Florida's panhandle is home to one of the very best beaches in America: Panama City Beach. NY1's Valarie D’Elia filed the following report.
Hey, can you take a break for just a minute? Grab your towel, follow me, I want to show you what many people consider to be the very best beach in the United States. C’mon!
Panama City Beach is located on Florida’s panhandle, the northwestern part of the sunshine state, hugging the Gulf of Mexico. Brochures tout "PCB" as having 320 sunny days a year, gracing 27 miles of incomparable beaches.
As luck would have it, I was there on one of the other 45 days.
Dreary as it was, I immediately got it, why these beaches along the ‘Emerald Coast’ are right up there.
It’s the quality of the sand, nearly 100 percent pure quartz crystal. So fine and clean, it actually squeaks. And so blindingly beautiful, they should bottle it.
"If you put it in a jar, I’m sure it would look like sugar," says one person I asked.
Memorial Day is the time of the year a guy called Dr. Beach makes his list of the country’s best—but you’re not going to see PCB on that, at least not until it employs nationally certified lifeguards on the shoreline.
Vacation rental communities abound, with Carillon public beach access perhaps the prettiest walkways anywhere.
If it’s even possible to get any more pristine, you can take a short boat ride to Shell Island, a nature preserve on an undeveloped 700 acres. Keep your eyes peeled for bottle-nosed dolphins; sightings are practically guaranteed.
On Shell Isalnd, you are left to your own devices—no restrooms, concession stands, trash cans, picnic tables or lifeguards.
The only thing you should leave behind are your footprints.