PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla., Jan. 8, 2014 - As Chicago area temperatures hover below zero and a getaway to sugar sand beaches would be a welcomed relief, the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau is kicking off the New Year in the Windy City. Starting the week of Jan. 13, the Northwest Florida destination will bring elements of the beachside community to both Woodfield Mall and the ‘L' train, encouraging Chicago residents to plan a Panama City Beach escape.

"Much of the country is experiencing record cold weather this winter and Chicago is in the heart of these frigid temperatures," shares Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Dan Rowe. "We look forward to sharing a little sunshine with shoppers and commuters this January, inspiring an escape to Panama City Beach in upcoming travel plans."

Beginning Jan. 16 - 20, the Panama City Beach team will be at Woodfield Mall, the largest shopping mall in Illinois and minutes from O'Hare Airport. Shoppers can take pictures in front of a beach scene complete with props and share via social media with #RealFunBeach, then enter for a chance to win a dream trip to Panama City Beach. Bringing a bit of paradise to the Chicago winter, the Real.Fun.Beach initiative invites shoppers to learn about exciting activities in Panama City Beach such as paddleboarding in scenic St. Andrews Bay, boating to nearby Shell Island for a picnic and of course dining on fresh Gulf of Mexico seafood.

Additionally, Chicago residents riding the ‘L' train Blue Line will be met with a sunny surprise to warm up the January commute. Specially wrapped cars will feature images of sunny Florida and Panama City Beach. For more information visit