Hotel at a Glance: Sunbird Beach Resort
Sunbird Beach Resort has a little something for everyone. There’s a private beach along the Gulf of Mexico for sun seekers and oceanfront pools for freshwater enthusiasts. For everybody else, the shopping, dining, and entertainment of Panama City Beach are just steps away.
- Nearby attractions include Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
- Pool with a view: Take a dip in one of three pools facing the Gulf of Mexico.
- Roomy condos feature cable TV, full kitchens, and private balconies with views of the water.
- Barbecue grills are available for cookouts.
- Grab a bite at Firefly; you can enjoy lobster tails and andouille-crusted snapper beneath the dining room’s oak tree, which is strung with hundreds of white lights.
Panama City Beach, Florida: Sugar-White Beaches 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.
The atmosphere is 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.