PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla., March 9, 2015 - As the idea of "family" comes more and more to include pets, families on vacation can face challenges bringing their four-legged family members along for the ride. But Panama City Beach, known for its sugar white sands and crystal clear emerald waters, is also home to one of the few pet-friendly beaches in the state of Florida, and has many different pet-friendly lodging and activity options available for visitors.
A pet-friendly beach is located directly across from Pier Park, an outdoor mall and lifestyle center, and just west of the City Pier. Stretching 400 feet, the beach is open to dogs on leashes, allowing the entire family to soak in the sun and feel the sand between their toes (or paws).
Panama City Beach also offers a variety of pet-friendly hotels, condominiums, campgrounds, or beach houses. Additionally, a city ordinance allows restaurant owners the option of allowing pets in outdoor seating areas that can be accessed without entering the restaurant itself. With a wealth of al fresco dining options available, many Panama City Beach restaurants offer this option.
"Panama City Beach is truly a vacation destination for the entire family - including family members with four legs," shares Dan Rowe, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. "For some pet owners, it really just wouldn't be a vacation if the dog can't come along."
Some attractions that welcoming pets in Panama City Beach include:
Beach Accesses 56, 57, & 58
Of about 100 numbered public beach access points in Panama City Beach, access points 56, 57, and 58 lead to the pet-friendly section of beach west of the city pier and directly across from Pier Park and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.
16201 Front Beach Rd., Panama City Beach, FL 32413
Frank Brown Park
Frank Brown Park features a fenced-in playground available for dogs to run and socialize leash-free, as well as dog-friendly trails and greenways.
16200 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach, FL 32413
Aaron Bessant Park
Adjacent to Pier Park, many visitors enjoy strolling the green grass under the bright sunshine with leashed puppies in tow. The park is home to a summer concert series on Thursday nights, offering free entertainment at the amphitheater, where pets are also welcome.
West Park Dr., Panama City Beach, FL 32413
The outdoor shopping mall and lifestyle center Pier Park is another pet-friendly locale for those who enjoy a stroll and window shopping, with some restaurants welcoming pets to their outdoor seating areas. Ron Jon's Surf Shop even allows dogs indoors that can be carried. All pets must be on leashes at all times.
600 Pier Park Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32413
Panama City Beach Conservation Park
At over 2,900 acres, Panama City Beach Conservation Park provides dozens of miles of trails and boardwalks ideal for exercising with pets from sunrise to sunset. The Park features 12 different looping trails to choose from and allows adventure seekers to observe the beauty of Northwest Florida's flora and fauna up close.
The north end of Griffin Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413.
Boardwalk Beach Resort Hotel & Convention Center
Boardwalk Beach Resort Hotel & Convention Center offers Fido friendly beachfront hotel accommodations for up to two dogs per room in all sizes. Pets must be identified at the time of reserving a pet-friendly room. Additional $15 per day www.boardwalkbeachresort.com
Carillon Beach Resort Inn
Carillon Beach Resort Inn is a luxurious modern seaside escape with the comforts of a resort community on the secluded west end of Bay County. Two pets are welcome per room up to 60 pounds each, with a $75 non-refundable deposit. www.carillonbeachresortinn.com.
Sheraton's Bay Point Resort
The newly renovated Sheraton Bay Point Resort offers the most unique luxury vacation experience on Panama City Beach. Nestled along the shores of St. Andrews Bay, this pet-friendly retreat offers recreation and comfort, perfect for romantic getaways, family vacations, celebrations or business events. www.sheratonbaypoint.com
Located in the center of Panama City Beach offering low-rise accommodations, The Chateau is a popular home away from home for guests traveling with small dogs and cats in tow. Pets under 15 pounds are welcome in pet-friendly rooms for a non-refundable deposit of $50 per stay. www.chateaumotel.com.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Pier Park and La Quinta Inn & Suites Panama City Beach
One of the most pet-friendly brands in accommodations, both La Quinta Inn & Suites properties offer pet-friendly rooms for all sizes and at no additional cost or deposit. www.laquintapanamacitybeachpierpark.com and www.laquintapanamacitybeach.com
Pineapple Villas on Laguna Beach
The Pineapple Villas on Laguna Beach is a small inn with a tropical vibe, located on the quiet West End of Panama City Beach. Staff there regard your pets as guests, too, and strive to make them feel like they're on vacation as well! Pet fees vary based on pet size, and are limited to two pets per room.
Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort
With a focus on "FUN," the Sandpiper Beach Beach Resort offers amenities for your entire family, and bills itself as "the pack-leader in pet friendly hotels in Panama City Beach." Small dogs are allowed with a $20 per pet fee, per night.
Wisteria Inn advertises accommodations "For Discerning Adults and Their Pets." This cozy adults-only inn is nestled just steps from the beach. The inn features manicured lawns for pets to enjoy and homemade dog biscuits in the lobby. www.wisteria-inn.com
Oceans of Love (Pet-Sitting)
Oceans of Love is a professional pet sitting company that treats each guest with love and kindness. In addition to dog walking and pet services, Oceans of Love Pet Sitting can provide house services including watering plants, gathering mail and etc. www.oceanoflovepetsetting.com
In addition to the properties outlined above, a full list of pet-friendly hotels, motels, condominiums and campgrounds can be found at www.visitpanamacitybeach.com/places-to-stay/ .