A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Destin vs. Panama City for Families, Resorts, Beaches, and Food

Should you visit Destin or Panama City?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Destin and Panama City can help you decide which place is right for you.

Destin

Destin is a beautiful, relaxing, and peaceful beach town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the beaches, shopping, and food.

Panama City

Panama City is a fun-filled, active, and cosmopolitan beach town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

Destin and Panama City: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Cons
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Good nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance


How is Destin different from Panama City?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Panama City and Destin. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Destin or Panama City better for Food?

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Destin and Panama City.

Destin offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The area has great seafood including crab chowder, seafood gumbo, and fried fish.

Panama City has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. Fried seafood is popular when eating out.

Destin
Panama City


Is Destin or Panama City better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will usually choose Panama City over Destin.

Panama City has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The nightlife is particular crazy during spring break, when the town fills with students. Head to the famous Club La Vela or Spinnaker for music and fun at night.

Destin doesn't offer many options. The region is more popular as a family-friendly beach destination than it is for it's nightlife. Head to the Harbor area for the most lively nightlife.

Destin
Panama City

Is Destin or Panama City better for Resorts?

Luxury resorts are fairly comparable in Destin and Panama City.

Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Destin. Popular options include the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, as well as Hilton Sandestin Beach, Golf Resort & Spa.

With a selection of resorts, Panama City makes a nice vacation spot. Most people stay in condos that are VRBO's or Airbnbs, but there are resorts in the area as well.

Destin
Panama City

Is Destin or Panama City better for Beaches?

Destin and Panama City are good choices for a beach vacation.

Destin is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. This area is famous for its powdery white sand, beautiful blue waters, and calm waves.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Panama City. With miles of long white sand beaches and crystal blue waters, this areas beaches offer a beautiful escape.

Destin
Panama City

Is Destin or Panama City better for Shopping?

Both Destin and Panama City are good shopping destinations.

Destin is a great destination for shopping. In the shopping centers around town you'll find a number of unique boutique shops that are fun to explore.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Panama City. There are a number of malls and shopping centers in the area.

Destin
Panama City


Is Destin or Panama City better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Destin or Panama City.

Destin is a very family-friendly place to visit. The area has beautiful sandy beaches, calm waters, and plenty of activities like Big Kahuna's Water Park.

Panama City is an amazing family-friendly beach town to visit. This area has large sandy beaches, waterparks, amusement parks, and marine parks.

Destin
Panama City

Is Destin or Panama City better for Couples?

Both Destin and Panama City are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Destin is a nice destination for couples. For a relaxing beach vacation, this is a nice option for couples. A lot of the accommodation is in the form of condos, so it may not have the romantic resort vibe you're going for though.

Panama City makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The beautiful beaches and romantic restaurants make for a great romantic getaway.

Destin
Panama City

Is Destin or Panama City better for Public Transit?

Both Destin and Panama City offer public transit options.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Destin.

Public transit is mostly limited in Panama City. Most people need a car in Panama City but there is a trolley service that connects major tourist areas.

Destin
Panama City

Is Destin or Panama City a more walkable city?

Destin and Panama City both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Destin is not a walkable beach town. The area is very spread out so you'll need a car to access restaurants and most forms of entertainment.

Panama City is not a very walkable beach town. There's often construction and the streets aren't designed for pedestrians.

Destin
Panama City


Should I spend more time in Panama City or Destin?

How long in Destin or Panama City?

Both Destin and Panama City have a number of activities to choose from. You can spend a similar amount of time exploring either.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Destin is 5-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Panama City is 3-7 days.


  • How many days in Destin or Panama City? Ideal Length of Stay
    Destin 5-7 
    Panama City 3-7

One day in Destin or Panama City?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the peaceful beach town of Destin. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire area has lots to do.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the destination of Panama City. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Destin or Panama City?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and food when visiting the relaxing destination of Destin. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This beach town offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Panama City is a great place to explore. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Destin or Panama City?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the beautiful beach town of Destin. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Panama City. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Destin or Panama City?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and food when visiting the destination of Destin. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this beach town.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the active destination of Panama City. This beach town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.

Which city is cheaper, Panama City or Destin?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Destin is $153, while the average daily cost in Panama City is $179. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Destin and Panama City in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Destin $89
    Panama City $103
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Destin $178
    Panama City $206
Compare Hotels in Destin and Panama City

Looking for a hotel in Destin or Panama City? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Destin


Hotels in Panama City


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Destin $40
    Panama City $38

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Panama City

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Panama City:

  • Transfer to Panama Canal (Miraflores Locks): $11
  • Private Departure Transfer to Panama City Airport (PTY): $12
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Panama City Airport (PTY): $12
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Tocumen International Airport to Panama City Hotels: $15
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Panama City Hotels to Tocumen International Airport: $15
  • Airport Private Transfer Tocumen Direct to Panama City: $18
  • Transfer to Dreams Playa Bonita: $18
  • Private Airport Transfer: Panama City to Tocumen International Airport (PTY): $19
  • Private Airport Transfer: Tocumen International Airport (PTY) to Panama City: $19
  • Transfer from Panama City to Tocumen Airport: $19
  • Private Transfer from Tocumen Airport to Downtown Panama City, Panama: $20
  • Private Transfer Airport PTY to Panama City: $22

Is it cheaper to fly into Destin or Panama City?

Prices for flights to both Panama City and Destin change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Destin $41
    Panama City $53

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Panama City

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Panama City.

  • Food Tour - Panama Gastronomy: $102
  • Casco Antiguo Sunset Walking Tour with Dinner: $170
  • The 'Real' Panamanian Private Food Tour: $200
  • Whale Watching + Beach + Seafood Dinner - BEST VALUE IN PANAMA: $205

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Destin $14
    Panama City $15
Typical Entertainment prices in Destin

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Destin are as follows:


  • 1 Day Rental Umbrella and Chairs
    $40

Tours and Activities in Destin

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Destin are as follows:

  • Summer Breeze 1 Hour Segway Tour 2:30 pm Daily: $38
  • Small Boat Sunset Cruise in Destin: $45
  • Seas The Day 1.5 Hour Segway Tour 11 am daily: $49
  • Harbor Lights Tiki Cruise through Destin Harbor: $50
  • Tiki Harbor Sightseeing Cruise: $50
  • Private Banana Boat Tour: $53
  • Tiki Sunset Cruise: $61
  • Crab Island Sandbar Adventure: $82
  • 4 Hour Fishing Trip on a Catamaran with an Experienced Captain: $799

Tours and Activities in Panama City

Here are a few actual costs in Panama City for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Casco Antiguo Virtual Live Tour: $12
  • Skip the Line: Panama La Vieja Admission Ticket: $15
  • Dolphin Sightseeing Tour on The Footloose Catamaran from Panama City Beach: $25
  • Sea Breeze Champagne Adventure: $28
  • Panama City and Canal Tour ( Centro de Visitante de Miraflores): $31
  • Panama City Beach: Gulf World Marine Park Entrance Ticket: $36
  • Private Panama Canal Tour: $41
  • Shopping Tour in Panama: $42
  • Tour Colonial Panama: $42
  • Panama Viejo Ruins Sightseeing Tour: $43
  • Panama City Tour highlight: $45
  • Panama City Sunset E-Bike Adventure: $48

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Destin $39
    Panama City $45

Sample the Local Flavors in Panama City

Also in Panama City, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Panama Bar Crawl (private): $33


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Destin and Panama City, we can see that Panama City is more expensive. And not only is Destin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Destin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Destin and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Panama City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Panama City than you might in Destin.


When is the best time to visit Destin or Panama City?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Destin or Panama City in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Destin and Panama City. The beaches and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Destin this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Panama City for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Destin is around the same temperature as Panama City. Typically, the summer temperatures in Destin in July are around 82°F (28°C), and Panama City is about 82°F (28°C).

Panama City receives a lot of rain in the summer. Destin gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Destin usually receives around the same amount of rain as Panama City. At this time of the year, Destin gets 7.4 inches (189 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 7.3 inches (184 mm) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Destin 82°F (28°C) 
    Panama City 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Destin or Panama City in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Destin as well as Panama City. Many travelers come to Destin for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Panama City in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Destin is generally around the same temperature as Panama City. Temperatures in Destin average around 69°F (21°C), and Panama City stays around 71°F (22°C).

Destin receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Destin usually gets more rain in October than Panama City. Destin gets 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Destin 69°F (21°C) 
    Panama City 71°F (22°C)

Should I visit Destin or Panama City in the Winter?

Both Panama City and Destin are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Destin in the winter for the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Panama City for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months.

Destin is cooler than Panama City in the winter. The temperature in Destin is usually 50°F (10°C) in January, and Panama City stays around 52°F (11°C).

It's quite rainy in Destin. In January, Destin usually receives more rain than Panama City. At this time of the year, Destin gets 4.6 inches (117 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Destin 50°F (10°C) 
    Panama City 52°F (11°C)

Should I visit Destin or Panama City in the Spring?

Both Panama City and Destin during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Destin for the beaches and the natural beauty during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Panama City because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Destin is around the same temperature as Panama City. Typically, the spring temperatures in Destin in April are around 68°F (20°C), and Panama City is about 68°F (20°C).

Destin usually gets more rain in April than Panama City. Destin gets 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain, while Panama City receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Destin 68°F (20°C) 
    Panama City 68°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Panama City and Destin

Destin Panama City
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 50°F (10°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Feb 54°F (12°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Mar 60°F (16°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 61°F (16°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 74°F (23°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 74°F (24°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm) 80°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (189 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.3 inches (184 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (188 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm) 79°F (26°C) 7.5 inches (192 mm)
Oct 69°F (21°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 71°F (22°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm)
Nov 61°F (16°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm) 63°F (17°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Dec 54°F (12°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm) 56°F (13°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm)


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Destin vs. Panama City Travel Comparison

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