Historic Walking Tours

Historic Walking Tours

History is based on stories and experiences, and when you visit Panama City, you can experience these tales everywhere you go. Stroll through our two historic districts and learn all about the past of Panama City by going on one of our walking tours! Both are self-guided, so you can go at your own pace.

Historic St. Andrews

Step through our local history, from the days of Native Americans to the present. Learn why inhabitants of each era have been drawn to this location and how each culture thrived in this village by the bay. 

The historic walking trail has ten stops, and shares the stories of yesterday. The trail is just over ½ mile long and can be completed at your leisure. Feel free to start at any location!

Oaks by the Bay Park

Located at 2715 W 10th Street. The natural environment, historic displays, and contemporary features tell the story of St. Andrews through the years and reflects the characteristics of the people who have called it home. Local chainsaw artist Chip Gainey created a work of art out of an old Cedar tree here, an incredible amalgamation of marine life found in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Historic St. Andrews Church

Located at 1004 Chestnut Avenue. Constructed in 1887, this historic church symbolizes life in a fishing village and the roles the building served.

Bank and Asbell Buildings

Located at 1000 Beck Avenue. The “stone-face” bank building was constructed in 1908, and the adjacent Asbell buildings were the first strip mall in St. Andrews, having been developed in the 1930s. 

Panama City Publishing Company Museum

Located at 1134 Beck Avenue. The Panama City Publishing Company building was built in 1920 by George M. West, who is credited as the founding father of Panama City.

Drug Store and Mattie’s Motel

Located at 1129 Beck Avenue. Just across the street from the Publishing Museum are the buildings that served St. Andrews as the Drug Store and Post Office, beginning in the 1940s. 

Villa Gateway

Located at 12th Street and Bayview. This location serves as the site where public access to the bay for fishing, crabbing, and enjoying sunsets is preserved. 

Uncle Ernie’s

Located at 1151 Bayview Avenue #1452. Once the home of a local fisherman and his family, this structure was moved to the waterfront site near the marina in 1993. Bonus Spot: At the north end of the St. Andrews Boardwalk, you can find what locals call the ‘Pelican Tree’. The tree was dying after Hurricane Opal in 1995, until an artist sculpted this to symbolize the community’s strength. Have you seen the newest tree sculpture in St. Andrews?  Reopening in Summer 2020.

Governor Stone

Located at 1209 Beck Avenue. Built-in 1877, this is the last known surviving Gulf Coast Schooner. *The Governor Stone was affected by the 2018 Hurricane and will be rebuilt and will sail the St. Andrews Bay again. 

St. Andrews Marina

Located at 3151 West 10th Street. This marina has been a barometer of the community’s economy over the years, reflecting the changes in transportation, commercial and charter fishing, commerce, and recreation. 

Ware Mercantile and the SS Tarpon

Located at 3001 West 10th Street. Lambert M. Ware came to St. Andrews in 1879, purchased the land known as Buena Vista Point. 

For a free, guided walking tour of Historic St. Andrews, visit the Panama City Publishing Museum on Wednesdays and Fridays at 1 PM. Download Florida Stories, a free app that offers a narration of each stop with insight and fun facts! App available for download on both iOS and Android devices. Learn more, here.

Downtown

Feel the individuality of this historic bayside community, while strolling along the streets. Have you ever wondered how Panama City got its name? Or what famous event put Panama City on the map? Find out the answers and so much more on the Downtown Panama City Historic Walking Tour!

There are 14 stops on this tour, and is ¾ of a mile long. Enjoy the beautiful Florida weather while learning about what makes our bayside community unique.

Bank of Panama City

Located at 100 Harrison Avenue. Lambert M. Ware came to St. Andrews in 1879, purchased the land known as Buena Vista Point.This building was the first bank in Downtown and the first brick building in Bay County.

First National Bank

Located at 101 Harrison Avenue. This bank was erected in 1915, and stands out in historic Downtown Panama City because of the white enamel brick and terra cotta. 

Bay County Historical Society

Located at 133 Harrison Avenue. Built-in 1931, this stop features the best unaltered interior display of the 1930’s commercial period with the balconies, railings, skylights, pine flooring and masonry walls. 

McKenzie Park

Located at the corner of Oak Avenue and Park Avenue. The park is where it all began, and was the focal point of the development of Panama City in 1887.

McKenzie Home

Located at 17 East 3rd Street. The McKenzie Home was completed in 1909 and is one of four homes in Bay County of the National Register of Historic Places. 

Sherman Arcade

Located at 228 Harrison Avenue. This old Mission Revival style building was built in 1932 by W.C. Sherman. 

Commercial Bank

Located at 227 Harrison Avenue. Found in the “Four Points”, the bank is a perfect example of Georgian/Colonial Revival commercial architecture. 

Martin Theater

Located at 409 Harrison Avenue. Known as the Ritz, the theater was the most popular cinema in the 1960s. Hollywood icons Constance Bennett and Clark Gable even attended events here!

Old City Hall

Located at 19 East 4th Street. This building is now home to the Panama City Center for the Arts, and was completed in 1926. 

Magnolia Heights

Located at the highest elevation point in Downtown. In the late 1800s, it was subject to Hawk Massalina’s claim that during a storm, the entire downtown but this area was flooded.

Bay County Courthouse

Located at 300 East 4th Street. Originally built in 1914, the courthouse was home to the landmark Gideon v.s. Wainwright case that changed judiciary history.

Judge Sapp House

Located at 224 East 3rd Street. Built-in 1916 with scaffolding from the nearby courthouse, this prairie-bungalow style house was the first to have an elevator, two bathrooms, and hot water in the area.

Massalina Bayou

Located at 234 East Beach Drive. In the eastern boundary of Panama City, this was the only bayou in the late 1800s and 1900s.

Massalina Bayou Bridge

Located at Tarpon Dock and East Beach Drive. It is said that this is the last remaining drawbridge in Northwest Florida.

Learn all about the secrets the Panama City locals know, the best parts of Downtown and view architecture that will inspire you. There are so many charming and unique spots to see, which is your favorite? Pick up your copy of the walking tour at the Destination Panama City Visitors Center at 101 West Beach Drive, or download your copy now.
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