During the Renaissance, Hieronymus Bosch painted the Garden of Earthly Delights, in which the left panel depicts his vision of paradise on Earth. One can’t help but wonder if he’d been inspired by Panama City Beach, for here you find beauty and variety in the midst of plenty. In short, a garden of earthly delights.
Think unspoiled Shell Island, a barrier island decorated by voluptuous dunes, highlighted by sashaying stands of sea oats. Or visit Camp Helen State Park—hiking through scrub oak forests, maybe spotting deer or alligator. Kayak at West Bay—Northwest Florida’s answer to the Everglades. Bike or jog along nearly 40 kilometres of unpaved trails at PCB Conservation Park.
But natural beauty and 43 kilometres of great beaches are hardly the only visual delights in this veritable garden.
A LAND OF PLENTY
Check out the art deco allure of Martin Theatre. Browse the pastel-painted shops populating Pier Park for souvenirs in this 83,600-square-metre stretch of seaside shopping and entertainment.
Maybe you want to get out on the water. Book a fishing charter with bait and tackle included. Learn to stand-up paddleboard or try kitesurfing.
Perhaps your idea of earthly delights translates to adrenalin rushes. Ride the Wonder Coaster or the Hurricane Rollercoaster.
Chase the sun or, once the sun has fled, take in some nightlife entertainment. For the day doesn’t end when the sun sets—hardly a surprise in the Garden of Earthly Delights, a land of plenty. Dance the night away at Schooners Beach Club, where you can take a break by strolling out the back door onto a silky soft sand beach. Check out Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge where the party never ends.
Whatever your tastes you’ll find a special event to suit them. Head down for Mardi Gras and Music Festival; take in the Emerald Coast Boat & Lifestyle Show; bop to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival.
For the garden of earthly delights is a land of beauty, variety and abundance. Though maybe that’s not the best nickname for this Florida gem. For the delights of Panama City Beach are downright otherworldly.