unique stories of Panama City and the surrounding area. In addition, Destination Panama City has available for download a self-guided historic tour of downtown, featuring spots like McKenzie Park.

Due to the city's location, there are plenty of ways to get on the water. Whether you want to fish, spot dolphins or visit Shell Island - to name a few activities - you will find a charter boat that’ll make it happen. Pontoon, wave runners and other rentals are available as well.

Even the most discriminating foodie will find Panama City’s culinary offerings impressive. It may sound clichéd, but there’s truly something for every appetite and budget.

Craving fresh seafood? You are in the right place. Whether it’s oysters at Hunt’s Oyster Bar or grilled grouper at Shipyard Grill on Sun Harbor Marina, you won’t be disappointed. And speaking of oysters, Panama City has an Oyster Trail highlighting a handful of restaurants and their oyster specialties. The city also offers the Ale Trail, showcasing its breweries and pubs.

If you want to sample eateries in a particular neighborhood, book a food tour with A Taste of Panama City and choose either Harrison Avenue (downtown) or Beck Avenue (St. Andrews) tour.

Before You Go ... Whether it’s Mardi Gras, Blessing of the Fleet, Oktoberfest or Public Eye Soar, there is always something going on in Panama City. The destination hosts events year-round, and you can elevate your visit by planning your getaway around one.

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