Family-friendly resort in Panama City Beach features five outdoor pools and lakefront boardwalk
Hotel at a Glance: Laketown Wharf Resort By Emerald View Resorts
There’s somewhere to swim almost everywhere you look at Laketown Wharf Resort By Emerald View Resorts. The resort has five outdoor pools, including a rooftop pool and a pool with sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico. Another occupies its own island in the middle of the resort’s private lake. There’s even a separate pool for kids. When you’re not in the water, search for seashells on the white-sand beach. At night, Laketown Wharf comes alive as it celebrates another beautiful day on Panama City Beach with a massive lighted fountain show. This spectacular event is choreographed with dancing water, lights, and music and can be viewed right outside your door.
- Grab a bite and a cocktail at the poolside Splash Bar. Other dining options include Laketown Market (open seasonally), The Wharf Seafood Buffet, and Sunshine Bar and Grill.
- Stay connected with your room’s free WiFi.
- Nightly show: Head to the boardwalk to watch fountains of water spurt up from the lake in a colorful display of lights and music.
- Notable award: TripAdvisor 2015 Certificate of Excellence
Panama City Beach, Florida: Sugar-White Beaches and College Spring Breakers
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 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.