years ago when we lived in houston, tx my curiosity was piqued about the florida panhandle. every year houstonians would pack their bags. load their cars with beach paraphernalia and head east for a week’s worth of sun in the fun. let me tell you when those texans came back home they raved about the sandy beaches that looked like white sugar. for some reason or another, our family of five never made the trek over, but my interest in the region remained.
decades later you can imagine my delight when the invitation arrived to explore the shores of panama city beach. finally, i’d see first hand what the big star state residents fell in love with. honestly, i didn’t quite know what to expect. if you’ve seen one florida beach, you’ve seen them all. right? wrong! completely, one hundred percent wrong. not only have i spent time on florida beaches, but i’ve had the pleasure of visiting hawaii, bali, thailand, australia, vietnam, well the list goes on when it comes to beaches. i kind of like to consider myself a beach baby connoisseur of sorts.
after mr. style and i unpacked our bags and poked our heads out the door of our balcony; this is what greeted us: miles of white sand and turquoise water. the natural beauty truly took my breath away.
you might imagine i’d have been content to spend the entire weekend perched under an umbrella on the sugar white sand sipping a pina colada. but no, there’s lots more to panama city beach than, well, the beach. how about a dolphin sunset cruise with Island Time Sailing? there’s nothing better than watching the sun dip into the water then disappear with the wind on your face. for two hours the sailboat navigated the emerald waters of grand lagoon as we explored the gulf of mexico. this sunset cruise is perfect for couples and families alike.
it was magical watching the dolphins frolic with each other.
the next morning we boarded Lagoon Pontoon with captain caleb and set course for beautiful shell island, a seven-mile island on the florida emerald coast. the beaches were pristine.
look how clear the water is.
rash guard | swim bottoms | hat
walking along the shoreline felt as if we were on our own deserted island.
saturday evening found us gathered around a bonfire on the beach making s’mores. there’s nothing better than sand in your toes and chocolate on your fingers. what a perfect way to end the day.
what a stress-free beach experience with Endless Beach Rentals in charge of every single detail from delivery to set up and the break down of chairs, side tables, cornhole, s’mores, cooler with ice/beverages, and hammocks. all we had to do was show up and relax.
similar dress here, here, and here
mr. style agrees there’s no better place to be than a sandy white beach complete with a gorgeous sunset, and the roar of the surf ringing in your ears.
sunday morning found us standing in line. have you ever qued up for a thirty-minute wait for donuts? me either. until i visited Thomas Donuts. every delicious morsel and calorie was worth the wait. can you say scrumptious?!
later that morning, mr. style and i decided to head over to Camp Helen St. Park hours 8 a.m. until sunset 365 days a year. the park is bordered by the gulf of mexico and lake powell one of the largest coastal dune lakes in florida
shorts | shirt | jacket | similar shoes | similar scarf | similar pin
the old lifeguard station.
rrom 1945 until 1987 camp helen was a company resort for the employees of an alabama textile mill, known as avondale mills. these are a few of the restored cabins where families stayed.
shorts | shirt | jacket | similar shoes | similar scarf | similar pin
well, twenty-some years later i finally saw those pristine beaches and sugar white sand those texans bragged about. panama city beach is truly a magical destination everyone needs to experience. mr. style and i are already plotting and planning a family vacay. now we know for certain panama city beach is the perfect spot for couples and families. any time of the year.
a big thank you to Panama City Beach and TravelMindSet for this sponsored post. and thank you lovely readers for supporting the brands that allow me to bring you fresh ideas.
is the Founder and CEO of Style at a Certain Age. She writes Sundays-Fridays on all topics ranging from fashion, health, wellness, home design and more.
She’s 63, 5’8, and size 8.
We live in southern Alabama and would love to go on the cruises you mentioned. Thanks for sharing! Can you share which hotel you stayed at or the beach company that provides such a nice evening smore experience? Thanks, love your outfits too 😊
Interesting that when this posted I’m sitting on a balcony at Panama City Beach! We’re here for the week so add a few of your suggestions to our list of things to possibly do. Thanks!!!♥️
I have been to beaches all over the world. None better than FL panhandle.
Hi Beth, what beautiful photo’s, as you recall we’ve just had four weeks in Florida but in the Davenport area, even so we got to go St Petersburg and we absolutely love Clearwater beach, the sunsets are to did for and gorgeous white sandy beaches. You looked as though you had a super time. Your outfits were great, so relaxed. Thank for brightening up a cool, breezy day in England x
My brother was in Panama City last Fall for a chess tournament. He explored the City a bit but apparently did not make it to the beach. Stunning! Great pictures. I’m curious…adding it to my list of places I want to visit.
What is your nail polish color?
Beth, please share where you stayed and whether there are rental agencies you recommend. I spend many fun summers in PC as a child and would love to return. It’s was then, and I am sure is now, a beautiful place to be.
I grew up going to PCB every year for vacation. I also live in Georgia. Last year my husband and I rode through there on our way to Orange Beach, AL and I was truly shocked. It is not the Panama City of my youth. I was dismayed. It is hard to see the Gulf because of all the condos. I like Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, AL much better these days. However, they have become very commercialized as well. Every summer we now spend a week on St. George Island, FL. There are no high rises. The only chain eating establishment is a Subway! It is like a step back in time. It is so relaxing and quiet and it soothes my soul. Have a great day!
Ever since I was 5 I have been going to NW Florida and mainly PCBeach. Love that area and am ready to go back. Our favorite time of the year is actually October when the hot, hot weather (and crowds) are long gone.
Oh wow, for a moment I thought you were in Panama, the country, my country 😉
Then I read it was FL, enjoy!
You and Mr. Style are so cute! What a fun getaway!
Beth, your post had me reminiscing. PCB was my family’s summer vacation home for 35 years. We have some of the best memories of that annual trek. If you like canoeing or kayaking, you should visit Econfina, just north of Bay County. It’s a creek that is fed by many natural springs. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experiences, and fashion advice!
I love the Florida panhandle, too! The beaches are beautiful and so is the gulf. Lovely post. Thanks.
I have a home In Destin…right down the road from PC.
You are right…beaches look like white sugar.
PC was hit real hard by the hurricane in the fall. I have friends who still don’t have homes to go to….so it is nice to see that some of PC is attracting tourists again. Maybe one day I will get to retire there…but for now I will rent my home out and visit it like you.
Makes me want to go back to Panama City Beach! Lovely photos and style. <3
Do you wear your lizard pen on anything other than your jean jacket? I just received a sweet lizard pen and wanted some ideas.
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