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 Aurélie 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. For a longer (but not that scenic) off-road run, the 19-mile Timpochee Trail is a decent option. Runners should also note that Route 30A between Rosemary Beach and Santa Rosa Beach is an option for running. While inland and that not that scenic, it has a sidewalk/bike path well separated from the road.
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.