Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Our Top Picks
"For many people, the highlight is the resort pool area, which includes a zero-entry pool, a hot tub, and a lazy river."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Driftwood Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Challenge your family to a game on the volleyball court, watch the kids cool off at the splash pad, or fire up one of the barbecues."
Best Budget: Palmetto Inn & Suites – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Heated outdoor and indoor pools provide plenty of fun for everyone, while wave runners and parasails can be rented on the beach."
Best for Families: Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"Free kids’ activities keep the little ones entertained while Mom and Dad explore the spa and fitness center."
Best for Nightlife: The Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"When you’re not partying, get out on the ocean with a SUP or surfing lesson."
"On the beachfront, it offers a choice of meeting rooms, a full-service business center, and free Wi-Fi throughout."
Best RV Resort: Emerald Coast RV Beach Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor
"The secure gated property is conveniently located a five-minute drive from the beach and downtown PCB, and offers a wide choice of sites."
"Work on your tan, rent a pontoon boat or jet ski, or play a round on the 36-hole championship golf course."
Best Overall: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Panama City Beach - Beachfront
Beachfront Holiday Inn Express & Suites features incredible amenities, an exceptional staff, and an unbeatable location that's just steps from the Gulf of Mexico and a two-minute drive from Shipwreck Island Waterpark, one of the state's best waterparks. For many people, the highlight is the resort pool area, which includes a zero-entry pool, a hot tub, and a lazy river. When you’re not swimming, head to the poolside Indigo Bar & Grill for fruit cocktails and pulled pork nachos.
Other hotel facilities include a 24-hour fitness center and a sundries market, while an on-site meeting room and business center come in handy for corporate guests.
Rooms and suites spoil with a pillow menu, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV. Plus, there's a mini-fridge and microwave available to prepare simple meals (best enjoyed out on the sea-facing balcony). Families and groups of friends traveling together are comfortably accommodated by rooms with two Queen beds and a bunk bed. Best of all: Your stay includes a complimentary, full breakfast buffet.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Driftwood Lodge
For a more traditional atmosphere, book a room at the beloved Driftwood Lodge. Owned by the Gilmore family for six decades, it occupies a prime stretch of beachfront in between Pier Park and Gulf World Marine Park. Most of your time will be spent on the powdery white beach or at the heated outdoor pool. Challenge your family to a game on the volleyball court, watch the kids cool off at the splash pad, or fire up one of the barbecues for an al fresco dinner.
In summer, the seasonal Beach Bar and Snack Shack keep the margaritas and ice creams coming. A reading library stocked with puzzles and board games provides entertainment on rare rainy days, while activities for adults and kids are scheduled every week.
All rooms at Driftwood Lodge come with a mini-fridge, a microwave, and a wet bar. High-speed Wi-Fi keeps you connected, while a private sun deck or balcony allows you to make the most of the Sunshine State and its warm climate. One- and two-bedroom efficiencies include a full kitchen.
Best Budget: Palmetto Inn & Suites
Located a five-minute drive from Pier Park, Palmetto Inn & Suites offers a choice of two buildings: Beachside, for direct access to the seashore; and Northside, situated across the street. All rooms include free Wi-Fi and cable TV, while some suites come with a Queen sleeper sofa and a full kitchen so that you can save money by self-catering. Alternatively, the garden features communal gas grills where you can cook outside.
For a budget hotel, Palmetto Inn & Suites has an impressive array of amenities. Seasonally heated outdoor and indoor pools provide plenty of fun for everyone, while wave runners and parasails can be rented on the beach. There’s a beachside playground, two dedicated kiddie pools, and a hot tub for romantic evenings under the stars. During the summer, the poolside Tiki Bar and Snack Bar provide on-site refreshments. A free airport shuttle and coin-operated laundry facilities in both buildings add to the overall value.
Best for Families: Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach
Whisk your family away to Holiday Inn Resort Panama City Beach, located on the white sand shore amid lush tropical gardens. You’ll spend most of your time on the gulf-side Escape Deck, with its lagoon-style pool, cascading waterfall, oversized hot tub, and live entertainment stage. For children, the highlight is the Aqualand splash pad and water playground. Free kids' activities keep the little ones entertained while Mom and Dad explore the spa and fitness center, or reconnect over cocktails at SeaGlass Bar.
Featured at the resort are several seasonal and year-round restaurants to choose from; Head to Bamboo Grill for poolside burgers and sandwiches (no shoes or shirts required), or to The Pizza Shack for build-your-own slices.
Rooms and suites are designed with families in mind and come with a full-size fridge, a microwave, free Wi-Fi, and an ocean-view balcony. Upgrade to a suite for a partitioned kids’ area with twin beds and a TV/Xbox system. Kids aged 12 and under stay and eat for free.
Best for Nightlife: The Sandpiper Beacon Beach Resort
Considered to be PCB’s ultimate Spring Break destination, The Sandpiper Beacon is located at the west end of the shoreline on a 1,000-foot stretch of private beach.
At the heart of the resort is the beachside Tiki Bar – your go-to for tropical island cocktails, daily drink specials, karaoke, and big-screen sports games. Seasonal live shows range from concerts to Polynesian fire dancing spectacles, while beach games and contests keep the energy flowing.
The Sandpiper Beacon is made for fun in the sun, with multiple indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Hit the waterslides (one of which is two stories high), cruise slowly down the lazy river, or make new friends in the beachfront hot tub. When you’re not partying, get out on the ocean with a SUP or surfing lesson. Two relaxed restaurants and an ice cream shop serve up Florida classics all day long.
Most rooms come with a kitchen and two- and three-bedroom suites, private beach houses, and condo rentals provide space for groups of up to 10 people.
Best for Business: Hampton Inn & Suites Panama City Beach - Beachfront
If it’s business that brings you to PCB, you’ll find everything you need at this popular Hampton Inn & Suites. Situated next door to Gulf World Marine Park on the beachfront, it offers an array of meeting rooms, a full-service business center, and free Wi-Fi throughout. Rooms and suites come with basic self-catering equipment including a mini-fridge, a microwave, and a coffeemaker for that all-important early morning caffeine fix. After a busy day, kick back in front of the HD TV. Rooms can also be block-booked for team events, and all rates include a complimentary hot breakfast.
When you’re not working, make the most of your time at the beach with a sunbathing session on the white sands in front of the hotel, or with a dip in the outdoor pool. There’s also a fitness center and a lobby bar for drinks with your colleagues. When hunger strikes, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants along Front Beach Road or at nearby Pier Park mall. Secure parking is located across the street.
Best RV Resort: Emerald Coast RV Beach Resort
RV owners heading south for some Floridian sunshine will find their home away from home at Emerald Coast RV Beach Resort. The secure gated property is conveniently located a five-minute drive from the beach and downtown PCB and offers a wide choice of sites (most of them suitable for large rigs). You’ll benefit from Wi-Fi and cable TV access, in addition to well-maintained shower and restroom facilities. Stock up on ice, gas, and sundries at the on-site store; then get your washing done at the laundry. There’s even a dock for those traveling with a boat in tow.
Although there’s plenty to explore nearby, you’ll want to spend at least a few days relaxing back at base. Soak up the sunshine at one of two heated swimming pools, or spend a luxurious afternoon in the hot tub. If you prefer to stay active on vacation, there’s a fitness center and courts for basketball, bocce ball, volleyball, and more. Even your four-legged family members are made to feel welcome with a dedicated area for pets.
Best Luxury: Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort
Sheraton Panama City Beach, the city’s only AAA Four Diamond hotel, is nestled in a secluded location on the scenic St. Andrews Bay waterfront. Contemporary beach-chic interiors set the tone for a luxurious stay, while all rooms and suites include a comfortable Sheraton Sleeper Bed, cable TV, and high-speed Wi-Fi. Upgrade to a luxurious Villa Suite to benefit from a separate living room and access to the private villa pool. For everyone else, the bayside pool deck offers heated swimming with a view.
There are unlimited ways to spend your time at Sheraton Panama City Beach. Head to the private beach to work on your tan, rent a pontoon boat or jet ski, or play a round on the 36-hole championship golf course. Other fitness facilities include five tennis courts and a 24-hour fitness center; and when you want to relax, the full-service spa awaits. The hotel has four restaurants, including signature all-day dining venue TIDES and Bar 72 Pub & Eatery. The latter lets guests enjoy gourmet burgers and sandwiches while overlooking the golf course.