Hotel at a Glance: Summit Beach Resort
This resort is located on the Gulf of Mexico, next to 600 feet of private white-sand beachfront. You can walk straight into the water from the beach, or take a dip in one of the oceanfront pools to get your swimming fix.
- Spacious accommodations The resort’s condos have roughly 900–1,700 square feet of space and include cable TV and a DVD player as well as a full kitchen with dishes, pots and pans, a stovetop, oven, dishwasher, and microwave, making them perfect for families or groups.
- Sip a mojito or another ice-cold cocktail at the pool deck’s tiki bar.
- Grab snacks and sundries at the onsite Summit Market Shop.
- Walk to restaurants: The beachfront Paradise Grill and seafood at Hammerhead Fred’s are both within a two-minute walk.
- Water recreation: parasailing trips, dolphin encounters, jet-ski rentals, and banana-boat rides
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 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.