Beach Personality: Never A Dull Moment (unless it’s winter)
Russell Fields Pier and Beach
Imagine walking on a silky white sand beach with delightfully clear emerald green water for 27 uninterrupted miles. Does that sound like a dream? It doesn’t have to be because that’s what you will find at Panama City Beach on Florida’s northwest gulf coast.
Panama City Beach is a beach with four distinct personalities. It’s best known as a popular spring break destination for the college crowd. During the month of March the beach tends to be crowded with hordes of rambunctious college students letting loose. Summer brings families looking for an affordable vacation spot to enjoy the outdoors, especially the beach. Fall is a time for couples when Panama City Beach has its nicest weather of the year, fewer crowds, and lower prices. If you can travel in the fall this is when I recommend going to Panama City Beach. Winter is low season and brings mostly cool temperatures. At this time of year the beach is typically deserted and many businesses shut down.
The one type of traveler you’ll find at Panama City Beach year-round is fishermen/women. Russell FIelds City Pier and Beach is an excellent fishing destination with a large variety of fish that can be caught directly from shore, off the pier, or offshore from a boat.
- Paddle boarding (SUP)
- Jet skiing
- Walking on the beach
- Fishing (permit required)
- Public bathrooms – Yes, near access point 55.
- Showers – Yes, near access points 56 & 57.
- Parking – Yes, limited free parking on the street.
- Food – Yes, at the many restaurants on the boardwalk and at Pier Park across the street.
- Lifeguard – Yes, from April 1 to September 30.
- Dogs allowed on the beach – No.
Additional amenities – handicap accessible at access point 56.
Kiosks on the beach offer chairs, umbrellas, jet skis, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats, and parasailing on a seasonal basis.
Half Hitch ((850-236-0392) on the boardwalk has fishing rods for rent. The only thing you have to purchase is the bait.
To get to Russell Fields City Pier & Beach, take US-98. If coming from the west, turn right at the intersection of US-98 and Front Beach Road. Continue for approximately 9 miles. You’ll see the beach on your right and Pier Park on your left. If coming from the west, turn left at the intersection of US-98/FL-30A and Pier Park Drive. Stay on Pier Park Drive for approximately 1 mile until you reach the beach at S. Pier Park Drive and Front Beach Road.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Photos courtesy of Lisa Dworkin. More Panama City Beach photos available on Flickr.