• Natalie Nicole Wilson

Panama City Beach, FL - Post College

When you think of Panama City Beach, Florida (PCB) your mind may immediately screech SPRING BREAK!!!!!! However, I'm here to tell you of the amazing transformation this city has made in recent years. With their new "no alcohol on the beaches in March" law and the closing of Club La Vela, this city stays pretty clear of spring break partiers.

I have experienced Panama City, Destin, and Seaside on several occasions. Each is an awesome vacation and has something great, but different, to offer. I personally enjoy a little more laid back beach vacation where I can roll off the beach, put on a coverup, and enjoy good food and drinks in a casual beach joint.

Where To Stay

Pelican Walk Rentals, Duh! My in-laws beautifully renovated two condos in this complex. The first condo they renovated was a two-bedroom, two-bathroom that is not for rent but for family and friends' enjoyment. BUT, the second one they renovated is a nicely sized one bedroom one, one bath, perfect for a couple or small family. The condo comes with a set of beach chairs and remains pretty private for those staying in the complex. It's in a wonderful location and close to most of my food recommendations listed below. Check out their place, here.

Where To Eat

I still have many places left on my list that I want to try, but I have listed my top 6, here.

6. Schooners

For a day where you want to stay on the beach a little longer, skip dressing up, and still enjoy views and the nice breeze of the ocean, Schooners is great. I don't go here primarily for the food, I go for the beachy vibe. With that being said, their food isn't bad either. We love to stay on the beach until 5:30 and then throw on a cover-up and walk to schooners with a cocktail in hand. It's also fun to crab hunt on the walk back after dinner!

What to eat : Fried Shrimp Dinner or the Schooners Burger

5. Dusty's Oyster Bar

This is an old favorite. Recently, I have found oysters that I like better than Dusty's, but it's still a classic and still a fun hangout spot. Keep in mind that there is always a long wait.

What to eat : Oysters, oysters, and more oysters

4. J Michaels

This is another great casual spot for the post-beach munchies. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu.

What to eat : Corn Fritters, Oysters, Gumbo, Red Bean and Rice, Fried Shrimp

3. The Grand Marlin

I loooove this place. It's perfect for the night you want to get a little more dressed up and snag a cute picture on the boat dock outside of the restaurant. The food is great, the cocktails are refreshing, and, if you can, snag a seat on the upstairs patio for pretty views.

What to eat : Oysters, Salt & Pepper Calamari, Maryland Style Lump Crab Cakes, Scallops

2. Bayou on the Beach

This is a locals haven and my newest find. From the moment you walk in, you can tell that it's all about serving up good food. Seafood with a cajun kick!

What to eat : Chargrilled Oysters, Swamp Cakes, Who Dat Seared Tuna Salad, Seafood Gumbo, Gulf Shrimp

1. FINNS Island Style Grub

This place is unreal good. In fact, we ate here 4 of the 5 days that we were in PCB. The food is so fresh, the atmosphere is fun, and there is a variety for all types of eaters. Open for breakfast and lunch (7am-3pm) - you gotta go. Try to catch them when they have live music, makes the experience even better.

What to eat for breakfast (inside) : Avocado Toast (outside) : Island Hash

What to eat for lunch (outside) : Tuna Dip, Finntastic Wrap, Chicken Quesadilla

Take home : Grab some extra tuna dip for the condo :)

Other PCB Recs

Hershey's Beach Ice Cream (ice cream)

Patches (drinks and live music)

Off The Hooks (drinks)

Happy Vacationing!



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