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Panama City Beach, Florida

Coordinates: 30°10′36″N 85°48′20″W / 30.17667°N 85.80556°W / 30.17667; -85.80556
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Panama City Beach, Florida
View of the beach looking northwest from St. Andrews State Park
View of the beach looking northwest from
St. Andrews State Park
Flag of Panama City Beach, Florida
Official seal of Panama City Beach, Florida
PCB, Capital of Redneck Riviera, Crystal Sands, Spring Break Capital of The World
The World's Most Beautiful Beaches
Interactive map outlining Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach is located in Florida
Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach
Location in Florida
Panama City Beach is located in the United States
Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 30°10′36″N 85°48′20″W / 30.17667°N 85.80556°W / 30.17667; -85.80556
Country United States
State Florida
 • City ManagerDrew Whitman (Republican)(2021–Present)
 • MayorStuart Tettemer (Republican) (2024-Present)
 • Total19.53 sq mi (50.57 km2)
 • Land19.32 sq mi (50.05 km2)
 • Water0.20 sq mi (0.52 km2)
10 ft (3 m)
 • Total18,094
 • Density936.40/sq mi (361.55/km2)
Time zoneUTC– 06:00 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC– 05:00 (CDT)
32401, 32407, 32408, 32413, 32417
Area code(s)850, 448
FIPS code12-54725[2]
GNIS feature ID0308451[3]

Panama City Beach is a resort town in Bay County, Florida, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico coast. It had a population of 18,094 at the 2020 census, up from 12,018 in 2010.[4] It is a principal city in the Panama City—Panama City Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is often referred to under the umbrella term of "Panama City". Panama City Beach's slogan is "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches" due to the unique,[5] sugar-white sandy beaches of northwest Florida.

Panama City Beach is a popular vacation destination, especially among people in the Southern United States. The town is also a popular spring break destination, due to its beach and proximity to most of the Southern United States. The first two seasons of MTV's Floribama Shore were filmed in the town.

Panama City Beach has dangerous rip currents.[6] Multiple people have drowned at Panama City Beach while struggling against rip currents.[6] Sea conditions are particularly dangerous during periods when lifeguards have put up double red flags, indicating active rip currents.[6] Drowning often occurs when people attempt to swim directly against a rip current.[7] By attempting to directly return to the beach, against the rip current, swimmers get tired-out in the process and drown.[7] Instead, swimmers caught in a rip current should relax, and swim parallel to the beach, until they are naturally carried out of the rip current.[7]


Real estate boom[edit]

A construction boom in the early to mid-2000s changed the image of the area due to the older homes and motels being replaced with high-rise condominiums and more expansive homes. However, this is turning unobstructed, low-rise beach views and affordable waterfront property into rarities. At the peak of the real estate boom, many beachfront properties had quadrupled or more in value since 2000. In November 2006 CNN/Money named Panama City Beach the No. 1 real estate market in America for the next five years in.[8]

Beachfront property has sold for upwards of $60,000 per "front foot" (linear foot) at the top of the market. The downturn in the U.S. real estate market in 2007, combined with a surge of new condo construction, brought spiraling prices somewhat under control. With the real estate boom, Panama City Beach became a well known destination for spring break.[9]

Category 5 Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach in Bay County on October 10, 2018, becoming one of the strongest and most-destructive hurricanes in American history as it destroyed a large part of the county, including many structures in Mexico Beach and Panama City.[10][11] An EF-0 tornado did minor damage to the northwest part of Panama City Beach, Florida on February 15.


Panama City Beach is located at 30°12′27″N 85°51′5″W / 30.20750°N 85.85139°W / 30.20750; -85.85139 (30.207362, −85.851485).[12]

The city is located in the panhandle on the Gulf of Mexico. The main roads through the city are U.S. Route 98 and Florida State Road 30. US 98 runs from northwest to southeast just inland from the coast, leading east 10 mi (16 km) to Panama City and northwest 47 mi (76 km) to Destin. FL-30 runs along the coast from northwest to southeast as Front Beach Rd, leading east to Panama City and northwest 15 mi (24 km) to Rosemary Beach. There are approximately 9 miles (14 km) of shoreline in Panama City Beach fronting the Gulf of Mexico.

The city has a total area of 18.6 square miles (48.2 km2)— 18.4 square miles (47.6 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2) (1.17%) is water.[13]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
Panama City Beach racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race Pop 2010[15] Pop 2020[16] % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 10,334 14,181 85.99% 78.37%
Black or African American (NH) 268 947 2.23% 5.23%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 64 74 0.53% 0.41%
Asian (NH) 326 556 2.71% 3.07%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian (NH) 6 15 0.05% 0.08%
Some other race (NH) 22 73 0.18% 0.40%
Two or more races/Multiracial (NH) 301 885 2.50% 4.89%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 697 1,363 5.80% 7.53%
Total 12,018 18,094

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 18,094 people, 5,538 households, and 3,440 families residing in the city.[17]

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 12,018 people, 5,149 households, and 3,166 families residing in the city.[18]

In 2010,[2] the population density was 653.2 persons per square mile (252.2 persons/km2). There were 17,141 housing units at an average density of 931.6 houses per square mile (359.7 houses/km2).[4]

In 2010, there were 5,149 households, out of which 21.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were headed by married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.4% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals. 9.5% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22. The average family size was 2.76.[4]

In 2010, 18.0% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.[4]

In the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the city was $41,198, and the median income for a family was $49,127. Males had a median income of $32,459 versus $22,358 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,734. About 2.2% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.9% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.


The City of Panama City Beach has a council–manager government. The Mayor sits as a Council member-at-large and presides over City council meetings. If the Mayor cannot preside over a City Council meeting, then the Vice Mayor is the presiding officer of the meeting until the Mayor returns to his seat.

The City Manager is responsible for the administration and the day-to-day operation of all of the municipal services and city departments. The City Manager also maintains intergovernmental relationships with federal, state, county and other local governments.

The primary law enforcement agency in the city is the Panama City Beach Police Department. Part of the city is in unincorporated Bay County and is under the jurisdiction of the Bay County Sheriff's Office.

City council[edit]

  • Stuart Tettemer (Republican) – Mayor Term: 2024–2028
  • Paul Casto (Unknown) – Ward 1 Councilman Term: 2022–2026
  • Ethan Register (Unknown) – Ward 2 Councilman Term: 2024–2028
  • Mary Coburn (Unknown) – Ward 3 Council Member Term: 2022–2026
  • Michael Jarman (Republican) – Vice Mayor Ward 4 Councilman Term: 2024–2028
  • Eusebio Talamantez Jr. – Chief of Police

Former Mayors[edit]

  • Dan Russell (Unknown) 1970–1980
  • Aaron Bessant (Unknown) 1980–1982
  • Philip Griffitts Sr. (Republican) 1982–2000
  • Lee Sullivan (Republican) 2000–2006
  • Gayle Oberst (Nonpartisan)2006–2016
  • Mike Thomas (Republican) 2016–2020
  • Mark Sheldon (Republican) 2020–2024


  • Panama City Beach Police Department
  • Panama City Beach Fire Rescue


Primary and secondary public education is provided by the Bay District Schools (BDS).

The Gulf Coast State College is located in Panama City, just across the Hathaway Bridge from Panama City Beach.

The Florida State University Panama City branch campus is also located in Panama City, just across the Hathaway Bridge from Panama City Beach.


The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) provides commercial flights into the area. The airport serves private aircraft, domestic passenger flights, and freight/cargo flights. It is the first international airport to be constructed after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Other modes of transportation include scooters, which can be rented by the day, as well as taxi and shuttle companies, which are permitted by the local police.

Panama City Beach also has public bus transportation known as Bayway available hourly Monday through Saturday. The Bayway runs throughout the county giving its tourists and locals the resource they need to get around Bay County.

Major highways[edit]

  • US 98 is an east–west highway running along the Gulf Coast. It is the main route to Destin and to Panama City proper.
  • State Road 79 is a north–south highway that starts in Panama City Beach and heads north to Interstate 10 and on to the Alabama state line.
  • State Road 30, formerly US 98 Alt, also named Front Beach Road, is an east–west highway that runs mostly along the beach front, beginning and ending at US 98.
  • State Road 392A, also named Hutichison Boulevard (formerly known as Middle Beach Road), is an east–west highway that runs slightly inland, generally parallel, and beginning and ending at State Road 30/Front Beach Road.


The city was home to the Panama City Beach Pirates, a fourth-division soccer team from 2007 to 2015.

It is also notable that World Championship Wrestling held their last WCW Nitro event in Panama City Beach.[19][20] WCW was bought out by their rival competition WWF (now WWE).


  • Frank Brown Park – 100-acre complex with baseball, softball, soccer and t-ball fields, basketball and tennis courts, several playgrounds, shuffleboard courts, a youth fishing pond, three dog park enclosures, and a 20-acre festival site.[21]
  • Panama City Acquatics Center – located at Frank Brown Park, the center includes an outdoor Olympic-size pool and kids splash pool.[21]
  • Publix Sports Park – 160-acre sports complex with 13 fields for soccer, lacross, baseball, and more. Nine are synthetic turf fields.[22]
  • St. Andrews State Park – offers a variety of experiences included swimming, boating, camping, snorkeling, bicycling, and more.[23]


Panama City Beach Panorama

In popular culture[edit]

  • Panama City Beach is the setting for the 2015 film Dancin': It's On!
  • Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally
  • Gulf Coast Jam – this 3-day outdoor concert event is held annually in May/June and showcases country music performers. The event in 2024 is sold out.[24]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Panama City Beach city, Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  5. ^ About Panama City Beach – Panama City Beach Information
  6. ^ a b c Cobb, Nathan (June 26, 2023). "Panama City Beach leads the nation in 2023 beach deaths as 3 more tourists die Saturday". Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c "Rip Current Survival Guide". Ocean Today. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  8. ^ Top 10 cities: Where to buy now money.cnn.com
  9. ^ Panama City Beach, Florida Real Estate Market Conditions realtytimes.com
  10. ^ Fedschun, Travis (October 11, 2018). "Hurricane Michael devastation in Panama City, Florida seen in drone video, photos". Fox News. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  11. ^ "In a harrowing two hours, Hurricane Michael devastates Panama City". Florida Today. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  13. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Panama City Beach city, Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not HIspanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Panama City Beach city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  16. ^ "P2 Hispanic or Latino, and Not HIspanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Panama City Beach city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ "S1101 Households and Families – 2020: Panama City Beach city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  18. ^ "S1101 Households and Families – 2010: Panama City Beach city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  19. ^ NEWS HERALD STAFF (March 27, 2001). "Final WCW shows held at Boardwalk Beach Resort in 2001". Gannett Co., Inc. Panama City Herald. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  20. ^ "World Championship Wrestling – Promotions Database". Cagematch.net. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  21. ^ a b "Frank Brown Park". www.pcbfl.gov. Retrieved February 1, 2024.
  22. ^ "Sports". www.playpanamacitybeach.com. Retrieved February 1, 2024.
  23. ^ "St. Andrews State Park". www.floridastateparks.org. Retrieved February 1, 2024.
  24. ^ "Gulf Coast Jam". Gulf Coast Jam. February 1, 2024.

External links[edit]