Panama City Beach has undergone an incredible transformation in the past few years.
Yes, come Spring Break in mid March through Easter, the hordes of college students still make the trek to the destination made famous by MTV. But before then as early as October the Snowbirds begin arriving enmasse.
The area is particularly popular with Canadians who in winters past rented rooms at the dozens of mom and pop hotels with kitchenettes. Today, condominiums more often than not replace the mom and pop hotels but the amenities are often senior friendly featuring heated indoor and outdoor pools, spas and knee-friendly elevators.
Most Snowbirds find rentals on Panama City Beach or at the numerous RV parks and campgrounds inland. Panama City is a popular place for summer sports groups and area recreational facilities, walking paths, tennis and golf provide opportunities for exercise.
An active senior center and the winter ministry at Noah’s Ark, an outreach program for the Methodist Church offer dozens of organized activities and social events.
Panama City is home to the sprawling Tyndall Air Force Base, an attractive feature to military retirees who are able to use their facilities. Fishing is popular here both deep sea and by pier. Recreational boaters enjoy the more placid water of St. Andrews Bay.
Winter winds blow colder here than some areas in south Florida but Snowbirds who return to the area year after year that the warm welcome they receive will keep them coming back for years.