Hotel at a Glance: Sleep Inn and Suites of Panama City Beach
Sleep Inn and Suites of Panama City Beach is just 1 mile from white-sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Skip the hassle of finding a parking spot and head to the main beach on foot—it's just a 20-minute walk on Front Beach Road, with sidewalks the whole way. Along the road, you'll pass mini golf, go-kart tracks, and other family-friendly activities.
- Length of beachfront: 27 miles
- Nearby watersports: parasailing, boating, deep-sea fishing, and jet skiing
- In-room amenities: pillow-top mattresses, microwaves, refrigerators, and flat-screen TVs
- Guest perk: Head to the hotel's onsite theater every night at 7 p.m. for free movies.
Panama City Beach, Florida: Sugar-White Beaches, Spring Breakers, and Scuba-Diving Spots
Panama City Beach’s slogan—“The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches”—may seem boastful. But TripAdvisor helped back up this claim in 2013, naming the local Saint Andrews State Park as having 1 of the top 25 beaches in the United States. The park also has two fishing piers, a jetty, and a boat ramp, plus nature trails for bird watching. Elsewhere in town, you can arrange a scuba-diving trip to explore the area’s dozens of natural and artificial reefs.
Every March and April, spring breakers descend on the white-sand beaches and fill the streets outside dance clubs. The rest of the year, however, the atmosphere is more relaxed and geared toward families. There are numerous amusement parks along the 20-plus miles of shoreline. Many of the popular seafood restaurants and bars here overlook the Gulf of Mexico.
If you’re looking to escape the crowds, take the ferry to Shell Island, an uninhabited, 7-mile-long barrier island. On the ride over, you might see some of the bottlenose dolphins that frequent these warm waters. Once there, you can soak in the sun on the empty beaches and go snorkeling. It’s also worth it to visit the nature preserve at Conservation Park, which has 24 miles of trails. One 11-mile trek goes past wooden boardwalks and wetlands; keep your eyes peeled and you might see woodpeckers in the trees and alligators lurking beside cypresses.