Planning a PCB Vacation? How’s Your Beach Access?
How close is your vacation rental to the beach? This is an important question to consider.
A beachfront rental is prime for beach access. Just walk out of the building, probably past the pool, and boom, you are at the beach. Forget the sunscreen? Need more snacks? You can easily go back to get them. It’s a bonus if there are also nearby restaurants and shops within walking distance.
Is your rental across the street or within a few blocks from the beach? Does the accommodations include “private” beach access? How far will you have to walk? A wagon may be a wise choice for carrying your things to the beach for a short walk.
Will you need to drive to the beach? Get there early on weekends and holidays! (Before 9 a.m.) Here are some helpful options for parking at the beach.
City Public Parking Lots
• 11117 Front Beach Road
• 9961 Thomas Drive, across from Ripley’s Believe or Not
• 600 Henley Circle
There are meters for these parking lots, and users can also manage their parking online at passportparking.com.
There is plenty of parking and easy beach access at both of the identical 1,500-foot-long piers known as the “City Pier” and the “County Pier.” Lifeguards are on duty at these beaches.
The Russell Fields Pier (City Pier) sits in front of Pier Park
16201 Front Beach Road
Russell-Fields City Pier is handicapped accessible. Four beach accessible wheelchairs are also available for public use free of charge. Outdoor showers and public restrooms are available. Benches, picnic tables, concessions stands, soda machines, and restaurants are all located at the entrance to the City Pier. (More info here.)
Parks with Beach Access
Richard Seltzer County Park
7419 Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408
Richard Seltzer Park provides public beach access with no fee to park your car. (Go early on weekends.) This is an area of undeveloped beach and provides a site for environmental education. There are no high-rises on either side. There are lifeguards, restrooms, showers, picnic areas and a pavilion, water fountains. and you’re just a crosswalk away from beachside restaurants and shopping. (More info here.)
St. Andrews State Park
4607 State Park Ln, Panama City, FL 32408
With the Gulf on one side and St. Andrews Bay on the other, those that crave swimming, snorkeling or surfing will be more than satisfied. There is a protected “Kiddie Pool” behind the jetties. There is a Visitor’s Center, Environmental Interpretive Center, elevated boardwalks, beach wheelchairs, public restrooms and showers, gorgeous nature trails, picnic facilities with tables and grills. The beach consists of 1.5 miles of beautiful white sand with several locations from which to swim or play. There are three stores in the park that are open during the summer season (March to Labor Day). These stores offers snacks, souvenirs, bait, limited grocery items, seasonal rental of chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling gear and kayaks. There are also campgrounds and campfire circles where you can join a ranger for an informative program on park history or wildlife at certain dates and times. The park entry fee is $8 per vehicle. (More info here.)
Camp Helen State Park
23937 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach, FL 32413
Camp Helen is a place where visitors can explore an environment rich in natural and cultural resources. The park is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and by Lake Powell, the largest coastal dune lake in Florida. Follow the winding path through sand dunes and along Lake Powell to a secluded beach. You’ll find the remains of a “hidden pier” here, which was featured in the Luke Bryan music video, “Rollercoaster.” There is a Visitor’s Center, Historic District and Interpretive Center. There are restroom and shower facilities available, wheelchair access, abundant nature trails, picnic tables and a pavilion. Kayak rentals are offered. Ranger-led nature hikes and kayak tours are offered at certain dates and times. The entry fee is $4 per vehicle. (More info here.)
We hope you consider the best options for you when planning your beach vacation and enjoy every day of it to the fullest!