Weekend Weather- Some Rain, Mostly Sun!

Looking for weekend weather updates? Bookmark our Weather category!

The temperatures have been steadily climbing, and people have been creeping out from their winter doldrums, right and left.

It’s funny how most of the nation relies on a groundhog to tell them that spring is around the corner, where as, us beach folks utilize a slightly different approach.

For me, my spidey-senses start tingling with the incessant urge to go bathing suit shopping, while my Husband can sense spring is in the air by a sudden, overwhelming desire to buy a boat.

Regardless of what sign you’re own family uses as the Ear-Mark Of Spring, we can rest assured that we’ve got plenty of good-looking days ahead of us.

Granted, to keep us humble, the Skies tossed in some clouds and a few rainstorms here and there, but we can feel good about giving kudos to Mr. Ground Hog, The Boat Sign, or The Bikini Urge for being on the money!*

Weather Below

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3 NEW Attractions Come to Miracle Strip in Pier Park

It all started with wanting to put a carousel in Pier Park.

Jenny and Teddy Meeks started their search a couple years ago wanting to erect a carousel in Pier Park.  Their search led them far and wide, through ride brokers and agents leading them, eventually, to the perfect candidate.  After numerous road trips, confusing emails and phone calls, they finally found the location of this perfect carousel they’d only seen in pictures.  It was in storage right here, in Panama City Beach, at Miracle Strip Amusement Park.

This ride opened with tons of fanfare and excitement just a couple short years ago.  Popularity grew quickly and their Facebook page’s fan number skyrocketed.  They knew immediately that their next logical step was to resurrect more rides from this place of childhood memories.

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2011 Tourism Predictions- Staffing Spree

This is the third article in a series that explores 2011 Tourism Predictions for Panama City Beach.

“If you market it, you must be prepared to staff it”

This is a *statement liberated from Socrates’s, um- well, his lesser known cousin, ahem, **Heraclitus.

However, let’s not quarrel over the origins of the statement, and opt to simply take into consideration it’s message.

We’ve been marketing, promoting, negotiating and canoodling with every possible venue, avenue, social site and persons, to spread the good word.

The word being that Spring Break & the Summer Season of 2011, is bigger and now-with-more-sparkles, then this past year of troubled times. The campaign has been proving it’s success through various ways of tracking, and along with the success of inviting the masses into our community, we’ve properly followed through by reaching out to the employable community to help handle the welcomed influx.

Article Below

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St. Andrews Mardi Gras, Royal Dinner!

Don’t forget!

St. Andrews Mardi Gras starts up on Weds, February 23.

It’s always a good sign to me when festivities launch with food, and considering the Krewe seem to know a thing or two about starting parties off right, it’s no surprise that this Wednesday is all about dining.

The Royal Dinner kicks off the rest of the weeks activities, Weds at 5:30pm. There’s a variety of participating restaurants, so take a look and find one that suits the family’s palate.

Granite Cafe, Uncle Ernie’s, Peg Legs, Captain’s Table, Shrimp Boat and Hunt’s

Full Schedule Here

Weekend Events – Eclectic!

Looking for Panama City Beach events? Bookmark our Events section!

If the sun shines, we will plan it, execute it and revel in it.   Proof of this statement lies in the expanding events calenders County Wide.

We listed a few, eclectic options for you here but if you have something you want to share with us, don’t hesitate- let us know!

Weekend Events for February 25-27

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SCHLOTZSKY’S Opens in Pier Park

Pier Park and Panama City Beach, are in for a sandwich influx this season.

Along with the news of Subway opening up in Pier Park, sandwich enthusiast can look forward to Schlotzsky’s moving in and joining the Pier Park family.

Schlotzsky’s started it’s nation wide take-over, with humble origins that date back to 1971.  Originally launched in Austin, Texas with a basic menu comprised of sourdough bread and a selection of premium meats, cheeses and olives.

The humble beginning eventually morphed into 35 locations nationwide and four foreign locations. I have to say, I wish I would have known that during my travels through out Spain.

I loved trying out the local cuisine, but every now and then, even an American Girl traveling abroad, craves the simple taste of home. Be it toasted sub, or a New York bagel.

Schlotzsky’s Pier Park store is opening it’s doors on February 21, 2011 and boast an eclectic selection of subs, wraps, salads and gourmet pizzas, along with desserts and soups.

Details Below

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Gulf World Marine Park

Sometimes, when you move to a new town, you end up being submerged in the mechanics of day-to-day life faster then you can learn your new ZIP code.

The hunt to find work, the nearest grocery store and safe areas for your family to play, are usually on the Top Priority list.

Then, all of the sudden, the dust has settled, your routine is established and you find yourself at a Marine Park being kissed sweetly by a gigantic seal.

Which is exactly what happened to me. We had been so focused on starting our lives here that we rarely took a moment to actually look around and enjoy the amazing things our community has to offer.

Since I’m considered a fledgling Panama City Beach-ian, my boss had the foresight to send me out to Gulf World.

The idea behind that was to get a fresh take on a place that’s been around for so long, people simply use it as a directional landmark now.

Originally established in 1969, Gulf World has steadily grown in size and animal capacity. Yet, despite the overall expansion, the park has held on to an intimate vibe that’s refreshingly unique. Especially considering we’re a nation that’s been known to embrace the “Go Big or Go Home” mantra. The fact that this modest 6 acre park has managed to maintain the ability of getting up close and personal with almost every critter that calls Gulf World home, instantly enabled a sense of bonding with the animals unlike any I’ve ever experienced.

Gulf World’s focus on educating the general public is evident, but instead of lulling the audience to sleep with stats and facts, the educational focus is crafted with a finesse-like infusion of fun.

I was lucky enough to catch the tail end (Queen Of Punny, I know) of the bird show. While the trainer captured my attention with little tricks that showcased the birds intelligence, she equally succeeded in peaking my interest with knowledgeable tidbits. Informative lessons ranging from where the bird is traditionally found in the wild, to the kind of food these fine-feathered chatterboxes enjoy dining on.

I was caught off-guard with the sudden realization that I was leaning forward in my seat, eagerly anticipating what would happen next. Shocking to me, since before that moment, I would never have called myself a “bird-person.” So kudos to Gulf World for not only breaking through my indifference, but for creating a show so entertaining that the educational aspect became as fascinating as the birds.

Have you ever seen a bird “go” grocery shopping? Have you ever watched a bird, literally stand before a shelf of “perishable” items, then select what he wants and place it into his little shopping cart?

Thanks to Gulf World, I can go on record as saying, I Have and it was awesome.

Moving on from the birds, it’s easy to say that the dolphins, turtles and sea lions are the most popularized characters through out the park.

There are two variations of dolphins at Gulf World, one is the typical Bottle Nose dolphin and one is a lesser known Rough Tooth Dolphin. Both types of dolphins are incredible to watch.

The grace and playfulness of such a magnificant creature is mind-blowing to see up close.  Which goes back to that unique intimitacy that the park offers and being that this was the first chance I’ve ever been that close to a dolphin, it was no surprise when a bevvy of emotional thoughts jumped to the forefront in my noggin.

For me, the first emotion is the serenity that these beautiful creatures provoke. Only to be followed with the realization that they were probably smarter then me too, and in a true spirit of just how intimate this park really is, I was able to clearly catch the dolphin’s knowing smile and faint flicker of agreement.

Thanks Pal.

The Rough Tooth Dolphin offers an interesting back-story, especially since there’s very little information readily available on that particular type of dolphin. Their common name refers to the thin lines of enamel that run vertically down the dolphin’s teeth.  Rough Tooth dolphins prefer deeper waters, which is partially the reason for the limited information on them. However, these dolphins seem to adapt well to captivity with proven intelligence and creativity.

Less than a dozen Rough-toothed dolphins live in various parks around the world, yet our very own Gulf World is proud to be home to seven of them.

Five of these dolphins were stranded in Cape San Blas, and ended up being moved in to the park.  Then two others were stranded in another location.  Since Gulf World already had an existing pod- it made sense for the other two to come join their family in Panama City Beach. All of them are now permanent residents here, and all boast good health, loving care and have embraced their playful natures.

It was such a heart-warming story, that after hearing it, I was secretly wishing I could reach in and stroke their wittle underbellies.

In addition to rescuing the Rough Tooth Dolphins, Gulf World has opened it’s doors to a wide variety of other creatures. One notable addition is a dolphin who had been diagnosed with scoliosis, and deemed unreleasable. This Dolphin seems right at home at the park  and considering his amenities include a personal Chiropractor, it’s not surprising.  The big-galut will never be able to fully correct his curved tail, but his daily life at the marine park is focused around his physical comfort and over-all well being.

Judging from his festive swimming- he seemed like he felt just right.

The adventures of Gulf World continue beyond this article, and it doesn’t really matter if you’ve been there so many times that the Turtles know YOU by name- go ahead, swing by and get fishy kisses from a sea lion.

If you’ve never been there, make this vacation the one that changes that.