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AIN’T THAT AMERICA Sun-Drenched & Salty in Panama City Beach

SERENITY & STYLE at Firefly Restaurant

FUN IN THE SUN Activities, Dining, Events and More

FIND YOUR PERFECT GETAWAY 11 Unique Resorts

COMPLIMENTARY


THE

DIFFERENCE

BETWEEN

JUST HAVING

F U R N I T U R E

AND HAVING

TASTE

CREATING PERSONALIZED, MODERN INTERIORS FOR 24 YEARS.


12 Welcome to the Beach: An Interview with Paul Wohlford 16 Ain’t That America: Sun-Drenched and Salty 27 Serenity and Style at Firefly 34 Connect with Mother Nature 44 Our Kinda Party: Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam Brings Country to the Coast! 50 You’re Goin’ to the Beach! Eleven Panama City Beach Resorts for Every Occasion 62 Next Stop: Adventure Zone! 64 A Gulf Coast Tradition 70 Your Very Own Place on the Beach: You Deserve It! 74 Fun in the Sun: Planning Your Next Beach Vacation

75 Welcome to Panama City Beach

76 White Sands Await!

78 Adventure Is Right outside Your Door

80 Pier Park Has It All, Day and Night

16

84 Panama City Beach’s Top Amusement Parks 87 The Great Indoors

91 Sports Score Big for Economic Development 96 Water You Waiting For? 100 Boating Safety 101 with MarineMax 102 Recreation Is Relaxation 106 Run, Bike, Swim, Compete!

ON THE COVER

112 Brews at the Beach: Five Unique Tap Houses in Panama City Beach

Goin’ to the Beach is all about making memories with

116 Unwind at UNwineD: The Allure of Craft Beer, Wine, and Music

loved ones and good friends—and maybe making some new friends along the way. The nostalgia of hours-long road trips to the white sand and sparkling water of the Gulf of Mexico is something many Americans will never forget. It’s time to share that tradition with the next generation. It’s time to visit Panama City Beach—and Resort Collection is your beach vacation specialist!

120 Wonder by the Sea: The Beauty of Panama City Beach 124 Beachy: Your Personal Beach Concierge 128 Resort Collection: Who We Are

ResortCollection.com | 7


PUBLISHING TEAM Publisher The Idea Boutique® Editor-in-Chief Jordan Staggs Chief Copy Editor Margaret Stevenson Art Director Tracey Thomas Assistant Art Director Lucy Mashburn Creative Stylist Suva Ang-Mendoza Contributing Writers Amanda Crowley, Lisa Hawkins, Linda Kleindienst, Kristen Kukta Contributing Photographers Kim Duke-Layden, Rinn Garlanger, Lisa Hawkins, Brenna Kneiss, Ruth Peterkin Romona Robbins, Troy Ruprecht, Glen Thaxton, Dawn Chapman Whitty Advertising Sales Executive Mary Jane Kirby MaryJane@TheIdeaBoutique.com Sales Account Manager Rinn Garlanger 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 Saturday & Sunday Brunch 8:00 am

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 Digital Content Manager Lauren Shaw LShaw@ResortCollection.com

P U B L I S H E D BY

Brand Curators • Trend Forecasters Boutique Publishing House • Design Studio (850) 231-3087 114 Logan Lane, Suite 4, Grayton Beach, FL 32459 TheIdeaBoutique.com info@theideaboutique.com


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A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

All or Nothing Grab your boogie boards and towels, because you’re Goin’ to the Beach! It’s a worldwide pastime; people are drawn to the coast for its sand, sun, and soothing waves. Growing up visiting the Gulf Coast at least once a year, and now living near it, I’ve found there are two types of vacationers—the Beach Bums and the Do-It-Alls. The Beach Bums love their home away from home, bringing all the essentials to their beachfront condominium to make it the ultimate home

staying until sunset. We pack a cooler, a paddle-

base for the week. They head to the grocery store and get the shopping

ball set, floats, and boogie boards, and it takes

out of the way on the first evening, picking up cereal, sandwich sup-

at least four of us to haul it all in at the end

plies, and their favorite snacks. They make spaghetti for the family and

of the day. Soaking up the sun while reading a

enjoy movie nights before heading out with flashlights to walk along

good book, taking long walks down the water-

the water’s edge, searching for sand crabs. The Beach Bums spend all

line, and playing in the surf are punctuated

day going from the white sand to the pool deck and back again, soak-

only by reapplications of sunblock.

Editor-in-chief Jordan Staggs (right) with her brothers Brock Meyer, Cade Meyer, and Josh Staggs on the Gulf Coast in summer 2011

ing up the sun and salt water as much as possible during their vacation. Resort Collection’s variety of beach properties The Do-It-Alls are adventurers. They are on a mission to pack in as much

offers the perfect accommodations for Beach

fun as possible during their stay at the beach. They spend a couple of

Bums, Do-It-Alls, and everyone in between. Take

hours on the beach and then get ready for exploring, challenging each

advantage of the Adventure Zone activities at

other to the best score at miniature golf. Shopping at Pier Park is fol-

Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, Majestic

lowed by dinner at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville or Pineapple Willy’s—

Beach Resort, and Summit Beach Resort; or

anywhere with a beach view. The Do-It-Alls are amusement park thrill

relax in the ultimate luxury at En Soleil or Long

seekers, go-kart racers, and experts on the waterslides at Shipwreck

Beach Resort. Enjoy a beachfront balcony view

Island. They get their beach time in, but also take advantage of all the

and front-row seats for the sunset every night.

activities Panama City Beach has to offer.

No matter what your mission is when you’re visiting Panama City Beach, Resort Collection

Whether you’re a Beach Bum, a Do-It-All, or a combination of the two,

has got you covered with the perfect home

the beauty of goin’ to the beach is it’s all there at your fingertips, and a

away from home.

vacation is the perfect way to spend quality time with friends and loved ones. My family leans on the Beach Bum side, heading out to park

Happy Beachin’!

our chairs in the sand early to make sure nobody can block the view and

—Jordan ResortCollection.com | 11


WELCOME TO THE BEACH! AN INTERVIEW WITH PAUL WOHLFORD

A

long with its relaxed, hospitality-driven culture and big-city-

businesses survived: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a recession, and

meets-small-town character, this section of Northwest Florida

new spring break ordinances, to name a few. We also manage approx-

has tremendous amounts of fun and activities to offer visitors. Resort

imately twenty food and beverage outlets, including two free-standing

Collection boasts some of the best catering, activities, accommodations,

restaurants: Ocean’s Bar and Grill and Montego Bay. I’d say that

and customer service on Panama City Beach’s short twenty-seven-mile

definitely sets us apart from our competitors.

stretch of paradise. GTTB: It sounds like Resort Collection is really an expert in the hospiAs Resort Collection’s vice president of business development for eleven years, Paul Wohlford believes in the people and future of Panama City Beach, 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 Collection’s unique beach properties and to the Gulf Coast of Florida. Goin’ to the Beach! (GTTB): We know Resort Collection is the largest vacation rental company on Panama City Beach, but why do you believe it stands out above the rest?

tality field. Tell us more. PW: Resort Collection sets the standard for management and marketing services for resorts, conference centers, and condo-hotels on Panama City Beach. This experience gave me the insight to establish the Onsite Property Management Association (OPMA), with Resort Collection being a founding member. By leveraging the collective experiences of hospitality veterans, this network of mutual support elevates industry standards to ensure superior guest and homeowner experiences. OPMA strives to be a collective voice and meaningful advocate for the condominium-hotel industry and now represents over fifty-five thou-

Paul Wohlford (PW): Resort Collection has been in the vacation rental

sand resort accommodations and managers of both large and small

industry and involved with homeowner associations for over thirty

companies. In 2017, we formed a partnership with Google, which will

years. We’ve had the ability to diversify ourselves by remaining the

position OPMA members front and center of any vacation rental Google

largest locally owned and operated rental organization in Bay County

search in the United States. I recommend any on-site rental manager

and Panama City Beach. Time and time again we have proven our

to highly consider becoming an OPMA member for feedback and

stability in the marketplace by overcoming obstacles that not all

opportunities with other experts in their field.

12 | Goin' to the Beach


GTTB: What does Resort Collection offer to its guests that other

owners to be successful and happy. We continue to find ways to enhance

vacation rental companies don’t?

service by maintaining creativity, using groundbreaking ideas, and

PW: Hospitality is at the core of everything we do. We value integrity, teamwork, accountability, service, loyalty, respect, and most of all— fun! The mind-set of all of our employees is that every day is the first day of someone’s vacation, and it’s our job to make sure they have a positive and memorable experience during their stay with us. GTTB: Are there any exciting changes or additions that new and returning guests can experience while they are here? PW: Northwest Florida and Resort Collection are constantly evolving, which means there is always something new to appreciate. In 2017, we added Goin’ to the Beach!® Beach Service to our portfolio of amenities that included a custom-built tiki hut and brand-new loungers and chairs behind Edgewater. The exciting kids’ Adventure Zone is now available at three properties: Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, Majestic Beach Resort, and Summit Beach Resort. Activities include surfing lessons, scuba diving, Kids’ Night Out, and so much more. A big initiative we started in 2017 is our guest text response platform. Guests can now request anything—from finding out the password for Wi-Fi to reserving a beach chair—all through a simple text message. We wanted to give guests at our resorts immediate customer service at their fingertips. GTTB: Resort Collection manages condominium units in thirty buildings on Panama City Beach. Where do you see future growth potential? PW: We still plan on growing and evolving in Panama City Beach and even to the west of here. The Scenic Highway 30-A and Destin areas are booming and bringing a unique element to the traditional beach vacationer. Any opportunity has to be right for our guests and our company, but I believe—especially the way OPMA is positioned to spearhead on-site rental management companies—we are definitely heading in an innovative direction. We have only the highest standards for our guests, our vacation rentals, and the amenities that go with them. GTTB: Other than vacation rentals, what else does Resort Collection specialize in?

incorporating cutting-edge technology; these are just a few of the ways we continue to lead the industry. Our strong digital marketing initiatives allow us to achieve prime market positioning. Daily maintenance and management of these systems enable us to build and increase occupancy throughout the year—even during the traditionally slower periods. GTTB: If someone is visiting Panama City Beach for the first time, what is something they should definitely not miss doing or seeing? PW: While this area might have eighty years of history, it’s a brand-new beach that you will want to get to know all over again. 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 Chef Derek’s food is something everyone must experience. If you can, try and plan a day trip or rent a pontoon boat to Shell Island for a private, secluded beach atmosphere. Our partnerships with Adventures at Sea and Mr. Surf’s Surf Shop allow us to book a variety of fun activities or surfing lessons for our Resort Collection guests seeking something active to try. Our guests also receive a Resort Collection Rewards Card that offers unique discounts at the best attractions, restaurants, and other establishments worth visiting in the area. GTTB: Your mission is to “build lifelong customers by creating lifelong memories.” What are some of your favorite memories with Resort Collection or in Panama City Beach? PW: My favorite thing about Panama City Beach will always be the people. My wife and I both started in the hospitality business, and it is the people that made us want to stay here when we hadn’t initially planned to. My personal favorite memory is watching my kids grow up in this great community. But I’ve also enjoyed watching our destination grow as a whole. Many excellent partnerships have been formed and it is exciting to see what future growth they will bring.

For more information about OPMA or joining the organization, please visit TheOPMA.org.

PW: We specialize in all of it. We pride ourselves in being the only fullservice resort company on 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 and spa services from certified spa therapists. Resort Collection has a complete food and beverage team, as well as grand ballrooms and conference centers that are fully equipped to host numerous weddings and special events, such as reunions, each year. We also offer off-site catering for parties and private functions, and consulting for outside food and beverage operations. GTTB: With that résumé, why wouldn’t every rental property owner want Resort Collection to manage their unit? PW: There isn’t a reason I can think of. Not only do we want our guests to have the best experience staying with us, but we also want our ResortCollection.com | 13


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

WWW.BLUEDOLPHINTOUR.COM

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.


Ain't That America S UN-D R E NCH ED A N D SA LT Y BY JORDAN STAGGS PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAWN CHAPMAN WHITTY

F

or decades, vacationers from the

summer brings vacationers of all ages to enjoy the warm Gulf waters,

Southeast and beyond have flocked

vibrant nightlife, quirky attractions and theme parks, and a constant

to the Gulf of Mexico each summer

flow of concerts, festivals, and other events.

to enjoy the sun-soaked beaches, the fresh seafood, and the down-home yet

Beach communities always seem to form cultures all their own, but

exciting atmosphere in Panama City Beach.

whether it’s along the rocky California coast, the classic Hamptons

Its strategic location just west of the mouth

shoreline, or the hot and sunny Florida Panhandle, there is a style

of the Apalachicola River means the beaches’

that evolves from the environment. Friends wearing breezy linens and

quartz-rich sands are white as snow and spar-

light cottons camp out around beach bonfires and play reggae and

kle like diamonds. Long known as a popular

classic rock on the guitar. Sunny days spent cruising in the Jeep or

spring break destination for young people

paddleboarding mean colorful swimwear, shades, and fun accessories

and families alike, Panama City Beach in the

as the smell of salt air and suntan oil wafts through the palms.

BOOK YOUR PANAMA CI TY BEA C H G E T AWAY! W W W.R E SO R T C O LLE C T IO N .C O M


THIS PAGE // Bikini from Ophelia Swimwear Sunglasses by Ray-Ban, from Sunglass World Pier Park

ResortCollection.com | 17


O PPO SITE PAG E // Bikini from Ophelia Swimwear Men’s swimwear by Original Penguin Sunglasses from Sunglass World Pier Park

TH IS PAG E // Bikini from Ophelia Swimwear

18 | Goin' to the Beach


young & wild & free

ResortCollection.com | 19


The girls of summer

20 | Goin' to the Beach


THIS PAGE // Bikinis from Ophelia Swimwear Sunglasses by Ray-Ban, from Sunglass World Pier Park Flash tattoos from Ophelia Swimwear Jewelry from Mercantile in Seaside


22 | Goin' to the Beach


Escape to the coast OPPOSIT E PAGE // Sunglasses from Sunglass World Pier Park Women’s clothing from Mercantile in Seaside Menswear by Original Penguin

T HIS PAGE // Sunglasses by Ray-Ban, from Sunglass World Pier Park Jewelry from Mercantile in Seaside


summer daze

24 | Goin' to the Beach


THIS PAGE // Bikini by Clover Canyon, from Ophelia Swimwear Sunglasses by Ray-Ban, from Sunglass World Pier Park


Weddings RESORTCOLLECTION.COM/WEDDINGS

(850) 233-4029

PHOTOGRAPHY: NABA ZABIH PHOTOGRAPHY DECOR: KIRBYSTUDIO.COM


SERENITY and S T Y L E a t

Panama City Beach’s Casual Fine Dining Experience B Y J O R D A N S TA G G S

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROMONA ROBBINS

ResortCollection.com | 27


S

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.” 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 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 peppercrusted stuffed filet, the homemade pasta Bolognese, the espresso-braised pork 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.” Firefly welcomed its executive chef, Derek Langford, in the summer of 2015. No stranger to Gulf Coast and Southern cuisines, Langford has previous professional experience with WaterColor Inn in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida; Bud & Alley’s in Seaside, Florida; Farm 255 in Athens, Georgia; and Château Élan Winery and Resort in Braselton, Georgia. “I’m very proud and excited to be a part of the Firefly team,” says Langford. “They have set the bar at the highest level, and I plan not only to keep it there but also do my best to raise it! I walked into an amazing staff full of all-stars, and people aren’t usually that fortunate when taking over.”

“ 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 ! ” “Chef Derek is so creative,” says Trepanier. “He

who come in once or twice a week, I don’t want the menu to become

is constantly looking at new trends in cuisine.

stagnant. We need to keep it fresh.”

He prides himself on sourcing the best ingredients, whether it’s fresh Gulf seafood, locally

Patrons can find Firefly’s Sunset Special menu, happy hour specials

grown produce, or the finest meats, and he puts

such as Tini Tuesdays, and weekly chef’s specials, on its website at

quality first.” With weekly chef’s specials

FireflyPCB.com. “With 80 percent of our guests finding us on the web,

designed by Langford, as well as all of Firefly’s

we knew we needed to develop a more user-friendly site with updated

old favorites still on the menu, it’s clear that the

mobile phone capabilities,” Trepanier says. “We want to make it as easy

restaurant made a good move with the hire.

as possible to come visit us!”

“There is always something new on the menu, and that is what keeps it exciting! The trick

Visitors to the site can explore all that Firefly has to offer, browse the

for Chef is trying to change the menu without

restaurant’s menus, and make reservations online—something that

taking off menu items that have become crowd

Trepanier stresses is important, as the dining room is often full. “Most

favorites. For the out-of-town guests here for the

restaurants in Panama City Beach don’t take reservations, but we have

first time, it isn’t a big deal, but for the regulars

since day one,” he says. “I can’t stand waiting for an hour or two for

ResortCollection.com | 29


30 | Goin' to the Beach


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.

W H E T H ER YO U ’ R E L O O K I N G

F O R T H E P ER F E C T R O M A N T I C DAT E D E S T I N AT I O N , A F U N N I G H T O U T W I T H F R I EN D S O R FA M I LY, O R A P R I VAT E S PAC E T O H O LD YO U R

N E X T M EE T I N G O R EV EN T,

F I R EF LY T R U LY H A S S O M E T H I N G F O R EV ERYO N E .

Firefly has become a staple of fine dining in Panama City Beach, having hosted its share of

Chef Derek Langford

celebrities: country music stars Jason Aldean and Toby Keith; professional 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 2017, Trepanier expects to see some more country music artists dining beneath the Big Oak Tree. Whether you’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. It’s no wonder that Firefly is a five-time Florida Trend Golden Spoon Award winner, has won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence nine years running, and has been included in OpenTable.com’s “100 Most Romantic Restaurants” and Urbanspoon.com’s “Top 250 High-End Restaurants in the World.” Firefly’s friendly staff and expert culinary team will ensure that your casual fine dining experience is one to remember.

F I R E F LY P C B. C O M

ResortCollection.com | 31


F L O R I D A WAT E R M E L O N S A L A D by Chef Derek Langford

YIELDS FOUR SALADS

INGREDIENTS 1 fresh Florida watermelon

METHOD Vinaigrette

8 ounces of feta cheese in brine

The night before you make the salad, place the vinegar, the vanilla

1 pound of Florida arugula

pod and seeds, the peel of the lemon (use a vegetable peeler to peel),

6 ounces of shelled pistachios

and the thyme all together in a container with a lid to infuse the flavors. The day you prepare the salad, strain the ingredients out of the

For the vinaigrette:

vinegar and discard, saving the infused vinegar for the vinaigrette.

3 ounces of champagne vinegar

Whisk the oil into the vinegar slowly. Once whisked together, season

9 ounces of salad oil

with salt and pepper to taste. Add the champagne and place in the

2 ounces of champagne or sparkling wine, brut preferred 1 vanilla bean, scraped 1 lemon (for its peel) 1 bunch of thyme Kosher salt Fresh cracked pepper

refrigerator for later use. Salad Cut the exterior rind off the watermelon, saving the red flesh. Cube the flesh of the watermelon into one-inch cubes. Keep cubes cool while you prepare the rest of the salad. Remove the feta cheese from the brine and cut into half-inch cubes. Toss the pistachios with a little oil, salt, and pepper and place on a baking sheet. Set your oven to 350 degrees and once up to temperature, toast the pistachios for about four to five minutes, then remove them from the oven and cool. In a large mixing bowl, toss the watermelon, feta, arugula, and pistachios lightly, slowly adding the vinaigrette so as not to overdress the salad. Once you have the desired amount of dressing, season with salt and pepper to taste. Place on a salad plate and enjoy!

32 | Goin' to the Beach


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34 | Goin' to the Beach


CONNECT WITH MOTHER NATURE

Parks and Recreation BY SUVA A NG -MENDOZ A | PHOTOGR A PHY BY ROMONA ROBBINS

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

Northwest Florida. That old-fashioned idea

cellphones, iPads, or any other electronic

of family fun still exists. Get your adrenaline

devices—just quality time, building smiles

pumping as you discover the natural sur-

and lasting memories with your loved ones

roundings and fall in love with the beautiful

on an adventure with the native wildlife of

landscapes of Panama City Beach.

ResortCollection.com | 35


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ST. ANDREWS STATE PARK IS WELCOMING, WITH A NATIONALLY RANKED BEACH AND COUNTLESS ACTIVITIES THAT ARE PERFECT FOR ONE OR FOR A WHOLE FAMILY.

S t. Andrews S tate Park Known for its stretch of sugary white sands and

nature with a hike or a bike ride through the

its waters with colors ranging from saturated

preserves. The superior campgrounds offer 176

emerald green to blue, St. Andrews State Park

sites equipped with electricity, water, picnic

sits in the heart of Panama City Beach, bordered

tables, and grills, plus a nature trail that winds

by the Gulf of Mexico and the St. Andrew Bay.

through the coastal plant communities and is

The park is welcoming, with a nationally ranked

great for bird-watching. Continue your adven-

beach and countless activities that are perfect

ture on a shuttle or pontoon boat (available for

for one or for a whole family. Enjoy a leisurely

rent), and head to Shell Island for some sightsee-

day soaking in the sun or running on the shores

ing: many critters inhabit the seven-hundred-

of the beach at Shell Island, or make a splash

acre island, including deer, turtles, pelicans,

enjoying watersports such as swimming, snor-

sandpipers, gulls, and even alligators!

keling, scuba diving, kayaking, and canoeing. There are also two fishing piers that provide

WWW.FLORIDASTATEPARKS.ORG/PARK/

sufficient opportunities for anglers. Experience

ST-ANDREWS ResortCollection.com | 37


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

Econfina Creek 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

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 38 | Goin' to the Beach


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40 | Goin' to the Beach


AARON BESSANT 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.

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-theart 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.


OUR KINDA PARTY PEPSI GULF COAST JAM BRINGS COUNTRY TO THE COAST! By Lauren Shaw Photography courtesy of Gulf Coast Jam


9:00 a.m. Wake up in your beachfront vacation rental to a gorgeous morning 10:00 a.m. Have breakfast and morning coffee followed by a walk along the Gulf Coast 12:00 p.m. Soak in a few rays of sunshine in your beach chair with your favorite beverage 2:00 p.m. Jam out to your favorite country artists at Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam!

Tickets for 2017 are already on sale and include General Admission, the new VIP Pit Experience, Skybox, Side Stage, and Golden Circle. Preferred lodging packages are also available through booking online with Resort Collection or at the front desk at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort. On Friday night, fans will be entertained by none other than Jason Aldean, with major hits such as “My Kinda Party,” “Dirt Road Anthem,” and the newly released “Any Ol’ Barstool.” Little Big Town, known for hits like “Pontoon,” “Girl Crush,” and “Better Man,”

R

performs on Saturday. To bring the 2017 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam to a close, honorary Panama City Beach resident Luke Bryan will take the stage on Sunday for what is sure to be an epic

eturning in 2017 for its fifth year, Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam

performance. Bryan is known for “Country

rocks the music festival world and brings country’s

Girl (Shake It for Me),” “Drunk on You,” and

biggest names to the stage. This year, over the weekend

“Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day,” just

of September 1–3, festivalgoers from around the

to name a few.

world will travel to Panama City Beach for what we can only describe

as “our kinda party!”

Behind the music, three men bring everything to life at this impressive event: Rendy Lovelady,

What makes Gulf Coast Jam special? Rendy Lovelady, Pepsi Gulf Coast

the executive producer; Mark Sheldon, the chief

Jam’s executive producer, said it best at the inaugural 2013 event: “I

operating officer; and Dave Trepanier, the prod-

want to bring something that everyone can continue to enjoy for the

ucer. “I was in the music industry for fifteen

next ten, fifteen, twenty years. This festival will become a staple in

years,” says Dave. “Music has always been my

Panama City Beach!” It already has!

passion, and Mark and Rendy share that same love. We all want to put on a world-class event

Fans are looking forward to this year’s festival, which will feature

that we can be proud of and that the city can

major headliners each night. “It just became the natural progress of

be proud of as well. The headliners we have

growth,” Rendy says. “This is the most exciting lineup of headliners

brought in don’t typically come to a small town

we’ve had in our five-year history. Add the fourth—and biggest—

like ours, so for me, whether you like country

headliner, the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches, and you have the best

music or not, it validates Panama City Beach

concert experience in the country.”

as a great destination!”

ResortCollection.com | 45


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 water 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 Coast 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. From the moment you purchase your ticket to the second you walk through the gates at either Frank Brown Park or one of the festival’s beach stages, every detail has been meticulously thought out to maximize the fan experience. Free shuttles run continuously throughout the festival weekend to nine pickup locations. Also available are military and children’s dis-

I

counts, will call, and accessible seating for individuals with disabilities. Don’t worry about food and beverages—there are vendors located throughout the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam site to

n 2013, Trace Adkins, Brantley Gilbert, and Toby Keith head-

provide fresh Gulf seafood, festival favorites,

lined the three-day music festival and brought in a crowd of

and more!

thirteen thousand people from forty-nine states and fourteen

VIP Pit and VIP Golden Circle Tickets are on sale now and include the best concert views, Gulf Coast Jam T-shirt, priority entry and shuttle boarding, VIP restrooms, and more!

countries. To boast such a large crowd right off the bat—even

In 2015, Rendy promised that the lineup would

before the event was held during Labor Day weekend—was a major

be the biggest one to date. There was a mix of

accomplishment. “Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is a festival different from

chart-topping acts, up-and-coming stars, and

any other,” says Mark. “It’s a perfect combination of vacation and

country music legends throughout the three-

music all rolled into one.”

day festival. Headlining acts included Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, and Keith

The first year was all about learning so that the festival could be bigger

Urban, joined by other big acts including

and better in the years to follow. Parking has become effortless for

Hunter Hayes, Martina McBride, and Sam

ticket holders, new perks and ticket options are available, and the

Hunt. That year, every nomination category at

festival layout has been completely redesigned to make the audience

the CMT Music Awards had at least one

46 | Goin' to the Beach


performer from Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. “I think

Giving back to our military service members isn’t the only way Pepsi

it reiterates just how strong a lineup we put

Gulf Coast Jam is charitable. For every ticket purchased for this year’s

together,” Rendy says. “There really are only

event, two dollars will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research

a handful of acts that we haven’t yet brought

Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. “We are really excited about our re-

down to the Panhandle. Each year we’re just

lationship with St. Jude,” Rendy says. “This organization is probably

going to get bigger and better.”

my favorite aspect of this year’s festival. When you give back, it gives

Above: Gulf Coast Jam 2017 headliners Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldean

you the ability to grow!” Due to circumstances beyond their control, the festival was canceled in 2016 with Hurricane Hermine’s approach on the Gulf Coast. It was a devastating blow to both the producers and eager concertgoers, but the disappointment didn’t last long as there was a promise for a huge lineup in 2017, which has certainly

IF YOU ARE IN TOWN OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND TO VISIT THE BEACH AND YOU WANT THE ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE OF FUN, SUN, AND MUSIC, PEPSI GULF COAST JAM IS DEFINITELY THE PLACE TO BE.

been delivered. Dave believes the crowd reaction is, hands down, the best part. “It’s so Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam isn’t just about country

fun watching people laugh, scream, and cry tears of joy because Sam

music and a great party; it also has giving and

Hunt or Dierks Bentley just took a selfie with them,” he says. “That, to

generosity at its heart. Since its beginning,

me, makes it all worthwhile.”

Jammers who are either active or retired military have been able to purchase tickets at a lower

If you are in town over Labor Day weekend to visit the beach and

price than any other ticket option. This price

want the ultimate experience of fun, sun, and music, Pepsi Gulf Coast

will not increase, and it includes all the general

Jam is the place to be. Enjoying everything Panama City Beach has to

admission benefits.

offer is not something to pass up. As Dave says, “You can see these artists anywhere in the country, but there is only one place you can

“Mark, Dave, and I have always had a big place

see them and spend the day on the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches.”

in our hearts for our military,” Rendy shares. “You can’t come to Panama City Beach without

Don’t miss all the Country on the Coast coming September 1–3, 2017!

seeing them flying over the beaches and protecting our country. Giving our servicemen and women and veterans a great place they

For ticket options and all other Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam information,

can come to relax and enjoy fantastic music

please visit GulfCoastJam.com. Fans can also follow Pepsi Gulf

is the least we can do for them.”

Coast Jam on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. ResortCollection.com | 47


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

850.230.0005

boondocksfl.com

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.


YOU’RE GOIN’ TO THE BEACH!

ELE VEN PANAMA CIT Y BE ACH RESORTS FOR E VERY OCCASION Resort Collection invites sun worshippers to

Our properties boast around a thousand full-

visit America’s favorite beach destination, Pan-

service Gulf-front suites and golf villas, more

ama City Beach, and stay at one of its many

than ninety thousand square feet of indoor and

properties, which include the family-friendly

outdoor meeting space, incredible white-sand

Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, the fun-

beaches, award-winning fine dining at Firefly,

filled Laketown Wharf Resort, the magnificent

casual dining at Ocean’s Bar and Grill and

Majestic Beach Resort, the luxuriously app-

Montego Bay, ten Plexicushion tennis courts,

ointed Emerald Beach Resort, the relaxing Long

an outdoor basketball court, and more than

Beach Resort, the contemporary Grandview

twenty luxurious pools. We also offer a nine-

East Resort, the exciting Summit Beach Resort,

hole executive golf course at Edgewater.

the beautiful Sunbird Beach Resort, the stylish Shores of Panama, the laid-back Top of

At Resort Collection, we appreciate the confid-

the Gulf Condominiums, and the exclusive

ence and loyalty that our customers have shown;

En Soleil—all located on the World’s Most

they have chosen to include our family of prop-

Beautiful Beaches.

erties and staff as part of theirs. Thank you!

50 | Goin' to the Beach


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 City Beach’s exciting attractions, including Pier Park, an outdoor shopping and entertainment mecca that features stores, restaurants, nightlife, a movie the-

AMENITIES — Expansive floor plans and an extravagant ambience — 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 — Fitness center — Light fare at scenic Skybar and Starbucks® — Within walking distance of Pier Park and Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater For reservations or more information, please call (855) 528-6174. EmeraldBeachResort.com 14700 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, Florida 32413

ater, carnival rides, and children’s play areas. Come join in the fun at Emerald Beach Resort!

ResortCollection.com | 51


52 | Goin' to the Beach


EDGEWATER BEACH & GOLF RESORT Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort is the only

is a great getaway for the whole family. Mom

full-service resort on Panama City Beach.

and Dad can relax or enjoy a round of golf

Luxurious amenities such as the vast Lagoon

while the kids participate in activities such

Pool, Ocean’s Bar and Grill beachfront res-

as tie-dyeing T-shirts, ice cream socials, and

taurant, The Shoppes at Edgewater, and more

kite-flying lessons on the beach!

will provide enjoyment for every minute of your stay. During your stay at the resort, take in the

Known worldwide for its golf course and

gorgeous views and sunsets, and enjoy being

amenities, Edgewater is also one of the best

near all that Panama City Beach has to offer.

resorts for getting down to business. Not only is the resort a winner of five Gold Tee awards

With eleven pools scattered about the property,

from Meetings & Conventions magazine, but

spacious units with private balconies over-

Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort also boasts

looking the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches,

a 32,700-square-foot meeting and conference

our par-three golf course, and the Adventure

center with flexible spaces and theater-style

Zone seasonal activities for kids, Edgewater

seating for up to two thousand attendees.

AMENITIES — 110 acres along the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches — Nine-hole executive golf course — Convenient beach chair rentals from Goin’ to the Beach® Beach Service — 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 — Tiki Airbrush shop open seasonally — Winter guest programs — Full-service market featuring Starbucks® — Free wireless Internet at certain locations on property — Conference center and meeting spaces — Ten Plexicushion tennis courts — Basketball court — Fitness center and massage services — Eleven outdoor pools, including the resort’s famous 11,500-squarefoot 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 (800) 874-8686. EdgewaterBeachResort.com 11212 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407

ResortCollection.com | 53


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 Gulf-side retreat. Enjoy a relaxing swim in one of Majestic’s outdoor or indoor pools, or pack a picnic and spend some time on the beach with your loved ones. No matter what you like to do when you go to the beach, Majestic has what you’re looking for!

AMENITIES — The Majestic Theatre — The Majestic Market featuring Starbucks® — H20 Bar and Grill — Beach services and rentals — Conference center/meeting space for up to four hundred attendees — Free wireless Internet — Fitness center and massage services — Tennis courts — Two outdoor pools and two heated indoor pools — Winter guest activities For reservations or more information, please call (866) 494-3364. MajesticBeachResort.com 10901 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, Florida 32407

54 | Goin' to the Beach


LAKETOWN WHARF RESORT Laketown Wharf Resort offers guests unparalleled amenities: five unique pools, 52,000 square feet of lakefront boardwalk, a fully equipped fitness center, covered parking, and miniature golf. As one of the newer resorts with some of the best values in Panama City Beach and amazing Gulf views, Laketown Wharf Resort is a prime location for a fun-filled getaway!

AMENITIES — Five resort-style pools — 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 — Fitness center — Miniature golf — 24-hour on-site security — Free parking in covered garages For reservations or more information, please call (866) 695-8734. ResortCollection.com 9902 South Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, Florida 32408

ResortCollection.com | 55


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 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.

56 | Goin' to the Beach

AMENITIES — Three tropical lagoon pools — Poolside dining at the Hangout tiki bar — Studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites — Complete kitchens — Spacious living rooms — 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. LBResort.com 10511 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407


GRANDVIEW EAST RESORT

TOP OF THE GULF CONDOMINIUMS

Grandview East Resort sits center stage upon one of the

Top of the Gulf Condominiums is situated perfectly just

World’s Most Beautiful Beaches and is nestled among

steps from dazzling white-sand beaches, plus all the

Panama City Beach’s best dining, shopping, and entertain­

attractions and nightlife on Panama City Beach’s east end.

ment opportunities. When you’re yearning for the white-

Spend your day relaxing by the surf or the large pool, and

sand beaches and sparkling emerald waters of Panama

then get ready for a night of family fun at the local parks,

City Beach, Grandview’s condominiums will satisfy like

museums, and attractions, or head just down the beach to

no other. Having completed some renovations in 2016, the

party at the area’s best clubs and watering holes. With a

property is more beautiful than ever!

fitness center and all the comforts of home, Top of the Gulf is where you want to be!

Your vacation rental at Grandview is spacious, offering you more than 1,400 square feet of Gulf-front luxury and relax­ ation. After 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 cozy Gulf-front balcony. Join us at Grandview East Resort and make your beach vacation absolutely perfect.

Photo by Ruth Peterkin

AMENITIES

AMENITIES

— Heated Gulf-front pool and expansive deck

— Large Gulf-front pool and pool deck

— Professional fitness facility

— Gulf views

— Complimentary beach service

— Kiddie pool

— Spacious Gulf-front suites

— Kitchenette with oven, stove, and microwave

— Modern, open floor plans

— Laundry facilities on-site

— Jacuzzi tubs in all suites

— Shuffleboard courts

— Full kitchens with granite countertops

— Game room

— Large balconies with spectacular Gulf views

— Fitness center

For reservations or more information,

For reservations or more information,

please call (855) 266-9400.

please call (855) 584-2573.

GrandviewEastResort.com

ResortCollection.com

10713 Front Beach Road

8817 South Thomas Drive

Panama City Beach, FL 32407

Panama City Beach, FL 32408


SHORES OF PANAMA At the Shores of Panama, where emerald waters shimmer alongside dazzling whitesand beaches, time is forgotten. While drinking in the spectacular beauty of the Gulf of Mexico, family and friends gather poolside, picnic on the beach, dive into the pleasures of the water, and unwind without a care. With twenty-three stories of new luxury Gulf-front condominiums, the Shores of Panama rises above and beyond as the ultimate beach destination with amenities that capture the spirit of the Emerald Coast. 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 condominium rental in a studio, one-, two-, or three-bedroom unit. Reserve your spot at this beachfront vacation resort by selecting the accommodations that best suit your needs.

AMENITIES — Gulf-side lagoon pool — Gulf-side hot tub — Heated indoor pool and hot tub — Two tiki bars — Beach activities and rentals — Free wireless Internet — Covered on-site parking — Fitness center For reservations or more information, please call (877) 713-4651. ShoresofPCB.com 9900 South Thomas Drive Panama City Beach, FL 32408

58 | Goin' to the Beach


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 familyfriendly 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 Panama City Beach getaway, look no further than Sunbird Beach Resort.

AMENITIES — Three Gulf-front pools, one heated — Expansive pool deck — Outdoor grills — Racquetball, shuffleboard, and tennis courts — Gated facility — Spacious Gulf-front suites — Laundry facilities on-site — Full kitchens with appliances — Private balconies with endless views For reservations or more information, please call (877) 684-8018. SunbirdBeachResort.com 9850 South Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, FL 32408

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EN SOLEIL Luxury seekers, look no further than En Soleil. Each of this exclusive property’s two- and threebedroom units and penthouses face the dazzling

AMENITIES

turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Modern

— 450 feet of pristine beach frontage

appliances, spacious floor plans, and oversized

— Condos ranging from two- to three-bedroom floor plans,

balconies ensure that every guest experiences

all facing the Gulf of Mexico

the ultimate in comfort and style when staying

— Oversized balconies with built-in grills

at En Soleil.

— Underground parking and secured gates — 6,500 square feet of exclusively designed pools

Families, honeymooners, and snowbirds alike

— Two hot tubs

will love the exclusivity and comfort offered

— Two waterfall features and two circular waterfall fountains

at En Soleil. Make this gated resort your home

— Fitness center

away from home and enjoy luxuries such as an underground parking garage, on-site check-

For reservations or more information,

in, over 6,500 square feet of pristine pools,

please call (877) 233-4001.

and, of course, breathtaking views that will

EnSoleilRentals.com

entice you to stay forever.

7509 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, Florida 32408

60 | Goin' to the Beach


SUMMIT BEACH RESORT The ultimate Panama City Beach adventure is at Summit Beach Resort. With over 130 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! With tennis courts, 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.

AMENITIES — Two large outdoor pools — Sweeping Gulf views from every unit — Fitness center — Game room — Two kiddie pools — Tennis courts — 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. SummitBeachResort.com 8743 Thomas Drive Panama City Beach, Florida 32408

ResortCollection.com | 61


Next Stop: Adventure Zone!

Photo by Romona Robbins

62 | Goin' to the Beach


The Adventure Zone at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort takes fun to a whole new level. Kids and adults alike are able to experience exciting events and activities right at the resort. From the fun-filled Splash Pad and the Sky Trail ropes course to scuba diving and surfing lessons, the Adventure Zone has something for everyone. If you’re ready to bring out your inner Indiana Jones, then the four-pole Sky Trail adventure course is the challenge for you. This twenty-onefoot-tall obstacle course will test your skills at heights of twelve feet and more above the ground while you are secured by a full-body harness and safety lanyard that attaches to the tracking system above. Built by the leading manufacturer Ropes Courses, Inc., this attraction is fun for adults and children forty-eight inches or taller who enjoy a great adventure! Children forty-two to forty-eight inches tall may participate if accompanied by an adult. All adventurers must be wearing closed-toed shoes and a T-shirt. Calling all minnows! The spacious 1,400-square-foot Splash Pad located in the Lagoon Pool area will have the little ones jumping for joy. This play area boasts more than twelve fountain and water activity features. Children forty-seven inches and under will enjoy dodging through the geysers, while parents keep an eye on the fun from the surrounding pool deck. Mom and Dad, are you ready for a date night out on the town? The Kids’ Night Out program is available for children ages five through twelve and is designed to give them a night to remember while you have some time to yourselves! There are many fun and entertaining adventures, topped with yummy pizza and drinks, for your children to explore during this wacky and crazy evening of excitement. Love seeing the latest and most popular movies on the big screen but don’t want to lose valuable time at the resort pool? At the Dive-In Movie nights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you can have both. View your favorite flick on a 220-inch screen with high-definition projection and sound system at the Lagoon Pool deck and experience the movies like never before! Adventure Zone activities are free for all Edgewater guests who rent Don’t forget to visit Activity Island as you seek out all the fun and

through Resort Collection; à la carte activity pricing is available for

excitement to be had. This activity concierge will point you to kids’

guests not renting through Resort Collection. From kids’ games and

entertainment, as well as give you a schedule of weekly events to par-

activities to fun family events, the Adventure Zone is your destination

ticipate in. The Discover Scuba Diving class by Diver’s Den will let

for fun in the sun.

you experience diving with real scuba equipment in the Lagoon Pool as you learn what it takes to explore the underwater world. Mr. Surf’s

New in 2017! Adventure Zone activities are now available at Summit

Beach Adventures will have you “hanging ten” as you grab some boards

Beach Resort and Majestic Beach Resort from Memorial Day through

and learn how to ride the waves by our beautiful white-sand beaches.

the end of summer!

Adults can join in on the fun, too, with water aerobics, sunrise yoga, Zumba classes, golf clinics at Hombre Golf Club, youth and adult Grand Slam tennis clinics at The Club at Edgewater, drink specials,

For more information and for a full schedule of activities and events,

and so much more!

visit ResortCollection.com. ResortCollection.com | 63


A Gulf Coast

TRADITION By JORDAN STAGGS Photography by RINN GARLANGER

“EVERYTHING WE DO, IT’S FOR THE KIDS.” This is Tim Mitchell’s mission statement as he begins each new work

there are customers waiting out the door as

of art at Tiki Airbrush, located just east of the main Lagoon Pool at

Trish takes orders and Tim mans the airbrush,

Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort.

creating works of art on T-shirts, hats, sand dollars, and other items with expert precision.

Tim first picked up an airbrush in 1975 when he was fifteen years old, barely more than a kid himself. He was working as a bag boy at the

Airbrush artwork has been a popular souvenir at

Tyndall Air Force Base commissary when his uncle, Lamar Mitchell,

vacation destinations like Panama City Beach for

asked if he would like to help open an airbrush shop. They operated for

decades, and the reason it still is, according to

the first year in a bamboo hut at the Panama City Beach Goofy Golf.

Trish, is simple: “In a single word—tradition!”

“Back then, there was no display, no samples to choose from,” says Tim’s

she says. “Adults remember getting an air-

wife, Trish Mitchell, his partner in life and in business at Tiki Airbrush.

brushed T-shirt as a child, and now they want to

“The customer just told them what they wanted and they painted it. Be it

do the same for their children. We have many

a beach scene or an animal, there was nothing they wouldn’t do—and

families that come every year for their annual

with no reference.”

T-shirt. Some moms save them, and when the child is getting ready to leave home to go to col-

Tim and Trish experienced the airbrush lifestyle at a few other locations

lege, she makes a quilt out of all those T-shirts

before settling at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, where they are now

as a keepsake for her child to remember all those

in their eighth season. They married in college, and Trish began working

years growing up going to the beach. We have

the cash register when Tim moved to a shop called Airbrush Attic. “We’ve

seen many children grow up before our eyes

been a team ever since,” Trish says. Some days, the small shop is so busy

and then return with children of their own!”

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W

hen it comes to designs available at Tiki Airbrush, Tim will

still create just about anything a

client can ask for. 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. While Tim and Trish have many triedand-true designs they’ve used for years, they also roll out new stencils each year to keep up with the current trends. Each of their most popular designs are turned into laser-cut stencils, which Trish says can sometimes be a challenge. Nonetheless, each year brings with it new trends and 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 competitions and summer camps, sports-themed airbrush souvenirs are popular at Tiki Airbrush as well.

FROM BELOVED CARTOON CHARACTERS TO ICONIC BEACH SCENES, A SHIRT OR HAT CAN BE CUSTOMIZED TO THE GUEST’S UNIQUE DESIRE. Being a very family-oriented resort, Edgewater has been a great home for Tiki Airbrush, with Tim and Trish at the helm and visiting guest artists, including Scott Fitzgerald, coming by from time to time. 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

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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 wooden fence. The next is a small-town Main Street scene withold-fashioned buildings and a town square. And the last one is a 1940s train that is winding its way around snowy mountains. Unfor tunately, 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 eight-by-sixteen-foot mural of an old gas station scene located at Auto Save on Fifteenth Street in Panama City. Airbrushing is not the only art in which Trish and Tim dabble. Visitors to Tiki Airbrush can see some more of their work outside—in the decor. There are handmade benches in the shapes of a hammerhead shark and an alligator as well as two giant tiki heads carved in the likenesses of John Lennon and Bob Marley

66 | Goin' to the Beach


“THE BEST PART ABOUT WORKING HERE IS MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY.” 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


Homemade Pizza, Pasta & More All Dished Out Fresh in a Fun Atmosphere

Dine In at 17140 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL 32413. Call (850) 249-7437 for delivery and takeout or order online at PanamaPizzeria.com.


Best. Vacation. Ever. RCvacationRentals.com (877) 870-6507


YOUR VERY OWN PLACE ON THE BEACH You Deserve It!

WITH RI C H O LT OF RC RE AL E S TATE G ROU P

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Who wouldn’t consider Panama City Beach for their next vacation destination? With the emerald-green waters of the Gulf

from Columbus, Georgia, Ric had vacationed in the area since he was

of Mexico, the snow-white sands of the

a child and now calls it home. “Panama City Beach has always been

beach, and the abundant days of sunshine,

a special place,” Ric shares. “Whether I was three, fifteen, or thirty

there are more than enough reasons to visit.

years old, Panama City Beach represented the same thing—good times

Imagine living or owning property in the

with great people. That’s what the area epitomizes for me, and what I

area you’ve grown to know as your favorite

hope it will continue to mean to my family and me.”

beach community. Seems almost too good to be true, doesn’t it?

Ric purchased his first condominium unit in 2005 at Resort Collection’s Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort and officially moved

According to Ric Holt, managing broker for

to Panama City Beach in 2006 after the sale of his own real estate

RC Real Estate Group, Panama City Beach has

company in East Tennessee. “Relocating to Panama City Beach was

always been synonymous with good times,

definitely a bit of an adjustment for me,” he says. “Living in one of

great food, beautiful beaches, and fond mem-

our nation’s top beach destinations brings a very unique atmosphere

ories of time spent with loved ones. Originally

compared to other ‘hometown’ locations. There is a certain ebb and

ResortCollection.com | 71


flow to the number of visitors; during peak summer season, we have thousands of people filling our community, and then it turns into a much quieter and more serene place through the off-season. It is something you get used to.”

Florida’s Gulf Coast communities are on the move upward, whether they lean more toward condominiums, single-family homes, commercial real estate, or land development.

“I truly enjoy both aspects,” Ric says of the

estate and commercial leasing. Just as many people across the country

seasons in Panama City Beach. “I love the

have, he has seen the real estate market go through many fluctuations

peaceful, beautiful, and cool days of the off-

over the past decade or longer. However, Ric is optimistic about the

season, when it seems like you have your own

strength of the market along the Gulf Coast now as it continues to

private beach for a few months. Then I also

build steam in all its facets. Florida’s Gulf Coast communities are on

enjoy and appreciate watching the faces of

the move upward, whether they lean more toward condominiums,

families as they arrive, and I get to feel their

single-family homes, commercial real estate, or land development.

‘We’re at the beach!’ excitement as they pull into town and see the presence and magic of

Ric says it is a great time to own a piece of Panama City Beach for

the beach for the first time. It’s something

yourself. “Whether you are relocating to live here or just want a

you never get tired of seeing.”

vacation home for your family to make lifelong memories in, now is the perfect time to get in,” he says. “From a single-family home in

72 | Goin' to the Beach

After relocating to Panama City Beach, Ric

the private Bay Point community to a beachfront condominium at

was fortunate enough to find a position with

Edgewater or another resort, there is truly something for everyone

Resort Collection as their vice president of real

anywhere on our beach.”


As a full-service real estate company, RC Real Estate Group can also set new owners up with rental management programs. “We have people that purchase a condo and place it on the rental program to generate extra income, then move to the beach when the time is right for them and their families. That is exactly what I did and I still enjoy living at the beach every day.” There is a well-rounded atmosphere in Panama City Beach and no other location can compare. The same mind-set goes for RC Real Estate Group. The company’s global approach affords its team the opportunity to service commercial and residential markets, as well as the military and community as a whole. Development is booming everywhere in Panama City Beach and the surrounding areas, bringing people from all walks of life to the Florida Panhandle. When it comes to general experience and onsite availability at several condominiums on the beach, RC Real Estate Group taps into these areas and focuses on the entire growth of Bay County and beyond. Ric says he finds himself fortunate to have a position with Resort Collection and that it has been a very rewarding experience. “I feel that I could not have found a better fit both professionally and personally as I have with everyone in the Resort Collection and RC Real Estate families,” he said. “I truly mean it when I say that everyone here has been a real pleasure to work with. It gives me confidence that my experience with them is shared with the buyers, sellers, and renters that they connect with every day.”

About RC Real Estate Group 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 active real estate agents and broker associates specialize in condominium sales, foreclosures, family homes, and much more. Contact RC Real Estate Group today to find your very own place at the beach and personalize your view! (850) 249-6100 | RCRealEstateGroup.com ResortCollection.com | 73


Photography by Dawn Chapman Whitty


Fun in the Sun! PL ANNING YOUR NEXT BEACH VACATION By Lauren Shaw, Jordan Staggs, and Suva Ang-Mendoza

Day 1 WELCOME TO PANAMA CIT Y BEACH

Okay, after all those months of talking about

needed sunscreen, hurry to the pool deck and

goin’ to the beach, you finally got here; what’s

closest tiki bar for a delicious appetizer and

next? You are probably worn out from a full

drinks. It is finally time for you to soak in all the

day of travel and are ready to just hit the beach

sights and sun. Keep one eye on the clock,

and relax. What if the first day of your trip to

however, so you’ll be ready to go out to dinner

Panama City Beach, Florida, could provide even

and catch a glorious sunset—a magical moment

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 left to

T IM E F O R D I N N E R A N D FR E S H GULF SEAFOOD!

be spent enjoying clear Gulf waters, authentic

If you have never experienced the taste of Gulf

hospitality, and making memories for a lifetime. While we hope your trip to sunny Florida will be great no matter what, here are a few suggestions for fun ways to make your vacation even more awesome.

NOT RE A DY FOR B EDT IME ? Stick around for some live local talent playing 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.

seafood fresh off the boat, then you haven’t lived. Trek down to Schooners, located right on the Gulf of Mexico, for a perfect dinner. Dubbed Panama City Beach’s “Last Local Beach Club,” it might just be one of the best

LIGHTS OUT! Catch some z’s and prepare for a full day in Panama City Beach tomorrow!

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 change

at Schooners a cannon is fired off at sunset as

Guide for more great ideas about how to

into the swimsuit you’ve been dying to wear

a toast to another great day. And boy, has it

spend your vacation.

since winter. After slathering on some much-

been a great day!

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DAY 2 WHITE SANDS AWAIT!

It’s no secret why people venture from around the country just to visit

TA KE A SUNRISE S T ROLL

this little town in Northwest Florida. The sandy beaches of Panama

Waking up at the beach is a joy in itself. Whether you sip coffee and

City Beach are the main attraction and have been for over eighty

watch the world wake up from your condo’s private balcony or listen

years. When you’re staying with Resort Collection, the white-sand

to the waves as you walk along the water’s edge, we recommend en-

beach along the Gulf of Mexico is right outside your door, so enjoy it!

joying at least one sunrise during your trip. Of course, sleeping in is always a great vacation perk, too! PL A N A PICNIC 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! ENJ OY T HE SUN 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! WATCH T HE SUNSE 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!

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DAY 3 ADVENTURE IS RIGHT OUTSIDE YOUR DOOR

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 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!

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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

(850) 866-8815

(850) 234-3435

(850) 557-7787

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. Dolphin and Snorkel Tours makes it

are always smiling”! Located on the Historic

wildlife on land, too. What better way to explore

easy to sightsee. It’s your choice—snorkel, dive,

Grand Lagoon in Panama City Beach, Capt.

it than on wheels? Bike the Beach PCB says it

or take a sunset cruise—you can discover the

Anderson’s Marina has been a top fishing des-

best: “You don’t need pavement to explore—

tination since 1957. Get your greatest catch

all you need is a bike and a destination.” From

or set sail on an eco-tour mission on the Capt.

bikes to trikes, they’ve got everything you need

Anderson III sightseeing boat.

to hit the road or the trail and start sightseeing!

DIVER’S DEN

What are you waiting for? Get out in Panama

3120 Thomas Drive

City Beach and take a walk—or swim—or

Feel the movement of the Gulf as you surf or

(850) 234-8717

ride—on the wild side!

paddleboard your way around Panama City

Mermaid (or merman) at heart? Go on a snor-

Gulf’s wildlife your way. M R . SU R F ’ S SU R F S H O P 7220 Thomas Drive (850) 235-2217

Beach. Great for kids and adults, surfing and

keling adventure or a Discover Scuba Diving

paddleboarding lessons ensure that safety comes

experience and get a taste of what it feels like

first and that everyone has a great time.

to live under the sea. Or, go all out and become a certified diver with instruction from the knowledgeable, well-trained, and professional scuba divers at Diver’s Den.

FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 79


DAY 4 PIER PARK HAS IT ALL, DAY AND NIGHT

With its exceptionally beautiful beaches, em-

Beach,” says Michael Kerrigan, director of

erald waters, and nearly year-round sunshine,

marketing at Pier Park. “It’s somewhere people

no one questions why millions of visitors escape

can go and know they can find something to

to Panama City Beach each year. When they get

do! We generate ten million visitors each year.

here, besides engaging in the obvious beach

Even during the slower seasons, we reach full

activities, they visit a sprawling entertainment

capacity because of our events like Mardi Gras

complex located in the heart of town. Pier

at the Beach and the New Year’s Eve Beach

Park is an impressive combination of beach-

Ball Drop.”

town boardwalk meets Mall of America and includes shopping, dining, entertainment, and

Pier Park continues to push the envelope by

nightlife all in one place. At Pier Park, it’s easy

bringing key components to the community

to find something for everyone!

that attract residents and visitors year-round. Though there is still quite a bit of development

Designed to be an outdoor shopping center that

left to accomplish, big plans for the center’s

embraces its environment, Pier Park’s every

future include expanding its current footprint

detail was constructed with the beach atmo-

in Panama City Beach; this means even more

sphere in mind. From the seashell-textured side-

opportunities for shopping, dining, and enter-

walks and tropical landscaping to the bright

tainment. “It’s fun to be a part of something

coastal colors of the buildings, Pier Park proves

so important to our area,” Kerrigan says.

that leaving the sandy beach doesn’t have to

“There is great satisfaction in the fact that

mean walking into a concrete jungle.

we have the ability to contribute to people’s and families’ vacation experiences.”

Owned by Simon Property Group, the largest mall operator in the world, Pier Park has quickly

Because Pier Park encompasses such a large area,

become the largest entertainment complex in

it is sometimes difficult to decide just where to

Northwest Florida, boasting 124 tenants.

start a visit. Thankfully, the property is divided

“Outside of the sandy beaches, Pier Park is the

into multiple sections, each full of shopping,

number one gathering place in Panama City

dining, and entertainment experiences.

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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 beachfront 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 Boardwalk doesn’t disappoint at any time of the day or night!

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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 some

Venture west to discover the most newly developed section of Pier

fun with kids’ activities, which include 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.

and have authentic pub fare at The Brass Tap, where there are over 150 craft beers to choose from.

The Grand Roundabout also provides plenty of indoor activities to keep anyone’s vacation from being rained out. Check out the Grand

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day of shopping, great beach-

16 state-of-the-art movie complex and all the excitement at Dave and

front dining and drinks, a family movie night, or some fun and

Buster’s arcade, bar, and grill in our section of activity ideas for a

excitement, be sure to stop by Pier Park on your next Panama City

rainy day in Panama City Beach.

Beach vacation! www.Simon.com/Mall/Pier-Park

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Photo courtesy of Shipwreck Island Waterpark

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Photo by Romona Robbins

DAY 5 R ACE, SPIN, SLIDE, AND RIDE! PANAMA CIT Y BEACH’S TOP AMUSEMENT PARKS

You already know that fun and adventure are

S H I P WR ECK I S L A N D WAT E R PA R K

always right around the corner in Panama

Wet’s up! With waterslides galore plus a lazy river, a tipping bucket,

City Beach. Whether you’re in the mood for a family race down a waterslide, a visit with the dolphins, a ride on a roller coaster, or a round of miniature golf, you’re never far away from some amazing amusement parks and attractions in this exciting beach town! Plan a day to get out and explore with the kids or with 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:

kids’ activity pools, a giant wave pool, and more, Shipwreck Island Waterpark is the place to be when you want a break from the Gulf but still want fun in the water. There’s nothing like relaxing in an inner tube and floating along down the Lazy River as all your troubles drift away. Catch some rays or find a spot in the shade while you watch the kids explore, all under the supervision of the park’s professional lifeguards. The daredevils of the group will love the thrilling Pirate’s Plunge, Tree Top Drop, and White Knuckle River slides. With on-site dining, beverages, and ice cream, you can’t go wrong with a day at the waterpark! Shipwreck Island is open April–September and season passes are available. www.ShipwreckIsland.com

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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 T O 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 7D 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

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DAY 6 THE GREAT INDOORS 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

E AT. D R I N K . PL AY.

The Pier Park shopping center might be predominantly outdoors, but

In 2014, Pier Park welcomed one of its newest tenants and definitely

it happens to be home to some of the best rainy day activities in Panama

the most fun you can have under one roof: Dave & Buster’s arcade

City Beach. The Grand Theatre 16 is an excellent choice for family

and sports bar. You’ll forget all about the rain once you walk through

movie night, fair weather or foul—but we definitely recommend it

the doors and experience hundreds of arcade games, including Mario

during a downpour. Relax in comfortable stadium seating or try out

Kart and a giant Pac-Man challenge, classic favorites such as Skee-Ball

the D-Box immersive experience, complete with moving chairs and

and air hockey, casino-inspired games, and even a trivia challenge. Rack

extra surround sound. Visit the concession stand, which offers way more

up points on your Dave & Buster’s Power Card with every game you

than just popcorn, with options such as chicken fingers and fries, ICEEs,

play and cash them in at the end of the day for awesome prizes, or

and all your favorite candies.

save them up for something big the next time you visit any Dave & Buster’s location!

Showing all the latest feature films, some with IMAX and 3-D options, the Grand 16 also presents Summer Kids’ Flicks on Tuesdays and

The sports bar and grill at Dave & Buster’s is an excellent spot to

Wednesdays at 10 a.m. for only $4, Retro Cinema nights featuring classic

grab a bite and a beverage after an afternoon of gaming or to watch

films from years past, and special Fathom Events showings such as

the big game on one of the multiple flat-screen TVs.

RiffTrax Live and TCM Big Screen Classics.

www.DaveandBusters.com

www.TheGrandTheatre.com

FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 87


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 6 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 88 | Goin' to the Beach


Photo courtesy of Dave & Buster’s

Photo courtesy of Rock’It Lanes

FUN IN THE SUN ACTIVITIES GUIDE ResortCollection.com | 89


Vacation rental ownership should be simple and rewarding. Put our team of management professionals to work for you. Our full-service management program is trusted by more than 900 vacation rental property owners in Panama City Beach.

No set-up fees. No long-term contracts. Just great service.

RESORTCOLLECTIONCORPORATE.COM

Call today to learn how Resort Collection can help you reach your goals. Richard Holt Director of Business Development (850) 233-4176 rholt2@resortcollection.com


SPORTS SCORE BIG FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NEW PROJECT AIMS TO EXPAND AND EXTEND PCB’S SPORTS SEASON B y Li n d a K l e i n d i e n s t

Sports is big business in Bay County—and it’s about to get even bigger. Visit Panama City Beach, The St. Joe Company, and the Bay District

multipurpose capabilities to host full-size

School Board are joining forces in a unique public–private partnership

baseball and softball tournaments. The lead

to improve life in and the economy of Panama City Beach by developing

designer on the project is The Sports Force,

a world-class sports park and a K–8 school.

which is responsible for pulling together a master plan.

The project will be built on about 210 acres of land at the east end of Breakfast Point that St. Joe has agreed to donate. The first phase of the

“Events such as major softball and baseball

$27 million sports project focuses on rectangular fields for competitions

tournaments bring in hundreds of teams to the

such as lacrosse, soccer, and flag football. Several fields will have

region, and this facility with rectangle fields will ResortCollection.com | 91


attract even more large competitions,” says Richard Sanders, vice president of sports market ing for Visit Panama City Beach. “The new sports park is a cornerstone to increasing year-round business for hotels, restaurants, and attractions—a home run for the entire community.” USFA Softball, Grand Slam Baseball, and other such events bring more than a thousand teams to the region already. Current sports facilities generate $75 million and draw two hundred fifty thousand visitors to Panama City Beach annually, resulting in at least a hundred

more evenly through town and “help mitigate some of the traffic con-

thousand room nights. State research indicates

gestion,” Rowe says. The complex will be accessed through a ten-acre

that while visiting, an adult spends $150 per

tract of land on Panama City Beach Parkway that was purchased by

day and around $75 for each child.

Visit Panama City Beach.

“Sports have become a major part of the Panama City Beach experience, and our scenic coastal setting is a natural draw for athletes and fans alike from across the country,” says Visit Panama City Beach president and CEO Dan Rowe. “Having a coalition of the tourism community, the private sector, and local schools

“SPORTS HAVE BECOME A MAJOR PART OF THE PANAMA CITY BEACH EXPERIENCE, AND OUR SCENIC COASTAL SETTING IS A NATURAL DRAW FOR ATHLETES AND FANS ALIKE FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY.”

helps all the residents of Panama City Beach.” Until now, the two-hundred-acre, forty-year-old Frank Brown Park— The new location, targeted for completion in

built on land also donated by St. Joe—has been the premier local host

spring 2017, is located away from current facil-

for the annual games, but hundreds of teams are being turned away

ities, so sports-related traffic will be spread

each year because there isn’t room to accommodate them.

92 | Goin' to the Beach


“We’ve always been big on making community investments,” says Jorge

solutions to address concerns brought on by

Gonzalez, senior vice president of development for St. Joe, who said

tremendous growth in Panama City Beach.”

the company was at first approached separately by school and tourism officials. “Every asset in the community is good for everybody, includ-

As plans are under way for the new sports

ing ourselves. This one in particular. We do have a Breakfast Point

park, Frank Brown Park will also be getting

residential project about a mile and a half away and Breakfast Point

about $4 million in updates to ensure its con-

Academy, which is at capacity. So there is need for additional room

tinued attractiveness to competitive sports

on the school side, and the sports complex makes sense.”

teams. Groups such as the World Softball League and United States Fastpitch Association

The planned K–8 school could take up to five years and $30 million

have games scheduled throughout the year.

to complete, but it will relieve the school district’s growing pains and crowded beach schools when it does open and will serve the burgeoning

“We want to enhance the spectator experience

Breakfast Point community in particular.

and provide some updating for the entire facility,” Rowe says. “Frank Brown Park has

“This is an exemplary partnership, which is of great benefit to our stu-

been a wonderful asset for us for years, and we

dents, parents, and community,” says Superintendent Bill Husfelt of

want to make sure it stays as one of the best

Bay District Schools. “We welcome this multifaceted plan that offers

venues for people to come and play in.” ResortCollection.com | 93


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!

“THE MULTIPURPOSE FIELDS WILL ENSURE EVERYONE WHO IS OUT THERE PLAYING FEELS LIKE IT’S A FACILITY BUILT FOR THEM, WHETHER THEY ARE PLAYING LACROSSE, SOCCER, BASEBALL, OR FASTPITCH SOFTBALL.” The new sports complex will be able to handle overflow from those tournaments while hosting its own, giving the city more opportunities to stretch the tournament season year-round. The new complex will have rectangular fields

phin Tours Day time Dol in Cruises Sunset Dolph im Trips Sw Snorkel &

UR CRUISE! CHOOSE YO

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

that can be used for a variety of sports that are played in the shoulder seasons. “It allows us to drive business in the fall and the spring,” Rowe explains, adding that the city is also hoping to attract teams for spring training. “The multipurpose fields will ensure everyone who is out there playing feels like it’s a facility built for them, whether they are playing lacrosse, soccer, baseball, or fast-pitch softball.”


Where The Locals Go!

1151 BAYVIEW AVENUE (850) 763-8427 On The Historic St. Andrews Marina


96 | Goin' to the Beach


WATER YOU WAITING FOR? BY SUVA ANG -MENDOZ A

Just ask any local and they’ll tell you that the alluring waters that range from emerald green to ocean blue off the coast of Panama City Beach are meant to be splashed around in on a perfect, sunny day.

on a high-speed boat. There’s a watersport for everyone to enjoy. Of course, with the Resort Collection Rewards program, it’s easy to try one of these water activities. Our rewards card is free with your stay and offers discounts at many of Panama City Beach’s top destinations so you can make

It would almost be criminal not to get your

the most out of your vacation.

feet wet while visiting. Whether it’s the Gulf of Mexico or one of our rare coastal dune lakes,

Take advantage of all the watersports available

not only is water a key feature of the Northwest

when you visit Adventures at Sea, located

Florida landscape, but it’s also central to the cul-

between the waters of St. Andrew Bay and the

ture and lifestyle here. Participating in water-

Gulf of Mexico, and now exclusively at

sports is second nature to the people of this

Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort! Adventures

picturesque city, and visitors can partake in

at Sea is your one-stop shop for getting your

them during any Panama City Beach vacation.

feet wet in various water activities: parasailing, riding Jet Skis, boat rentals and tours, fishing,

There’s nothing that makes you feel more alive

banana boat rides, sailing, and more.

than experiencing an adrenaline-filled watersport activity such as riding a Jet Ski or observ-

Of course, every watersport has its own foot-

ing all of Panama City Beach from the sky on

print of fun, and the amount of thrill varies.

a high-flying parasailing adventure. Say hello to

If you’re looking for something action packed,

the marine life underwater with a scuba diving

you might want to look into Jet Ski rentals or

or snorkeling tour. Travel down the coast on

even kiteboarding. Here’s a breakdown on what

a sunset cruise and say hello to a family of

to expect when planning your watersports

bottlenose dolphins, or a take a thrilling ride

adventure in Panama City Beach!

ResortCollection.com | 97


THRILLING CHASE

B O AT I N G A R O U N D

For your maximum thrill, we’d like to suggest hitting the waves on a

Want to get together with family or a group of

WaveRunner tour or renting your own Jet Ski. There’s nothing like

friends? Make it a party on a pontoon boat tour!

the rush of excitement as you cruise down the coast on a powerful

Accommodating up to twelve passengers—

personal watercraft. Just remember to keep an eye out for swimmers

including pets—this is the best leisurely way

and other moving vessels.

of exploring Panama City Beach’s most scenic areas. Relax and create memorable moments

Is there anything more breathtaking than riding beside a family of

with family as you find all the hidden gems

dolphins in their natural habitat? With a WaveRunner tour, you’ll

along the coast. Watch as dolphins leap play-

satisfy your need for speed with the added bonus of hanging out with

fully alongside the boat; catch glimpses of a

wild dolphins. Guaranteed fun for the whole family, this excursion

variety of coastal birds and other wildlife,

will make a lasting impression.

such as manatees; visit Shell Island; snorkel the shallow waters; enjoy the sights of St.

F L O AT O N

Andrew Bay, and tour the Gulf of Mexico.

Take in the view of the magnificent coast of Panama City Beach in the best way—from up in the air! Parasailing is the perfect cross

If you’re looking for a more high-spirited boat-

between adventure and leisurely sightseeing. Float into the sky and

ing adventure, feed your appetite for adrenaline

sail smoothly over the emerald-green waters of the Gulf, where the

on a bright-yellow banana boat, where you’ll

view is unbelievable.

experience the thrill of zooming across the Gulf

Photo by Glen Thaxton

98 | Goin' to the Beach


with a group of friends or family. These inflatable boats are pulled by 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.

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! Just looking to relax by the water’s edge? Beach lounge chair and umbrella rentals are available to fit your needs—all with attentive service.

Whether you’re into high-impact watersports or just looking to cloud

Our on-site beach attendants do the setup and

watch while drifting along on a boat or board, there are many ways

end-of-day breakdown—you do the relaxing.

to explore Panama City Beach’s best attraction—the water! Take advantage of great deals from our RC Rewards partners when you

FISHING FOR FUN

visit ResortCollection.com/Reward.

There’s no better way to fish than out in the deep blue of the Gulf of Mexico with a highly trained and professional crew onboard a

A D V E N T U R E S AT S E A

state-of-the-art-charter boat. Earn bragging pompano, kingfish, red snapper, Spanish

5709 N. Lagoon Drive Panama City Beach, FL 32408 (850) 235-0009 | www.WatersportsPC.com

mackerel, and many more.

Also located on-site at Edgewater Beach & Golf Resort!

rights when you experience catching a big

ResortCollection.com | 99


BOATING SAFETY 101 WITH MARINEMAX

The boating lifestyle is an exceptionally fun way to create lasting connections, but keeping your friends and family safe while on board must be a priority. There are several things that every boat owner or operator should do before heading out on the water. The first thing to do is take a boating course. Whether you are a novice or an experienced yachtsman, MarineMax Panama City Beach hosts United States Coast Guard (USCG) Auxiliary Boating Safety Courses every first Saturday from February through November, except the weekends of Labor Day and Independence Day. These certified courses will improve anyone’s seamanship. Personal instructors will give students the hands-on knowledge needed to obtain a boating vessel license or safety certification. Plus, students may earn boat insurance discounts upon class completion and certification. Other helpful resources offered at MarineMax Panama City Beach are Women on WaterŽ classes and coastal navigation and fishing seminars every second Saturday of the month.

Photo by Brenna Kneiss


O

nce you feel confident and comfortable operating a boat or watercraft, you will want to:

Check the weather forecast for the area where you will be boating. Never assume that because it is nice in the morning that the weather won‘t change. Darkening skies and sudden shifts in the wind are important signs that the weather is about to change for the worse, and it’s a good time to get off the water. Be sure there is a properly fitting life jacket for each person on board. Instruct the passengers and crew on the proper use of life jackets. The USCG reports that most boatingrelated drownings could have been prevented if the victims had been wearing life jackets. Develop a float plan, or a course for your boat outing, and share it with a family member, a trusted friend, or the marina staff. This is especially important for trips farther out to sea or for longer durations. Contact MarineMax Panama City Beach to find out what details you should include in your float plan. Designate a secondary captain who has a working knowledge of operating the boat, knows where all safety devices are stowed, and has a good understanding of emergency procedures in the event the primary operator becomes incapacitated for any reason. Practice the “Robbery Rules of Docking”: passengers sit down, shut up, and do what they are told and no one gets hurt. Case the landscape (check the wind, the currents, and the docking setup). It is important that those handling lines or fenders never put themselves, their limbs, or their head between the boat and the dock or piling. The momentum of even a small boat is hard to stop. Learn the “bump” of your vessel, or the rate at which it accelerates and reverses. Practice bumping the shifter at engine idle speed, in and out of forward and reverse, for a few short seconds to control the speed of the boat. Never enter a slip or approach a dock faster than you would care to hit it. Boating should be fun. If you practice these tips and make them habits, you can relax, and everyone can enjoy the boating lifestyle stress-free!

Contact MarineMax Panama City Beach to find your perfect boat or to RSVP for an upcoming event or class. Visit MarineMax.com/PanamaCity or call (850) 708-1317. ResortCollection.com | 101


RECREATION IS RELAXATION By Jordan Staggs and Lauren Shaw Photography by Troy Ruprecht

102 | Goin' to the Beach


The turquoise and emerald hues of the Gulf of Mexico aren’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 nine-hole executive golf course, enjoy six Plexicushion tennis courts at The Club at Edgewater, or explore other activities at various Resort Collection properties.


THE CLUB AT EDGEWATER

has over fifteen years of teaching experience

BAY POINT GOLF CLUB

For avid tennis players or beginners looking to

and participation in the US Open and Australian

On a serene nature preserve nestled between

improve their game, opportunities abound at

Open. Tennis clinics encompass a wide range

Saint Andrew Bay and the Grand Lagoon on

Resort Collection! Tennis courts are available

of experience levels from a complete beginner’s

Panama City Beach’s east end is the only Jack

at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort, Majestic

clinic, which teaches the fundamentals, to

Nicklaus–designed golf course in Northwest

Beach Resort, and Summit Beach Resort.

“boot camp” for the ultimate tennis workout,

Florida, Bay Point Golf Club. Players of all

Courts are free for Resort Collection guests to

featuring conditioning, stroke analysis, drills,

skill levels are invited to enjoy exclusive Resort

use on a first-come, first-served (get it?) basis.

and strategy.

Collection guest discounts at this full-service

Pricing is available for guests who did not book through Resort Collection.

club featuring two eighteen-hole championAlso available at The Club at Edgewater is the

ship courses.

exclusive nine-hole executive golf course. Spend Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort features

a leisurely afternoon out on the fairways among

Bay Point also features lessons and clinics,

professional instruction and state-of-the-art

lush greenery, lakes, and the Edgewater Golf

tennis, and the Club 19 Bar and Grill, which

Plexicushion courts at The Club at Edgewater;

Villas. Cart rentals are available, and tee times

boasts a full menu selection for breakfast, lunch,

the courts may be reserved by guests staying

are required.

and dinner. Test your limits on the challenging

at the resort. The Club’s professional team offers

Nicklaus Course or the more laid-back Meadows

lessons for all ages and skill levels, including

For information about golf and tennis mem-

Course, then head to Club 19 for a cold brew

summer camps for kids. Private tennis lessons

berships with The Club at Edgewater, call the

and a hot meal to finish out the day.

and clinics are under the instruction of the

Pro Shop at (850) 235-7324 or dial extension

B ayPointG olf.com

resident tennis pro, Donovan September, who

324 from your suite.

104 | Goin' to the Beach


Photo courtesy of Bay Point Golf Club

HOMBRE GOLF CLUB Hombre Golf Club’s design is scenic and challenging, and the course has become a landmark in the area since it opened in 1989. Rent a cart or take a stroll as you experience a challenging array of holes tucked amid palm and pine trees, lakes, and azaleas. Enjoy a cold beverage or lunch from the Siesta Grill at Hombre’s clubhouse, which was newly renovated in 2015. The improvements included updated dining and bar areas, an expanded retail section in the golf shop, newly designed men’s and women’s locker rooms, and new office space. Hombre has long been known for hosting the annual PGA Tour Qualifying School and has been played by distinguished golfers such as Gary Nicklaus, Mike Weir, Hubert Green, Allen Doyle, Michael Campbell, Frank Lickliter, and Scott McCarron, to name a few. The course is

Photo courtesy of Bay Point Golf Club

also home to the Academy at Hombre Golf Club, which offers classes, camps, and private instruction with golf professionals under the direction of Adam Brack. Hombre G olf Club.com

DID YOU KNOW? Resort Collection guests receive 20 percent off on tennis lessons and court fees at The Club at Edgewater and exclusive discounted rates at Bay Point Golf Club and Hombre Golf Club during their stay. Don’t forget to use your Resort Collection Rewards card to receive these perks! Visit ResortCollection.com/reward to see more.

ResortCollection.com | 105


RUN, BIKE, SWIM

COMPETE! Competition on the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches BY LAUREN SHAW

106 | Goin' to the Beach


UNBEKNOWNST TO MOST OF FLORIDA AND THE SOUTHEAST, PANAMA CITY BEACH HAS BECOME A MECCA FOR MARATHONERS AND TRIATHLETES.

IRONMAN 70.3 GULF COAST

With the Gulf of Mexico as the backdrop and

will gladly travel to a new destination. When

an average of three hundred days of sunshine

combining the need for accomplishment

for perfect running, biking, or swimming

with competitions along the World’s Most

weather, thousands of participants sign up

Beautiful Beaches, who wouldn’t jump at the

May 13, 2017

each year for one or more athletic competitions

opportunity?

Taking place at Resort Collection’s Edgewater

at the beach. The area has capitalized on this

Beach and Golf Resort, IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf

notion by providing plenty of opportunities

With its twenty­seven miles of white­sand

Coast is replacing and rebranding the historic

to visit Panama City Beach and partake in a

beach, multiple state and beachfront city

Gulf Coast Triathlon in Panama City Beach,

variety of race events.

parks, nearly a hundred public beach access

Florida. Joining another IRONMAN­branded

points, and an untouched, seven­mile­long

event, IRONMAN Florida, this inaugural race

Triathletes and marathon runners are motiv­

barrier island, Panama City Beach proves to

will become a competition that runners look

ated. They are always up for a swim, a ride, or

be a great destination for athletes and families

forward to each spring, as the month of May

an adventure. Pushing physical and mental

alike. Read below for a few of Panama City

offers the perfect location and temperatures

limits is part of the rush, and crossing the

Beach’s top triathlon and marathon competi­

for triathletes and their families.

barrier of “this is more than I ever knew I was

tions throughout the year. Who knows, you

capable of” is an experience for which they

just might decide to sign up!

The race will begin with a 1.2­mile open water swim in the Gulf of Mexico along white­ sand beaches. Competitors then bike fifty­six miles on an out­and­back course through the rural areas of Bay County and Panama City Beach. Much like IRONMAN Florida, it is a flat and fast course, perfect for athletes looking to obtain a personal best. The 13.1­mile run segment will feature some of the most pictur­ esque beachfront areas, with a spectacular finish at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort. Offering fifty slots to the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, competitors will have more to strive for than personal bests and bragging rights. Those placing in the top fifty will have the opportunity to then compete alongside the nation’s best athletes. IRONMAN.com

ResortCollection.com | 107


IRONMAN FLORIDA November 4, 2017 Voted in the top ten for “Overall Run” and “Overall Bike” experience in

Concluding the daylong race is one of the flattest

the 2016 IRONMAN Athletes’ Choice Awards, IRONMAN Florida

runs on the IRONMAN circuit. Spectators and

offers a fast course and the beautiful scenery of Panama City Beach.

supporters line the roads and cheer on runners

As the busy summer and fall seasons along the pristine beaches come

as they finish a full marathon (26.2 miles). The

to an end and wonderful fall temperatures make an appearance,

course parallels the shoreline, twists through

IRONMAN makes Panama City Beach the perfect destination for an

local neighborhoods, and turns around in St.

adrenaline­fueled race and a mini fall vacation in one.

Andrews State Park, a favorite among par­ ticipants for its shaded areas and the array

In this race, triathletes compete for forty coveted qualifying slots in

of wildlife.

the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua­Kona, Hawaii. The swim is a two­loop, 2.4­mile course that takes place in—you guessed

This late­season IRONMAN competition has

it—the Gulf of Mexico. As if the swim weren’t challenging enough,

“personal best” written all over it, with almost

athletes will also have a short beach run between laps. Water tem­

140 miles of flat course and light winds.

peratures typically range in the low 70s in November, making this

IRONMAN Florida is a community favorite,

course wetsuit legal for swimmers.

and thousands of volunteers and community members come out to celebrate with the com­

To really get their blood pumping, competitors will next complete a

petitors at the finish line. This is a not­to­be­

112­mile bike ride at only 161 feet above sea level. The course is flat

missed race for the avid triathlete.

and fast, but there is a silver lining—getting to cruise alongside the beach for part of the trek! 108 | Goin' to the Beach

IRONMAN.com


PANAMA CITY BEACH MARATHON December 2, 2017

Filling a void in the calendar of events, the Panama City Beach Chamber

forget the extraordinary after­party at Jimmy

of Commerce hosted the city’s inaugural Panama City Beach Marathon

Buffett’s Margaritaville in Pier Park, kicking

in 2015, bringing in thousands of runners from thirty­six states and

off after the first runner crosses the finish line!

five countries. Attracting visitors to the community during a typically

Free beer, gumbo, and music are offered to all

slow time of the year for tourism was one of the ultimate goals of

runners, while the official awards ceremony

the event.

commences on the stage for the first, second, and third place in each race and age group. The

Expanding from a previous half marathon and 5K competition, the

Panama City Beach Marathon is truly fun to

Panama City Beach Marathon incorporated more areas of the beach

be had by all!

that runners favor, such as St. Andrews State Park and the Historic East End. The certified 26.2­mile out­and­back course is relatively flat

PCBMARATHON.com

and follows alongside the Gulf of Mexico, through neighborhoods and the state park, and loops back to the finish line at Pier Park. For registration and volunteer information The event also includes half­marathon and 5K competitions, so runners

on all these races, visit the websites listed.

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 ResortCollection.com | 109


you waiting for? 12201 Hutchison Blvd Panama City Beach, Florida Phone: (850) 234-3333

www.shipwreckisland.com


Photo by Dawn Chapman Whitty

112 | Goin' to the Beach


BREWS AT T H E B E AC H Five Unique Tap Houses in Panama City Beach By Lauren Shaw

A

merica has fallen in love with

in the nation, making The Craft Bar a perfect spot for the ultimate

the craft beer and pub fare

beer connoisseur.

movements, and Panama City Beach, Florida, is no

The food is also something to rave about. All of The Craft Bar’s beef

exception. So why are more people picking up

is sourced locally from Heureux, whose cows are grass fed and given

steins these days? There seems to be a sense of

non-GMO vegetables. At Heureux, they don’t use growth hormones,

community—an inclusiveness—that comes

animal by-products, and unnecessary medicines—and you can taste

with craft beer drinking, and tap houses are

the difference! The Craft Bar’s menu ranges from fried chicken, mac

a mecca for those seeking a social atmosphere.

’n’ cheese, bison burgers, and brussels sprouts to pulled pork, stone-

In such a welcoming environment, people of

ground grits, and soft pretzels. There is truly something for everyone

all ages (twenty-one and older, of course)

at The Craft Bar.

and from all walks of life can take part in something unifying.

Nivol Brewery and Tap House, Bay County’s first and only brewery, focuses on the motto “Lovin’ Life and Lovin’ Beer.” Its unique name,

Enjoying a refreshing and unique cold brew

(“lovin’” backward), is a true representation of how the owners feel

after a fun day on the World’s Most Beautiful

about their business. Panama City Beach and the Bay County com-

Beaches seems like the perfect way to cool

munity have welcomed the brewery with open arms and are proud

down, relax, and take in one of our famous

to have another attraction that both residents and visitors can enjoy

sunsets. There are plenty of options to choose

year-round. Breweries such as this one are opening across the United

from in any area of Panama City Beach,

States, thanks to the persistent rise in popularity of craft beers.

from The Shoppes at Edgewater to Pier Park. Nivol has four different, unique brews already admired by customers. The Craft Bar, located in Pier Park North, is

For the India pale ale lover, the Scuba IPA uses five different hops for

by definition a “gastropub,” meaning they

ideal aroma and taste. It’s not too bitter—just enough for the hop-

pour exceptional craft beer and cocktails and

heads—and is great for an IPA beginner. For a milder flavor, the 98

pair them with chef-inspired cuisine. Beer

Roadside Blonde is an American blonde ale that is light and crisp

selections are updated daily and range from

with a smooth finish, perfect for a day at the beach! On the more

thirty to forty choices. Among these are some

substantial side, the Cream Ale and Vanilla Porter are absolutely deli-

of the rarest and most sought-after beers

cious and offer an abundance of flavor with every sip.

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over to the dark side for the Hofbräu Dunkel, the first type of beer to be brewed at Hofbräuhaus when it was founded. This Munich-style dark beer is still as popular as ever, with a subtle spicy and rich flavor. For a top-fermented wheat beer, try the Hofbräu Hefe Weizen with its sparkling rich foam and refreshingly fruity taste. There are always delicious seasonal beers to choose from as well, such as Oktoberfest, Maibock, and Hefe Weizen Dunkel.

V

to choose from over 150 options from around the world. Located at the

enturing into the mega-entertain-

west entrance of Pier Park, outdoor patio atmosphere of this tap house

ment complex of Pier Park you will

is great for enjoying the warm breeze and salty air coming off the

find Hofbräu Beer Garden, a

Gulf, while the indoor seating and bar are perfect for any occasion.

Bavarian-inspired tap house and restaurant

If you have questions regarding certain brews, you’ll find their official

filled with Gemütlichkeit. Authentic tables and

beer experts extremely helpful.

Left: The Craft Bar

benches from Munich, Germany, fill the leg-

Center: Nivol Brewery and Tap House Photo by Dawn Chapman Whitty

and social belonging as you share your brew

Right: Fishale Taphouse & Grill Photo by Kim Duke-Layden

For the largest selection of craft beers on the beach, visit The Brass Tap

endary beer hall, creating a feeling of comfort with like-minded strangers. Grab a famous brat, giant pretzel, or Jägerschnitzel for yourself or to share!

For the largest selection of craft beers on the beach, visit The Brass Tap to choose from over 150 options from around the world. For food, you’re sure to find something flavorful and filling on The

If a full-bodied and fine hoppy aroma describe

Brass Tap’s abundant menu. This tap house also features live music,

your lager of choice, the Hofbräu Original is

daily specials, trivia nights, and sports on the many flat-screen TVs—

the perfect beer. Don’t be afraid to venture

a must-visit with friends or the family!

114 | Goin' to the Beach


Fishale Taphouse and Grill is a long-standing

The dining selection at Fishale sounds every bit

staple in Panama City Beach. Welcoming guests

as mouthwatering as the beer list. The menu

with sixty-five craft beers on tap and forty-

offers fresh Gulf seafood, flatbread pizzas, and

seven rotating taps, you never know what you

scrumptious steaks. The intricately decorated

will find on the menu. Handcrafted beers

dining room is a fresh mix of modern tap house

include the Fishale Amber Ale, Blonde Ale, and

meets luxury lodge, complete with plush sofas

IPA, with some of the core beers being the

and chairs, a fireplace, and a mahogany bar.

Dogfish 60 Minute IPA, Swamp Head Wild

Make sure to stop by; it’s located just off of

Night Honey Cream Ale, Founders Porter,

Front Beach Road by the Hathaway Bridge.

New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale, and more.

HOFBRÄU BEER GARDEN 701 Pier Park Drive, Suite 155 Panama City Beach, FL 32413 (850) 235-4632

THE BRASS TAP 100 Pier Park Drive, Suite 130 Panama City Beach, FL 32413 (850) 708-3131

THE CRAFT BAR 15600 Panama City Beach Parkway Panama City Beach, FL 32413 (850) 588-7309

NIVOL BREWERY AND TAP HOUSE 483 Richard Jackson Boulevard in The Shoppes at Edgewater Panama City Beach, FL 32407 (850) 249-1150

FISHALE TAPHOUSE & GRILL 7715 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 (850) 764-6989


Unwind at • The Allure of Craft Beer, Wine, and Music • By Lauren Shaw

If you visit any major city in America, you’d be hard-pressed not to find a hip craft beer event or posh wine tasting close by. Panama City Beach, Florida, is not to be excluded in understanding the demand for a wine and beer bash that is fit for even the most avid connoisseurs. On March 24 and 25, 2017, Visit Panama City Beach presented UNwineD at Aaron Bessant Park. The spectacular two-day festival featured superb craft beers, spirits, and wines from around the world—not to mention culinary creations by Northwest Florida’s leading chefs. Whether a pour from a freshly uncorked bottle of wine or a perfectly brewed beer was the preference, there seemed to be a camaraderie between both types of beverage enthusiasts. The “tasting event” trend that has swept across the nation is unique in its capability of pulling a mixed crowd of people from various demographics, and it’s no different in Panama City Beach. People from all walks of life came together for a few days of festive fun and mutual enjoyment—no politics involved!

116 | Goin' to the Beach


PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE CAME TOGETHER FOR A FEW DAYS OF FESTIVE FUN AND MUTUAL ENJOYMENT—NO POLITICS INVOLVED! A weekend of abundant flavor, cuisine, and

Albums, Alternative Albums,

music, UNwineD featured a lineup of vintners,

and Top Album Sales.

craft breweries, and premium spirit distilleries that would intrigue any palate. Guests raised

“We were thrilled to welcome the Avett Brothers to our world-class

their glasses while Grammy-nominated Amer-

beaches as part of our new lineup of spring events,” shared Dan Rowe,

ican folk-rock band the Avett Brothers rocked

president and CEO of Visit Panama City Beach. “Great music and a

the amphitheater stage with epic hits such as

great destination pair perfectly with the UNwineD event—this was

“Ain’t No Man,” “I and Love and You,” and

the ideal way to celebrate spring.”

“Head Full of Doubt Road Full of Promise.” To add to their résumé of stellar accomplish-

What would a craft beer and wine experience be without expert knowl-

ments, the Avett Brothers’ recent album hit the

edge and insight from elite chefs, mixologists, and top tastemakers

number-one spot in four Billboard Music cat-

of the South? Patrick Stubbers, head chef and co-owner of Seabear

egories: Top Rock Albums, Americana/Folk

Oyster Bar in Athens, Georgia, was tapped to bring his innovative

ResortCollection.com | 117


seafood expertise to Panama City Beach through a unique menu at the Garden & Gun UNwineD kickoff party on March 24. As former sous chef at The National (also in Athens), Stubbers’s experience and his love for adventurous fare have inspired culinary enthusiasts around the world. Nothing can compete with savoring your favorite drink while enjoying the salty air and warm breezes coming off the Gulf of Mexico. The annual UNwineD festival brings all the senses together in one delicious event, steps away from Panama City Beach’s famous white sands and emerald waters. So why not stop, sip, relax, and UNwineD next year during this unforgettable experience?

Find more information on UNwineD 2018 at www.VisitPanamaCityBeach.com.

Fresh Seafood, Oysters, Steaks, and mo’!

Located in the Shoppes at Edgewater 473 Richard Jackson Blvd. Panama City Beach, FL 32407

(850) 233-6033 MONTEGOBAYPCB.COM


Wonder by the Sea T H E B E AU T Y O F PA N A M A CI T Y B E ACH

BY A M A N D A CROW L E Y PHOTOGR A PH Y BY L I S A H AW K I NS

120 | Goin' to the Beach


T

here is something magical about standing on the water’s edge, with your toes in the pearly white sand and the Gulf of Mexico’s clear

water lapping around your ankles. To be sure, Mother Nature took extra time blessing the shores of Panama City Beach, and Lisa Hawkins, who has traveled the world, knows there is something special about the Gulf Coast of Florida. She celebrates this magnificent nat­ ural beauty in her new book, Wonder by the Sea, with beautiful photos and moving poetry. Hawkins has spent her life pursuing creativity

Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort condominium holds a special place

as a seasoned business leader and marketing

in their hearts. From celebrating holidays and birthdays to weddings,

executive. After graduating summa cum laude

milestones have occurred for many guests at Resort Collection properties,

from Columbia University in New York City,

and now publishing a book is among them for Hawkins. When asked

she served in numerous leadership positions

what her favorite thing to do in Panama City Beach is, she easily replies,

promoting brands such as Christian Dior, Estée

“Walking the most beautiful beaches in the world and taking photos, of

Lauder, Revlon, and Spanx. Along with her

course! I can gaze at the sea for hours, just watching the incredible live

loving husband, John, Hawkins has owned

performance, courtesy of Mother Nature, any time of day, any time

numerous restaurants and wineries. She is also

of year.” It’s these performances that Hawkins captures with her lens

an avid supporter of nonprofit causes, acting

and brings to life with accompanying poetry.

as chairperson of the contributions committee of the American Cancer Society’s DreamBall, and she founded and operated the Dior Diva Auction for charity. Despite leading an incredibly busy life, Hawkins prioritizes finding time to rejuvenate her spirit

She celebrates this magnificent natural beauty in her new book, Wonder by the Sea, with beautiful photos and moving poetry.

and inspire her soul through creative outlets, one of which led her to create Wonder by the

Wonder by the Sea has been Hawkins’s labor of love, which she hopes

Sea. Hawkins and her family have been, as she

will showcase the moments along the shores of Panama City Beach, as

says, “citizens” of Panama City Beach for over

endless and ever changing as the tides. Images include the pristine blue

twenty years, so it’s no surprise that the family’s

sky and variegated glass­like Gulf, the moody and stormy sea, and

ResortCollection.com | 121


sunsets that light the sky aflame. “It is truly divine,” she says, “that these great gifts found at the union of sea and shore are freely avail­ able to all.”

Those who read Hawkins’s poetry instantly feel an emotional connection on many levels: to the land and sea, to the words and images, and to their own memories along the shores of Panama City Beach. Hawkins creates her own beautiful union in the book, where photography and poetry meet to create an atmosphere that transports readers to the beach. “I have loved storytelling since I was a little girl!” she explains. “I chose a career in marketing because it is really all about


storytelling and making emotional connec­ tions with people.” Those who read Hawkins’s poetry instantly feel an emotional connection on many levels: to the land and sea, to the words

Welcome to Wonderland!

and images, and to their own memories along

By Lisa Hawkins

the shores of Panama City Beach. “I hope to give my readers a few moments of peaceful escape in their busy lives. When I am back at my desk in New York City, I love to start my day with a story from Wonder by the Sea to remind myself that life is as grand as you make it!” Walking the beaches and taking photos ignites Hawkins’s creative spirit (she has a new project in the works called Wonder Along with Me and is coauthoring a novel with her husband), but she also finds time for a bit of fun. When asked what Resort Collection vacationers should have on their to­do lists, she exclaims, “Take a boat to Shell Island! It is like a perfect castaway setting that could be in the South Pacific, but is right at our doorstep.” After flipping through the book, one can’t help but crave fresh seafood, and Hawkins’s favorite is at Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort. “I am simply hooked on the Calypso Shrimp Salad at Ocean’s Bar and Grill!” Long after the tan has faded and the sound of crashing waves is but a memory, return to the sea through the pages of Hawkins’s book and fall in love all over again with Panama City Beach.

To drift off to dreamland, soothed by the lullaby of the rushing waves, is unrivaled good fortune. To awake to quiet peace, with dusty rose just caressing the threshold of heaven over a silver field of promise, is a rare and precious gift. To be granted this honor just once, is to feel supremely rewarded for a lifetime’s worth of good deeds. But to bask for a time in the midst of such divine magic is to be richly rewarded beyond compare. As each dawn becomes dusk, as each day becomes night, the infinite canvas of sand and sea and sky, of sun and moon and stars, invents new expressions of glory. This divine vista strikes the heart with awe and fills the soul with glory. Treasure each moment and stay as long as you can imagine.

Plans are in the works to feature Wonder by the Sea at select Resort Collection property outlets. To learn more about Wonder by the Sea, please contact Lisa Hawkins at wonderbythesea@gmail.com. ResortCollection.com | 123


Photo by Dawn Chapman Whitty

124 | Goin' to the Beach


BEACH Y

Your Personal Beach Concierge BY L AUREN SH AW A ND KRIS TEN KUK 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 reservation system and beachfront management platform. Beachy connects vacationers to the beachfront vendors, allowing direct access to a number of services and activities, either in advance or on demand.

F

ounded in 2015 by Matt Houston,

After successful testing in October 2015, Beachy has added function-

David Stange, and Josh Aronson,

ality to improve guest experiences at partnering resorts. Beachy has

Beachy eliminates the hassle of renting

also received international attention from vendors in Brazil, Mexico,

beach necessities by directly connecting vacationers with vendors of beach chairs, umbrellas, and add-on entertainment experiences like dolphin tours, 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,

and Costa Rica.

“Upon arrival to the beach, they are connected with Beachy’s vendor network and can relax and order all of the beachside amenities anyone could ever want.”

but you don’t really have to talk to anyone.

“Planning a vacation is stressful enough. Reserving rental chairs and

Users will be able to pick and reserve a beach

umbrellas once you get to the beach doesn’t have to be,” Houston says.

chair like they pick their airline seat.”

“Beachy’s platform enables vacationers to rent their beach chairs in advance. Upon arrival to the beach, they are connected with Beachy’s

Based on their love for Panama City Beach and

vendor network and can relax and order all of the beachside amenities

all of the people living there, Houston, Stange,

anyone could ever want. And yes, we’re working on drink services

and Aronson initially came to the area and met

as well!”

with prominent beach-service business owners Ed Hickey Jr. of Ed’s Beach Service and Adris

Why use Beachy instead of going directly to the beach-service vendor?

Pender of Adventures at Sea. These business

Convenience, of course! “We’ve found that customers respond well

owners were forward-thinking enough to let

to the convenience Beachy offers, and that nobody likes waiting in

Beachy test its product with their beach atten-

lines,” Houston says. “We also are being looked at as a separate

dants in return for a simple trade—knowledge

marketing channel for the beach vendors, like a free supplement to

of the beach services industry in exchange for

their existing practices.”

cold beer. Improvements were made, and the platform was iteratively improved until they

Even if vacationers don’t book their beach service in advance, Beachy is

got it right.

being used by the attendants at select resorts. This provides the attendants

ResortCollection.com | 125


“Beachy’s goal is to be the go-to technology connecting the beachfront ecosystem at destinations worldwide.”

with a technology that is designed specifically for the management of beachfront commerce, with their unique needs in mind. 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 implementation

anything,” Houston says regarding expanding

requests from about a hundred resorts in the Florida Panhandle, and

features. “Whatever our beachfront custom-

we will be implementing these resorts in the coming beach seasons,”

ers want is relevant, and we will provide it

says Houston.

for them.”

Beachy credits a clear vision, strategic hiring, and constant focus on

Beachy’s focused goal for 2017 is to control

development quality to its early successes. “We’ve been able to accelerate

growth of the app by partnering with only the

from zero to a world-class suite of apps and APIs (application program

best beachfront service providers at select

interfaces) in a matter of months,” says Josh Aronson. “From a dev-

resorts between Panama City Beach, Pensacola,

elopment perspective, I couldn’t be happier with our progress. The

and West Palm. When the Beachy leadership

team we’ve put together has consistently exceeded even our own agg-

team decides the technology is ready, the dem-

ressive expectations.” Aronson added that additional credit is due to

and for explosive growth is waiting for them.

Beachy’s relaxed company atmosphere and its focus on results over

“It’s right there in our mission statement,”

process. Houston agreed, saying, “We’ve had to get as far away as

says Houston. “Beachy’s goal is to be the go-to

possible from the notion that you have to be at your desk or keep certain

technology connecting the beachfront eco -

hours. This and open communication have been the key drivers to

system at destinations worldwide.”

our innovation.”

The Beachy app is currently available for free in the Apple App Store for iOS and Google to the doorsteps and beachfronts of private residences. Food, drinks, Play Store for Android for the selected vendors groceries, bikes, paddleboards, and more will soon be available for with credentials. Consumers can use Beachy delivery to your vacation home via the Beachy app. “We’re open to almost using any of their favorite web browsers. Growing geographically into other beaches of the world isn’t the only goal

for the app. Beachy is currently working to establish delivery networks

126 | Goin' to the Beach


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 fun-filled Laketown Wharf 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 beautiful Sunbird Beach Resort, the stylish Shores of Panama, 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. 128 | Goin' to the Beach


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:

Onsite Property Management Association

Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association

www.TheOPMA.org

FRLA.org

VISIT FLORIDA www.VisitFlorida.com

Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau

Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce

www.VisitPanamaCityBeach.com

www.PCBeach.org


Join Resort Collection Rewards! Get access to the best deals on attractions, dining, accommodations, and upcoming events in Panama City Beach. RESORTCOLLECTION.COM


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Profile for The Idea Boutique

Goin' to the Beach 2017  

Resort Collection's Guide to Panama City Beach

Goin' to the Beach 2017  

Resort Collection's Guide to Panama City Beach