It was nice to see the gulf again when we arrived at Panama City Beach. We're staying in a state park this time - St Andrews, right on the gulf with the Bay on the other side.
It's a beautiful state park and we were able to reserve a spot with a back-in view of the bay. We enjoyed just hanging around camp and watching the boats come and go. On the other side of the park are remote gulf beaches with snow white sand - known as the Emerald Coast.
We did do some touring, visiting the historic St. Andrews district and then along Front Beach Road where we came across several tourist attractions. We didn't go into any, but the pictures were interesting.
Panama City Beach is mainly a summer destination and it doesn't take long to start passing one high rise condominium after another. Most of them are empty now, in fact the beaches were empty too. Too bad, because we still had nice 70 degree days.
The area has also been hit by hurricanes in the past and you can still see hotels that just didn't make it. Newer designs are raised with parking underneath and built to new standards that are much stronger.
Our walk on the downtown beach took us to Pineapple Willy's on a pier. It too was pretty much empty which made it nice and quiet for us. But beware come spring - our waiter told us there's usually a 2-3 hour wait to get in.
From here we move up the road to Destin in anticipation of meeting our friends Gail and Roger who we volunteered with last summer.