Panama City Beach Rules & Regulations
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
With 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches and emerald green waters, two state parks, miles of hiking and biking trails, and nearly 100 public beach access points, there’s plenty to see and do in Panama City Beach, Florida.
From beautiful beaches and calming turquoise waters, to some of the world’s best sport fishing and golf, year-round festivals, excellent restaurants, nature, nightlife, spas and many family friendly activities, your options are endless.
PANAMA CITY BEACH LAWS & GENERAL INFORMATION
Beach Safety Flags
Panama City Beach is committed to beach safety. And, when swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, safety should also be your top priority. In Panama City Beach color-coded beach flags are in place to keep the public aware of gulf conditions at all times. Remember, double red means stay out of the water – you could be arrested for ignoring this warning! Please take a minute to study the flag warning system and learn what the colors mean. Safety flags are posted, monitored, and updated at all 96 public beach access points. Be sure to check the safety flags and surf conditions prior to entering the water.
Protect the Beaches
Bonfires / Beach Fires -You are able to have a bonfire on the beach, with appropriate permits from the City Fire Department (various restrictions apply).
Camping – Overnight camping/sleeping on the beach is prohibited.
Dogs – Dogs are not allowed on Bay County (Panama City Beach) beaches, with the exception of a pet-friendly area located on the Westside of the Russell-Fields City Pier located across from Pier Park at 16101 Front Beach Road. If you’re still confused, there are signs posted at dog-friendly beaches in the area.
Fireworks – Fireworks are NOT ALLOWED on the beaches in Panama City Beach.
Littering – No littering on the beach, and no glass containers on the beach. Trash receptacles are provided at all public beach accesses. This is an important part in their “Leave No Trace” ordinance.
Tide & Weather Information – Before you head to the beach, check the tide tables and solunar tables for Panama City Beaches. You can get the forecast for high tides, low tides, hours of maximum fish activity, weather conditions and other useful information at tides4fishing.com.
Vehicles – Here in the Panama City Beach area, all of the beaches are public. Visitors should not park in areas marked by no parking signs or on private property without permission of the owner. Parking in a closed business’ parking lot is prohibited. Overnight scooter rental is also not permitted. Parking is also prohibited on unmarked or unpaved portions of the roads after dark. County ordinances restrict motor vehicles operating in areas not posted for vehicular traffic, in, on or over any public land, right of way, or recreational areas which will be cited (public beaches included).
PANAMA CITY BEACH RULES & SAFETY GUIDELINES
To ensure a happy and safe vacation, it is important to follow Panama City Beach laws and ordinances, as well as Florida beach laws and safety guidelines
Alcohol – Persons 21 or older are allowed to consume alcoholic beverages on the beach 11 months out of the year. There is a one-month Panama City Beach alcohol ban each year, with alcohol not permitted on the sandy beaches during the month of March. Glass bottles are strictly prohibited, and underage drinking is not permitted.
Boat Launching – There are many public boat launch areas in Panama City Beach. Locations and daily launch fees are available at https://fishingdestinguide.com/boatramps-saltwater-PANAMACITY.html.
Fishing from the Shoreline – A saltwater fishing license is required by all anglers who fish in saltwater. This includes each person fishing from a pleasure craft, on a sandbar or any other land mass accessible by boat or by swimming through water deeper than four feet. Fishing licenses can be purchased at https://myfwc.com/license/.
Glass Bottles Are Not Allowed on Beach
Glass bottles are not allowed on any Panama City Beach area beaches.
Sand Dunes – Please, do not walk or play on the dunes, at any time. Never walk on beach vegetation, always use the designated beach access. Dunes are built slowly over hundreds of years; however, are very fragile. They are our primary defense against hurricane damage and are a shelter for beach wildlife. Excessive human or vehicle traffic and construction activities destroy vegetation holding a dune in place.
Sand Removal – It is unlawful to remove sand from the beach.
Sea Turtles – Sea Turtles are an endangered species. They lay their eggs along the beaches of South Walton. Avoid the use of flashlights near nests in the evening, do not leave beach chairs and other items on the beach overnight (they block the turtles’ path), and keep your distance if you see turtles or eggs. Sea turtles are protected by federal and state law and substantial fines and federal imprisonment may result from killing, harming, or even interfering with a sea turtle.
Sea Turtles Are Protected by Law
All sea turtles are protected by the US Endangered Species Act and Florida State Law. It is illegal to kill or harm sea turtles. It is also illegal to disturb the nest of a sea turtle. Heavy fines and possible imprisonment may result.
Sea Turtles Need Our Help, Too
Sea turtles nest on Gulf beaches between April and November. Due to human exploration and habitat destruction, sea turtles are threatened with extinction. The female turtle usually comes ashore at night to lay her eggs in the sand. In two or three hours she will lay about 120 eggs, yet only one turtle per nest will survive to adulthood. Avoid disturbing a turtle that is crawling to or from the water. Avoid crowding around a nesting turtle and do not shine lights in her eyes or take flash pictures.
Tents – Tents are welcome on the beaches of Panama City. However, tents and any other personal items that are left unattended between the hours 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. are subject to removal by the authorized beach services contractor under the Leave No Trace Ordinance.
Wedding Permits – Thinking about getting married on “The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches?” Panama City Beach is the ideal place for your dream wedding. You do not need a permit, there is no fee, and you can apply for a marriage license at the Bay County Clerk of Courts.