Are you having trouble finding an economical beach vacation? Look no further than Panama City, Florida. Don’t confuse it with its neighboring town, Panama City Beach, where everything is more expensive and more crowded. You can find cheaper rates by staying in a Panama City hotel, even in the peak-season. Whether you are looking for a small room for one or a multi-bedroom condo for the entire family, you are sure to find something to suit your needs. All of these hotels offer free parking, most offer free Wi-Fi access, and some even have a pool.
Cheap Hotels Near the Beach
Just along Interstate 98 you can find inexpensive rooms close to the bay and beach. If having a pool at the hotel is important to you, check out Hathaway Inn, American Quality Lodge Panama City, Econo Lodge Panama City, and Days Inn Panama City Central. Suburban Extended Stay Hotel and Ramada Panama City are also in the same area near Florida State University.
Closer to the Panama City Mall you will find cheap rates at La Quinta Inn and Suites, Best Western, and Howard Johnson Inn. If you are looking for a room near Tyndall Air Force Base, there is a Comfort Suites, Holiday Inn Express and Suites, and Days Inn Panama City/Callaway.
Save on Airfare
You can find inexpensive flights into Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, right in Panama City. Panama City Beach gets very crowded during Spring Break as well as in the summer time. However, with a year-round average temperature of 68.8 degrees, the weather in Panama City is never cold, so if your dates are flexible and you can visit in the off-season, you will save a ton of money. Even during the peak-season, the hotels in Panama City are half the price of those in Panama City Beach and only a few miles away.
Part of Panama City borders the Gulf of Mexico, but the downtown area and majority of the city sit across the Saint Andrews Bay. Tyndall Air Force Base and Saint Andrews State Park make up most of Panama City’s Gulf coast. The park offers visitors a variety of activities from water sports to camping.
If you are looking for a nice dinner and a show, check out the Marina Civic Center or Martin Theatre and Visual Arts Center. There are plenty of souvenir shops, swim wear stores, and outlets in Panama City. You can always find great deals on bathing suits and brand name clothing, too. Grab a bite at Bayou Joe’s, where you can dine at the water’s edge. For a quick meal, Jeannie’s One Stop Diner is a local favorite.
Avoid the high-priced beach towns and stay in Panama City. It’s a little more laid back and a lot friendlier. There’s plenty to see and do right in Panama City, from shopping to fishing. Take a short 10-minute drive into Panama City Beach and spend the day at the water park. Take the money you save by staying in Panama City and stay a few extra days, or splurge and rent a convertible and cruise with the top down.
Bonnie Laquitara likes to write about upscale vacations on a budget. She enjoys visiting tropical islands, big cities, and out-of-the-way places. She is happiest with her toes in the sand and an umbrella drink in her hand. She is currently working on the #HipmunkCityLove project. You can follow her on Google+.