Hotel at a Glance: Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort
Rising up over the sandy coastline of Panama City Beach, Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort is practically a seaside city unto itself. Three high-rises surround a cluster of pools, whirlpools, and lagoons, some of which are dotted with miniature islands and waterfalls. Just beyond the pools is the beach that shares its name with the city.
- Dine in: There are several dining venues on site and nearby, including Firefly across the street; spacious gulf-front suites and golf-course-view villas have full kitchens.
- Tee off: Two golf courses add up to 36 holes of entertainment.
- Grand slam: Play on six all-weather Plexicushion tennis courts, lighted for night play.
- Look as good as you feel: The onsite salon offers a range of beautifying services, perfect before a night out.
- Wellness-and-fitness center: Enjoy a massage or work out on an elliptical machine.
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 St. 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, 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.