Take a Road trip to panama city beach, fL

Distance, roads to take, how to keep your road trip interesting

Due to the recent events in Panama City Beach, FL and surrounding areas – the arrival of Red Tide and Hurricane Michael in 2018, we have a great alternative destination! Sharing the same beautiful white-sugary beach, Orange Beach, AL is only a couple of hours from PCB without any red tide or hurricane damages! Check out our Orange Beach, AL Vacation article for more info.

road trip to panama city beach

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Traveling in the USA, road trips are the best option and Panama City Beach is a popular destination. In fact, it’s of our Top 6 Family Destinations in the USA! If you’re taking a road trip to Panama City Beach, check out our road trips post with more great tips on the benefits of taking road trips.

road trip to panama city beach

Distances to panama city beach

Get directions from any city by clicking on the directions tab below.

Click on the City’s name to be taken directly to the driving directions and map.

Check out some cheap but beautiful Vacation Rentals in PCB, everything from beach front luxury to cheap condos across the street!

Road trip to Panama City Beach from Missouri

Driving distance from Missouri is going to be around 12 hours. If you’re traveling from St. Louis, plan to spend 12 hours on the road and add time for getting gas, taking breaks and naps. You can stop in Atlanta, GA to check out the great city or visit their huge Georgia Aquarium! To visit Atlanta, GA, just make a small loop along I-75 and I-185, this will add 1-hour to your total trip. Additionally, the time you will spend in Atlanta of course. A road trip to Panama City Beach from Kansas City on the other hand will take you 15.5 hours plus time for stops. Popular stops along the way are Tennessee, Birmingham and Montgomery, great for stopping to eat.

Road trip to Panama City Beach from California

Since the driving distance from California to PCB is a whopping 35 hours, you will need some interesting stops to keep things fun. The fastest route to take is I-40 and the actual distance in miles is 2323. There are many nice places to stop and take a break on your way like Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dallas, Texas. You’ll also be going through a part of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona at Flagstaff, the El Malpais National Conservation area before Albuquerque and also De Soto National Forest right before you get to Panama City Beach, FL.

If you take route I-10 instead, you will be passing through Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, El Paso in New Mexico, San Antonio and Houston in Texas and Louisiana, New Orleans. This route is 36 hours compared to 35, but you might find these famous towns more interesting.

Road trip to Panama City Beach from New York

You can get to Panama City Beach from New York in 18.5 hours with two interesting route options. I-81 S takes you through the amazing George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, Charlotte in North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. On the other hand, via I-95 S you get to pass through Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington in Maryland, a few smaller towns in North and South Carolina as well as Jacksonville, Florida. Both routes are going to take 18.5 hours, but the scenery will differ.

Road trip to Panama City Beach from Michigan

Taking a road trip from Michigan to Panama City Beach will take right around 17 hours. You will be passing through Indianapolis in Indiana, Nashville in Tennessee as well as Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama. This route in pretty straight forward and there are not too many scenic stops. Nevertheless, you can have some fun in Indianapolis and Nashville for sure. Just remember, when you pass those, there won’t be much else left to do until you hit Panama City Beach, FL.

If you need directions from a specific city and address, click the map above and punch in your “from” address.

If you’re traveling on a budget, we have great tips for budget travel planning and how to get great deals in our Budget travel post.

Get your Ultimate Road Trip Checklist to plan and prepare before your road trip vacation.

Panama City attractions and things to do

Below you will find many great things to do in Panama City Beach, but for an even better list of attractions, lodging options, restaurants and things to do, check out our dedicated PCB – Things To Do post here.

Shipwreck Island is a very popular water park in Panama City Beach.

Coconut Creek Family Adventure Park offers mini gold adventure and a grand maze to get you through your boredom.

Race City Amusement Park has roller coasters, arcades, go carts, mini gold, spinning zone, maze and more.

Beachfront Adventures offers an aqua maze, mini golf and go carts  as well as zip line and rope courses. In addition, they have a special area for smaller kids.

St. Andrews State Park, another great place to explore. It’s a big State Park with many local animals like deer and alligators. This is also a place where you can get shuttle rides to shell island and rent snorkel gear.

Best Panama City Beach Restaurants - Top 3 beach front restaurants

Sharky’s, Pineapple Willy’s and Margaritaville are our top beach front restaurant choices. These restaurants have been there for many years and are very unique and popular. What makes them so special can be found here. For more restaurant options in PCB, make sure to check out our Best Beachfront Restaurant recommendations!

Clubs and Nightlife

Club La Vela, Spinnaker Beach Club and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge are just a few nightlife places to visit. Spinnaker Beach Club and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge are more “going out” type places, while Club La Vela is a real “party” place and one of the largest clubs in the U.S.!

Water Sports and Activities

Bay Point Water Sports, Sunshine Water Sports & Coldwater Excursions offer unique and different experiences. What they offer and what sets them apart from one another can be found in detail here.

Want to make your vacation more romantic? Then check out our Romantic Vacations for more information. Panama City Beach is a great spot for romantic getaways, honeymoons and even weddings! They have fun nightlife to offer as well as very secluded and quiet beaches if you want to relax. Here you can find Resorts galore that offer everything from beautiful large lagoon pools and hot tubs to massages, activities, beachfront restaurants and more.

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