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Panama City VS. Destin

DeLand, Florida
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445 posts
301 reviews
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Panama City VS. Destin

My wife and I are in our 30's and are planning a week long condo vacation in late August or September. We are considering Panama City or Destin and can't decide which one. We love beaches, water, good food, drinks and relaxation. Thanks in advance for any input.

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34 posts
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1. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

Panama City has more condos on the actual beach than Destin. They both have great places to eat. Destin is a little more of the upscale type of vacation. Destin has an Outlet mall as well as Destin Commons for shopping. PCB has the new Pier Park mall. I have stayed at both places several times. For staying right on the beach PCB is the better option. For shopping and more upscale dining Destin is better. You can not go wrong with either place. They are only 50 miles apart so you can do a day trip to whichever one you are not staying at to see which you like better while you are there. If you like to have a drink and dinner overlooking the beach it would be PCB for sure.

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682 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

I agree with gt1229. Many of the condos/hotels in Destin are across the street from the beach and not directly on the beach. Destin is very nice, and a bit more upscale than PCB. PCB is definitely more affordable than Destin. We've been to both and the beach is about the same. You can't go wrong either way. Have you considered the Beaches of South Walton area? There are some beautiful, beachside properties that are more upscale, not so touristy, and quieter, but still within driving distance of great restaurants and shopping. You can search by properties on 30A. The nice thing about that area is that it is just about equal distance between Destin and PCB. Good luck!

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3. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

Been to both destinations and love them equally. Destin is more upscale but PCB has many more afordable oceanfront condos. I would go to either depending on what was fitting our needs at the time.

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94 posts
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4. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

I think it depends on what you want. Destin is more upscale. But, PCB is much more convenient to me in terms of places right on the beach and one main strip for pretty much everything. I have found even searching for condos in Destin to be a bit tricky as so many are not actually on the beach. Can't really go wrong with either!

Destination Expert
for Panama City Beach
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5. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

We also like both but have found the condos to be more expensive in Destin and hard to find right on the beach. When we go to Destin, we get a group together and rent a house. It is much cheaper that way. Destin is more upscale and the shopping is much better. They have the silver sands outlet mall and Destin Commons which has all the nice stores. The stores in Pier Park just can't compete in my opinion. However, Panama City Beaches are beautiful, clean, and there are lots of condos to choose from. In fact, we are going in May. You really can't go wrong with either one. Have fun!

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457 posts
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6. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

I always say....Destin is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. In other words, I prefer to stay in PCB for the reasons already stated. Plus, I normally go in the off-season and Destin's traffic is still horrible. However, I prefer Destin for shopping so if it's a rainy day, that's where I'm headed.

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7. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

it depends on what you are looking for. Destin is much more upscale. My husband and I & our kids have been coming to the Emerald Coast for years and have not had a bad time ever at either location. If you are considering Panama City, I recommend the W. End. Much nicer. While there take a drive along Hwy. 30A. Have dinner at the Red Bar at Grayton fun and funky place. At Santa Rosa Beach, lunch at the Smiling Fish....the best grouper on the planet. Just explore and enjoy. Rent bikes at Blue Mt. and see the area on bikes for a different perspective.

Gallatin, TN
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1,745 posts
25 reviews
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8. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

Guess I'm repeating what has already been stated--Destin more expensive and not as many condos on the beach. PCB, beachfront condos, easier on the pocketbook. Personally I'd go tot PCB long before Destin but that's bc I've been going there for years and it's my "home away from home". The traffic isn't as bad in PC either which is a big plus for me.

Either way, you'll enjoy it.


Tallahassee, Florida
1 post
1 review
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9. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

Both Panama City and Destin are great locations to visit.

Edited: 09 April 2011, 00:23
Detroit, Michigan
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10. Re: Panama City VS. Destin

Just got back from PCB and I would definitely say beware of unsupervised, rude teenagers. I knew this was a spring break place, but had no idea how bad it would be. Maybe the end of summer/ fall is calmer, but the shouting, motorcycles, and traffic from Front Beach Rd could be heard in our 9th floor condo at night (and yes, we were in the so-called "quieter" west end). I would choose Seaside or Destin next time.

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