Panoramic coastal drives, beautiful sunsets, white sands, a clear aquamarine ocean and sunny days? You must be in Florida!
They call Panama City Beach ‘The Redneck Riviera’ however there is no better way to restore the soul than to spend four days swimming in the wonderful warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Generally this ocean is calm, flat and serene. Interestingly, the best and only time to surf it is throughout the hurricane season as this tranquil sea can produce waves up to 12 feet high during that time.
The waters off the coast line are crystal clear. So clear in fact, you can see sand dollars and shells underfoot, dolphins, fish and majestic rays gliding silently past. I was truly blessed early one morning to find myself swimming within a school of Lesser Devil Rays (also referred to as smaller Manta Rays). My early morning walk/swim became one of the most amazingly beautiful days of my life. These little rays are incredibly inquisitive and playful and swimming alongside them will be an experience I will never forget.
Sea bird life is abundant……
School of Lesser Devil Rays………
Eating at Panama City Beach: If you ever happen to find yourself down Panama City Beach way then I can very happily recommend a couple of places. Both have a great selection of fresh seafood available and both dining experiences are as different as day is to night.
* The Saltwater Grill – lovely with great food, great service and a very good wine selection. The highlight of the restaurant is the 7 feet high 25,000 gallon saltwater tropical aquarium which is visible from most seating areas in the restaurant. The food here was really good and although it is a little more expensive than your usual ‘chain’ it was certainly worth it.
The dessert ‘taster’ at the Saltwater Grill
* Dusty’s Oyster Bar – ‘the home of warm beer, lousy food and ugly waitresses’! That’s their catchy little slogan but don’t believe a word of it because this little place is a hoot. Great food, great service, great atmosphere and great beer. If you want to hang out with the locals, who by the way are very friendly, welcoming and interesting then this is the place to be. Dusty’s is also where the locals eat which in my book is a pretty good recommendation so grab a seat and try some of the best oysters, freshly shucked at the bar, along with crab and shrimp….prawns to Aussies.
More random photos from Panama City Beach Florida:
Panama City Beach is lovely. With 27 miles of stunning sugar-white sand beaches, warm gulf waters and a beautiful ocean how could you not but enjoy the journey xx