Panama City Beach Public Service Announcements

By: Chris Jennings

Photography by: Laura Jennings Photography

Now that we are gearing back up for season and starting to get busy, I thought some PSA’s all in one place for you guys could help to keep everyone informed or at least give you some advice from “the locals” (and if any of you who are “more local” than me want to add to it… comment below).


Nothing is more important and as busy season approaches, just want to share a little “medical secret” in case anyone has chest pain and not sure where to go. It is my hope that no one needs this, but just in case here’s some information about our hospitals in Panama City. We have 2 full running great hospitals, Bay Medical Center and Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, both over the bridge. I have no opinion as to either but want to share that both have cardiologists that can diagnose a heart issue, but only Bay Medical Center has heart surgeons available 24/7. Gulf Coast does not have heart surgeons. So if one goes to Gulf Coast first and has an emergency requiring surgery, one has to be transported to BMC. You can lose time when minutes can matter = potentially not a good situation. 

Panama City Beach Public Service Announcements

Traffic… Oh the Traffic:

We all have places to go and beach to see but our little town only has a population of about 13,000 people when it’s not summer time. During the busy season our population swells by tens of thousands of eager beach goer beavers. This can make traffic a little…. challenging…. and it’s easy to get frustrated and start complaining.

My first piece of advice would be to juuuust slow down. In all honesty, no one is getting any where any faster by cutting people off or driving crazy. Best case scenario is you just tick somebody off, worst case scenario is an accident and either way, you’re going to have a negative effect on someone else’s beach vacation as well as your own and nobody wants that. So I was thinking that maybe every time we think about saying something negative, we think of something positive to put in its place? So for instance when traffic is backed up on Front Beach Rd. and you are ready to curse out the person in front of you because you need to get to your photo session, think about what that traffic represents. It means that there are families that save their money all year long to just get a glimpse and a taste of what we (locals) get to experience every day! It truly brings the saying “I live where you vacation” to life for me (a hashtag I use regularly on instagram) 🙂 

Here’s the thing about complaining and being negative – it does NOT change one thing about your situation. So why not chill out, leave a little earlier than you thought you needed to and if you get stuck in traffic, remember what that traffic means for the town we all love so much. You will find that the road will be the same but the experience and your mood will be very different.

Panama City Beach Public Service Announcements

Doing Business in General:

When you come to (or even when you live on) the beach, you’re going to spend money – it’s just inevitable. On that note, bring cash… there are certain restaurants and business that ONLY take cash. This is a tourist area so ATM’s and places to get cash are readily available but if you don’t want to pay any fees, just bring a cash reserve. While you may not be able to avoid spending money, you can definitely be smart about it.

From Local Services to planning your next Panama City Beach Adventure to where you are going to Eat for the night, do your homework! Read reviews on this site and others such as Google and Trip Advisor, ask questions, and before you spend any of your hard earned money get a good sense of who you are working with and what they can provide for you to help make the most of your beach experience.

Unfortunately one of the biggest SCAMS here (and probably any tourist location) comes when you are booking your accommodations. Most people book rooms from their home states and never meet the owners or property managers they are talking to face to face. This affords an opportunity for scammers to put up an ad for lodging complete with pictures and a description and then they collect your booking money and you think you’ve booked an awesome place for a great beach vacation. Joy turns to heartbreak when you show up in PCB and the room you thought you booked already has someone in it (who booked with the real owner) and you and your family are left out in the cold and the scammer has your money. This HORRIBLE situation can be avoided by booking with a reputable Vacation Management Company, a few of whom are on this site, OR booking directly through Owner Managed Units. All of the owner managed units on the website have been verified through the Bay County Property records as being actually owned and managed by the actual owners so if you book through someone on this site, you do not have to worry. 🙂

So there you have it! A little local advice to make everyone’s PCB experience a little better. Comment below with your own PCB advice or tips, the more the merrier!

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  1. Jim Gain

    Hi Chris! I totally agree with you re: traffic. Our city of about 100K has only a few main routes. Part of living on this big island… they build the highways where there’s less rock to blast. LOL

    So yes! It can get pretty frustrating driving here. As you know, we own & operate a wholesale bakery here in Nanaimo (GAIN FOODS) and I am constantly making deliveries and obtaining food & business goods to run our business. Like you in PCB, we have a high population of seniors that consider a Costco visit just a “nice leisurely outing for the day”! Unfortunately, many of them drive like that on our main roads. So I listen to music, sing, calmly “vent”, breathe deeply and look around when traffic slows down to see what new store may have opened or closed. If a driver ahead of me really starts to frustrate me… I’ll take a side-road detour or a different route altogether. You are right. It’s not worth the stress… just R-E-L-A-X and ENJOY your beautiful 24/7/365 “Beach Vibe”!

    Cheers! Jim