Panama City Beach
WALK-IN CARE FOR ILLNESS AND INJURIES Open 7 Days a week, 9 am-8 pm Trusted Urgent Care Clinic Since 2007 EmeraldCoastUrgentCare.com
Destin Sand Destin
11111 Panama City Beach Parkway, Ste. 264 Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 • (850) 236-8655 12598 Emerald Coast Parkway #101 Destin, Florida 32550 • (850) 654-8878
14 Welcome to the Beach! 16 About Resort Collection 18 Beach Style for Your Whole #Squad 31 Serenity and Style at Firefly 42 Call of the Wild 52 Nashville’s Beach: Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam 59 Eleven Panama City Beach Resorts for Every Occasion 72 Warning: Adventure Zone Ahead! 74 Makin’ Memories at the Beach 76 Entertainin’ at the Beach 78 The Art of Nostalgia 85 Own a Slice of Paradise 88 Keep Calm; You’re Finally at the Beach!
89 Arrive and Relax
90 Some Say Ecotourism—We Say Eco-adventures!
92 The Fun’s All Here at Pier Park
96 Panama City Beach’s Favorite Attraction
98 Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
101 Rain, Rain, Go Away…
104 Fly High or Dive Deep 110 Recreation Is Relaxation 116 A Competitors’ Paradise
ON THE COVER FUN IN THE SUN There’s nothing like relaxing on the crystal-white sand beach at one of Resort Collection’s properties in Panama City Beach, Florida, with a drink in a branded Goin’ to the Beach!® koozie. The gorgeous beaches are rivaled only by young beauties sporting their best bikinis! Our cover girl, Emme Martin of Click/Re:Quest Model Management, is a local talent and the winner of South Walton Fashion Week’s 2013 model competition. We couldn’t ask for a better representation of having fun in the sun!
122 Lovin’ Beer, Lovin’ Life: Nivol Brewery 128 Get Beachy, Get Anything—at the Beach!
Photo by Dawn Chapman Whitty ResortCollection.com | 7
PUBLISHING TEAM Publisher Lisa Burwell Editor-in-Chief Gerald Burwell Editor Jordan Staggs Chief Copy Editor Margaret Stevenson Art Director Tracey Thomas Graphic Designers Rinn Garlanger, Lucy Mashburn Creative Stylist Suva Ang-Mendoza Film Curator Tim Dutrow Web Developers Meghn Hill, Mark Thomas Contributing Writer Kristen Kukta
More Than Just A Great Steak
Contributing Photographers Aranka Israni, Natasha Jasperson, Chelsea Kornse, Melanie Resch, Romona Robbins, Troy Ruprecht, Glen Thaxton, Dawn Chapman Whitty Account Manager Lauren Shaw Advertising Sales Executives Julie Dorr Julie@TheIdeaBoutique.com Mary Jane Kirby MaryJane@TheIdeaBoutique.com Distribution Manager Tim Dutrow Distribution Coordinator Shannon Quinlan
R E S O RT C O L L EC T I O N T E A M
Open Year Round Casual Atmosphere Salads, Burgers & Sandwiches, Seafood, Steaks, Ribs, & More Lunch Dinner Happy Hour Live Entertainment Early Bird Menu
2218 Thomas Drive Panama City Beach 850-233-9514 triplejsteakhouse.com
Chief Operations Officer Mike Stange Vice President of Business Development Paul Wohlford PWohlford@ResortCollection.com Marketing Manager Catherine Collins CCollins@ResortCollection.com
P U B L I S H E D BY:
Brand Curators â€˘ Trend Forecasters Boutique Publishing House â€˘ Design Studio 850.231.3087
114 Logan Lane, Suite 4 | Grayton Beach, FL 32459 TheIdeaBoutique.com
8 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
Contact us at email@example.com
A NOTE FROM OUR EDITOR
Dream LIVIN’ THE
friend recently, navigating the maze again, enjoying the views along Front Beach Road, catching a movie at the Grand 16 Pier Park, and walking to the end of Russell-Fields Pier at night. There’s a certain magic in the sparkling white sand. The moment you step barefoot onto it, you feel like a kid again, bright-eyed and excited about the chance to dive into the Gulf of Mexico, scan the horizon for dolphins, splash down at the water park, or build an even better sand castle than you did the year before. Explore all the opportunities to relive childhood memories and make new ones with your family and friends in this inaugural issue of Goin’ to the Beach magazine (formerly called Treasures). As the publisher of both magazines and the agency of record for Resort Collection the past nine years, The Idea Boutique has had the unique opportunity to merge the concept of Treasures magazine with Resort
Editor Jordan Staggs Photo by Aranka Israni
Collection’s strong brand marketing message of the past three years—
marketplace, having grown over the past thirty-five years into the largest
Goin’ to the Beach! Resort Collection has a vigorous presence in the
hinking back on trips to the Gulf Coast when I was growing
hospitality and real estate service provider in the area, so rebranding the
up brings up memories of piling into the minivan with my
magazine as a beach lifestyle publication is a natural progression. Goin’
parents and younger brothers, feeling that “Are we there
to the Beach! promotes and celebrates Panama City Beach and will into
yet?” excitement, and stopping at Peach Park for halfway-
point ice cream. A condo on the beach was home for a week—for me, the higher up we were, the better. I loved sitting on the balcony, scanning
Resort Collection’s eleven stunning on-site managed beach properties are
the horizon for boats, and listening to the waves crash (I always had
just steps from the sandy beaches and centrally located to all the best
dibs on the pullout sofa so I could leave the balcony door cracked
attractions and restaurants in Panama City Beach so you can make the
and fall asleep to the soothing sound at night). Miniature golf was a
most of your vacation. Stop by Tiki Airbrush at Edgewater Beach and
family battle, and I was proud to call myself the laser tag champion.
Golf Resort and say hello to Tim and Trish Mitchell, who tell their story
There was always a spaghetti dinner enjoyed in the comfort of our
in “The Art of Nostalgia.” Our guides to watersports, eco-adventures,
home away from home, but fresh crab claws and shrimp from local
and parks in the area will get you outdoors, on the trails, and in the water
eateries were always on the menu one night—or two, if they were
so you can see just what makes Northwest Florida’s coast so incredible.
If you find yourself thinking “I never want to leave,” then maybe it’s time to visit our friends at RC Real Estate Group and find your perfect beach
When I moved to the coast four years ago, I found those memories
house or condo.
popping up more frequently as I was exposed to things I had all but forgotten. I recalled a dream about wandering through a giant, white-
Whether you’re visiting for the scenery, the amusement parks, the food,
walled labyrinth—only to realize that it was a long-ago memory of a
or the nightlife, it’s time to celebrate, ’cause you’re Goin’ to the Beach!
family outing to the Gran Maze at Coconut Creek Family Fun Park in Panama City Beach. I delighted in playing tourist for a day with a
—Jordan ResortCollection.com | 11
SEEKING A PERSONALIZED WILDLIFE DOLPHIN ADVENTURE? OUR NEW BOATS TAKE YOU WHERE OTHER TOURS DON’T! Swim with Dolphins – Explore Shell Island – Snorkel for Starfish, Sand Dollars and Seashells Certified Coast Guard Captain Tour Guide – Snorkel Gear Included Six passengers per boat. Five boats available. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED – $49 PER PERSON 2 or 3 Hour Trips Available
SHELL ISLAND BOAT RENTALS & WAVERUNNER TOURS The Original Island WaveRunner Tour 2 Hours of Island Touring on New Yamaha WaveRunners Executive Premium Luxury Pontoons Boat rentals include maps, safety gear, ladders & instruction. Half-Day or Full-Day Rentals Reserve online or call for availability.
www.ShellIslandTours.com (850) 234-7245 TREASURE ISLAND MARINA, 3601 THOMAS DRIVE, PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA 32408
55’ SAILING CATAMARAN CRUISES
SHELL ISLAND DOLPHIN CRUISES
SAILING CRUISES DAILY WITH OUR FUN AND FRIENDLY CREW INCLUDE: Daily 3 1/2-hour snorkel and dolphin cruises with gear included – $40 per person Nightly 2-hour sunset dolphin watch cruises – $25 per person (*Reduced pricing for children.)
(850) 234-7377 WWW.ISLANDTIMESAILING.COM 3605 THOMAS DRIVE PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA 32408 Snack bar with beer & wine available. Restroom on board. Reservations required. Call or BOOK NOW online.
AN INTERVIEW WITH PAUL WOHLFORD etween its relaxed, hospitality-driven culture and big-city-
Paul Wohlford (PW): Resort Collection has been in the vacation
meets-small-town character, this section of Northwest Florida
rental industry and involved with homeowner associations for over
has tremendous amounts of fun and activities to offer visitors.
thirty years. We’ve had the ability to diversify ourselves by remaining
Resort Collection boasts some of the best catering, spa services,
the largest locally owned and operated rental organization in Bay
accommodations, and golf on Panama City Beach’s short twenty-
County and Panama City Beach. Time and time again we have
seven-mile stretch of land. While this area might have eighty years
proven our stability in the marketplace by overcoming obstacles
of history, it’s a brand-new beach that you will want to get to know
that not all businesses survived: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a
all over again.
recession, and new spring break ordinances, to name a few. We also manage more than twenty food and beverage outlets, including two
As Resort Collection’s vice president of business development, Paul
free-standing restaurants: Ocean’s Bar & Grill and Montego Bay. I’d
Wohlford believes in the people and future of Panama City Beach,
say that definitely sets us apart from our competitors.
and he’s quick to share his love and passion for the area with everyone he meets. There is no one better to give an introduction to Resort
GTTB: How long have you been with Resort Collection?
Collection’s unique beach properties and to the Gulf Coast of Florida!
PW: I have been with the company I call my second family for ten years. My wife, Ann, and I moved to Panama City Beach fifteen
Goin’ to the Beach! (GTTB): As the largest vacation rental organization
years ago and immediately fell in love with the area. It says a lot
in Panama City Beach, why do you believe Resort Collection stands
to be in the hospitality business and stay in one location for a long
out above the rest?
period of time.
14 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT THE BEACH IS STILL OUR GREATEST OUTDOOR AMENITY AND ACTIVITY. BETWEEN SURFING, DIVING, AND PADDLEBOARDING, THERE IS AN ABUNDANCE OF ACTIVITIES TO DO JUST ON THE SANDY BEACHES. GTTB: What does Resort Collection offer to its guests that other
sandy beaches. The weather here is perfect for runners, too. Being
vacation rental companies don’t?
an avid runner myself and having an entire family that is outdoor
PW: Hospitality is at the core of everything we do. We value integrity,
driven, we take full advantage of the nearly three hundred days of
teamwork, accountability, service, loyalty, respect, and most of all—
sunshine on the Emerald Coast. Our area is also very eco-active;
fun! The mind-set of all of our employees is that every day is the first
there are state parks and a conservation park, as well as biking trails
day of someone’s vacation, and it’s our job to make sure they have the
and pet-friendly parks, all within walking or biking distance to the
best time during their stay with us.
beach and our resorts.
GTTB: Are there any exciting changes or additions that new and
GTTB: What is your favorite thing about Panama City Beach?
returning guests can experience while they are here?
PW: Short answer—the people. My wife and I are both in the hospitality
PW: Northwest Florida and Resort Collection are constantly evolving,
business, and it is the people—the whole community, in fact—that
which means there is always something new to appreciate. In 2015,
made us want to stay here. They make a great destination even better.
we renovated the Clubhouse at Hombre Golf Club; it is now a stateof-the-art facility that will certainly impress any golf enthusiast. The
GTTB: If someone is visiting Panama City Beach for the first time,
exciting new kids’ Adventure Zone is now available and includes
what is something they should definitely not miss doing or seeing?
on-site fun, golf lessons, Kids’ Night Out, and so much more.
PW: I’ll say it again; our beach is second to none! But definitely plan a visit to Firefly—it is one of the finest restaurants in the country and
GTTB: Resort Collection manages condominium units in twenty-
Chef Derek’s food is something everyone must experience. If you can,
four buildings on Panama City Beach. Where do you see future
try and plan a day trip or rent a pontoon boat to Shell Island for a
private, secluded beach experience. Venture out to Pier Park for an
PW: We still plan on growing and evolving in Panama City Beach
obviously great time with the family and, lastly, for a beachfront dining
and even to the west of here. The Scenic Highway 30-A and Destin
occasion, make sure to visit Schooners, truly a local favorite.
areas are booming and bringing a unique flare to the traditional beach vacationer. Any opportunity has to be right for our guests and
GTTB: Your mission is to “build lifelong customers by creating
our company, but I believe we are definitely heading in an innovative
lifelong memories.” What are some of your favorite memories with
direction. We have only the highest standards for our guests, our
Resort Collection or in Panama City Beach?
vacation rentals, and the amenities that go with them.
PW: My personal favorite is watching my kids grow up in this great community surrounded by wonderful people. But I’ve also enjoyed
GTTB: Other than vacation rentals, what else does Resort Collection
watching our destination grow as a whole. Many excellent partner-
ships have formed and it is exciting to see what future growth they
PW: In a nutshell, we specialize in all of it. We pride ourselves in being
the only full-service resort company in Panama City Beach. Besides offering spectacular accommodations, we have professional golf, tennis, scuba, and surf instructors able to offer first-time instruction or build upon any skills you might already have. Our clubs have amazing fitness facilities, as well as full spa services from certified spa therapists. We also have a complete food and beverage team, as well as off-site catering for parties and private functions, consulting for food and beverage operations, and grand ballrooms and conference centers that are fully equipped to host numerous weddings and special events, such as reunions, each year. GTTB: What activities do you recommend in Panama City Beach for active guests? PW: It goes without saying that the beach is still our greatest outdoor amenity and activity. Between surfing, diving, deep-sea fishing, and paddleboarding, there is an abundance of activities to do just on the ResortCollection.com | 15
Who We Are
Resort Collection’s success can be attributed to an expert insight into the hospitality, destination travel, real estate, and property management industries. With counsel from a select team of industry veterans and pioneers, Resort Collection has charted a course
of careful and calculated growth, expanding services across a range of allied industries. Through the adoption of technology, the application of sophisticated marketing techniques, and the creation of a flexible and scalable infrastructure, Resort Collection has evolved to become a trusted industry leader and the choice of owners and investors throughout North America. www.ResortCollectionCorporate.com
Our Brands and Services Resort Collection Beach Properties
Resort Collection invites sun worshippers to visit America’s favorite beach destination, Panama City Beach, and stay at one of its many properties, which include the family-friendly Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, the magnificent Majestic Beach Resort, the luxuriously appointed Emerald Beach Resort, the relaxing Long Beach Resort, the contemporary Grandview East Resort, the exciting Summit Beach Resort, the memorable Shores of Panama, the beautiful Sunbird Beach Resort, the fun-filled Laketown Wharf Resort, the laid-back Top of the Gulf Condominiums, and the exclusive En Soleil—all located on the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.” www.ResortCollection.com
Resort Collection Hospitality Management
This full-service hospitality management and consulting team has been giving owners the highest level of year-round revenue while maintaining their properties in top condition for over twenty years. When developing a new hotel or resort, establishing a new hospitality or leisure business or brand, or acquiring and refurbishing an existing property, it is important that effective and well-considered long-term decisions are made from the outset. From guest comfort to activities, from financial planning to the hiring of staff, Resort Collection’s seasoned professionals will work with your team to ensure that the vision becomes a reality. Call (800) 331-6338 for more information.
16 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
Resort Collection Association Management
The Resort Collection Association Management team (RCAM) offers professional property management services for a variety of properties. Designated by the Community Associations Institute as an Accredited Association Management Company, RCAM has been serving communities for twenty years, offering proven management programs for multiple associations, local market knowledge, and the expertise expected from an industry leader. RCAM’s professional accounting team delivers financial stability and security to its clients, including expense tracking, cash flow control, budget and reserves management, and collections strategies. The team provides proven programs that will lower operating costs while adding stability, value, and a harmonious environment to each community it serves. www.ResortCollection.com/RC-Association-Management
Resort Collection Vacation Rentals
With over nine hundred individually owned vacation rental units, Resort Collection continues to experience careful and controlled growth due to a thorough knowledge of the vacation rental industry, a careful selection of only the most desirable properties, and a genuine concern for the best interests of its owners. In addition to providing a variety of rental management options for owners, Resort Collection Vacation Rentals helps guests find the perfect accommodations to suit their needs at their favorite Panama City Beach resorts such as Seychelles, Splash, Calypso, and Boardwalk Beach Resort. Whether vacationers are seeking a relaxing couple’s getaway or a family beach trip full of fun and excitement, Resort Collection Vacation Rentals has properties to suit everyone. www.RCVacationRentals.com
RC Real Estate Group
When it comes to maneuvering the often-choppy waters of the area’s real estate market, you definitely want a seasoned captain and crew at the helm. The team at RC Real Estate Group, formerly Edgewater Beach Realty, is just the team you’re looking for. Although the name is new, the brokerage has been satisfying the real estate needs of thousands of clients for over thirty years. RC Real Estate Group is a full-service real estate company that specializes not only in residential sales of single-family homes, condominiums, and homesites, but also in commercial sales, leasing, and property management. For more information on real estate opportunities at RC Real Estate Group, call (800) 327-8686. www.RCRealEstateGroup.com
Interested in becoming part of our professional team? Visit our website to see what makes Workin’ at the Beach so amazing and to view available job openings! www.ResortCollectionCorporate.com/Careers/Culture Resort Collection is proud to be a member of these esteemed hospitality organizations:
ResortCollection.com | 17
ResortCollection.com | 19
Make a Splash
20 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
ResortCollection.com | 21
Good Vibes Only
22 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
ResortCollection.com | 23
24 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
Sun, Surf & Sand
26 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
ResortCollection.com | 27
28 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
Steaks • Seafood • Ribs
(850) 233-6033 473 Richard Jackson Blvd. Panama City Beach, FL 32407
w w w. m o n t e g o b ay p c b . c o m
ResortCollection.com | 29
S E R E N I T Y & S T Y L E AT Panama City Beachâ€™s Casual Fine Dining Experience
B Y J O R D A N S TA G G S | P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y R O M O N A R O B B I N S
ResortCollection.com | 31
ome restaurants simply lend themselves to special occasions: Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, Thursday night…
Any occasion is the perfect one for a visit to Firefly in Panama City Beach, Florida. From the moment you pass through the wooden front doors, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a cozy hideaway that certainly has an air of je ne sais quoi—it’s difficult to pinpoint why, but you just know you’ve found someplace special. Firefly’s owner, Dave Trepanier, attributes the success of his restaurant since it opened in 2007 to many things. “It’s easy to say the food makes Firefly special, but it really is so much more than that,” he says. “It’s the whole experience—the service, the atmosphere, and the attention to detail.”
PAT RO N S CA N EN J O Y F I LE T M I G N O N A N D L O B S T ER I N T H E M A I N D I N I N G RO O M U N D ER N E AT H A B E AU T I F U L , SPRAWLING TREE—COMPLETE W I T H A M B I EN T LI G H T S A N D T W I N K LI N G “ F I R EF LI ES ” I N I T S B R A N C H ES.
Its motto is “casual fine dining,” but Firefly really is more than that. With the addition of the sushi bar and multiple private dining rooms in 2013, the restaurant brought something for everyone to the table. Patrons can enjoy filet mignon and lobster in the main dining room underneath a beautiful, sprawling tree— complete with ambient lights and twinkling “fireflies” in its branches. “I wanted the warmth of a classic steakhouse with the intimacy of an outdoor Mediterranean bistro—that brought about the idea for the tree,” Trepanier explains. “Then I thought about the fake fireflies in the tree, hence the name Firefly!” The 535 Library Lounge is the perfect spot to cozy up with good friends and enjoy a drink while waiting for your table, or just catch up 32 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
on the events of the week. The Firefly Bar has HD screens for watching the big game, and it’s a great place for grabbing an appetizer or enjoying a full meal in a more casual setting. The sushi bar serves creative, delicious handmade rolls that are sure to impress. Combine all these elements with a diverse menu that includes steaks, seafood, pasta, pizzas, sushi, desserts, specialty cocktails, and over two hundred wines, and it’s easy to see why Firefly has become a favorite dining destination for Panama City Beach locals and visitors alike. Trepanier says choosing a favorite meal at Firefly would be next to impossible. “It all depends what you’re in the mood for,” he says. “The she-crab soup is a classic. The pepper-crusted stuffed filet, homemade pasta Bolognese, espresso-braised boar shank… Honestly, all of the menu items are excellent, and Chef Derek’s weekly seafood specials are always fantastic. As far as sushi goes, the Devil’s Advocate or Cat’s Eye rolls are our most popular.”
Buy a Piece of
Call to speak with an agent
(850) 249-6100 RCRealEstateGroup.com Like us on Facebook
ResortCollection.com | 33
“ T H E R E I S A LWAY S S O M E T H I N G N E W O N T H E M E N U, A N D T H AT I S W H AT K E E P S I T E X C I T I N G ! ”
Firefly welcomed its new executive chef, Derek
“Chef Derek is so creative,” says Trepanier. “He is constantly looking
Langford, in the summer of 2015. No stranger
at new trends in cuisine. He prides himself on sourcing the best
to Gulf Coast and Southern cuisines, Langford
ingredients, whether it’s fresh Gulf seafood, locally grown produce,
has previous professional experience with
or the finest meats, and he puts quality first.” With weekly chef’s
WaterColor Inn in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida;
specials designed by Langford, as well as all of Firefly’s old favorites
Bud & Alley’s in Seaside, Florida; Farm 255
still on the menu, it’s clear that the restaurant made a good move
in Athens, Georgia; and Château Élan Winery
with the hire. “There is always something new on the menu, and
and Resort in Braselton, Georgia.
that is what keeps it exciting! The trick for Chef is trying to change the menu without taking off menu items that have become crowd
“I’m very proud and excited to be a part of
favorites. For the out-of-town guests here for the first time, it isn’t
the Firefly team,” says Langford. “They have
a big deal, but for the regulars who come in once or twice a week, I
set the bar at the highest level, and I plan not
don’t want the menu to become stagnant. We need to keep it fresh.”
only to keep it there but also do my best to raise it! I walked into an amazing staff full
In addition to the Sunset Special menu, happy hours such as Tini
of all-stars, and people aren’t usually that
Tuesdays, and weekly chef’s specials, Firefly has another new
fortunate when taking over.”
development—a brand-new website that was unveiled in February
34 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
ResortCollection.com | 35
“I’M VERY PROUD AND E X C I T E D T O B E A PA R T O F T H E F I R E F LY T E A M . T H E Y H AV E S E T T H E B A R AT T H E H I G H E S T L E V E L , A N D I P L A N N O T O N LY TO KEEP IT THERE BU T ALSO DO MY BEST TO R A I S E I T ! I WA LK ED I N T O A N A M A Z I N G S TA F F F U LL O F A L L - S TA R S , A N D P E O P LE A R EN ’ T U S UA LLY T H AT F O R T U N AT E W H E N TA K I N G O V E R . ”
Chef Derek Langford
36 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
2016 at FireflyPCB.com. “I’m very excited about our new website,” Trepanier says. “With 80 percent of our guests finding us on the web, we knew we needed to develop a more user-friendly site with updated mobile phone capabilities. We want to make it as easy as possible to come visit us!” Visitors to the site can explore all that Firefly has to offer, browse the restaurant’s menus, and make reservations online—something that Trepanier stresses is important, as the dining room is often full. “Most restaurants in Panama City Beach don’t take reservations, but we have since day one,” he says. “I can’t stand waiting for an hour or two for a table, and I want my guests to be happy and enjoy their experience at Firefly to the fullest.” Reservations can also be made by phone, but Trepanier makes a point to note they are not accepted via Facebook or Twitter. Firefly has become a staple of fine dining in Panama City Beach, having hosted its share of celebrities: country music stars Jason Aldean and Toby Keith; professional
ResortCollection.com | 37
athletes, including Heisman Trophy winners Pat Sullivan and Billy Sims and Baseball Hall of Fame great Bill Mazeroski; the great Tony Bennett; and even President Obama and the first family. Trepanier encourages privacy and comfort for all his guests, especially the famous ones, and enforces a strict no photography, no social media policy while they are dining. As one of the producers of the top Panama City Beach music festival, Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, which returns for Labor Day weekend in 2016, Trepanier expects to see some more country music artists dining beneath the Big Oak Tree. Whether youâ€™re looking for the perfect romantic date destination, a fun night out with friends or family, or a private space to hold your next meeting or event, Firefly truly has something for everyone. Its friendly staff and expert culinary team will ensure that your casual fine dining experience is one to remember.
W W W. F I R E F LY P C B . C O M
38 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
F I R E F LY â€™ S F L O U R L E S S C H O C O L AT E T O R T E
Bring a sweet little taste of Firefly home with you with this decadent dessert recipe. YIELDS 6â€“8 SERVINGS
P R E PA R AT I O N
13 ounces of 60 percent chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over a double
1/2 pound butter, unsalted
boiler, melt the butter and chocolate. Then fold
13 ounces sugar
in the eggs and sugar. Pour the batter into a
6 whole eggs, lightly whisked
small cake mold of your choice. Place the cake mold into a water bath in the oven and bake for thirty minutes. Cool to room temperature and serve with fresh fruit puree, whipped cream, or garnish of your choice. ResortCollection.com | 39
Surf’s Up Studio PHOTOGRAPHY
surfsupstudio.com (850) 230-9283
42 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
By SUVA ANG-MENDOZA Photography by ROMONA ROBBINS
ResortCollection.com | 43
LIVE IN THE SUNSHINE, SWIM IN THE CRYSTAL CLEAR WATERS, BREATHE THE WILD AIR, AND DISCOVER WHAT IT IS TO BE IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS SURROUNDING PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA. IMAGINE A SCENIC RETREAT WITHOUT THE USE OF CELLPHONES, IPADS, OR ANY OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES—JUST QUALITY TIME, BUILDING SMILES AND LASTING MEMORIES WITH YOUR LOVED ONES ON AN ADVENTURE WITH THE NATIVE WILDLIFE OF NORTHWEST FLORIDA. THAT OLD-FASHIONED IDEA OF FAMILY FUN STILL EXISTS. GET YOUR ADRENALINE PUMPING AS YOU DISCOVER THE NATURAL SURROUNDINGS AND FALL IN LOVE WITH THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES OF PANAMA CITY BEACH.
S t. Andrews S tate Park
Known for its stretch of sugary white sands
that provide sufficient opportunities for
and its waters with colors ranging from
anglers. Experience nature with a hike or a
saturated emerald green to blue, St. Andrews
bike ride through the preserves. The superior
State Park sits in the heart of Panama City
campgrounds offer 176 sites equipped with
Beach, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and
electricity, water, picnic tables, and grills,
the St. Andrew Bay. The park is welcoming,
plus a nature trail that winds through the
with a nationally ranked beach and countless
coastal plant communities and is great for
activities that are perfect for one or for a
bird-watching. Continue your adventure on
whole family. Enjoy a leisurely day soaking
a shuttle or pontoon boat (available for rent),
in the sun or running on the shores of the
and head to Shell Island for some sightseeing:
beach at Shell Island, or make a splash
many critters inhabit the seven-hundred-acre
enjoying water sports such as swimming,
island, including deer, turtles, pelicans,
snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and
sandpipers, gulls, and even alligators!
canoeing. There are also two fishing piers
ResortCollection.com | 45
Panama Ci ty Beach Conservation Park
Hidden in plain sight, this park is a gem located just north of Highway 98 in Panama City Beach and focuses on protecting wildlife while providing outdoor recreational opportunities. PCB Conservation Park stretches across about 2,900 acres and offers twenty-four miles of trails split into twelve different routes ranging in lengths from a little over half a mile up to eleven miles, with over a mile of wooden boardwalks leading through cypress domes. Experience nature from sunup to sundown, when you’ll likely observe native wildlife roaming around. Remember to bring binoculars while you’re at it to discover the wide range of birds—from herons to owls— hiding off in the wetland areas. The park continues to draw in locals and tourists alike with its beautiful preserved environments and activities to enjoy with the whole family—including your dogs! www.PanamaCityBeachParksandRecreation.com/Conservation-Park
Whether you’re there to take in the scenic beauty and relax or to paddle your way down Econfina Creek, one thing’s for sure: this is one of Florida’s most spectacular canoe trails. Nestled in a recreational area less than thirty miles from Panama City Beach, this stunning creek is crystal clear and perfect for exploring by canoe, on foot or off-road bicycle, or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, on horseback through the miles of wooded trails surrounding the creek. The exploration is highlighted by breathtaking views of coastal Florida featuring lush vegetation, white sand dunes, and crystal clear water to splash around in. www.CanoeEconfinaCreek.net
46 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
THE EXPLORATION IS HIGHLIGHTED BY BREATHTAKING VIEWS OF COASTAL FLORIDA FEATURING LUSH VEGETATION, WHITE SAND DUNES, AND CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER TO SPLASH AROUND IN.
ResortCollection.com | 47
48 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
Camp Helen S tate Park
Located to the west of Panama City Beach, Camp Helen State Park is rich in natural and cultural resources. Situated between the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell, one of the largest coastal dune lakes in the world, the park grounds host five distinct natural communities—mesic flatwoods, scrub oaks, basin swamps, depression marshes, and marine unconsolidated substrate. The area is believed to have been colonized over four thousand years ago; today it is designated as an archaeological site. The property became a popular resort for employees of Avondale Mills (a large textile mill near Birmingham, Alabama,) in the 1940s, and it is now a 180-acre park for visitors to enjoy bird-watching, beachcombing, boating, canoeing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, swimming, wildlife viewing, and relaxing beach activities. www.FloridaStateParks.org/CampHelen
Frank Brown Park
Encompassing two hundred acres dedicated to outdoor fun, Frank Brown Park is definitely not your ordinary park! This family- and dog-friendly park has something for everyone. The park is enriched with playgrounds, picnic areas, a saltwater fishing pier, a freshwater fishing lake, greenways, a dog park, and running/walking paths. Into heavy sports? An indoor gymnasium, tennis, baseball, soccer, and basketball facilities, and a state-of-the-art aquatic center and splash park are all there. As one of Panama City Beach’s primary attractions, the park is often used for festivals, live music and concerts such as Gulf Coast Jam, baseball tournaments such as the Grand Slam, and other events. www.FrankBrownPark.com
Aaron Bessant Park
Located adjacent to Pier Park is Panama City Beach’s newest and most manicured park, Aaron Bessant Park, which also doubles as a state-of-the-art amphitheater for live events, movies, and more. Since its opening in 2012, the seventy-acre park has hosted many concerts featuring world-famous musicians including Blues Traveler, the Band Perry, Foreigner, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rascal Flatts, and many more. The park also features a veterans memorial, three looping trails that are great for walking or jogging, and an open, large patch of lush green grass perfect for picnics, cloud watching, and other leisure activities with friends and family. www.PanamaCityBeachParksandRecreation.com
For more information, go to www.VisitPanamaCityBeach.com.
Where The Locals Go!
1151 BAYVIEW AVENUE (850) 763-8427 On The Historic St. Andrews Marina
PEPSI GULF COAST JAM BRINGS COUNTRY MUSIC TO THE COAST BY L AUREN SH AW PHOTOGR A PH Y COURT ESY OF PEP SI GULF COAST JAM
abor Day weekend has always provided
can continue to enjoy for the next ten, fifteen, twenty years. This
a great opportunity for many families
festival will become a staple in Panama City Beach!” It already has!
to travel to Panama City Beach, Florida,
for an end-of-summer vacation. Now, that
Fans are already looking forward to this year’s festival, which will
holiday weekend can be all about country
feature two major headliners each night. “It just became the natural
music! Returning for its fourth year in 2016,
progress of growth,” Rendy says. The goal of most music festivals is
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam rocks the music festival
to have one big headliner to attract audiences, but Gulf Coast Jam
world and brings country’s biggest names to
is providing festivalgoers with more bang for their buck by booking
the stage. This year, over the weekend of
multiple big-name headliners each night.
September 2–4, festivalgoers from across the world will travel to what Houston Style
On Friday night, fans will be entertained by Brett Eldredge, with
Magazine calls “Nashville’s beach” for a
Brad Paisley closing the night. The Band Perry performs on Saturday,
followed by Jake Owen. To bring the 2016 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam to a close, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Eric Church will take the stage on Sunday
What makes Gulf Coast Jam special? Rendy
for two epic performances. Let’s not forget all the other major artists
Lovelady, Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam’s executive
who will be at GCJ throughout the weekend, such as Sara Evans,
producer, said it best at the inaugural 2013
Granger Smith, Tyler Farr, A Thousand Horses, and many more. It
event: “I want to bring something that everyone
sounds like this will be a blockbuster year in Panama City Beach!
ResortCollection.com | 53
Behind the music, three men bring everything to life at this impressive Photo by Chelsea Kornse
event: Rendy Lovelady, the executive producer; Mark Sheldon, the chief operating officer; and Dave Trepanier, the producer. “I was in the music industry for fifteen years,” says Dave. “Music has always been my passion, and Mark and Rendy share that same love. We all want to put on a world-class event that we can be proud of and that the city can be proud of as well. The headliners we have brought in don’t typically come to a small town like ours, so for me, whether you like country music or not, it validates Panama City Beach as a great destination!” In 2013, Trace Adkins, Brantley Gilbert, and Toby Keith headlined the three-day music festival and brought in a crowd of thirteen thousand people from forty-nine states and fourteen countries. To boast such a large crowd right off the bat—even before the event was held during Labor Day weekend—was a major accomplishment. “Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is a festival different from any other,” says Mark. “It’s a perfect combination of vacation and music all rolled into one.” The first year, however, was all about learning so that the festival could be bigger and better in the years to follow. Parking has become effortless for ticketholders, new perks and ticket options have been added, and the festival layout has been completely redesigned to make the audience and the vendors happy. However, more than on-site logistics have made this event successful. “The support from the city of Panama City Beach has been tremendous,” Mark insists. “From the Tourist Development Council board to the police, fire rescue, and all city offices—it has been a team effort to make this event great!” The 2014 lineup nearly blew Panama City Beach out of its emerald waters and made a lot of Pepsi Gulf Coast Jammers especially happy. When you throw Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, and Dierks Bentley on the stage in the same weekend, fans will travel from anywhere to see them—and travel they did! Over eighteen thousand concertgoers attended Pepsi Gulf Jam on Labor Day weekend in 2014, and almost every condominium on the beach was sold out. Did we forget to mention that Carrie Underwood announced that she was expecting her first child two days after her performance? It was the perfect surprise to wrap up an unforgettable weekend! “It really is the perfect scenario,” says Rendy. “You come to the world’s most beautiful beaches, eat amazing food, shop during the day, and then come and listen to live music in a safe and fun atmosphere.” From the moment you purchase your ticket to the second you walk through the gates at Frank Brown Park or at one of the festival’s beach stages, every detail has been meticulously thought out to maximize the fan experience. There are nine different free shuttle locations that run continuously throughout the festival weekend. Also available are military and children’s discounts, will call, and handicap seating. Don’t worry about food and beverages—there are
Photo by Melanie Resch
54 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
vendors located throughout the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam site to provide fresh Gulf seafood, festival favorites, and more!
“PEPSI GULF COAST JAM IS A FESTIVAL DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER. IT’S A PERFECT COMBINATION OF VACATION AND MUSIC ALL ROLLED INTO ONE.”
Photo by Chelsea Kornse
Photo by Melanie Resch
PEPSI GULF COAST JAM HAS ALWAYS BEEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE ABOUT THE FANS, THE LOVE OF THE BEACH, AND COUNTRY MUSIC. In 2015, Rendy promised that the lineup would be the biggest one
is probably my favorite aspect about this year’s festival. When you
to date. There was a mix of chart-topping acts, up-and-coming
give back, it gives you the ability to grow!”
stars, and country music legends throughout the three-day festival. Headlining acts included Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, and
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam continues to gain national attention for its 2016
Keith Urban, and they were joined by other big acts such as Hunter
lineup, with Rolling Stone, the Chicago Tribune, and Houston Style
Hayes, Martina McBride, and Sam Hunt. That year, every nomina-
Magazine all discussing it. According to the event’s management
tion category at the CMT Music Awards had at least one performer
team, Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam has always been and will continue to be
from Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. “I think it reiterates just how strong of a
about the fans, the love of the beach, and country music. Mark says,
lineup we put together,” Rendy says. “There really are only a handful
“There is nothing better than walking around the festival grounds
of acts that we haven’t yet brought down to the Panhandle. Each year
and having people thank us for bringing such a great event. My
we’re just going to get bigger and better.”
favorite aspect is definitely watching the fans have a blast!”
Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam isn’t just about country music and a great party;
Dave couldn’t agree more that the crowd reaction is, hands down, the
it also has a giving and generous heart. Since its beginning, Jammers
best part. “It’s so fun watching people laugh, scream, and cry tears of
who are either active or retired military have been able to purchase
joy because Sam Hunt or Dierks Bentley just took a selfie with them,”
tickets at a lower price than any other ticket option. This price will
he says. “That, to me, makes it all worthwhile.”
not increase, and it includes all the general admission benefits. If you are in town over Labor Day weekend to visit the beach, and “Mark, Dave, and I have always had a big place in our hearts for our
you want the ultimate experience of fun, sun, and music, Pepsi Gulf
military,” Rendy shares. “You can’t come to Panama City Beach without
Coast Jam is definitely the place to be. Enjoying everything Panama
seeing them flying over the beaches and protecting our country.
City Beach has to offer is not something to pass up. As Dave says,
Giving our servicemen and women and veterans a great place they can
“You can see these artists anywhere in the country, but there is only
come to relax and enjoy fantastic music is the least we can do for them.”
one place you can see them and spend the day on the world’s most beautiful beaches!”
Giving back to our military service members isn’t the only way Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is charitable. For every ticket purchased for this year’s event, two dollars will be donated to St. Jude Children’s
Don’t miss all the country on the coast coming September 2–4, 2016!
Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. “We are really excited
For ticket options and all other Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam information,
about our relationship with St. Jude,” Rendy says. “This organization
please visit www.gulfcoastjam.com.
56 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
Life Is Better at the Beach! At Resort Collection Vacation Rentals, we take the headache out of managing your rental and guarantee that your property is taken care of year-round. Let us worry about the details so you donâ€™t have to!
RCvacationRentals.com (877) 870-6507 R C VAC AT I O N R E N TA L S . C O M
Photo by Dawn Chapman Whitty
YOU’RE GOIN’ TO THE BEACH! ELE VEN PANAMA CIT Y BE ACH RESORTS FOR E VERY OCCASION
esort Collection invites sun worshippers to visit America’s favorite
For over twenty years, Resort Collection has set the standard for
beach destination, Panama City Beach, and stay at one of its many
integrity, quality, and service in management and marketing services
properties, which include the family-friendly Edgewater Beach and
for resorts, conference centers, conference hotels, and golf clubs on
Golf Resort, the fun-filled Laketown Wharf Resort, the magnificent
Panama City Beach. We continue to find ways to enhance service
Majestic Beach Resort, the luxuriously appointed Emerald Beach
by maintaining creativity, using innovative ideas, and incorporating
Resort, the relaxing Long Beach Resort, the contemporary Grandview
cutting-edge technology; these are just a few of the ways we continue
East Resort, the exciting Summit Beach Resort, the beautiful Sunbird
to lead the industry. Our strong relationships with Internet leaders
Beach Resort, the stylish Shores of Panama, the laid-back Top of the
allow us to achieve prime market positioning. Daily maintenance
Gulf condos, and the exclusive En Soleil—all located on the “World’s
and management of these systems enable us to build and increase
Most Beautiful Beaches.”
occupancy throughout the year—even during the traditionally slower periods. Creative promotions and marketing campaigns help
Our properties boast around a thousand full-service Gulf-front suites
to increase exposure and maintain a robust presence through brand
and golf villas, more than ninety thousand square feet of indoor and
recognition, which in turn increases occupancy levels and average
outdoor meeting space, incredible white-sand beaches, award-winning
daily rates for all of our properties.
fine dining at Firefly, casual dining at Ocean’s Bar and Grill and Montego Bay, six Plexicushion tennis courts, an outdoor basketball
At Resort Collection, we appreciate the confidence and loyalty that
court, and more than twenty luxurious pools. We also offer a nine-hole
our customers have shown; they have chosen to include our family of
executive golf course at Edgewater, a putting green at Laketown Wharf,
properties and staff as part of theirs. Thank you!
and championship golf at the Hombre Golf Club nearby. ResortCollection.com | 59
EDGEWATER BEACH & GOLF RESORT Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort is the only full-service resort on Panama City Beach. Luxurious amenities such as the vast Lagoon Pool, Ocean’s Bar and Grill beachfront restaurant, The Shoppes at Edgewater, and more will provide enjoyment for every minute of your
stay. During your stay at the resort, take in the gorgeous views and sunsets, and enjoy being near all that Panama City Beach has to offer.
With eleven pools scattered about the property, spacious units with
private balconies overlooking the world’s most beautiful beaches, and
110 acres along some of the world’s most beautiful beaches Preferred access and rates to Hombre Golf Club and a nine-hole executive golf course On-property dining at Ocean’s Bar and Grill, Paradise Pizza, and Edgie’s Corner Market Kids’ Adventure Zone, open seasonally, including Sky Trail® ropes course and activities scheduled for all ages
our par-three golf course—and with the addition of the Adventure
Tiki Airbrush shop open seasonally
Zone and seasonal activities for kids—Edgewater is a great getaway
Winter guest programs
for the whole family. Mom and Dad can relax or enjoy a round of golf
Full-service market featuring Starbucks®
Free wireless Internet at certain locations on property
Conference center and meeting spaces
Known worldwide for its golf courses and amenities, Edgewater is also
Six Plexicushion tennis courts
one of the best resorts for getting down to business. Not only is the
resort a winner of five Gold Tee awards from Meetings & Conventions
Fitness center and massage services
magazine, but Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort also boasts a
while the kids participate in activities such as tie-dyeing T-shirts, ice cream socials, and kite-flying lessons on the beach!
32,700-square-foot meeting and conference center with flexible spaces and theater-style seating for up to two thousand attendees.
Eleven outdoor pools, including the resort’s famous 11,500-square-foot Lagoon Pool with cascading waterfalls and surrounding hot tubs, 45,000 square feet of deck space, and children’s Splash Pad
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (855) 874-8686. www.EdgewaterBeachResort.com • 11212 Front Beach Road • Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 60 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
MAJESTIC BEACH RESORT With over 650 feet of beachfront property overlooking crystalline sands by the Gulf of Mexico, Majestic Beach Resort truly is a wondrous place. Accommodations range from studio to three-bedroom condos, making it the perfect place for any type of getaway, from honeymoon to family reunion. Spend your vacation surrounded by palm trees and listening to the sound of the waves crashing upon white sands at this intimate Gulfside retreat. Enjoy a relaxing swim in one of Majestic’s outdoor or indoor pools, pack a picnic and spend some time on the beach with
The Majestic Theatre
The Majestic Market featuring Starbucks®
H20 Bar and Grill
Preferred access and rates to Hombre Golf Club
Beach services and rentals
Conference center/meeting space for up to four hundred attendees
Free wireless Internet
Fitness center and massage services
Two outdoor pools and two heated indoor pools
Winter guest activities
your loved ones, or tee up at Hombre Golf Club with preferred guest rates from Resort Collection. No matter what you like to do when you go to the beach, Majestic has what you’re looking for!
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (866) 494-3364. www.MajesticBeachResort.com • 10901 Front Beach Road • Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 ResortCollection.com | 61
TOP OF THE GULF CONDOMINIUMS Top of the Gulf Condominiums is situated perfectly just steps from dazzling white-sand beaches, plus all the attractions and nightlife on Panama City Beach’s east end. Spend your day relaxing by the surf or the large pool, and then get ready for a night of family fun at the local parks, museums, and attractions, or head just down the beach to party at the area’s best clubs and watering holes. With a fitness center and all the comforts of home, Top of the Gulf is where you want to be!
Large Gulf-front pool and pool deck
Kitchenette with oven, stove, and microwave
Laundry facilities on-site
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (855) 584-2573. www.ResortCollection.com/About-Top-of-the-Gulf-Condominium • 8817 South Thomas Drive • Panama City Beach, FL 32408 62 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
EMERALD BEACH RESORT The beach has never felt more like home than at Emerald Beach Resort. Each carefully crafted one-, two-, and three-bedroom suite was designed with families and comfort in mind. Each unit has all the luxuries of home, including a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and inviting decor that you will love coming home to after a long day of fun on the beach. With spacious floor plans and sweeping views of the Gulf, families of all sizes and with all kinds of interests will make memories here to last a lifetime. Emerald Beach Resort is within walking distance of many of Panama
Expansive floor plans and an extravagant ambience
Preferred access and rates to Hombre Golf Club
Spectacular beachfront views
Convenience of a washer and dryer and a full-sized kitchen
One-, two-, and three-bedroom suites
Lagoon pool with kids’ water feature
Beachside pool with tiki bar
Light fare at scenic Skybar and Starbucks®
City Beach’s exciting attractions, including Pier Park, an outdoor shopping and entertainment mecca that features stores, restaurants, nightlife, a movie theater, carnival rides, and children’s play areas. Come join in the fun at Emerald Beach Resort!
Within walking distance of Pier Park and Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (855) 528-6174. www.EmeraldBeachResort.com • 14700 Front Beach Road • Panama City Beach, Florida 32413 ResortCollection.com | 63
LONG BEACH RESORT Relaxation is key at Long Beach Resort. Sip on a cool drink while basking in the Florida rays alongside one of three lagoon pools, and enjoy the sound of the waves crashing on silver sands by night from oversized balconies. Enjoy poolside dining at the Hangout tiki bar while chatting and catching up with friends and loved ones, or bring along a good book and soak up the warm rays on the beach. No matter what, total relaxation is a sure thing. Long Beach is a palm-fringed oasis tucked away from the busy shops and streets of Panama City Beach, but only moments away from the
Three tropical lagoon pools
Preferred access and rates to Hombre Golf Club
Poolside dining at the Hangout tiki bar
One-, two-, and three-bedroom suites
Spacious living rooms
excitement if you’re seeking a night on the town or some shopping. End the day with a soothing dip in one of Long Beach’s whirlpool spas, and discover what it means to be truly at ease.
Every bedroom, dining room, and living room at Long Beach Resort overlooks the Gulf, with sweeping balconies that bring guests front and center for some of Florida’s most breathtaking sunsets. Within walking distance of shops and dining
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (888) 722-3224. www.LBResort.com • 10511 Front Beach Road • Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 64 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
EN SOLEIL Luxury seekers, look no further than En Soleil. Each of this exclusive property’s two- and three-bedroom units and penthouses faces the dazzling turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Modern appliances, spacious floor plans, and oversized balconies ensure that every guest experiences the ultimate in comfort and style when staying
450 feet of pristine beach frontage
Preferred access and rates to Hombre Golf Club
at En Soleil. •
Underground parking and secured gates
6,500 square feet of exclusively designed pools
Two hot tubs
Two waterfall features and two circular waterfall fountains
Families, honeymooners, and snowbirds alike will love the exclusivity and comfort offered at En Soleil. Make this gated resort your home away from home and enjoy luxuries such as an underground parking garage, on-site check-in, over 6,500 square feet of pristine pools, and, of course, breathtaking views that will entice you to stay forever.
Condos ranging from two- to three-bedroom floor plans, all facing the Gulf of Mexico
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (855) 233-4001. www.EnSoleilRentals.com • 7509 Thomas Drive • Panama City Beach, Florida 32408 ResortCollection.com | 65
SUMMIT BEACH RESORT The ultimate Panama City Beach adventure is at Summit Beach Resort. With 137 condos overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, this resort has everything you need for a beach vacation full of fun and excitement. Great rooms and private balconies make it perfect for large travel groups such as sports teams, family reunions, and more! From tennis courts and preferred access at Hombre Golf Club to a game room, fitness center, restaurant, and tiki bar, activities abound at Summit Beach Resort. You can enjoy a day of beach activities and come back to a refreshing drink at the Tiki Bar, or relax with friends in one of the Summit’s hot tubs or whirlpools. Great rates highlight Summit Beach Resort as one of the best values around! The Summit is one of the largest Gulf-front resorts on Panama City Beach and offers two swimming pools, hot tubs, a fitness center, and much more for the perfect vacation along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.
Two large outdoor pools
Preferred access and rates to Hombre Golf Club
Sweeping Gulf views from every unit
Two kiddie pools
Hot tubs, whirlpools, and saunas
Beach chair rentals
Summit Market Shop
Poolside Tiki Bar
Free wireless Internet
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (800) 824-5048. www.SummitBeachResort.com • 8743 Thomas Drive • Panama City Beach, Florida 32408 66 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
GRANDVIEW EAST RESORT Grandview East Resort sits center stage upon one of the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” and is nestled among Panama City Beach’s best dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities. When you’re yearning for the white-sand beaches and sparkling emerald waters of Panama City Beach, Grandview’s condominiums will satisfy like no other. Having completed some renovations in spring 2016, the property is now open again and more beautiful than ever! Your vacation rental at Grandview is spacious, offering you more than 1,400 square feet of Gulf-front luxury and relaxation. After
Heated Gulf-front pool and expansive deck
Preferred access and rates to Hombre Golf Club
Professional fitness facility
Complimentary beach service
Spacious Gulf-front suites
Modern, open floor plans
Jacuzzi tubs in all suites
Full kitchens with granite countertops
Large balconies with spectacular Gulf views
a fun and relaxing day on our private white-sand beach, take a dip in our heated pool or your condo’s private Jacuzzi tub, and then watch the sun set from your comfortable Gulf-front balcony. Join us at Grandview East Resort and make your beach vacation absolutely perfect.
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (855) 266-9400. www.GrandviewEastResort.com • 10713 Front Beach Road • Panama City Beach, FL 32407 ResortCollection.com | 67
SHORES OF PANAMA At the Shores of Panama, where emerald waters shimmer alongside dazzling white-sand beaches, time is forgotten. While drinking in the
Gulf-side lagoon pool
Gulf-side hot tub
and unwind without a care. With twenty-three stories of new luxury
Heated indoor pool and hot tub
Gulf-front condominiums, the Shores of Panama rises above and
Two tiki bars*
beyond as the ultimate beach destination with amenities that capture
On-beach activities and rentals
the spirit of the Emerald Coast.
Free wireless Internet
Covered on-resort parking
On-resort check-in desk
Fitness center and spa
dominium rental in a studio, one-, two-, or three-bedroom unit.
Preferred access and rates at Hombre Golf Club
Reserve your spot at this beachfront vacation resort by selecting the
Meetings and event facilities
spectacular beauty of the Gulf of Mexico, family and friends gather poolside, picnic on the beach, dive into the pleasures of the water,
You deserve a memorable beach escape, and the Shores of Panama grants Florida vacation getaways that delight and surpass expectations. Choose your home away from home—a stylish, luxury con-
accommodations that best suit your needs.
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (877) 713-4651. www.ShoresofPCB.com • 9900 South Thomas Drive • Panama City Beach, FL 32408 68 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
SUNBIRD BEACH RESORT Sunbird Beach Resort overlooks the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches” and is conveniently located within strolling distance of Panama City Beach’s best dining, shopping, and entertainment attractions. If an inviting tropical paradise surrounded by sugar-white beaches and breathtaking emerald waters is what you desire, Sunbird’s family-friendly condominiums are the perfect choice. Situated just steps away from the gorgeous shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Sunbird’s vacation rentals offer beachfront accommodations with endless opportunities for a delightful escape. For an unforgettable
Three Gulf-front pools, one heated
Expansive pool deck
Racquetball, shuffleboard, and tennis courts
Preferred access and rates at Hombre Golf Club
Spacious Gulf-front suites
Laundry facilities on-site
Full kitchens with appliances
Private balconies with endless views
Cable TV and HBO
Panama City Beach getaway, look no further than Sunbird Beach Resort.
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (877) 684-8018. www.SunbirdBeachResort.com • 9850 South Thomas Drive • Panama City Beach, FL 32408 ResortCollection.com | 69
LAKETOWN WHARF RESORT Laketown Wharf Resort offers guests unparalleled amenities: five unique pools, 52,000 square feet of lakefront boardwalk, a fully
Preferred access and rates to Hombre Golf Club
market/bistro, and on-site dining options. As the largest resort with
some of the best values in Panama City Beach and amazing Gulf views,
Five resort-style pools
Laketown Wharf Resort is a prime location for a fun-filled getaway!
Private beach access
Steps from the white-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico
Pristine freshwater lake
Over 52,000 square feet of lakefront boardwalk
Dancing fountain and light displays nightly on the lake
Splash Pool Bar & Grill
Laketown Market + Bistro
24-hour on-site security
Free parking in covered garages
equipped fitness center, covered parking, miniature golf, an on-site
FOR RESERVATIONS OR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (866) 695-8734. www.LaketownWharf.com • 9902 South Thomas Drive • Panama City Beach, Florida 32408 70 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
ResortCollection.com | 73
MAKIN’ MEMORIES at the Beach!
The worst part of your beach vacation is when it ends. Don’t worry, you can still take a little piece of Panama City Beach home with you to remember a fantastic time had with family and friends. Visit any Resort Collection retail outlet or hundreds of shopping destinations around town to pick up souvenirs reminding you of a time well spent—until your next trip!
Stuck on You
Good Times are the Key
Magnets from your trip make great gifts for friends
A key chain with your favorite beach motif or your
and family back home. Keep one on your fridge or
name on a souvenir license plate can unlock fond
in the office and remember the beach all the time!
memories every time you unlock a door.
Worth a Thousand Smiles
Keep the Ball Rolling
Don’t forget to take photos of your family and
For the golf enthusiasts in the family, souvenir
friends during your trip! Fun souvenir frames from
golf balls and gear from Hombre Golf Club
Panama City Beach make displaying your memories
make fun and functional gifts that are better
personal and stylish.
than par for the course.
Keep drinks cool and comfortable to hold with souvenir Goin’ to the Beach! koozies.
74 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
ResortCollection.com | 75
ENTERTAININ’ AT T HE BE ACH!
Whether you’re in Panama City Beach for a vacation with family or friends, or just here for a weekend of fun in the sun, be sure to stock up on all the things you’ll need to take your beach trip to the next level. These items will help keep everybody safe, happy, and having fun!
SAFETY FIRST Sunblock is a MUST! An SPF of 30 or higher is recom-
COOL FOR THE SUMMER Coolers are permitted on the sandy beaches, so stock up
mended for a day on Panama City Beach; apply generously
on water and snacks and be prepared for a long day in
every hour or two. Sunglasses and a hat will help you stay
the sand. Hydration is key to staying at the top of your
protected all day long, while aloe lotions and moisturizing
game all vacation long! Note: Glass containers are not
body washes can help soothe and heal skin after a day of
permitted on the beach or on pool decks.
soaking up rays. Trust us—your skin will thank you!
TUNE IN Bluetooth speakers designed to be waterproof and durable are perfect for bringing your favorite music to the beach.
LIGHT UP THE NIGHT Flashlights are a must for a fun nighttime excursion. Head to the sand after sunset to search for crabs—the beach comes to life after dark! Keep an eye out for sea turtle nests; remember, you can look, but please don’t touch.
HIGH & DRY Most vacation rentals do not include large towels for the beach. If you’ve forgotten to bring your own, stop by one of our markets or one of Panama City Beach’s many retail locations to pick some up!
76 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
TOYS IN BEACHLAND Sand castles and moats, Frisbees, and footballs—Goin’ to the Beach just isn’t complete without bringing some toys along for kids of all ages to enjoy!
ResortCollection.com | 77
The Art of
NOSTALGIA By JORDAN STAGGS Photography by RINN GARLANGER
“Everything we do, it’s for the kids.”
shop is so busy there are customers waiting out the door as Trish takes orders and Tim
This is Tim Mitchell’s mission statement as he begins each new work
mans the airbrush, creating works of art on
of art at Tiki Airbrush, located just east of the main Lagoon Pool at
T-shirts, hats, sand dollars, and other items
Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort.
with expert precision.
Tim first picked up an airbrush in 1975 when he was fifteen years old,
Airbrush artwork has been a popular souvenir
barely more than a kid himself. He was working as a bag boy at the
at vacation destinations like Panama City
Tyndall Air Force Base commissary when his uncle, Lamar Mitchell,
Beach for decades, and the reason it still is,
asked if he would like to help open an airbrush shop. They operated
according to Trish, is simple: “In a single word—
for the first year in a bamboo hut at the Panama City Beach Goofy
tradition!” she says. “Adults remember getting
Golf. “Back then, there was no display, no samples to choose from,”
an airbrushed T-shirt as a child, and now they
says Tim’s wife, Trish Mitchell, his partner in life and in business at
want to do the same for their children. We have
Tiki Airbrush. “The customer just told them what they wanted and
many families that come every year for their
they painted it. Be it a beach scene or an animal, there was nothing
annual T-shirt. Some moms save them, and
they wouldn’t do—and with no reference.”
when the child is getting ready to leave home to go to college, she makes a quilt out of all
Tim and Trish experienced the airbrush lifestyle at a few other locations
those T-shirts as a keepsake for her child to
before settling at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, where they are
remember all those years growing up going
now in their seventh season. They married in college, and Trish began
to the beach. We have seen many children
working the cash register when Tim moved to a shop called Airbrush
grow up before our eyes and then return with
Attic. “We’ve been a team ever since,” Trish says. Some days, the small
children of their own!”
ResortCollection.com | 79
popular designs. “For many years, it was the zebra pattern,” Trish remembers. “We had designs with zebra print for background and on the inside of words, peace signs, et cetera. That was followed by the cheetah pattern, and the most popular right now is the chevron pattern. We have it all over the place!” Since Edgewater is host to sports events throughout the year, such as the UCA cheerleading
camps, sports-themed airbrush souvenirs are popular at Tiki Airbrush as well. Being a very family-oriented resort, Edgewater has been a great home for Tiki Airbrush for the past seven years, with Tim and Trish at the helm and some visiting guest artists coming by from time to time, including Scott Fitzgerald. During Tim’s career as an airbrush artist, he has had the chance to work with many distinguished names in the field, as well as teach airbrushing to many. Some of his and Trish’s favorite works are murals they created as backdrops for their church’s annual Christmas programs. “At their highest they are fourteen feet, and the longest one extends ninety feet across,” Trish says. “One is a snowy woods scene with a cobblestone bridge and old
FROM BELOVED CARTOON CHARACTERS AND SPORTS TEAMS TO ADORABLE ANIMALS AND, OF COURSE, ICONIC BEACH SCENES, A SHIRT OR HAT CAN BE CUSTOMIZED TO THE GUEST’S UNIQUE DESIRE.
wooden fence. The next is a small-town Main Street scene with old-fashioned buildings and a town square. And the last one is a 1940s train that is winding its way around snowy mountains. Unfortunately, most of the time they are in storage, and only one is set up each year for the Christmas season.” Their work can also be seen year-round on display in an eightby-sixteen-foot mural of an old gas station
When it comes to designs available at Tiki Airbrush, Tim will still
scene located at Auto Save on Fifteenth Street
create just about anything a client can ask for. From beloved cartoon
in Panama City.
characters and sports teams to adorable animals and, of course, iconic beach scenes, a shirt or hat can be customized to the guest’s
Airbrushing is not the only art in which Trish
unique desire. While Tim and Trish have many tried-and-true designs
and Tim dabble. Visitors to Tiki Airbrush
they’ve used for years, they also roll out new stencils each year to
can see some more of their work outside—in
keep up with the current trends. Each of their most popular designs
the decor. There are handmade benches in
are turned into laser-cut stencils, which Trish says can sometimes
the shapes of a hammerhead shark and an al-
be a challenge. Nonetheless, each year brings with it new trends and
ligator as well as two giant tiki heads carved
80 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
ResortCollection.com | 81
“THE BEST PART ABOUT WORKING THERE IS MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY AND SEEING THEIR EYES LIGHT UP AS THEY WATCH HIM CREATING A PERSONALIZED SOUVENIR FROM THEIR PANAMA CITY BEACH VACATION.” in the likenesses of John Lennon and Bob Marley that flank the shop’s entrance. “We spent one winter carving those out of Styrofoam and then sealing them with a hardener—similar to how a surfboard is made,” Trish says. “They are perfect for a photo op, and guests at Edgewater are constantly posing with them!” Tim and Trish continue to create unique airbrush creations for their guests at Edgewater year after year, and although the shop can be very busy and stressful at times, Tim says the best part about working there is making people happy and seeing their eyes light up as they watch him creating a personalized souvenir from their Panama City Beach vacation. “We get to see seventy-year-olds act like seven-year-olds,” he laughs. Trish adds, “And how many people can step out of their door and view the rolling waves, smell the salt air, and watch an amazing sunset daily? We are truly blessed.”
Tiki Airbrush is open seasonally. Please call the front desk at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort to inquire about hours. (850) 235-4044 82 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
When your dream wedding includes sand between your toes and your vows perfectly timed with the sunset, nothing could be better than the sugar-white sands of our beaches. Panama City Beach, Florida, is the ideal place to say â€œI do.â€? To start making plans for your special wedding, please contact us at (850) 233-4029 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Play where the PROS Play.
Visit Our New Website WWW.HOMBREGOLFCLUB.COM Call (850 ) 234-3673 for Details Panama City Beach, Florida
Own a Slice of PAR ADISE i n t e r v i e w w i t h ta m m y e l m o r e o f r c r e a l e s tat e g r o u p By Lauren Shaw
When thinking about vacationing in Panama City Beach, most would consider the powder-textured sand, emerald-green waters, and abundant days of sunshine reasons enough to visit. All of these things and more are benefits to owning property along this stretch of the Florida Gulf Coast, too!
Panama City Beach as her home. “It really is still a ‘flop-flop and bikini atmosphere’ year-round,” Elmore says. “I would definitely say it is a good life, and my family and I are truly fortunate to live here.” Having worked in Panama City Beach and for RC Real Estate Group for several years, Elmore shares that she and her husband experienced purchasing a home for the first time through her company. “Anytime you prepare to buy a home, it can be a nerve-racking experience,” Elmore says. “There are several details that increase a buyer’s fear
There’s nothing like owning a home by the beach and the joyous life-
factor. RC gave us all of the steps to help ease the anxiety and cleared
style it brings. For Tammy Elmore, broker assistant to Ric Holt at RC
up any questions we had.”
Real Estate Group, living in Florida has been a true blessing in her life. Although she has been graced with the opportunity to travel all over this
There is a well-rounded atmosphere in Panama City Beach to which no
great nation and to Europe, she still prefers the laid-back atmosphere of
other location can compare. The same mind-set goes for RC Real Estate
ResortCollection.com | 85
There is something about the people that brings the area its vibrancy and authenticity. Group. “We definitely have more of a global
When it comes to general experience and on-site availability at several
dimension and approach,” says Elmore. “Resort
condominiums on the beach, RC Real Estate Group taps into all
Collection thought that RC Real Estate Group
of these areas and focuses on the entire growth of Bay County and
would be the best tool to service commercial
beyond. Development is booming everywhere at the beach, bringing
and residential markets, as well as our military
people from all walks of life to the Florida Panhandle.
and community as a whole. “The number one reason I live here is my daughter,” Elmore explains. “The good thing is, if you don’t like it in the
“Real estate in Panama City Beach is not only a great field to work in
Panhandle, we can still rent or sell your prop-
but there is also so much potential for growth in the area. I know the
erty,” Elmore insists. “Just because someone
possibilities are endless for her here.”
might not want to make their property in Panama City Beach their home, it doesn’t
Elmore says the reasons people want to buy property in Panama City
mean it couldn’t be someone else’s slice of
Beach are not all about the beach-and-flip-flop lifestyle. “When you
heaven—even for the weekend!”
move here and live here, you get to learn and know about all the
86 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
hidden gems that are more than the sand
being involved in our community,” she says. “Everyone here is from
and surf,” she explains. “There are so many
different walks of life and has a different story. You never know who
other places and things here that people don’t
you might meet or how someone here might impact your life. It really is
take into consideration. We have Schooners,
a unique and beautiful area.”
Marine Park, and more that make this place fun. Then, you have the Conservation Park, Pier Park, Capt. Anderson’s Marina—all those make this place unique. I could go on and on about all the gems I love, but there would be too many!” The growth of this shiny town on the Gulf Coast isn’t the only quality that motivated Elmore and her family to call Panama City Beach home. There is some-
a b o u t r c r e a l e s tat e g r o u p Looking to sell, buy, or rent property in Panama City Beach and surrounding areas? RC Real Estate Group is available to help you to make your dream a reality. Managing broker Ric Holt and his team of fourteen active real estate agents and two broker associates specialize in condominium sales, foreclosures, family homes, and much more. Contact RC Real Estate Group today to own a slice of paradise!
thing about the people that brings the
area its vibrancy and authenticity. “I love
ResortCollection.com | 87
Photography by Dawn Chapman Whitty
Keep Calm; YO U ’ R E FIN A LLY AT T H E B E ACH!
DAY 1 ARRIVE & REL AX By Lauren Shaw Okay, after all those months of talking about
much-needed sunscreen, hurry to the pool deck
NOT RE A DY FOR B EDT IME ?
goin’ to the beach, you finally got here; what’s
and closest tiki bar for a delicious appetizer
next? You are probably worn out from a full
and drinks. It is finally time for you to soak in
Stick around for some live local talent playing
day of travel and are ready to just hit the
all the sights and sun. Keep one eye on the clock,
beach and relax. What if the first day of your
however, so you’ll be ready to go out to dinner
trip to Panama City Beach, Florida, could
and catch a glorious sunset—a magical moment
provide even more relaxation?
for your first night of vacation.
Let’s be honest: there is no wrong way to start a vacation at the beach. Your days are
T IM E F O R D I N N E R A N D FR E S H GULF SEAFOOD!
left to be spent enjoying clear Gulf waters,
If you have never experienced the taste of Gulf
authentic hospitality, and making memories
seafood fresh off the boat, then you haven’t
for a lifetime. While we hope your trip to
lived. Trek down to Schooners, located right
sunny Florida will be great no matter what,
on the Gulf of Mexico, for a perfect dinner.
here are a few suggestions for fun ways to
Dubbed Panama City Beach’s “Last Local
make your vacation even more awesome.
Beach Club,” it might just be one of the best
all your favorites. Not one to just sit and listen? Dancing is always welcome at Schooners, and the dance floor is always full. After listening to a few hits from the band, take off your shoes and walk out onto their back porch, otherwise known as the sandy beach. Take a moonlit stroll and hear the waves break against the shore. There is no better lullaby to get you ready for a good night’s sleep. LIG H T S OU T! Catch some z’s and prepare for a full day in Panama City Beach!
places on earth to sit back and enjoy a fantastic CH ECK I N AT YO U R FAVO R I T E R E S O R T CO L L EC T I O N PR O PE R T Y.
meal. If you happen to make it in time for the sunset, then you’re in for a treat! Every night
Keep reading our Fun in the Sun Activities
Then head straight up to your room and
at Schooners a cannon is fired off at sunset as
Guide for more great ideas about how to
change into the swimsuit you’ve been dying
a toast to another great day. And boy, has it
spend your vacation.
to wear since winter. After slathering on some
been a great day!
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 89
DAY 2 SOME SAY ECOTOURISM— WE SAY ECO -ADVENTURES! By Suva Ang-Mendoza
Ecotourism, or exploring the elements of nature in a particular place, is steadily on the rise as an extremely popular activity for both natives and visitors of Panama City Beach. What we love about ecotourism— besides the fact that it’s great fun—is that it has little to no environmental impact, which protects and preserves our beautiful parks and this ecological oasis along the Northwest Florida coast. You definitely want to set aside a day for a Panama City Beach eco-adventure during your vacation! Facing some of the most beautiful beaches and scenery in the nation, who wouldn’t want to take a great expedition through the landscapes along the Gulf of Mexico? Connect with nature on land and sea to really experience the raw beauty of the the world’s most beautiful beaches. Eco-adventures abound in the area’s parks, along the coast, throughout the local flatwoods, and at nearby natural springs. The variety of wildlife in Northwest Florida is vast. Imagine paddleboarding with the family and being greeted by a pod of dolphins or scuba diving and snorkeling with turtles, manatees, and other aquatic creatures. Take a hike through the preserves and go on a treasure hunt for the different animals who inhabit them. Keep your ears open for the calls of hawks and eagles and your eyes peeled for deer, alligators, and even black bears—but be sure to keep your distance. Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website for information, safety tips, and the best locations and times of year for spotting certain wildlife (www.MyFWC.com). Exploring new territories like the wetlands and scrub oak forests along the lake at Camp Helen State Park or hiking on the paths through salt marshes and coastal dunes will make your heart soar; these excursions are sure to create lasting memories with family and friends. Be sure to pack your sunblock, swimsuit, goggles, and binoculars because we’ve got the best list of activities for your best day full of eco-adventures ever!
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE 90 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
D O L PH I N A N D S N O R K E L TO U R S
C A P T. A N D E R S O N ’ S M A R I N A
B I K E T H E B E ACH P CB
3824 Hatteras Lane
5550 N. Lagoon Drive
15812 Front Beach Road
You shouldn’t leave Florida without catching
If you’re looking for a great water excursion, go
Although sea creatures are popular sightings
a glimpse of some dolphins and other aquatic
“where the fish are always biting and the kids
here, Panama City Beach boasts incredible
friends. The Dolphin and Snorkel Tour makes
are always smiling”! Located on the Historic
wildlife on land, too. What better way to
it easy to sightsee. It’s your choice—snorkel,
Grand Lagoon in Panama City Beach, Capt.
explore it than on wheels? Bike the Beach
dive, or take a sunset cruise—you can discover
Anderson’s Marina has been a top fishing
PCB says it best: “You don’t need pavement
the Gulf’s wildlife your way.
destination since 1957. Get your greatest catch
to explore—all you need is a bike and a des-
or set sail on an eco-tour mission on the Capt.
tination.” From bikes to trikes, they’ve got
Anderson III sightseeing boat.
everything you need to hit the road or the
M R . SU R F ’ S SU R F S H O P
trail and start sightseeing!
7220 Thomas Drive (850) 235-2217
Feel the movement of the Gulf and go into
3120 Thomas Drive
What are you waiting for? Get out in Panama
the blue as you swiftly surf or smoothly
City Beach and take a walk—or swim—on
paddleboard your way around Panama City
Mermaid (or merman) at heart? Go on a scuba
the wild side!
Beach. Great for kids and adults, surfing and
diving adventure and get a taste of what it feels
paddleboarding lessons ensure that safety
like to live under the sea. Or, go all out and be-
comes first and adventure is had for all.
come a certified diver with instruction from the knowledgeable, well-trained, and professional scuba divers at Panama City Diving.
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 91
DAY 3 THE FUN’S ALL HERE! PIER PARK IS PANAMA CIT Y BEACH’S ULTIMATE ENTERTAINMENT HUB By Lauren Shaw
With its exceptionally beautiful beaches,
Panama City Beach,” says Michael Kerrigan,
emerald waters, and nearly year-round
director of marketing at Pier Park. “It’s
sunshine, no one questions why millions of
somewhere people can go and know they can
visitors escape to Panama City Beach each
find something to do! We generate ten million
year. When they get here, besides engaging
visitors each year. Even during the slower
in the obvious beach activities, they visit a
seasons, we reach full capacity because of
sprawling entertainment complex located in
our events like Mardi Gras at the Beach and
the heart of town. Pier Park is an impressive
the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop.”
combination of beach-town boardwalk meets Mall of America and includes shopping,
Pier Park continues to push the envelope
dining, entertainment, and nightlife all in
one place. At Pier Park, it’s easy to find
community that attract residents and visitors
something for everyone!
year-round. Though there is still quite a
bit of development left to accomplish, big Designed to be an outdoor shopping center
plans for its future include expanding the
that embraces its environment, Pier Park’s
center’s current footprint in Panama City
every detail was constructed with the beach
Beach; this means even more opportunities
atmosphere in mind. From the seashell-
for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
textured sidewalks and tropical landscaping
“It’s fun to be a part of something so important
to the bright coastal colors of the buildings,
to our area,” Kerrigan says. “There is great
Pier Park proves that leaving the sandy
satisfaction in the fact that we have the
beach doesn’t have to mean walking into a
ability to contribute to people’s and families’
Owned by Simon Property Group, the largest
Because Pier Park encompasses such a large
mall operator in the world, Pier Park has
area, it is sometimes difficult to decide
quickly become the largest entertainment
just where to start a visit. Thankfully, the
complex in Northwest Florida, boasting 124
property is divided into multiple sections,
tenants. “Outside of the sandy beaches, Pier
each full of shopping, dining, and entertain-
Park is the number one gathering place in
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE 92 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 93
T OWN CE N T E R Looking for those major department stores everyone loves? Located in Pier Park, right off of Highway 98, is the Town Center, where JCPenney, Dillard’s, Marshalls, and Target are situated. The Town Center provides some of the best shopping in Panama City Beach with other big-name retail stores, such as Ann Taylor LOFT, Forever 21, Sephora, Nike, Victoria’s Secret, and American Eagle Outfitters, to name a few. After a few hours of shopping, grab a quick bite to eat at one of the many lunch and dinner spots, like Chicken Salad Chick, Panera Bread, or Red Robin. Given that it’s one of the busiest shopping and dining sections of Pier Park, there’s no wonder it’s called the Town Center! T H E B OA R DWA L K After people arrive at Pier Park, their options for exploring are quite overwhelming. If you want to be as close as you can to the beach, venture down to the Boardwalk division of the property, which is the strip of stores closest to City Pier. The Boardwalk is full of great beach-front dining venues, including Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Pompano Joe’s, The Back Porch, and Dick’s Last Resort. This is also where the majority of locally owned retail and specialty stores are. Visit DejaVu and Irene & Company Boutique for unique women’s clothing, or wander over to Hy’s Toggery and Coastal Casuals for the perfect beachwear. Nightlife is also abundant on the Boardwalk. For a touch of Germany, visit the Hofbräu Beer Garden, which brings the legendary beer hall in Munich to Panama City Beach. If authentic live music and line dancing sound exciting, Tootsies Orchid Lounge provides the best in country music, and great times are had by all. The sounds of dueling pianos and the taste of beachy cocktails can also be found right around the corner at Rum Runners Tropical Island Grill and Dueling Piano Bar. The Boardwalk doesn’t disappoint at any time of the day or night!
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE 94 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
T H E G R A N D R O U N DA B O U T
WE S T PI E R PA R K
Along the end of the Boardwalk at the Grand Roundabout, have
Venture west to discover the most newly developed section of Pier
some fun with kids’ activities including a bungee jump, hair braiding,
Park. West Pier Park is one of the best places for lunch or dinner,
and henna tattoos. This is a perfect spot to take a break at one of
and it is right at the main entrance just south of Highway 98. Grab a
the picnic tables and grab some tasty sweets from the Candymaker,
quick bite for lunch at Jimmy John’s or Chipotle, or stay for a while
Marble Slab Creamery, or Dippin’ Dots. Then, head over to the Pier
and have authentic pub fare at The Brass Tap, where there are over
Park Amusements, featuring classic fair rides like the tilt-a-whirl,
150 craft beer to choose from.
games, and everyone’s favorite, the giant slide! Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day of shopping, great beachThe Grand Roundabout also provides plenty of indoor activities to
front dining and drinks, a family movie night, or some fun and
keep anyone’s vacation from being rained out. Check out the Grand
excitement, be sure to stop by Pier Park on your next Panama City
Theatre 16 state-of-the-art movie complex and all the excitement at
Dave and Buster’s arcade, bar, and grill in our section of activity
ideas for a rainy day in Panama City Beach.
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 95
DAY 4 PANAMA CIT Y BEACH’S FAVORITE AT TR ACTION By Jordan Staggs
It’s no secret why people venture from around the country just
TA K E A SU N R I S E S T R O L L
to visit this little town in Northwest Florida. The sandy beaches
Waking up at the beach is a joy in itself. Whether you sip coffee and
of Panama City Beach are the main attraction and have been for
watch the world wake up from your condo’s private balcony or listen to
over eighty years. When you’re staying with Resort Collection, the
the waves as you walk along the water’s edge, we recommend enjoying
white-sand beach along the Gulf of Mexico is right outside your
at least one sunrise during your trip. Of course, sleeping in is always a
door, so enjoy it!
great vacation perk, too! PL A N A PI CN I C Stop by one of Resort Collection’s on-site eateries, such as Majestic Market at Majestic Beach Resort, Edgie’s Corner Market at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, or the Summit Market Shop at Summit Beach Resort, and find everything you need to pack a lunch before you head to the beach for a day of family fun. If you’re staying at one of our other resorts, you’re never far from a grocery store, so it’s easy to stock up and prepare meals in the comfort of your own condo, too! E NJ OY T H E SU N Relax with a book, work on your tan, try your skills on a skimboard or a boogie board, build a sand castle, watch for dolphins—or just float. Whatever your beach style, Panama City Beach has what you need to forget your worries and enjoy your vacation! WAT CH T H E SU N S E T The perfect end to a day on the beach can be spent on the sand, the pier, or your balcony, but one thing is for sure—you should never miss the sunset! No two are ever the same, and with gorgeous hues of pink, purple, gold, and orange blazing across the sky above the Gulf, it can provide an excellent photo op. Keep an eye out for the legendary green flash just as the sun disappears below the horizon.
DID YOU KNOW? Panama City Beach’s bright white sand is thanks to the millions of clear quartz crystals that filter down through the watershed formed by the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers? They travel all the way from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northern Georgia and are dispersed from the Apalachicola River into the Gulf of Mexico, which spreads them across our beautiful beaches!
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE 96 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 97
Photo courtesy of Shipwreck Island Waterpark
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE 98 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
Photo by Romona Robbins
DAY 5 OH, THE PL ACES YOU’LL GO! By Jordan Staggs You already know that fun and adventure are always right around
the kids explore, all under the supervision of the park’s professional
the corner in Panama City Beach. Whether you’re in the mood for
lifeguards. The daredevils of the group will love the thrilling Pirate’s
a family race down a waterslide, a visit with the dolphins, a ride on
Plunge, Tree Top Drop, and White Knuckle River slides. With on-site
a roller coaster, or a round of miniature golf, you’re never far away
dining, beverages, and ice cream, you can’t go wrong with a day at
from some amazing amusement parks and attractions in this exciting
the waterpark! Shipwreck Island is open April–September and season
beach town! Plan a day to get out and explore with the kids or with
passes are available.
friends—there’s something for everyone. Here are just a few ideas for
planning your day of good old-fashioned fun in Panama City Beach: PI E R PA R K A MUS EM E N T S S H I P WR ECK I S L A N D WAT E R PA R K
Panama City Beach’s shopping, dining, and entertainment hub has it
Wet’s up! With waterslides galore plus a lazy river, a tipping bucket,
all, including some of your favorite carnival rides! Stop by Pier Park
kids’ activity pools, a giant wave pool, and more, Shipwreck Island
Amusements to take a ride on the carousel, the Spinning Coaster, the
Waterpark is the place to be when you want a break from the Gulf but
Scrambler, the Tornado, and more! At just $4 per ride or with hourly
still want fun in the water. There’s nothing like relaxing in an inner
and all-day wristband options, you can ride once or keep coming
tube and floating along down the Lazy River as all your troubles drift
back for more!
away. Catch some rays or find a spot in the shade while you watch
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 99
R ACE C I T Y Looking to spend your day of adventure at a place that truly has it all? You’ve found it at Race City! You could get lost in this adventurefilled park featuring a roller coaster and other thrill rides, go-karts, black-light mini golf, a ten-thousand-square-foot arcade, bumper boats, and the exciting and challenging Sea Maze. Parents can watch as the kids soar on the amazing Skycoaster (must be forty-two inches tall to ride) or join in the fun with a little family challenge on the bumper boats, Spin Zone, go-karts, and more! Race City is the ultimate stop for fun in Panama City Beach—rain or shine—and is available for group events and birthday parties. www.RaceCityPCB.com
R I PL E Y ’ S B E L I E V E I T O R N OT ! O D D I TO R I UM A N D WO N D E RWO R K S If you’ve driven down Thomas Drive in Panama City Beach, you might have noticed a couple buildings that seemed a little . . . odd. The half-sunken ship? The upside-down museum? Just two more of the area’s most unique attractions that are a blast for the whole family! Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium is full of surprises, including the Marvelous Mirror Maze, the 7-D Moving Theater, the Impossible LaseRace, and much more! If you’re looking for wacky exhibits and some of the most unique displays you’ve ever seen, don’t forget to walk through the Odditorium—a museum like no other! Then, venture through the underground tunnel and cross the street to WonderWorks for a fun museum experience that’s also educational. Test your skills and be amazed in the Light and Sound zone, blast off in the Space Discovery center, live through the Natural Disasters zone, and much more. Great for rainy days and beating the heat, stop by these two whimsical museums any time of year! www.Ripleys.com/PanamaCityBeach www.WonderWorksOnline.com/Panama-City-Beach
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE 100 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
DAY 6 R AIN, R AIN, GO AWAY… By Jordan Staggs You already know Florida is the Sunshine State, and it’s true—the Gulf Coast usually does experience an average of three hundred sunny days per year. Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn’t always so kind during every vacation, and although most rains in Panama City Beach tend to begin in the early afternoon and clear up in time for another amazing sunset, sometimes they are not so fleeting. This doesn’t mean your vacation fun has to suffer! Take a look at some of the best Panama City Beach activities for a rainy day:
C AT CH A FL I CK The Pier Park shopping center might be predominantly outdoors,
at any Grand Theatre or Amstar Cinemas location throughout the
but it happens to be home to some of the best rainy day activities in
country, so you can enjoy the perks even after you go home!
Panama City Beach. The Grand Theatre 16 is an excellent choice for
family movie night, fair weather or foul—but we definitely recommend it during a downpour. Relax in comfortable stadium seating or try
E AT. D R I N K . PL AY.
out the D-Box immersive experience, complete with moving chairs
In 2014, Pier Park welcomed one of its newest tenants and definitely
and extra surround sound. Visit the concession stand, which offers
the most fun you can have under one roof: Dave & Buster’s arcade and
way more than just popcorn, with options such as chicken fingers and
sports bar. You’ll forget all about the rain once you walk through the
fries, ICEEs, and all your favorite candies.
doors and experience hundreds of arcade games, including Mario Kart and a giant Pac-Man challenge, classic favorites such as Skee-Ball
Showing all the latest feature films, some with IMAX and 3-D options,
and air hockey, casino-inspired games, and even a trivia challenge.
the Grand 16 also presents Summer Kids’ Flicks on Tuesdays and
Rack up points on your Dave & Buster’s Power Card with every
Wednesdays at 10 a.m. for only $4, Retro Cinema nights featuring
game you play and cash them in at the end of the day for awesome
classic films from years past, and special Fathom Events showings
prizes, or save them up for something big the next time you visit any
such as RiffTrax Live and TCM Big Screen Classics.
Dave & Buster’s location!
Don’t forget to sign up for the Grand Theatre’s Reel Rewards program!
The sports bar and grill at Dave & Buster’s is an excellent spot to
For only $10 per year, you receive great moviegoer rewards such as free
grab a bite and a beverage after an afternoon of gaming or to watch
size upgrades on popcorn and drinks, 10 percent back on every dollar
the big game on one of the multiple flat-screen TVs.
spent, and a $5 bonus on your birthday. Reel Rewards is available
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 101
B OWL , S K AT E , A N D M O R E The Shoppes at Edgewater are within walking distance from all of Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort’s condos (although there is ample parking for those rainy days!), and one family-fun hot spot is Rock’it Lanes! Where else can you find a massive arcade, a restaurant, a bowling alley, and a skating rink all in one? If you’re out with friends or on a date at nearby Firefly, pop over for some after-dinner drinks and fun, or take the kids for a whole day full of activities all in one place. Rock’it Lanes is your number one stop for a wide variety of things to do in Panama City Beach, rain or shine! www.RockitLanes.com
E XPLO R E T H E D E E P No, we don’t mean scuba diving in the rain—although that could be interesting. Panama City Beach happens to be the home of a very unique museum for those who are interested in deep-sea expeditions and history. The Man in the Sea Museum holds a treasure trove of artifacts, watercraft, and stories of fathoms below unlike any other collection in the world. Climb through a submarine, check out the original SEALAB 1 exploration unit, and learn all about man’s history of diving and exploration. At just $5 for general admission, $4.50 for seniors, and free for children 7 and under, this is a fun and educational rainy day activity that won’t break the bank! www.ManintheSea.org
B E A- M A Z E - D Let’s head back over to Pier Park for this one-of-a-kind indoor playground in Panama City Beach. The Emerald Coast Mirror Maze is a mystical optical illusion that you will have a blast exploring! And there’s more than just the maze on-site. Challenge your family and friends to the swashbuckling Pirate’s Quest Laser Tag in a 1,800square-foot arena. Test your superspy maneuvering skills on the Laser Challenge as you move to dodge laser beams, just like in the movies! And don’t miss out on Emerald Coast Mirror Maze’s newest activity, Bazooka Ball, as you battle your foes with foam ammunition and vie for the top score! This is one rainy day destination that’s sure to provide hours of fun for all ages. www.EmeraldCoastMirrorMaze.com
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE 102 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
Photo courtesy of Dave & Buster’s
Photo courtesy of Rock’It Lanes
FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 103
104 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
DIVE DEEP WAT E R S P O R T S A B O U N D I N PA N A M A C I T Y B E A C H
BY SUVA ANG -MENDOZ A
ust ask any local and they’ll tell you that
Of course, with the Resort Collection Rewards
the alluring waters that range from emerald
program, it’s easy to try one of these water
green to ocean blue off the coast of Panama
activities. Our rewards card is free with your
City Beach are meant to be splashed around
stay and offers discounts at many of Panama
in on a perfect, sunny day. It would almost be
City Beach’s top destinations so you can make
criminal not to get your feet wet while visiting.
the most out of your vacation.
Whether it’s the Gulf of Mexico or one of our rare coastal dune lakes, not only is water a key
Take advantage of all the watersports available
feature of the Northwest Florida landscape,
when you visit Adventures at Sea, located
but it’s also central to the culture and lifestyle
between the waters of St. Andrew Bay and the
here. Participating in watersports is second
Gulf of Mexico. Shell Island has been described
nature to the people of this picturesque city,
as having “the most beautiful beaches of them
and visitors can partake in them during any
all” and could not be a more perfect place to
Panama City Beach vacation.
start your water adventure. Adventures at Sea is your one-stop shop for getting your feet wet
There’s nothing that makes you feel more
in various water activities: parasailing, riding
alive than experiencing an adrenaline-filled
Jet Skis, boat rentals and tours, fishing, banana
watersport activity such as riding a Jet Ski or
boat rides, sailing, or just swimming leisurely
observing all of Panama City Beach from the
in the Gulf.
sky on a high-flying parasailing adventure. Say hello to the marine life underwater with a
Of course, every watersport has its own foot-
scuba diving or snorkeling tour. Travel down
print of fun, and the amount of thrill varies. If
the coast on a sunset cruise and say hello to
you’re looking for something action packed, you
a family of bottlenose dolphins, or a take a
might want to look into Jet Ski rentals or even
thrilling ride on a high-speed boat. There’s a
kiteboarding. Here’s a breakdown on what
watersport for everyone to enjoy.
to expect when planning your watersports adventure in Panama City Beach!
ResortCollection.com | 105
THRILLING CHASE For your maximum thrill, we’d like to suggest hitting the waves on a
between adventure and leisurely sightseeing.
WaveRunner tour or renting your own Jet Ski. There’s nothing like
Float into the sky and sail smoothly over the
the rush of excitement as you cruise down the coast on a powerful
emerald-green waters of the Gulf, where the
personal watercraft. Just remember to keep an eye out for swimmers
view is unbelievable.
and other moving vessels.
B O AT I N G A R O U N D Is there anything more breathtaking than riding beside a family of
Want to get together with family or a group of
dolphins in their natural habitat? With a WaveRunner tour, you’ll
friends? Make it a party on a pontoon boat tour!
satisfy your need for speed with the added bonus of hanging out with
Accommodating up to twelve passengers—
wild dolphins. Guaranteed fun for the whole family, this excursion
including pets—this is the best leisurely way
will make a lasting impression.
of exploring Panama City Beach’s most scenic
F L O AT O N
areas. Relax and create memorable moments with family as you find all the hidden gems
Take in the view of the magnificent coast of Panama City Beach in
along the coast. Watch as dolphins leap play-
the best way—from up in the air! Parasailing is the perfect cross
fully alongside the boat; catch glimpses of a
Photo by Glen Thaxton
106 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
variety of coastal birds and other wildlife,
Just looking to relax by the water’s edge? Beach lounge chair and
such as manatees; visit Shell Island; snorkel
umbrella rentals are available to fit your needs—all with attentive
the shallow waters; enjoy the sights of St.
service. Our on-site beach attendants do the setup and end-of-day
Andrew Bay, and tour the Gulf of Mexico.
breakdown—you do the relaxing.
If you’re looking for a more high-spirited
FISHING FOR FUN
boating adventure, feed your appetite for
There’s no better way to fish than out in the deep blue of the Gulf of
adrenaline on a bright-yellow banana boat,
Mexico with a highly trained and professional crew onboard a state-
where you’ll experience the thrill of zooming
of-the-art-charter boat. Earn bragging rights when you experience
across the Gulf with a group of friends or
catching a big pompano, kingfish, red snapper, Spanish mackerel,
family. These inflatable boats are pulled by
and many more.
experienced staff members, so all you have to do is hang tight and have fun! If a breezier afternoon of sailing around the bay or Gulf is more your style, kick back and relax on a sailboat cruise. Glide through the gentle waves and breathe in the salt air as you chase the sunset. Great for catching a glimpse of a family of dolphins, sailboating is perfect for a small family or group of four.
R I D I N G T H E WAV E S Feel the movement of the Gulf waters as you skimboard swiftly through the edge of the surf. A favorite among kids and teenagers, skimboards and boogie boards are inexpensive and available in on-site shops at Resort Collection’s properties and at many retail outlets nearby. For the more advanced boarder, take to the waves with a Panama City Beach kiteboarding adventure! This unique sport is growing in popularity and is not for the faint of heart. The best stop for all your surfing, paddleboarding, and skateboarding needs is at Into the Blue Surf and Sport, located on Thomas Drive.
TA K E A S W I M Care to take a dip? Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico is a favorite pastime for many; the warm waters and beautiful scenery attract locals and visitors alike. Professional triathlon and Ironman events are held in Panama City Beach each year, making the Gulf of Mexico the perfect place for training. Or, you can just splash around for the fun of it!
ResortCollection.com | 107
Photo by Glen Thaxton
Whether you’re into high-impact watersports or just looking to cloud watch while drifting along on a boat or board, there are many ways to explore Panama City Beach’s best attraction—the water! For your best experience with tours, snorkeling or scuba excursions, boat or board rentals, beach chair rentals, and other adventures on and near the water, we encourage you to visit our preferred beach service vendors: A D V E N T U R E S AT S E A 5709 N. Lagoon Drive Panama City Beach, FL 32408 www.WatersportsPC.com PA N A M A B E AC H S E RV I C E 3702 Thomas Drive Panama City Beach, FL 32408 www.PanamaBeachService.com ED’S BE ACH SERVICES 8224 Panama City Beach Pkwy. Panama City Beach, FL 32407 www.EdsBeachServicesInc.com A Q U AT I C A D V E N T U R E S 5325 N. Lagoon Drive Panama City Beach, FL 32408 www.PCBeachAdventures.com MR. SURF’S SURF SHOP 7220 Thomas Drive Panama City Beach, FL 32408 www.MrSurfs.com
108 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
RECREATION IS RELAXATION By Jordan Staggs and Lauren Shaw
The turquoise and emerald hues of the Gulf of Mexico arenâ€™t the only greens to enjoy in Panama City Beach. Why not hit the golf course or tennis courts and enjoy your time in the sun while working on your game or taking part in some friendly competition? Resort Collection guests have access to an unparalleled number of recreational activities. Book your tee time at the PGA-class Hombre Golf Course, enjoy six Plexicushion tennis courts at The Club at Edgewater, or explore other activities at various Resort Collection properties.
ResortCollection.com | 111
HIT THE COURT—BUT NOT THE NET!
the fundamentals, to “boot camp” for the ultimate tennis workout,
For avid tennis players or beginners looking to
featuring conditioning, stroke analysis, drills, and strategy.
improve their game, opportunities abound at Resort Collection! Tennis courts are available
DRIVE, CHIP, AND PUTT
at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, Majestic
Also available at The Club at Edgewater is the exclusive nine-hole
Beach Resort, and Summit Beach Resort.
executive golf course. Spend a leisurely afternoon out on the fairways
Courts are free for Resort Collection guests
among lush greenery, lakes, and the Edgewater Golf Villas. Cart
to use on a first-come, first-served (get it?)
rentals are available, and tee times are required.
basis. Pricing is available for guests who did not book through Resort Collection.
For information about golf and tennis membership with The Club at Edgewater, call the Pro Shop at (850) 235-7324 or dial extension 324
Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort features
from your suite.
professional instruction and state-of-the-art Plexicushion courts at The Club at Edgewater;
PLAY WHERE THE PROS PLAY.
the courts may be reserved by guests staying at
The hub of golf in Panama City Beach can be found at Hombre Golf
the resort. The Club’s professional team offers
Club, a paradise known for being the host of the annual Web.com
lessons for all ages and skill levels, including
PGA Tour Qualifying School and other PGA tournament events. Its
summer camps for kids. Private tennis lessons
design is scenic and challenging, and the course has become a land-
and clinics are under the instruction of the
mark in the area since it opened in 1989. Rent a cart or take a stroll
resident tennis pro, Donovan September, who
as you experience a challenging array of holes tucked amid palm and
has over fifteen years of teaching experience
pine trees, lakes, and azaleas.
and participation in the US Open and Australian Open. Tennis clinics encompass
Enjoy a cold beverage or lunch from the Siesta Grill at Hombre’s
a wide range of experience levels from a
clubhouse, which was newly renovated in 2015. The improvements
complete beginner’s clinic, which teaches
included updated dining and bar areas, an expanded retail section
112 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
DID YOU KNOW? Resort Collection guests receive 20 percent off on tennis lessons and court fees at The Club at Edgewater and 20 percent off at Hombre Golf Club during their stay. Donâ€™t forget to use your Resort Collection Rewards card to receive these perks! Visit www.ResortCollection.com/reward to see more.
Photo by Troy Ruprecht
ResortCollection.com | 113
Photo by Troy Ruprecht
in the golf shop, newly designed men’s and women’s locker rooms, and new office space. In addition to greatly improving the flow and aesthetics of the clubhouse, the renovations have allowed Hombre to accommodate larger tournaments and bring more players to the Panama City Beach area from across the country. Hombre Golf Club will be seeing more renovations in the near future.
“We are creating the best golf experience Hombre Golf Club has ever offered. With it will come new opportunities for members and guests alike and positive momentum for the future.”
“We are creating the best golf experience Hombre Golf Club has ever offered,” says Paul
Mike Weir, Hubert Green, Allen Doyle, Michael Campbell, Frank
Wohlford, Resort Collection’s vice president
Lickliter, and Scott McCarron, to name a few. The course is also
of business development. “With it will come
home to the Academy at Hombre Golf Club, which offers classes,
new opportunities for members and guests
camps, and private instruction with golf professionals under the
alike and positive momentum for the future.”
direction of Adam Brack.
Hombre has long been known for hosting the annual Q-School and has been played by distinguished golfers such as Gary Nicklaus,
114 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
FO R M O RE I N FO RMATI O N ABOUT H O M B RE G O LF CLU B , O R TO BO O K A TE E TI M E , PLE A S E VI S IT W W W. H O M B REG O LFCLU B .CO M .
Join Resort Collection Rewards! With RC Rewards e-mail newsletter, members receive exclusive discount codes for accommodations at all our unique beach properties. Get access to the latest news about upcoming events in Panama City Beach so you never miss out on upcoming concerts, festivals, and more. You will also be the first to receive information about Resort Collection properties and all the beautiful photos from our beaches and pools!
Visit www.ResortCollection.com/Resort-Collection-Rewards to join today!
Paradise A COMPETITORS’
Run, Bike, and Swim at the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches By LAUREN SHAW Photography by NATASHA JASPERSON
UNBEKNOWNST TO MOST OF FLORIDA AND THE SOUTHEAST, PANAMA CITY BEACH HAS BECOME A MECCA FOR MARATHONERS AND TRIATHLETES. WITH THE GULF OF MEXICO AS THE BACKDROP AND AN AVERAGE OF THREE HUNDRED DAYS OF SUNSHINE FOR PERFECT RUNNING, BIKING, OR SWIMMING WEATHER, THOUSANDS OF PARTICIPANTS SIGN UP EACH YEAR TO PARTICIPATE IN ONE OR MORE COMPETITIONS AT THE BEACH. THE AREA HAS CAPITALIZED ON THIS NOTION BY PROVIDING PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT PANAMA CITY BEACH AND PARTAKE IN A VARIETY OF RACE EVENTS. Triathletes and marathon runners are motivated people. They are always up for a swim, a ride, or an adventure. Pushing physical and mental limits is part of the rush, and crossing the barrier of “this is more than I ever knew I was capable of” is something they will travel anywhere to experience. When combining their need for accomplishment with competitions along the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches,” who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity? Read below for a few of Panama City Beach’s top triathlon and marathon competitions throughout the year. Who knows, you might just decide to sign up for one too!
ResortCollection.com | 117
GULF COAST TRIATHLON May 13, 2017 Coming up on its thirty-fifth anniversary, the Gulf Coast Triathlon, presented by Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, has become a staple in Panama City Beach and an event that triathletes from all over the country look forward to. Between the race, the beach party, and ideal spring weather, this competition is a perfect trifecta in a runner’s paradise. This event doesn’t present just one day of fun; it’s a full weekend of activities for the whole family! From showing a family movie on Edgewater’s pool deck and hosting a kids’ beach Olympics, to the main event of the big day, there is plenty of fun to be had for participants and supporters. The swim portion of the race is a 1.2-mile open-water swim in the Gulf of Mexico, which pushes even the most skilled swimmers to their limits. Seas are generally calm and temperatures average at 78 degrees. Next, competitors will bike fifty-six miles through residential, commercial, and rural areas of Panama City Beach and Bay County on a fast and mostly flat course. The average headwind speed is only about 15 miles per hour, and it’s hard not to admire the beautiful scenery as it zooms past. The run is a half marathon (13.1 miles) out-and-back course that travels along the beautiful beach and through residential areas. Aid stations are plentiful, and there is no shortage of cheering spectators and volunteers as participants cross the long-awaited finish line. The director and coordinators of the Gulf Coast Triathlon welcome individual applicants and relay teams to a competition they are sure to never forget—not to mention a well-deserved trip to the beach! www.GulfCoastTriathlon.com
118 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
THE SWIM PORTION OF THE RACE IS A 1.2-MILE OPENWATER SWIM IN THE GULF OF MEXICO, WHICH PUSHES EVEN THE MOST SKILLED SWIMMERS TO THEIR LIMITS.
Photo courtesy of IRONMAN Florida
IRONMAN FLORIDA November 5, 2016 Described as “one of the most storied North American races,” IRONMAN Florida has been around since 1999. Just as the busy season of Panama City Beach starts to quiet down and the wonderful fall temperatures make their appearance, IRONMAN makes visiting Panama City Beach the perfect destination for an adrenaline-fueled race and a mini vacation all in one. This race is where only the most elite triathletes compete for a coveted slot in the IRONMAN race in Kona, Hawaii. The swim is
THE COURSE PARALLELS THE SHORELINE, TWISTS THROUGH LOCAL NEIGHBORHOODS, AND TURNS AROUND IN ST. ANDREWS STATE PARK.
a two-loop, 2.4-mile course that takes place in—you guessed it— the Gulf of Mexico. As if the swim wasn’t challenging enough, athletes will also have a short beach run between laps. Water
The course parallels the shoreline, twists through local neighbor-
temperatures typically range in the low 70s in November, making
hoods, and turns around in St. Andrews State Park, a favorite among
this course wetsuit legal for swimmers.
participants for its shaded areas and array of wildlife.
To really get their blood pumping, competitors will next complete a
This late-season IRONMAN competition has “personal best”
112-mile bike ride at only 161 feet above sea level. The course is flat
written all over it, with almost 140 miles of flat course and light
and fast, but there is a silver lining—getting to cruise alongside the
winds. IRONMAN Florida is a community favorite, and thousands
beach for part of the trek!
of volunteers and community members come out to celebrate with the competitors at the finish line. This is a not-to-be-missed race for
Concluding the daylong race is one of the flattest runs on the
the avid triathlete.
IRONMAN circuit. Spectators and supporters line the roads and cheer on runners as they finish a full marathon (26.2 miles).
ResortCollection.com | 119
PANAMA CITY BEACH MARATHON December 3, 2016 Filling a void in the Panama City Beach calendar of events, the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce hosted the city’s inaugural Panama City Beach Marathon in 2015, bringing in thousands of runners from thirty-six states and five countries. Attracting visitors to the community during a typically slow time of the year for tourism was one of the ultimate goals of the event. Expanding from a previous half marathon and 5K competition, the
THE CERTIFIED 26.2-MILE OUT-AND-BACK COURSE IS RELATIVELY FLAT AND FOLLOWS ALONGSIDE THE GULF OF MEXICO.
Panama City Beach Marathon was able to incorporate more areas of the beach that runners favor, such as St. Andrews State Park and the Historic East End. The certified 26.2-mile out-and-back course is relatively flat and follows alongside the Gulf of Mexico, through neighborhoods and the State Park, and loops back to the finish line at Pier Park. The event also includes half marathon and 5K competitions, so runners of all levels can participate. A free kids’ fun run takes place in the streets of Pier Park, and everyone receives a finisher’s ribbon! Don’t forget the extraordinary after-party at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in Pier Park, kicking off after the first runner crosses the finish line! Free beer, gumbo, and music are offered to all runners, while the official awards ceremony commences on the stage for first, second, and third place winners in each race and age group. The Panama City Beach Marathon is truly fun to be had by all! www.PCBMarathon.com
Photo courtesy of PCB Chamber of Commerce
120 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
For more information on all these races, visit their websites for registration and volunteer information.
BOON DOCKS r e s t a u r a n t Home of the unforgettable Fried Pickles and home of the freshest Seafood you’ll find.
Locals’ Choice Selected by Coastal Living in Top 25 for 2007 and 2009 Named Southern Living’s Favorite Seafood Dive in 2004
14854 Bay View Circle, Panama City Beach, FL Located under the mighty oaks on the Intracoastal Waterway just 5 minutes from the Beaches in West Bay.
122 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
BEER LOVIN’ LIFE
Panama Cit y Beach Welcomes Its First Brewer y
By Lauren Shaw Photography by Dawn Chapman Whitty
Some people are lucky to find their life’s passion. The luckiest people, though, are those who find passion in their work. At least, that is how the owners of Nivol Brewery and Tap House feel. Having just opened in April 2016, Leo and Selma Hill brought their lifelong dream to fruition by becoming the first locally owned brewery in Panama City Beach, Florida. They recruited two master brewers, Michael Delf and Doug Whitt, who are using their collective thirty-four years of brewing knowledge to rejuvenate and rekindle the fire for beer drinkers everywhere.
ResortCollection.com | 123
he brewery is not all about the beer. The Hills wanted to enhance the local community by bringing new manufacturing jobs to Panama
City Beach as well. Being an area that thrives on tourism and tends to be a seasonal destination, there aren’t many jobs that bring steady incomes for employees all year. According to Selma, the team at Nivol includes “brewers, marketers, tasters, and opportunity makers.” Nivol focuses on the motto of “lovin’ life and lovin’ beer,” Selma says. “We are actually very positive and spiritual people. We wanted our name to represent the love and passion that we have for the process of brewing craft beer. While brewing at our home for many years, we got involved on the retail side waiting for our opportunity to start brewing and distributing at a large quantity. We believe that Bay County and the Florida Panhandle deserve their own freshly brewed beer. Our name represents ‘lovin’’ backwards!” Panama City Beach and the Bay County community have welcomed the brewery with open arms and are proud to now have another attraction that both residents and visitors can enjoy year-round. Breweries such as this one are opening up across the United States, thanks to the persistent rise in popularity of craft beers. The men behind the exceptional tasting beer brought the right combination of experience and creativity to the team. “Head brewer Michael Delf has been brewing for the last ten years,” Selma says. “He loves to do specialty brews like cucumber, dragon fruit meads, and ciders. Our other brewer, Doug Whitt, came from Atlanta and specializes in his own craft. Put Michael and Doug together and you get one dynamic team.” 124 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
“WE WANTED OUR NAME TO REPRESENT THE LOVE AND PASSION THAT WE HAVE FOR THE PROCESS OF BREWING CRAFT BEER.”
“WE BELIEVE THAT BAY COUNTY AND THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE DESERVE THEIR OWN FRESHLY BREWED BEER. OUR NAME REPRESENTS ‘LOVIN’’ BACKWARDS!”
The Sea Screamer Sightseeing and Dolphin Cruise is an exciting way to experience the beauty of Panama City Beach. The spacious and comfortable twin turbo powered 73-foot boat offers a smooth yet thrilling ride, unlike any other!
phin Tours Day time Dol in Cruises Sunset Dolph im Trips Snorkel & Sw
Located in the Grand Lagoon Area at the East End of Panama City Beach
3605 Thomas Drive. Treasure Island Marina. 32408
850.233.9107 • 850.235.3000 seascreamer.net
Nivol has four different, unique brews already admired by customers. For the India pale ale lover, their Scuba IPA uses five different hops for ideal aroma and taste. It’s not too bitter—but just bitter enough for the hop-heads—and is great for an IPA beginner. For a milder flavor, the 98 Roadside Blonde is an American blonde ale that is light and crisp with a smooth finish, perfect for a day at the beach! On the more substantial side, the Amber and Cream Ale and Vanilla Porter brews are absolutely delicious and offer an abundance of flavor with every sip. Join Leo, Selma, Michael, and Doug at Nivol Brewery and Tap House for a truly enjoyable craft beer experience. “Come join us at our tasting room,” Selma insists. “Any given day you can sit down, relax, have a cold beer, and watch the brewing process unfold behind the see-through wall into our brewery. We have fun games, ample room, and TVs to keep everyone occupied while socializing and meeting new people. Brewery tours and private events will also be offered soon!”
Nivol Brewery and Tap House is located at 473 Richard Jackson Boulevard in The Shoppes at Edgewater. The tasting room is open from 2:00 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, noon to midnight Saturdays, and 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sundays. Visit www.NivolBrewery.com for more information and new brews coming soon! 126 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
Photo by Dawn Chapman Whitty
128 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
G E T B E ACH Y, G E T A N Y T HING— AT T HE B E ACH! B Y L AU R EN S H AW A N D K R I S T EN K U K TA The only thing more stressful than planning a vacation around a hectic schedule is not being prepared upon arrival. Lining up and reserving various amenities such as beach chairs and Jet Skis has gotten easier since the advent of Beachy, a new mobile app. Beachy connects vacationers to a network of vendors, allowing direct access to a number of services and activities, either in advance or on demand. ounded in 2015 by Matt Houston,
After successful testing in October 2015, Beachy has added
David Stange, and Josh Aronson,
functionality to improve guest experiences at partnering resorts.
Beachy eliminates the hassle of renting
Beachy has also received international attention from vendors in
beach necessities by directly connecting
Brazil, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
vacationers with vendors of beach chairs, umbrellas, and add-on entertainment experiences like helicopters rides, Jet Ski rentals, and more. “In its simplest form, we’re establishing a physical address for people on the beach,” Houston explains. “Think of Beachy as your concierge, but you don’t really have to talk to anyone. Users will be able to pick a beach
UPON ARRIVAL TO THE BE ACH, THE Y ARE CONNECTED WITH BE ACHY ’S VENDOR NET WORK AND CAN REL A X AND ORDER ALL OF THE BE ACHSIDE A MENITIES ANYONE COULD E VER WANT.
chair like they pick their airline seat.” “Planning a vacation is stressful enough. Reserving rental chairs and Based on their love for Panama City Beach
umbrellas once you get to the beach doesn’t have to be,” Houston
and all of the people living there, Houston,
says. “Beachy’s app enables vacationers to rent their beach chairs in
Stange, and Aronson initially came to the
advance or on demand. Upon arrival to the beach, they are connected
area and met with prominent beach-service
with Beachy’s vendor network and can relax and order all of the
business owners Ed Hickey Jr. of Ed’s Beach
beachside amenities anyone could ever want. And yes, we’re working
Service and Adris Pender of Adventures at
on drink services, as well!”
Sea. These business owners were forwardthinking enough to let Beachy test its product
Why use Beachy instead of going directly to the beach-service vendor?
with their beach attendants in return for
Convenience, of course! “We’ve found that customers respond well
a simple trade—knowledge of the beach
to the convenience Beachy offers, and that nobody likes waiting in
services industry in exchange for cold beer.
lines,” Houston says. “We also are being looked at as a separate
Improvements were made, and the app was
marketing channel for the beach vendors, like a free supplement to
retested until they got it right.
their existing practices.”
ResortCollection.com | 129
GROWING GEOGRAPHICALLY INTO OTHER BE ACHES OF THE WORLD ISN’T THE ONLY GOAL FOR THE APP. BE ACHY IS CURRENTLY WORKING TO ESTABLISH DELIVERY NET WORKS TO THE DOORSTEPS AND BE ACHFRONTS OF PRIVATE RESIDENCES.
Beachy has developed an innovative beach management system (BMS) to fully integrate beachfront sales, allowing the app to act as a point of sale for resort personnel. “We currently have BMS commitments from about ten resorts in the Florida Panhandle, and we will be implementing these resorts in the 2016 season,” says Houston. Beachy credits a clear vision, strategic hiring, and constant focus on development quality to its early successes. “We’ve been able to accelerate from zero to a world-class suite of apps and APIs (application program interfaces) in a matter of months,” says Josh Aronson, “From a development perspective, I couldn’t be happier with our progress. The team we’ve put together has consistently exceeded even our own aggressive expectations.” Aronson added that additional credit is due to Beachy’s relaxed company atmosphere and its focus on results over process. Houston agreed, saying, “We’ve had to get as far away as possible from the notion that you have to be at your desk or keep certain hours. This and open communication have been the key drivers to our innovation.” Growing geographically into other beaches of the world isn’t the only goal for the app. Beachy is currently working to establish delivery networks to the doorsteps and beachfronts of private residences.
right there in our mission statement,” says
Food, drinks, groceries, bikes, paddleboards, and more will soon
Houston. “Beachy’s goal is to be the go-to
be available for delivery to your vacation home via the Beachy app.
method of product and service delivery at
“We’re open to almost anything,” Houston says regarding expanding
beachside destinations worldwide.”
features. “Whatever our customers want is relevant, and we will provide it for them.” Beachy’s focused goal for 2016 is growth for the app and to push the envelope as much as possible, with offerings for every Florida vacationer between Panama City Beach and Pensacola by 2017. “It’s
130 | Goin' to the Beach 2016
The Beachy app is currently available for free in the Apple App Store for iOS, online as a web app for Android and Windows, and in the Google Play store. To access the web app, visit www.BeachyApp.com.
you waiting for? 12201 Hutchison Blvd Panama City Beach, Florida Phone: (850) 234-3333
Five Star Cuisine, Service and Atmosphere Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Award winner four years in a row Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for eight years running (2008-2015) Honored on Urbanspoon’s list of “America’s Top 250 High-End Restaurants”
Steak | Seafood | Sushi | Pizza | Dessert | Cocktails Private Rooms and Full-Service Catering Available.
Firefly Restaurant & Lounge at the Shoppes of Edgewater Panama City Beach, Florida
850.249.3359 • fireflypcb.com
W W W. R E S O R T C O L L E C T I O N . C O M | ( 8 4 4 ) 2 5 8 - 2 5 0 5