Panama City Beach – Pier Park March 2008

The much awaited opening of new stores in Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Florida is currently taking place. Starting in mid February stores such as Ron Jon Surf Shop, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Back Porch Seafood House, Ulta Cosmetics and Starbucks opened.

We visited the beach the first weekend in March. We spend some time looking through some of the new stores. Kilwins Chocolates and Ice Cream opened Valentines Day. I enjoyed meeting Marc and Yvonne the owner and his wife. They were very friendly and make some amazing trips. I can say first hand that if you like chocolate you will love Kilwins. They take chocolate to a new level. We tried the chocolate covered strawberries which were excellent! Chocolate covered Oreos, Twinkies, rice crispy teats and lots of types of fudge and ice cream abound.

The Ron Jon Surf Shop is a nice addition to the beach. Ron Jon is not your run of the mill beach store. In addition to the normal beach wear Ron Jon offers a great selection of surf boards and skate boards. On my trips to area over the years I have not seen many surfers. It will be fun to see if the sport of surfing catches on with a real surf shop on the beach. Who knows I may be hanging ten by the end of the summer.

Judging from the stores slated to open in 900,000 square foot retail and entertainment complex located on 93 acres that covers land from Front Beach Road (at the City Pier) to Highway 98 (Back Beach Road) Pier Park will soon rival the outlet mall in Destin as a shopping destination. The complex is a little over a mile east of Celadon Beach Resort and the best one bedroom condos on the beach.

If you have not visited Panama City Beach the following information may be helpful. The beach has been named a "Best Beach" by Conde Nast Traveler. The award winning travel magazine included Panama City Beach in its list of the 20 Best Beaches in America and one of eleven epic beaches on America's East Coast. Southern living and other travel magazines frequently list PCB as a great place to visit. There are 27 miles of sugar white sand beaches that border the sparkling emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the St.. Andrews Bay.

Have fun shopping and dining!