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Old 07-06-2016, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,362,068 times
Reputation: 3815

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Hello, All.

I am hoping for some info on Panama City. I did do a search of the forum and dug up some things, but I was hoping to hear more specifics from people who either live there or have some recent familiarity with the town.

Please let me preface this by saying I realize there is no paradise and no perfect place. I don't expect to move to Florida and spend the rest of my days lazing on a gorgeous beach playing ukulele and sipping mai-tais (although I wouldn't complain!)

I have lived all over the USA and have traveled in a few other countries. Somehow, one state I have managed to never set foot in is Florida. I have a sister who's lived there for 20+ years and claims she'd never live anywhere else (she lived in Destin, now in Ft. Walton Beach) and I have a friend who just moved his family down there from Tulsa, OK and is loving it.

But my moving, traveling, etc. have taught me not to look for paradise. My wife and I seem to have gypsy blood. Like nomads, or restless, wandering spirits. After about 3 years in a town, house, job, etc., we get itchy feet and feel the need to push on for another adventure.

So, now it is me and my wife (in our mid-40s) and an almost 17-year-old daughter. I have another daughter a year older but we aren't sure yet whether she'd be coming along. She may follow us down later.

We are decent, fun people. We are, to be candid, apolitical and irreligious, but have open minds and hearts. We aren't big partiers, or radicals, or people with criminal backgrounds. I have worked hard my entire life, with little to show for it (in part because we move around so much.)

We aren't wealthy. We do not own a home and won't be looking to buy a home. We'll likely never buy a home even if we could, simply because we are ramblers and don't like to feel tied down. Perhaps when we're older.

I am a professional, a library director at the moment, but I am adaptable and have done different types of work.

We do have a plan, though most would consider it pretty "fly by the seat of your pants." That's okay with us. We've made major moves with far less of a plan in place and have always landed on our feet.

At any rate, just like to hear what locals think of the town. From my researches it seems like it is a good size for us, has some beauty, I hear the people are overall cool and laid back...

We considered Jax for a time, but my wife feels it'd be too big for her.

I have heard some about Spring Break craziness and I understand it can get hot, but we've been living in Oklahoma the past three years. We know hot and can deal with it.

Hmm...I guess I didn't really ask specific questions. Really, just like to hear how people like it, basic impressions, any bad areas to avoid, maybe some insider tips on beaches that aren't always crowded, and so on.

We are looking at moving late October-early November.

Thanks so much in advance. I welcome any and all discussion!
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,644 posts, read 15,998,063 times
Reputation: 7616
Destin Ft. Walton Beach is a military town that just happens ot have a touristy area.
Panama City Beach is a tourist town that just happens to have some military bases nearby (Tyndall AFB, the small naval base)

Personally, I prefer the Air Force nerd crowd to Panama City but that's just me.

Retail is actually pretty good for a small metro because Panama City/PCB serves as a commercial hub for several rural counties adjacent to it. (You do have to go to Destin for a Whole Foods and Tallahassee for Whole Foods/Trader Joe's)

The good jobs in FWB-Destin generally require a security clearance or an in with someone who knows someone. Not sure about PCB but retail management is most likely to get an outsider a living wage there- you're heading down right after peak tourism season when a lot of seasonal jobs dry up.

For nicest area to live and somewhat better schools, I'd either look in the Lynn Haven area north of 23rd street in Panama City proper or grit your teeth over beach traffic and go the north side of US 98 in Panama City Beach. South of 98 in PCB is pretty hit or miss- really nice houses one block, trailer parks the next.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
3,926 posts, read 4,726,357 times
Reputation: 3408
Just be aware than the cold wind coming off the Gulf can feel like a norther in Oklahoma. It gets COLD there even though the ambient temp may not be that bad.
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Old 07-15-2016, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,362,068 times
Reputation: 3815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Restrain View Post
Just be aware than the cold wind coming off the Gulf can feel like a norther in Oklahoma. It gets COLD there even though the ambient temp may not be that bad.
Ha...well, I'm okay with that. I grew up in Minnesota and a few years ago spent a couple of winters in upstate NY. I can handle some cold; I would be fine with never having to experience snow and ice again.

I appreciate the info from both of you. Was hoping to have more discussion, but this is a good starting place. I certainly would welcome more from anyone who knows the area or lives there.

It does look as though we will make the move before the end of the year; hopefully no later than mid-November. Fingers crossed.

Wish us luck!
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Old 07-16-2016, 12:46 PM
 
2,056 posts, read 2,442,133 times
Reputation: 3799
Redneck Riviera. That about sums it up, and I didn't last long out there. If you like conservative Republican politics, conservative churches, and a mall that doesn't open until late on Sunday so that people can go to church, you'll love it there. I hated it. Panama City Beach is a different animal, but it's also a lot more expensive. I never found anything even approaching liberal in Florida until we moved to St Pete, and you would have to pry me out of here w/ a crowbar. We love it.

Keep in mind that Florida summers are, well, hot! Real hot, and real long.
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,362,068 times
Reputation: 3815
Quote:
Originally Posted by smarino View Post
Redneck Riviera. That about sums it up, and I didn't last long out there. If you like conservative Republican politics, conservative churches, and a mall that doesn't open until late on Sunday so that people can go to church, you'll love it there. I hated it. Panama City Beach is a different animal, but it's also a lot more expensive. I never found anything even approaching liberal in Florida until we moved to St Pete, and you would have to pry me out of here w/ a crowbar. We love it.

Keep in mind that Florida summers are, well, hot! Real hot, and real long.
Again, very much appreciate the responses.

As for the heat, well, I lived for a time in Arizona and while it's true that "it's a dry heat!" I am still pretty used to heat as well as humidity.

I currently live in Oklahoma, and have off-and-on for years. I've been through many, many summers that had seemingly endless days of 100+ temps with 98% humidity, cloudless, breezeless skies, zero rain, etc.

So I think I can handle that part of it. At least in PC we could get to water. Where I'm at, it's uh...pretty landlocked. We have to drive pretty far just to get to a cruddy lake.

And I also realize that the bulk of the citizenry, just as here in Oklahoma, is very likely 180 degrees away from where my wife and are spiritually and politically, but that is also something we are fine with. The legislators of Oklahoma are a parade of complete clowns. But we tend to always get along with people wherever we go, regardless of their religious or political affiliation. We aren't committed to any particular party, denomination, etc. We are accepting and open-hearted.

St. Pete is another area we are quite interested in. But we are likely going to give PC a shot first, largely because we already know some people there.
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Lebanon, OH
274 posts, read 441,422 times
Reputation: 169
Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
Destin Ft. Walton Beach is a military town that just happens ot have a touristy area.
Panama City Beach is a tourist town that just happens to have some military bases nearby (Tyndall AFB, the small naval base)

Personally, I prefer the Air Force nerd crowd to Panama City but that's just me.

Retail is actually pretty good for a small metro because Panama City/PCB serves as a commercial hub for several rural counties adjacent to it. (You do have to go to Destin for a Whole Foods and Tallahassee for Whole Foods/Trader Joe's)

The good jobs in FWB-Destin generally require a security clearance or an in with someone who knows someone. Not sure about PCB but retail management is most likely to get an outsider a living wage there- you're heading down right after peak tourism season when a lot of seasonal jobs dry up.

For nicest area to live and somewhat better schools, I'd either look in the Lynn Haven area north of 23rd street in Panama City proper or grit your teeth over beach traffic and go the north side of US 98 in Panama City Beach. South of 98 in PCB is pretty hit or miss- really nice houses one block, trailer parks the next.
I read on a different within City-Data that Panama City is the old town laid back area. Is that area a good place to raise family? We're researching the area. There is a good chance we'll be moving to either PC, Tallahassee, Orlando, or Tampa in the next 90-120 days. So we're scrambling to learn what we can so that once the call comes for the exact city, we know what part of town to pursue. Thanks-
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Old 07-30-2016, 02:13 PM
TD*
 
1,511 posts, read 3,107,679 times
Reputation: 574
Tallahassee is a great place to live and raise a family.

I would definitely choose Tallahassee
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,362,068 times
Reputation: 3815
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPY1 View Post
I read on a different within City-Data that Panama City is the old town laid back area. Is that area a good place to raise family? We're researching the area. There is a good chance we'll be moving to either PC, Tallahassee, Orlando, or Tampa in the next 90-120 days. So we're scrambling to learn what we can so that once the call comes for the exact city, we know what part of town to pursue. Thanks-
I really wish you and your family luck, and hope you'll report back here if and when you get to relocate down that way. Our friends who moved to PC (not Beach, though they work in PCB) absolutely love it. Not sure where they live in relation to the town, but I know they've said they can see St. Andrews Bay from their place.

In some ways I think my family is fortunate in that it's just me, my wife and younger daughter who is already out of school. We have an older daughter who's already out of the house and she plans to follow us down there a few months after we take off.

At any rate, we don't have to worry about schools and things like that. But we are still young enough (and even younger at heart) that we have (knock wood) a lot of years to enjoy together and we are in desperate need for a change, new vistas, the beach...

Actually, re-reading your post, seems like we might beat you down there. We are looking at late Oct-early Nov for our move, but we aren't sure yet...lots of things to wrap up here first.

We are downsizing a LOT. We finally realized we are not likely to ever own a home, so why pay a lot to house a bunch of stuff we don't need? we are getting rid of almost everything that doesn't serve a purpose. From here on out, we want to be as mobile as possible and able to travel light. We intend to haul a small trailer down there that we'll put a few boxes in, TV, mattresses, towels and kitchen stuff, but for the most part I hope to pare down to a couple of duffel bags and a backpack apiece, or as close as we can get to that.

Sorry...I have a tendency to ramble. I am just really excited about this. I am not seeking a perfect paradise, nor do I expect one. But I feel the pull of the Ocean all the time.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
5,192 posts, read 4,362,068 times
Reputation: 3815
Sheesh, I just realized my last post was pretty much redundant to my first post here. Apologies.
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