PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Spend a while — spend a whole day — meandering through pedestrian friendly downtown Panama City, and you’ll find a historic area that serves as a haven for art and theater. The beautiful Panama City Center for the Arts and the lovely Martin Theater are mainstays in the area.

The L.H. Bead Gallery has beautiful artisan jewelry and gifts, and offers classes and repairs as well. Interested persons can catch a class and learn something that will last a lifetime. Little Mustard Seed is an artisan market that offers unique, found, new and repurposed handcrafted goods. The treasures found here could be in your family forever.

Leitz Music supplies Panama City with musical instruments and gear. This family-owned store is a staple for city residents. Find out what the locals already know: Leitz can help you fill your life with beautiful music. Elegant Endeavors Antique Emporium is filled with antiques, collectibles, dolls, jewelry and much more. Browsing this 22,000-square-foot antiques mall will surely be an enjoyable way to spend some time. Also visit Main Street Antiques, an eclectic antiques store with an enjoyable laid-back feel. Plunder for a treasure from the past as a souvenir of the day.

After spending time shopping and enjoying local galleries, visitors can quell their hunger in one of downtown’s delicious eateries. Bayou Joe’s Marina & Grill, overlooking the lovely Massalina Bayou, has a menu of delicious food options. Enjoy excellent food with a rustic water view. If your appetite leans toward oysters, give Gene’s Oyster Bar a try. Gene’s is on Panama City’s Oyster Trail and is a basic, old-timey nook with counter seats. The traditional, family-owned Millie’s Cafe is a perfect choice for a meal. If your timing is right, you may be able to enjoy their weekly live music.

To continue the Panama City experience, visit historic St. Andrews, a sidewalk community on the shores of the Bay. The large marina evokes the air of a quaint fishing village. The avenue for adventure is Beck. Beck Avenue is filled with restaurants, shops, galleries and entertainment venues. While on the Panama City Oyster Trail, give Hunt’s Oyster Bar a try. It’s a family-owned and -operated oyster bar.

The Shrimp Boat Restaurant has an impressive waterfront view. The eatery has a reputation for serving the best local seafood straight from local waters. For cold beer and live music every day, try Barefoot on The Bay. The local favorite offers fresh Apalachicola oysters, wings and much more while providing a deck view of St. Andrews Bay. For a Finn’s Island dining adventure, seek out Little Village. This outdoor waterfront market features unique, eco-friendly, fair trade, clothing, jewelry, local art, live music, beer and wine.

Strolling through the Native Spirit Museum and Gallery patrons can peruse Native American and Native American-styled artwork from around the country. The museum is free to the public and displays pre-Colombian shell, bone, stone and clay artifacts from the local and surrounding areas. Enjoy viewing the unique and historical at this beautiful gallery.

Breathtaking sunsets abound in Panama City at the St. Andrews Marina. The locale is a recreational marina that is proud of its working waterfront heritage, featuring fishing docks and a public boat launch. To quench a thirst, the Salty Oak Brewing Co. offers a variety of house-brewed taps as well as many guest taps and a choice of four cold brew coffee taps. Patrons won’t leave thirsty. If food is the order while in the St. Andrews neighborhood, the Copper Tap Grille serves up made-to-order southern coastal favorites such as fresh salads, seafood, lamb, steak, chicken, pasta and desserts.

Panama City has a special treat is in store for music enthusiasts: a two-night VIP opening on Thursday and Friday at Gallery 721 entitled “Woodstock 50: Peace, Love, Art and Music.” Tickets to the opening include a raffle ticket entry, complimentary Woodstock-themed gifts, heavy hors d’oeuvres and two beverage tickets. The exhibit is a rare opportunity to view unique 1969 Woodstock art and memorabilia from the Larry T. Clemons Collection. Step out to Gallery 721 to support this exhibit honoring the 50th anniversary of Woodstock 1969. Events proceeds will support ReTree PC, a communitywide initiative with the goal of replanting the city’s tree canopy lost during Hurricane Michael. If the opening is not an option, the art will be on display until Sept. 7.

If an enjoyable getaway adventure tops off your list, visit Panama City. It will not disappoint.

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