A TRIP TO PANAMA CITY BEACH
Remember when I said the best way to beat the winter blues is to take a vacation to some place warm?! WELL, luckily my mom moved down to Panama City Beach, Florida at the end of last year so I was able to take a nice week long vacation to visit her! Panama City Beach is absolutely beautiful, especially at this time of year when you essentially have all of the beaches to yourself! I am going to divide my vacation up into a few different posts with activities, restaurants, and sights to see in the towns I visited along scenic 30A, so stay tuned for all of the insider info!
We started our vacation with a long day of traveling from New York, complete with the normal flight delays and running from gate to gate to catch the next plane. After a good night sleep we hit the beach, which was only about two blocks from my mom's new apartment. Of course, I got completely sunburnt the first day ... but considering I haven't seen the sun since October it actually wasn't too bad! Then we explored her complex, which is brand new and so beautiful, before settling down for the night and watching the American Idol episodes that we had DVR-ed. Do any of you watch American Idol? I think I am voting for either Laine Hardy or Wade Cota, I can't decide yet! They are all so good this year and my favorite always changes from episode to episode.
The following day was another beach day except it was SO WINDY! The coast guard put a double red flag warning out, which meant you couldn't even put your toes in the water. The current was extremely dangerous and, unfortunately, two young men from Louisiana ignored the warning and went swimming in the rough surf. We saw the sirens about a mile down the beach from us and later heard on the news that, while they were able to rescue one of the boys, they were never able to find the other. Absolutely heartbreaking. It definitely reminds you that the ocean is so powerful and so much bigger than we are.
I had only been to Panama City beach once before, for my cousin's wedding back in 2014, and we visited a bar called Dusty's Oyster Bar & Eatery with my Uncle Mark who has since passed away. I begged my mom to go there even though it was SO CROWDED, and of course started crying the second we walked in. I miss him so much but I could feel his presence there with us. And I was able to have a Yuengling (his favorite!) for him and find the dollar bills we drew on and hung from the ceiling! Look for the bill that says EVERS with all of the names of my family members! We enjoyed a dozen DELICIOUS and FRESH oysters and some fried popcorn shrimp before watching the sunset on the beach.
If you are visiting Panama City Beach I definitely recommend heading over to Pier Park for the sunset. There are a ton of shops, rides for the kids (or adults!) and you can pay to walk out on the pier to get the best view. You can also walk in and out of many of the open air bars and catch live music pretty much any day of the week! And if you like ice cream, check out The Yard and their over the top milkshakes!
Check out my guides for the towns that I visited along Scenic 30A coming in the next few days! We went to Seaside (where The Truman Show was filmed), Alys Beach, and Rosemary Beach!