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Panama City Beach, Fla., Named Top Beach by TripAdvisor®


PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla., (June 25, 2009) – Panama City Beach, Fla., was just recognized by TripAdvisor® as home to one of America’s top beaches.


Ranking third in the U.S. on the just-released 2009 listing, the destination’s St. Andrews State Recreation Area was selected based on opinions of millions of travelers worldwide and the expertise of the editors of the world’s largest online travel community,®.


Spanning 1,260 acres in picturesque Northwest Florida, St. Andrews State Recreation Area boasts sugar-white sand overlooking the clear, emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay.  The 1.5-mile-long beach has a calm, child-friendly area, offering swimming and snorkeling in a shallow, tranquil pool, protected by jetties.  Visitors can take a quick ferry ride to nearby Shell Island for more surf and sun.  Hikers and birders, meanwhile, enjoy the park’s 1.25 miles of pristine trails with an incredible array of plants and wildlife, including deer, egrets and graceful tropical birds.  At St. Andrews, anglers enjoy surf fishing, as well as fishing off a deep-sea jetty and two piers. Concession stands and campsites also are available for lovers of the outdoors.


Panama City Beach also enjoys recognition as a premier beach destination from Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, The Travel Channel, Southern Living, Dr. Beach and the Clean Beaches Council.


“The destination offers something for everyone,” explains Dan Rowe, C.E.O., Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our award-winning beaches and predictably sunny weather have drawn travelers for generations. Visitors here today discover a wealth of new offerings. From new restaurants, shops and nightlife venues to outdoor concerts, festivals, fishing, golfing, eco-tours and more, there’s always something fun going on in Panama City Beach.”


Shoppers and culinary enthusiasts here are rewarded at the new Pier Park, located in the heart of town. Spanning roughly one million-square-foot Pier Park serves up soft sea breezes and an array of unique offerings as Northwest Florida’s largest shopping, dining and entertainment venue. For marine life lovers, the nearby Gulf World Marine Park delights with animal exhibits and shows as well as opportunities to swim with the dolphins. Little ones marvel at ZooWorld Zoological & Botanical Park, home to more than 250 animals, including rare and endangered species, in a lush, tropical setting. Family attractions abound, including Shipwreck Island Waterpark, one of Florida’s largest theme water parks, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, featuring fascinating finds from around the world.


For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s world-class fishing, hiking, kayaking and more. Adventurers find plenty of ways to test their skills with Panama City Beach’s full spectrum of water sports – snorkeling, diving, parasailing, skimboards, Yolo boards, wave runners and more.


To showcase the destination’s many charms, the Convention and Visitors Bureau recently launched a summer-long online video contest, offering $50,000 in cash and prizes, including customized vacations to Panama City Beach. Tapping into the fast-growing popularity of online videos, the contest encourages consumers to post their original works, offering an innovative travel personality twist.


Through July 31, consumers can visit and take a quick quiz to determine their Panama City Beach travel personality:  Eco-Seeker, Wave Warrior, After Dark Shark looking for glittery nightlife, Soul Surfer who loves long strolls on the beach, or a leader of the family-friendly Sandy Bottom Bunch. Then, they can produce an original video that showcases their unique travel personality type. The top videos will be showcased for online voting, and five winners will receive $10,000 each in cash and prizes, including five-night vacations in Panama City Beach, customized to suit their travel interests.  To date, nearly 2,000 people from around the country have taken the Panama City Beach travel personality quick quiz.


With so much to offer, it’s no surprise that Panama City Beach attracts visitors from around the globe. Even more travelers are about to discover this Florida gem thanks to a new international airport slated to make its debut in the spring 2010.  The airport’s opening will increase accessibility to Panama City Beach for travelers nationally and internationally.  With myriad green features incorporated into its design and construction, the airport aims to be the first in the U.S. to receive LEED certification.


For more information, go to or call the Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-PC-BEACH (850-233-6503).


About Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach boasts 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering the clear, emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay. The Northwest Florida community is home to St. Andrew’s State Park, a Top Three beach on the 2009 TripAdvisor list of America’s best beaches. Panama City Beach also enjoys recognition as a premier beach destination by Condé Nast Traveler, The Travel Channel, USA Today, Southern Living, Dr. Beach and the Clean Beaches Council. Family attractions, championship golf courses, sporting events, award-winning dining, predictably sunny weather and a vast number of recreational activities draw visitors to this seaside community. For more information, call 1-800-PC-BEACH (850-233-6503) or check out the official Web site of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau,


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