As the self proclaimed home of “The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches,” it’s easy to see why Panana City Beach in Florida is a hit with travellers. Whether it be couples on a romantic getaway, friends wanting to party on the beach, or families wanting to enjoy some quality time together, there is something in Panama City Beach for everybody.

Just a small resort, but jam-packed with activities and hours of fun, you’ll have so much to explore and take in, whether it be the beaches, the forests, or the attractions and bars.

With so much to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming trying to decide where to stay in Panama City Beach.

But with our easy, step-by-step guide, you’ll have no problem choosing the best areas to stay in Panama City Beach to meet your interests and budget!

So, without further ado, here’s our guide to where to stay in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Where to Stay in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach makes a lovely stop on any Florida Road trip. Looking for a specific stay? These are our best recommendations for places to stay in Panama City Beach …

Best Villa in Panama Beach: European Style Villa near the Beach

This stunning villa has a gorgeous outlook over the Emerald Coast. Not only will you be within strolling distance of the pristine beaches, but you’ll also have access to a shared pool, gym, and boat dock!

With two spacious bedrooms, a gorgeous mini kitchen, and living area, you’ll have plenty of space to spend some quality time together without getting under each other’s feet.

Best Condo in Panama Beach: Gulf-front Condo

This is a charming space with more room than you’d expect in a condo. From almost every room in the property, you can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the ocean, especially through the large french windows that open onto your balcony.

You’ll have access to a modern shared pool to take a dip in whenever you choose. With room for six guests, you can enjoy a reasonably priced getaway with family or friends, with plenty of space for everyone!

Best Apartment in Panama Beach: The Hidden Gem

If you’re looking for something trendy, unique and comfortable, this is the perfect choice for you. Located in the Laguna Beach area of the city, which is our recommendation as the best place to stay in Panama City Beach on a budget, you’ll be able to enjoy breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean without breaking the bank.

Panama City Beach Neighborhood Guide

Lower Grand Lagoon

Lower Grand Lagoon

Situated on St Andrews Bay, this is the perfect place to stay if you want the vibrancy of bustling urban areas with the option of escaping to the ocean.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach

Coming to Panama City Beach doesn’t have to be an expensive getaway. There are so many cheap and free things to do around the city.

Long Beach

Long Beach

Planning a holiday for yourself is stressful enough, but when you’re trying to factor in the whole family, it can be a nightmare.

If you’re looking for the ultimate beach holiday in Florida, this is the place for you. With a tiny population of just over 12,000, Panama City Beach is a resort filled with holiday-makers and sunshine-seekers. It’s the best place to come if you’re looking for a reasonably priced staycation without the enormous price tag!

Relax and bask in the sun on one of the many pristine beaches with white sands and warm seas. Although pretty much every hotel, house, and condo has a pool attached to it, the Atlantic Ocean is right on your doorstep. It’s a great place to try out new activities and watersports. Try your hand at kayaking, sailing, and scuba diving, and meet some marine friends along the way.

If you’re visiting for the first time, you’ll want to strike a balance between access to the centre of the resort and the ability to enjoy the beautiful natural setting; that’s why Lower Grand Lagoon is so perfect. You’ll be right next door to the St Andrews State Park, so you can explore hiking trails or jump in a kayak before heading to the nearby fabulous restaurants and bars.

Panama City Beach is a luxurious place to stay, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank when you come here. There’s plenty of affordable accommodation for you to choose from. The best area to stay to try out lots of cheap (or even free) activities is Laguna Beach. Not only is the coast easily accessible, but you can also get to the huge Conservation Park slightly inland, with hiking trails and gardens galore.

If you’re looking for a family holiday, Panama City Beach is also a great option. Trying to find somewhere to suit everyone can be a challenge, but we think Long Beach ticks all the boxes. As you can guess by the name, you’ll have easy access to a plethora of breath-taking shorelines, but also some brilliant family activities –  from zoos to waterparks.

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is just around the corner, and the resort is easily accessed by a network of highways, so getting here is super easy. The only problem is that once you’re here, you won’t want to leave!

The BEST Travel Backpack?!
aer travel pack 2 backpack

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite travel backpack is the Aer Travel Pack 2.

View on AER

Panama City Beach’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay In

With so many activities, sunbathing, and beaches to enjoy, Panama Beach is one of the best places to visit in Florida!

#1 Lower Grand Lagoon – Where to Stay in Panama City Beach First Time

Situated on St Andrews Bay, this is the perfect place to stay if you want the vibrancy of bustling urban areas with the option of escaping to the ocean.

Lower Grand Lagoon
What a view!

With great cafes, restaurants, and accommodation, you can relax in comfort while still having some fantastic opportunities to take on the adventures of the sea – sailing, kayaking, and swimming!

Things to See and Do in Lower Grand Lagoon:

– The obvious place to visit in Lower Grand Lagoon is the outdoor sanctuary of St Andrews State Park. You can find areas for overnight camping, trails for hiking, plenty of pristine beaches, and even boat tours that will take you around the local coastline.

– Head to Captain Anderson’s Marina for a look at some incredible boats. Adventures at Sea is an example of a great company offering boat tours. If you’re feeling seaworthy, you could even take on the waves by hiring your own boat!

– Fancy meeting some marine mates? Head to Dolphin and Snorkel Tours, where you’ll be shown the best places to find some fishy friends.

– This part of Panama City Beach has some awesome eateries and bars, with fantastic views, too. Check out Sisters of the Sea & Dive Bar, Patches Pub and Schooners.

Tranquil Beachfront Apartment for families in Lower Grand Lagoon: Seychelles 1307

This is a lovely, peaceful apartment where you can enjoy fabulous views of the sea while also being close to the centre of Panama City Beach. Alongside the bright, modern space, you’ll have access to a spa, pool, and games room. Bonus – the beach is just a short walk away – bliss!

Quirky Condo in Lower Grand Lagoon: Beachfront Vacation

This is a bright, vibrant accommodation where you’ll be sure to have a fun-filled and exciting stay. With exotic blues and greens in the decor, you’ll feel fully submerged into the ocean-side lifestyle. This culminates in the beautiful sea views from the 9th-floor condo.

Relaxed Beachhouse in Lower Grand Lagoon: Gorgeous Home with Gulf view

If you’re looking for a relaxed, spacious home to unwind in, this leafy, chilled-out home is ideal. With balconies overlooking the gulf, easy beach access, and plenty of natural light, you can relax in the cosy living room or cook up a large meal in the dining room. With three large bedrooms to choose from, this place is excellent for a family getaway or a break with friends!

#2 Laguna Beach – Where to Stay in Panama City Beach on a Budget

Coming to Panama City Beach doesn’t have to be an expensive getaway. There are so many cheap and free things to do around the city. The best place for you to explore these is in the Laguna Beach area.

Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach is a great place to stay.

With a vast Conversation Park just inland, there are dozens of walks and hikes to have a go at. But if you’d rather do something less active, beaches are easily accessible, as are museums and aquariums.

Things to See and Do in Laguna Beach:

– The best and cheapest way to get your fill of fresh air and beautiful countryside in Laguna Beach is by taking a trip to the huge Conversation Area, which is a little inland. Here, you’ll find Gayle’s Trails, where you can enjoy a long hike on boardwalks through the thick, luscious woodland.

– If you want to get on the water and take a boat tour or try out a new watersport, why not hit up one of the many companies on the coastline? Some of the best are PCB Wet N Wild Adventures, Airboat Adventures, or Wild Thang Airboat Tours.

– Learn about the maritime history of Panama City Beach at the Man in the Sea Museum down the coast.

– Make some underwater pals at Gulf World. You can wander around tropical gardens, feed sharks, and enjoy a sea lion, dolphin, and parrot show!

Cosy Bungalow in Laguna Beach: Completely Remodeled Cottage

This airy bungalow is so close to the beach that your driveway will be dusted with sand. Built in 1938, this bungalow has been beautifully refurbished to nod to its characterful atmosphere. But it’s equipped with all the modern appliances needed to make it a stress-free place to stay. The large kitchen and living area are ideal for family breaks, but the cosiness of the property also make this a fantastic place for a couple’s getaway.

Modern Stylish Condo in Laguna Beach: Multi-level Seaside Condo

This is a more modern option if you’re looking for something contemporary and stylish. Although the ocean is right on your doorstep, you can dive into a brand new shared pool if you’d rather stay at home for the day. With a main bedroom and a loft bedroom, this is a great place to bring the kids. Once they’re in bed, you can enjoy a glass of wine on your private balcony!

Cute Cottage in Laguna Beach: Beachfront Cottage with Sea Access

This is a cosy and homely option, perfect for a couple’s getaway. Sit out on your deck to soak up the sun or enjoy a home-cooked breakfast before heading out on a day of exploring. With unique furnishings and great views of the gulf, you don’t have to travel far to see some of Laguna Beach’s best views. The beach is less than a block away!

Need some extra energy?
Power Adapter

One of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.

Buy your travel adapter on Amazon now.

#3 Long Beach – Where to Stay in Panama City Beach for Families

Planning a holiday for yourself is stressful enough, but when you’re trying to factor in the whole family, it can be a nightmare. But stress not; we’ve sussed the best place for a family getaway. Long Beach is a centrally located neighbourhood with great activities for the family to enjoy.

Long Beach

Whether it’s visiting the zoo, heading to the waterpark, or simply sitting back and soaking up the sun on a Floridian beach, there’s something for everyone to get stuck into.

Things to See and Do in Long Beach:

– Take the family to the ZooWorld Zoological and Botanical Conservatory, a zoo with a difference. You’ll get to see more than 260 rare animals while learning about the great conservation programs they have here.

– Get in some family bonding with a round of mini-golf! Goofy Golf is a fun spot to knock some balls around. With crazy courses and some tricky holes, you’ll be challenged but still have a ball.

– If you’re finding the Florida Sun a bit too much, Shipwreck Island Waterpark is the best place to cool down. Get wet and wild on the flumes, rides, and slides!

– For something a little more quirky, head to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum, where you’ll find all manner of crazy exhibitions and weird and wonderful artefacts.

– Of course, there’s the option as well to just sit back and relax on one of the many local beaches. We like Lullwater Beach.

Elegant Townhouse in Long Beach: 8th Townhouse from the Beach

This is a traditional, authentic townhouse with elegant furnishings and grand decor; you’ll feel like royalty during your stay. As part of a luxury gated community, you’ll be safe and able to mix with other families staying in the resort. Included in the complex are more than ten pools, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and a beautiful lagoon running through the resort.

Chilled Out Condo in Long Beach: Beachfront Condo on White Sandy Beaches

Relax, unwind, and soak in the spectacular views of the gulf from this gorgeous condo. It’s perfect for you to bring the kids along for access to the beach and surrounding activities. As part of this rental, you’ll also get access to a shared pool, sauna, and hot tub – as well as loads of other great activities.

Bright Family Apartment in Long Beach: Sweet Escape

As the name suggests, this gorgeous apartment is a great escape for you and the family to enjoy. Stunning beach views from your balcony, a cosy kitchen/diner, and enormous bedrooms mean you can enjoy family time as well as me time! You’ll have unlimited access to an outdoor and indoor pool, hot tub, and steam room. This is a top choice for beach access and relaxation with the family.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Panama City Beach

Outstanding scenery, blazing sunshine, and one-in-a-lifetime activities – Panama City Beach has so much to offer to travellers of all types!  It’s no surprise that Panama City Beach is the perfect place to visit for all ages.

To recap: Lower Grand Lagoon is the best place to stay in Panama City Beach for your first time. You’ll have great access to beaches and parks, plus some brilliant places to grab some grub.

To recap: Panama City Beach’s most luxurious Villa is European Style Villa near the beach. It’s contemporary, comfortable, and chilled-out!

If you’re travelling on a budget, the best place to stay in Panama City Beach is Laguna Beach. You’ll find cheap accommodation and some fantastic countryside to explore.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

“Find out how YOU can support the site. We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [that’s you!]. Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂

For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support.