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City of Panama City Beach

Bay County, Florida

Panama City Beach administrative offices are located at 17007 Panama City Beach Parkway, Panama City Beach, FL 32413.
Phone: 850-233-5100.

Camp Helen Historic District

Photo: Camp Helen Historic District, located at 23937 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach, FL. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. Photographed by User:Ebyabe (own work), 2008, [cc-by-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed October, 2021.

Panama City Beach was incorporated in Bay County in 1936. The beachfront became a viable tourism destination after the St. Andrews Bay Bridge was built in 1929, connecting the barrier island to the mainland. Gideon Thomas built the Panama City Hotel in 1935 and aggressively marketed tourism at a time most locals were only interested in farming. Later, the town merged with three smaller cities -- West Panama City Beach, Long Beach and Edgewater -- but kept the name Panama City Beach. Originally a low-rise community of cottages, mom-and-pop motels and laid-back bars like "The Hang Out," the beachfront resort area has evolved as real estate values rose and word spread about its 27-mile white sandy beach and spectacular Gulf of Mexico sunsets. Beginning in the early 1990s, it became known as Florida's top Spring Break location as it welcomed student revelry shunned by once-dominant destinations Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach. [www.floridahistorynetwork.com, accessed October, 2021.]