As the weather has been extremely rainy at home, my hubby and I decided a weekend away in the sunshine and sand would be nice treat- plus those clouds every day make me grumpy. The Florida panhandle is typically a great spot to visit this time of year- usually 10 degrees warmer than Atlanta area, and the beaches are really beautiful.
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We invested in an RV 18 months ago and have truly enjoyed exploring within a 5-6 hour radius of our home in the Southeast. We were drawn to the modern, European styling of the Winnebago View 24 G; and it is another type of “travel” that we like to do for a long weekend fairly close to home. The Winnebago View is built on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis and comes with just about all the luxury features that one would need for a “home away from home” trip, plus it’s small enough that you can ease into RV’ing – as we were quite terrified of driving anything over 30′! You can visit the Winnebago site for a thorough review of all specs at Winnebago View. Winnebago’s done a nice job of creating a more modern RV experience, with Italian cabinets and beautiful leather seating- absolutely gorgeous and really not what you think of when you think “RV”. The bedroom ‘slide’ actually adds ~ 4′ of length once you’re setup, so you have a full king master bedroom as well. You can see the video of a brand new View and pictures from their site, and I’ve inserted a few shots of our setup at night so you can get an idea of our experience.
The Florida panhandle area is very RV-friendly, so we have had fun exploring different cities and RV resorts. The range of amenities for RV camping is VERY expansive- some state parks have simple parking spots with great views and not a lot of extras, all the way to super RV resort parks with pools, restaurants, entertainment, etc. We tend to like the higher end resorts that provide a level site with room for outdoor relaxing, laundry and bath house facilities, pools, and walk-ability to restaurants and entertainment is always a plus for us. We haven’t gotten brave enough to tow a car yet, so we also look for Lyft or Uber availability; and take our bicycles whenever possible.
We found availability at the Panama City RV Resort, Link to RV Park. The pictures they’ve posted on their site are true to site, enjoy! Our estimated costs for a back-in spot was ~$60/nite with our Good Sam discount.
This RV park is one block from a public beach entrance that looks like this:
These entrances are every block or so, and to give you an idea, the “big” main beach and Pier is at #55 (appx ~12 miles away by Uber), so plenty of room to spread out and have some fun in the sand. Once you cross this bridge, the view is astounding- the beach is HUGE!
The resort also has some very nice public areas, including the main building (with restroom and shower facilities, a very nice pool (with outdoor grills, chaise lounges and dining tables), along with “condos” you can rent, a small supplies store, fitness center, laundry room and a family room (with yummy donuts and coffee on Saturday mornings). Can’t beat that! The property is well maintained, the lots are level and the pavers are beautiful.
Swimming! See above for the pool picture- we did spend a nice afternoon here. The pool is heated and was the perfect temperature for February.
Beach! The closest beach is one block away and is public access, see pictures above. They post ‘no pets’ on this stretch of beach, but we did see ‘pets allowed’ near entrance #55. The beach by the RV resort is the absolute perfect spot for evening sunsets and we found a nice crowd enjoying the gorgeous view. There is PLENTY of room to stretch out on this beach, so bring your chairs, towels, umbrellas and ENJOY!
Main Panama City Beach: Near Pier #55. There is a fantastic (very long) pier at this spot, along with a large mall across the street and tons of restaurants, so if you need a few things to do besides just play in the sand, this is your spot. You can buy a Pier pass for a few dollars to be a spectator, or you can join the folks fishing.
Food Truck Festival: Yelp notified us there was a Food Truck and Craft Beer festival over the weekend we were in town- Go figure! We were smart enough to buy the $5 ‘presale’ tickets on our mobile phones when we received the alert; so we were all set for a Saturday entry. The event was held near Pier #55; which has a big mall across the street (very nice one too!) and a park where the festival was held. There were over 25 food trucks and more than 25 different types of craft beer and the event was sold out when we arrived, so we were VERY happy we pre-purchased tickets! While the music wasn’t live, there was an excellent sound system blasting out popular tunes, a wonderful variety of food trucks and beer, kids, dogs and all sorts of people enjoying the gorgeous weather. I wasn’t a huge fan of the beer, so that $6 2 oz Rose is all mine 🙂
Well, to be fair, when we’re in the RV, we tend to cook at “home”.. but we did venture out a couple of times 🙂
Patches Pub: This place truly LOOKS like a dive but boy do they have good food and alot of entertainment. It is an incredibly popular local watering hole and is directly across the street from the RV Park. Now, if music into the night on the weekend bothers you, you may want to choose another RV Park- but we tend to enjoy music and love having this much fun in the backyard. Their wings, burgers and pizza are all top notch and there’s typically quite a wait for any table. I know, it doesn’t look like a pub, but trust me, it’s a good one. Patches Pub
Schooners: This restaurant/bar is right on the beach and is a great spot to watch the sunset. They are also extremely popular with the locals, so go early to grab a spot. They have brunch on the weekends and fantastic hush puppies! You cannot beat this view! Schooners Panama City Beach The restaurant is near entry 3 on the public beach and just a short (~10 min) walk from the RV Park.
Cooking in my RV: Well you have to cook out! I’m a little over-organized, so I tend to pack a big gallon size zip-lock that has everything I need from home for a particular meal. This prep bag was for Chili Dogs – using my Ancho homemade chili of course..
These Bacon, Blue Cheese and Chipotle Mayo burgers were AHHHMazing! If you like my cute little red baskets and liners, you can get them here: Hot Dog, Burger, Sandwich Serving Set for 4 Guests – 4 Red Baskets and 15 Red Check Food Basket Liners – Bundle 2 Items Please remember any products we mention (and we ONLY mention what we use or have tried), if you purchase via our links, we may receive a small fee.
I have to mention that the Wifi at the RV Resort was quite weak when we were there. Here is the speed test when connected to Wifi… Yikes:
So, we hooked up our Cellular Booster. My hubby spent a BUNCH of time online researching these (share review link here). The one we ended up purchasing is really nice and we normally gain at least two bars on ATT. It’s pretty unobtrusive; there is a component on the roof, one in our TV cabinet and one mounted under the kitchen counter. Works great- and if you’re like us and have to work a bit while on the road, it’s a lifesaver so far. weBoost Drive 4G-X RV 470410 Cell Phone Signal Booster, Cell Signal Booster for Your RV or Motorhome – Mobile Home, Boosts 4G LTE Cell Signals – Enhance Your Cell Phone Signal up to 32x
- We splurged on a bike rack and we are EVER so glad we did. We hesitated as we have a slide in the back of our RV and worried that it would potentially cause issues. After a bit of research, we decided on this one and it worked great!! We were super happy to have our bikes along for short trips around this area of town!
2. Sand Free Beach Towel: I’ve always wanted to try one of these out – very interesting how it works. See the video below- yes the sand does come thru, but it goes right back out the other side. When you leave, you just pick it up, fold it and put it back in it’s pack. It also has four pegs to hold it in the sand- nice! Sand Free Beach Mat Blanket Sand Proof Magic Sandless Sand Dirt & Dust Disappear Fast Dry Easy to Clean Waterproof Rug Avoid Sand Dirt And Grass Keep Everything Clean And Perfect (79″×57″)
3. LED Flares for our RV Safety Kit: We ordered these after our last trip (after witnessing a few scary situations while driving at night!). Hopefully we’ll never need them. Coquimbo 3 Pack LED Road Flares Safety Flare Flashing Warning Lights Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare Magnetic Base for Car Truck Boat (Batteries Included)
4. Zero Gravity Folding Chairs. These are SUCH an improvement over directors chairs (which we do keep under the RV to carry to the beach and festivals) but these are SO comfortable while enjoying the camp atmosphere! Outsunny Zero Gravity Recliner Lounge Patio Pool Chair – 2 PACK – Black
Thanks for sharing our journey with us! Next trip in March, TBD….