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Vacation in Panama City--Large Family

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My family is planning on travelling to Panama City Beach, FL this summer. My husband and I have 5 children, under the age of 12. We definitely don't want to eat McD's our entire trip. :( We want them to experience more of the 'fresh' seafood and the local places. Any recommendations?...Remember, we're a large family, so we need places that are reasonably priced. We've never been there, so we can't wait! :)

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  1. Our family of four (two kids - 21yrs & 16yrs old) just got back from PCB. Our main purpose of the trip was to visit family who live in PC. We were not disappointed as far as food - we ate fabulous fresh seafood the entire time. Our biggest disappointment was the "June Grass" which is algae in the ocean. We were only able to hang at the beach two days b/c the algae was so bad that we were literally covered in "slime". St. Andrews State Park has a jetty beach that seemed to be protected from the algae blooms. We packed a picnic the day we went to St. Andrews. My husband called around to the various state parks to inquire about how bad the algae problem was.

    Here is what I can tell you about local seafood.... Tarpon Dock is a great seafood market that you can pick up fresh seafood to cook yourself if you don't mind that when you are on vacation.

    We went to Hunt's Oyster House for oyster appetizers one night before a family dinner at a private residence. We got to Hunt's at 4:30pm and by the time we left at 5pm there was already a waiting crowd outside. Three dozen oysters ran us about $20. Ate one night at the ShrimpBoat across from Hunt's. That was very good & expensive - you will need reservations unless you plan to arrive before 5pm. Another night we got to Captain Anderson's at 5pm which is a landmark PCB restaurant complex. We were told we had a 45 min wait but it turned out to be a 5 minute wait....they can get an army of people in and out of that place very efficiently. Another night we went to J. Michael's. They have a play area inside the restaurant for the kids which might be of an interest to you. We celebrated our son's 21st birthday at Firefly - for six of us (the four of us plus two other family members) the bill was close to $300 for dinner & drinks!!! But it was a special occasion so it was fine. Our rental condo was just a few doors down from Pineapple Willy's but we did not go there. It seems to be a popular family hangout with kids meals served in buckets. We saw kids with those buckets on the beach.

    It was our first time to PCB and we will not be going back to PCB in the summer, specifically, b/c of the June Grass problem that seems to be a problem all summer long. PCB kind of reminded us of Myrtle Beach with the same kind of touristy attractions.

    Hope this helps!

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    Pineapple Willy's Restaurant
    9875 S Thomas Dr, Panama City, FL 32408

    2 Replies
    1. re: CurryLover

      Our experience with Pineapple Willy's is that the ribs are mediocre, but they had a surprisingly good goruper sandwich for a tourist trap.

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      Pineapple Willy's Restaurant
      9875 S Thomas Dr, Panama City, FL 32408

      1. re: CurryLover

        Try Bayou on the Beach. Its is off beach on Hutchinson s. Freshest oysters Live crawfish, and Royal Red shrimp!!!