Panama City Beach sees influx of tourist for the unofficial start of summer

It's the unofficial kick-off to the summer season. Memorial Day weekend starts with droves of people coming to enjoy the sandy white beaches.
Published: May. 29, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As we are heading out of the Memorial Day weekend, the beaches were packed with people vacationing in Panama City Beach.

“We love Panama City Beach,” said Pam Heckman, a visitor. “We’ve been here about 8 times, we have friends that live here so we are visiting them.”

Visitors who keep coming back for what they like the most.

“We love the atmosphere, the music, the pools at other places and the beach is fabulous, we love it,” said Heckman.

They say there is always something fun to do.

“We like to come in May especially because it is pretty and nice, and we get some sunshine tan,” said Heckman.

Some visitors are here seeing the sandy white beaches for the first time.

“This is our first time here,” said Joe Thielenn, a visitor.

“We are all from the Midwest and our buddies were like we just want to go to a beach because in the Midwest we don’t get that,” said John Russell, a visitor.

The first visit is already making them want to come back.

“All weekend we’ve been saying gosh why don’t we just all move down here to the sandy white beach,” said Russell.

They say this beach is something you just can’t beat.

“You just don’t get that down in Kansas or Missouri,” said Russell.

Local realtor Sam Holden says this is their busiest season of the year.

“A lot of our beach front properties are fully booked for the summer,” said Sam Holden, a relator. “We are a repeat destination, families have been coming here and staying with us.”

Holden also says new developments have happened.

“A lot of sales have come into the market that were not there before so we have more vacation rentals than we have ever had in Panama City Beach,” said Holden

More rentals means more people coming to the beach.

“Relaxing, Hit the beach and hangout you know people here are very kind,” said Thieleen.