panama city beach or destin

Panama City Beach vs. Destin: Is Destin or Panama City Beach better?

The Collection Bureau is here to give you all the informations needed to decide which beach is better – Panama City Beach or Destin in Florida.

 If you are trying to answer this question for your next travel destination, then you’re not alone.

Many families travel to the best beach destinations on the Emerald Coast. Both Panama City Beach and Destin in Florida offer wonderful travel experiences for families with kids. So, choosing which one to visit can be challenging.

They both have great places to eat, but Destin in Florida is a little more of the upscale type of vacation.

What is Panama City Beach known for?

Famous for a sublime coastline, pristine waters and abundant wildlife, Panama City Beach presents the ideal locale for a beach vacation. In addition to scuba diving, fishing and cruising, Panama City Beach offers vibrant shopping, sporting and dining experiences that will exceed your expectations.

How long is Panama City Beach?

Panama City Beach, featuring 27 miles of white sand beaches along the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, is home to two state parks (St. Andrews State Park and Camp Helen State Park), dozens of public beach access points, waterfront restaurants that serve up fresh local seafood, and legendary attractions.

What makes Panama City Beach unique?

Panama City Beach, Florida, is the ultimate dream holiday spot for many people. With its flowing palm trees and sugar sand beaches, this tropical paradise attracts a large number of visitors from all over the world throughout the year.

panama city beach unique

With its flowing palm trees and sugar sand beaches, this tropical paradise attracts a large number of visitors from all over the world throughout the year. You’ll understand why so many people consider it the ultimate vacation spot: There is never a shortage of things to do in Panama City Beach!

Is Panama City Beach better than Destin?

If your family wants to fish, eat seafood, play golf, enjoy a vibrant nightlife, and go shopping, then Destin is the perfect vacation spot for you. However, if you want a more laid-back family vacation with excellent waterfront lodging and many children’s activities, then Panama City Beach is the way to go.

Is Panama City Beach as pretty as Destin?

Yes, the beach is pretty much the same. There are some great restaurants in Destin and I prefer to shop there (I can go to the Pier Park shops at my local mall).

Is Panama City Beach Clear water?

The eight-mile stretch of Panama City Beach is one of the most active and popular oceanfront scenes in the city. It is located on the Gulf of Mexico, so the water is clear and blue, with ocean breezes coming in as often as the tide.

When should we avoid Panama City Beach?

Though the area boasts an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, late spring, summer and early fall offer some of the warmest air and water temperatures. Plus, by avoiding a visit in March or April, you’ll dodge the deluge of college students who descend on the area’s ivory sands every year for spring break.

Is Panama City Beach worth visiting?

Its beautiful beaches, great nightlife, and countless theme parks and arcades make it a great place for a fun break in the sun. It’s not just a destination for college kids, either. Attractions like Shipwreck Island Waterpark, Race City and a Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

How clean is Panama City Beach?

So, are the beaches polluted? The short answer is “no”. While you will see the occasional litter (straws, water bottle, coke can, etc.), the hotels and condos do a great job of cleaning up debris off their beaches on a daily basis.

How popular is Panama City Beach?

Tripadvisor has placed Panama City Beach as the #2 emerging destination in the world. Tripadvisor spokespeople say the “emerging destinations” rank the under-the-radar destinations travelers have been “saving” on Tripadvisor while stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is it cheaper to stay in Panama or Destin?

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Destin and Panama City, we can see that Panama City is more expensive. And not only is Destin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Destin would let you spend less money overall.

Reasons To Choose Panama City Beach

Here are some of the compelling reasons to visit Panama City Beach.

Panama City Beach is a Family-Friendly Destination

Panama City Beach, is a great family-friendly destination with lots of activities for children of all ages. Whether you have a small or a large family, there are plenty of areas where you can just sit with the kids on the beach or enjoy some watersports and other activities.

Panama City Beach has more budget-friendly accommodations than many other destinations, but that doesn’t mean it lacks luxury offerings.

Here are some of the biggest reasons why you should choose Panama City Beach for a vacation with kids. 

Beautiful Attractions in Panama City Beach

Aside from the gorgeous beaches, Panama City Beach offers many attractions that add more excitement for the whole family.

Shipwrecked Island in Panama City Beach

If you are looking to enjoy time with the family at an amazing waterpark, you should consider Shipwreck Island. Here you’ll find wave pools, rafting, water slides, and various activity pools spanning over 20 acres. 

A trip to Shipwreck Island is sure to make any child happy.

Gulf World in Panama City Beach

If you are looking for a more intimate experience with marine animals like dolphins, Gulf World should be on your to-do list. It provides daily shows featuring sea lions and dolphins and is one of the best places to visit for a fun and educational experience with your kids in Panama City.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum in Panama City

Not all museums are boring. If you are looking for a way to captivate your kids while learning at the time, check out Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. Here, you can enjoy over 500 exhibits, which guarantees you will find something for everyone.

Fun Watersports and Outdoor Activities

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous and want some thrills for your family, you can take part in some exciting things to do in Panama City. 

Some of the many activities you can choose from include: 

  • Visiting food eateries
  • Checking out the boardwalks
  • Enjoying theme park destinations for thrills and fun family times.
  • Families can also go biking, hiking, walking, and on a picnic. 

Another reason to choose Panama City Beach is that it’s the perfect place to go fishing because of its natural marine habitats, either offshore or deep sea.

There are plenty of fishing charters at Panama City Beach. It also allows you to hire one so you can position at any of the best fishing spots and land a great catch. You can also fish off the pier.

Hiring a charter is a safer option if you want to go deep-sea fishing. This gives you added flexibility in creating a memorable experience for the whole family.

Who doesn’t love great shopping? The city also has a very lively paradise for shoppers. It features many stores, boutiques and local shops so you can find everything for the whole family.

Aside from shops, you can find some great spas and do some relaxing. While the kids are out playing, you can get a facial, pedicure, and some quiet time.

Don’t forget to buy some souvenirs, so you have things to make you remember all the exciting things you did at Panama City Beach.

What is Destin best known for?

Snuggled against the Gulf of Mexico in Northwest Florida, Destin is rightfully famed for its sugar-white sands and emerald-hued waters. And due to its plentiful and always hungry underwater population, Destin is widely known as the “world’s luckiest fishing village.”

Destin has been known as a famous fishing village since the 1800s. Because of the consistent and abundant fish found in the area, the reputation for being a great fishing village continues until now. It attracts many fishers worldwide to find blue marlin, sailfish, amberjack, and tuna.

For this reason, Destin is considered the world’s luckiest fishing village. Here, you can also find the largest charter boats fleeting in the Gulf in Destin.

Why is Destin so popular?

Snuggled against the Gulf of Mexico in Northwest Florida, Destin is rightfully famed for its sugar-white sands and emerald-hued waters. And due to its plentiful and always hungry underwater population, Destin is widely known as the “world’s luckiest fishing village.”

Can you see alligators in Destin Florida?

Want to see alligators on your trip? Gator Beach in Destin has a great gator viewing area where you can even feed gators from a cane pole.

Can you smoke on Destin beach?

You can smoke on the beach, just be mindful of people around you, and take your butts to the trash.

Can you walk on Destin beach at night?

While you may have spent all day on the beach, night walks on the beach are especially fun. You can grab a flashlight and hunt for small critters that call the beach home or just enjoy walking along the empty beach.

How many beaches are in Destin Florida?

Looking for the perfect beach to visit in Destin? There are 13 public beach areas in the city of Destin, Florida and they are all different sizes with different amenities.

What is the prettiest beach in Destin Florida?

Destin Florida is one of the best beach destinations in the US, so you can be certain there are many great spots to visit for relaxation and fun during your vacation. Whether you’re interested in finding a low key beach where you can read a good book or you want a lively beach with plenty of activities to enjoy, you’ll find it here. 

Top 5 best beaches in Destin Florida:

  • Henderson Beach State Park
  • Miramar Beach
  • James Lee Beach
  • Crab Island
  • Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Reasons To Choose Destin

Aside from fishing, Destin also has plenty of other things to offer. While it’s livelier than Panama City Beach, it’s less crowded, making it the perfect place for retirees.

Here are some of the reasons why Destin could be your next destination:

Like Panama City Beach, you can also find many water sports activities in Destin that include:

  • Surfing 
  • Kayaking 
  • Paddleboarding
  • Sailing 
  • Tubing
  • Jet skiing 
  • Parasailing
  • Boat rentals
  • Cruises.

There are plenty of convenient locations for all types of water sports activities.

While there are many exciting things to do in Destin during autumn, the town’s fall weather is really hard to miss. In fact, the great weather is one of Destin’s best-kept secrets. 

During the summer season, expect there are mostly rainfalls. However, the temperatures are warmer and more comfortable during the fall months. Surprisingly, the place gives you plenty of sunny days.

So, if you love calmer and quieter beach time for the whole family yet warm enough to swim, the fall months in Destin are perfect for you.

Things to See in Destin, Florida

There are many incredible things to see in Destin that are perfect for the whole family.

Crab Island is also a top-notch destination for swimming, jet skiing, and snorkeling. It is the perfect place for the family to enjoy, as its water depth ranges from about 1 to 4 feet. A popular way to enjoy Crab Island is to rent a pontoon, which can be found just about everywhere.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy the sun and water, knowing that your family will be comfortable in this little slice of paradise.

If checking out some amazing marine animals is something your kids like, the Gulfarium is the place to go. In addition to some memorable encounters with various marine life, such as sea lions, seals, and dolphins, you can also learn about some interesting animal preservation activities. 

And if you are looking for something a little more exotic, the penguins, stingrays, and gators are a must-see.

In Destin, you’re assured you never run out of excellent restaurants to dine in, whether your family wants an old classic dining experience or try out any of the town’s ocean-inspired restaurants.

One of the top-rated restaurants in Destin is the Beach Walk Café at Henderson Park Inn. The place offers fresh seafood while you enjoy magnificent ocean views. If you want a closer view of the beach, the restaurant is more than willing to let their staff set up a table on the beachside.

Panama City Beach vs. Destin Which Is Best With Kids?

Both Panama City Beach and Destin have a lot to offer, so which one is the best for a vacation with kids will depend on your preferences and interests.

If your family wants to fish, eat seafood, play golf, enjoy a vibrant nightlife, and go shopping, then Destin is the perfect vacation spot for you. However, if you want a more laid-back family vacation with excellent waterfront lodging and many children’s activities, then Panama City Beach is the way to go. 

No matter your preferences, these spots are sure to create lasting memories for you and your kids.

If I were personally planning a trip to Destin, I would stay at the Henderson Beach Resort. It’s right smack in the middle of Destin, but it borders Henderson Beach State Park so it’s pretty quiet.

I personally tend to  steer clear of Panama City Beach. I’m sure plenty of people love it but it’s not for me. Just way too spring breakish (still family friendly-just a certain vibe) and jam packed with things that I don’t really love. I think you can get all the entertainment in Destin and it’s a lot nicer.

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