Travel > Panama City Beach

| July 27, 2015

Panama City

Dan Deaver, Valdosta Today Travel Contributor

This was my first visit to this beach. It took us about 3½ hours to get there and that was with a kayak on the roof.

We stayed at the Origin at Seahaven. It was not right on the beach but across the street. One bedroom condo with a pull out in the main room. Balcony gave a view down the beach but not directly facing the Gulf. The pool is located on the 4th floor which gave a nice view of the beach. The pool was nice but small and was usually crammed with kids but it’s the beach. I wasn’t going to sit in the pool but I did take the time to read while the kids were swimming.

Front Beach Road is the main drag. Traffic is very slow most of the time. The location was excellent since there were an ample supply of places to eat and drink within walking distance. It’s a good idea to take a trip to the nearby Walmart for groceries (and it has a liquor store!). Eating out is very expensive so having breakfast and lunch in at the condo can save a significant amount.

Sharky’s – Restaurant /Bar. They have karaoke also. It is expensive for the quality of food like everywhere on the beach. For 2 people plan on spending $70-100 for 2 people. Great drinks and the best oysters of the places we went. I would give it 3 of 5 stars.

Shrimp Basket – Fried Seafood Joint. There were 10 teenagers standing around doing nothing and tables were not turned over in a timely fashion. I would be shocked if they can stay open operating this way. Food was fine and the waiter was good but the place is poorly managed and I recommend skipping it. Many better choices. 2 of 5 stars

Shuckums – Oyster Bar. There are 2 sides. One was a very loud side with karaoke so we went to the quieter (not quiet) side and had oysters and dinner. Had to send back the first dozen as they were warm. It had gotten good reviews on Tripadvisor but I would not go back there. 2 of 5 stars

Back Porch Seafood – Seafood/Oysters – Expensive place and the drinks were crazy expensive. However, the food and the service was good. I think the kids would probably rate it as their favorite. 4 of 5 stars.

If you have a rainy day there is the Pier Park Mall, theater, and other activities nearby.

The beach is amazing. Great sand, clear water, and volleyball courts. We made sure to get cups at Sharky’s so our frozen drinks were cheaper all week on the beach getting refills. We also took Yeti cups which kept the frozen drinks frozen (no joke, Yeti is the bomb).

Took my kayak (Pescador Tandem) and had a blast with it. Took kids for rides and fished from it. You don’t have to go out far but its best to go in the morning when the water is calmer and the parasailers/jetskiers aren’t out there. I could easily see the bottom clearly in 10’ of water.

There are many places to stay so do your homework to find one that works for you.

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