Although no evidence of permanent settlement exists in Panama City, archaeological evidence has revealed that Panama City was used as a stopping place for native hunters and fishermen. This area remained largely unsettled until the British occupied Florida from 1763 to 1783 and encouraged settlement of the Panama City area. Colonists were often offered land grants for agriculture in exchange to moving to the area. Agriculture remained important to the area through the 19th century, and Panama City was incorporated in 1909. It was then named the county seat of Bay County in 1913.
Panama City's biggest claim to fame is its easy access to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Home to gorgeous beaches and colorful waters teeming with exotic sea life, Panama City is a popular draw for visitors and residents looking to swim, sunbathe, boat, snorkel, fish and dive.
For visitors and residents who prefer to stay out of the water, Panama City's beaches have been designated as some of the best in the world by the Travel Channel and Southern Living Magazine. Panama City is also close to several large resorts and seven championship golf courses. Dining is also of the best quality here, and Panama City offers countless restaurants that run the gamut of cuisine.
Panama City is home to Tyndall Air Force Base and the Air Education and Training Command. This 20,000-acre military base employs almost 7,000 military and civilian personnel. The Coastal Systems Station, a U.S. Navy laboratory and research facility employing 2,200 people, is also nearby. Panama City residents also have access to a wide range of elementary, middle and high schools, as well as the campuses of Gulf Coast Community College and Florida State University - Panama City.
Whether you wish to work, retire or vacation, Panama City has what you need to do it right!