United States

Panama City & Destin, FL

Includes Beaches From Cap San Blas to Santa Rosa. See Also Our Guides for Pensacola Gulf Shores (AL)

Panama City is located in northwest Florida, part of what’s considered the ‘panhandle’. The area is popular for the sugar-white sand beaches of Panama City Beach and surrounding beaches. Our guide to running in Panama City Beach is a continuation of our coverage of nearby Pensacola, Mobile, and Tallahassee. Many thanks to AurĂ©lie Vilmer, who inspired several of these routes!

The highlight of running in the Panama City area is the beaches, which stretch for some 40 continuous miles toward Destin. They’re wide and feature reliably compact sand near the water. Another lovely, less developed beach spot for running in the area is St. Joe Beach and Cap San Blas. In Panama City proper, there’s a decent waterfront run along the bay, and nice trails and multi-use paths in Conservation Park and Gayle’s Trails. Further west, as an alternative to the beaches, we love running the trails in Point Washington State Forest/Eastern Lake, Topsail Hill Preserve, and the Timberlake Trails in the Destin area.

Runners should note that the area’s weather can be very hot and humid, with high temperatures between 85 and 90F from May to October.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Panama City & Destin, FL

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Panama City Waterfront Run

Panama City & Destin, FL

Near downtown Panama City, it's possible to stitch together a pleasant run on waterside roads with sidewalks, with views to Saint Andrew Bay and East Bay. Full loop is up to 10 miles, including Bunkers Cove. Some pretty residential streets as well.
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Panama City has a sunny climate for running year-round. Runners should be aware that summers can be hot and humid, with high temperatures from 85-90F (27-32C) from May to October, and sultry nights. In winter, highs are in the mid-60s, and nights can dip into the low 40s. Although the area gets some 60 inches of rain a year, much of it is in the form of thunderstorms, which are near daily except in winter.

Panama City Beach is a popular visitor destination, so there’s no shortage of hotels. If you stay near the beach, there will be lovely beach running out the doorstep.

RUNNING STORES

Here’s a one-of-a-kind running store: RUN/SUP, a store in Santa Rosa Beach combining running and paddleboarding. They also host all sorts of classes and events. They also host regular trail run meetups. Info.

GROUP RUNS

RUN/SUP hosts regular trail run meetups.