Have some Panama City Beach trivia on hand for your next trip to the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches! Check out these 10 fun facts about Panama City Beach that might just surprise you.
1. Lake Powell, at the west end of Panama City Beach, is the largest dune lake in Florida. Dune lakes are rare ecosystems found only in the Florida Panhandle, Madagascar, Australia and New Zealand. They are freshwater systems that intermittently exchange water with bodies of salt water such as the Gulf of Mexico through a meandering outlet. Lake Powell has been designated a “Pristine Florida Waterway.” Camp Helen State Park is located along its western shore.
2. While not often thought of as swimmers, whitetail deer are adept enough in the water to make the seemingly perilous crossing from mainland St. Andrews State Park to Shell Island, often surprising boaters. Deer, singly and in groups, make the trip to discover whether the grass is greener on the other side of the pass.
3. Panama City Beach is home to 100 public beach access points, including those in St. Andrews State Park or Camp Helen State Park. Some provide parking, each has a unique personality and all guarantee the public free access to the sand.
4. Panama City Beach is home to one of the highest concentrations of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins anywhere, a reflection of the area’s excellent water quality. Pods of dolphins are resident along Panama City Beach year-round and are made curious by human activity.
5. The world famous sugary white sand of the world’s most beautiful beaches resulted from quartz crystals that were washed down from the Appalachian Mountains centuries ago. Along the way, the crystals were bleached, ground, smoothed and polished.
6. PCB is known as the Wreck Capital of the South because its many shipwrecks off the Gulf Coast, including the SS Tarpon, a 95-foot cargo ship; the Gray Ghost, a 110-foot tug boat; the Chickasaw, a 60-foot tug boat; the Chippewa, a fully intact, 95-foot Navy tug; and Empire Mica, a 465-foot British tanker, the most famous shipwreck that was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1942. These wrecks and 50 artificial reefs teeming with marine life also make it a premier diving destination in the South.
7. The best time to go diving in Panama City Beach is April through September. Beginner divers can also enjoy the warm Gulf in more shallow waters around St. Andrews’ jetties.
8. St. Andrews State Park, in fact, is ranked as one of the United States’ Top 10 Beaches. Located on Shell Island, the park uniquely boasts four habitats: lake, deciduous forest, sand dunes and ocean.
9. Because of its bounty of hundreds of seafood restaurants, Panama City Beach is known as the Seafood Capital of the South.
10. Visitors looking for ways to beat the heat head over to Panama City Beach’s own Shipwreck Island, voted as "America’s Third Best Water Park" by TripAdvisor two years in a row. The 20 acre water park is ranked third only behind Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, attracting people of all ages for a splash of fun all summer long!
Want to learn more about Panama City Beach? Click here to view our digital Visit Panama City Beach Visitors Guide!