A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Panama City vs. Cape Cod for Families, Food, Beaches, and Couples

Should you visit Panama City or Cape Cod?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Panama City or Cape Cod, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Panama City

Panama City is a cosmopolitan, fun-filled, and active beach town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the live music, food, and beaches.

Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a laid-back, wealthy, and maritime beach destination. As this is a charming small town, visitors also come to explore the sights and local activities. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. With a quaint atmosphere, it also offers a unique feeling. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and food.

Panama City and Cape Cod: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Panama City or Cape Cod?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Panama City. Although Panama City and Cape Cod are both popular with visitors, Panama City has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Panama City is more popular for its nightlife and music, while Cape Cod is known for its food, hiking, shopping, small town charm, impressive beauty, and quaint atmosphere. Panama City is more touristy than Cape Cod and is popular for its watersports, sandy beaches, and year-round beach weather. It is also home to Pier Park. Cape Cod is popular for its long scenic coastline, charming compact towns, and magnificent migrating whales.

How is Panama City different from Cape Cod?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is the Food Better in Panama City or Cape Cod? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a great destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Panama City is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Cape Cod. The region is famous for its fresh seafood and popular dishes include the fried clams and broiled lobster. There are also many diners and brunch cafes where you can enjoy pancakes or eggs benedict.

Panama City is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are many waterfront restaurants that serve freshly caught seafood. Head to town for a charming atmosphere or grab a bite at a casual eatery. Fried seafood is popular when eating out but you'll also find plenty of options for land-lovers. Most restaurants also have kid-friendly menus.


Is Panama City or Cape Cod Better for Nightlife?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Panama City is great for its evening party scene. However, Cape Cod is not a good destination for nightlife.

Many people head to Panama City for the nightlife scene. 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.

People don't go to Cape Cod for the nightlife. This area isn't really known for its nightlife, but the downtown of Hyannis has some activity at night.

Is Panama City or Cape Cod Better for Music?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Panama City is a good destination for its music scene. However, Cape Cod is not a live music destination.

You don't have to look far to find a unique music venue in Panama City. A popular way to enjoy music in the area is to find a restaurant with a lounge where local musicians perform.

Cape Cod is not a live music destination.

Is Panama City or Cape Cod Better for Resorts?

Panama City
Cape Cod

With a similar set of options, good resorts can be found in both Panama City and Cape Cod.

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.

Cape Cod has a few great resort options. Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, White Elephant Resorts, and Chatham Bars Inn are favorite resorts in the Cape Cod area.


Is Panama City or Cape Cod Better for Beaches?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Both Panama City and Cape Cod have great beaches worth visiting.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Panama City. With miles of long white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, this area's beaches offer a beautiful escape. Head to the area's state parks for the most natural experience. These include St. Andrews State Park and Camp Helen State Park. A day trip to Shell Island is also popular.

The beaches at Cape Cod attract visitors from all over. Beaches in the area include long stretches of soft sand as well as tidal pools where kids can play. Several of the best beaches around Cape Cod include Mayflower Beach, Marconi Beach, and Race Point Beach.

Is Panama City or Cape Cod Better for Hiking?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a nice place to visit for its hiking experiences. However, Panama City is not a hiking destination.

Cape Cod has hiking trails worth exploring. Hikes range from casual strolls to longer trails. Popular options include Bass Hole Boardwalk in Yarmouth and the 22 mile Cape Cod Rail Trail.

Panama City is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Panama City or Cape Cod?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a great destination for its shopping opportunities. Also, Panama City is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping areas.

Cape Cod is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Many of the area's towns have charming Main Streets where you can enjoy shopping and dining.

Panama City has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are a number of malls and shopping centers in the area.


Is Panama City or Cape Cod Better for Families?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Panama City is an unbeatable place for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Cape Cod is not as popular, but is still a nice beach destination for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Panama City is very family-friendly. This area has large sandy beaches, waterparks, amusement parks, and marine parks. Kids will enjoy playing around at WonderWorks, cooling off at Shipwreck Island Waterpark, and learning about marine life at Gulf World Marine Park. There are also many watersports and water activities that are fun for the whole family.

Cape Cod is a very family-friendly place to visit. The coastal towns have a number of kid-friendly activities. In the Upper Cape, Falmouth is one of the best towns for families. On Mid Cape, Dennis and Yarmouth are both kid-friendly. Dennis has a resorty vibe and Yarmouth has kid-friendly museums. On the Lower Cape, both Harwich and Orleans are family-friendly options.

Is Panama City or Cape Cod Better for Couples?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Panama City and Cape Cod are both great to visit as a couple.

Couples visit Panama City frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. The beautiful beaches and romantic restaurants make for a great romantic getaway. This is the perfect place to take sunset walks along the beach and sample freshly caught local seafood.

Cape Cod is a great beach town if you're traveling as a couple. With its charming character and relaxing beach setting, honeymooners and couples will appreciate all that the area has to offer. There are peaceful settings and charming villages to explore. There are also award-winning restaurants and beautiful views.

Is Panama City or Cape Cod Better for Students?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Panama City is great for its student-friendly activities. However, Cape Cod is not popular with students.

Many students visit Panama City. It's not the spring break destination that it once was, but you'll still find students hanging out around the spring holidays.

Cape Cod is not popular with students.


Is Panama City or Cape Cod Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Panama City
Cape Cod

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Panama City and Cape Cod.

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

Public transit is mostly limited in Cape Cod. While there are buses and shuttles to help you get around, a car really is necessary to explore the area.

Is Panama City or Cape Cod a more walkable city?

Panama City
Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a nice place to visit for its high level of walkability. However, Panama City is a beach town with minimal options for its ease of walking around.

Cape Cod is a somewhat walkable place. Many of the small towns in the area have compact and walkable areas, but the region is spread out so it's helpful to have a car to get from place to place.

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

For even more information, also check out Is Panama City Worth Visiting? and Is Cape Cod Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Cape Cod or Panama City?

How long in Panama City or Cape Cod?

Both Panama City and Cape Cod have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Cape Cod has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Cape Cod than Panama City. In general, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Panama City, and 5-7 days is enough time in Cape Cod.

Families should spend more time in Panama City than Cape Cod. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Panama City, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Cape Cod than Panama City. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Cape Cod that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Cape Cod than Panama City if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Cape Cod.


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

One day in Panama City or Cape Cod?

The beach town of Panama City offers live music and food. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Cape Cod is a small town with plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


A weekend in Panama City or Cape Cod?

Panama City is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Cape Cod might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This beach destination offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Five days in Panama City or Cape Cod?

Panama City is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Panama City, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Even though Cape Cod is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. 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.

A week in Panama City or Cape Cod?

Panama City is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Panama City has to offer. This beach town offers something for everyone.

Cape Cod is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and food. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Most people come for the beaches. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this beach destination.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Anchorage, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Los Angeles, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from New York City.


Which place is cheaper, Cape Cod or Panama City?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Panama City is $224, while the average daily cost in Cape Cod is $183. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Panama City and Cape Cod in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Panama City $128
    Cape Cod $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Panama City $256
    Cape Cod $184
Compare Hotels in Panama City and Cape Cod

Looking for a hotel in Panama City or Cape Cod? 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 Panama City


Hotels in Cape Cod


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Panama City Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Panama City $48
    Cape Cod $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Panama City or Cape Cod?

Prices for flights to both Cape Cod and Panama City 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
    Panama City $66
    Cape Cod $60

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Panama City $19
    Cape Cod $27

Tours and Activities in Panama City

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

  • 2 Hour Dolphin Sightseeing Tour with Capt. Zach's Adventures: $73
  • 2 Hour Dolphin and Sightseeing Tour in Panama City Beach, Fl: $72
  • 2 Hour Dolphin and Snorkeling Experience at Panama City: $90
  • 2 Hour Private Dolphin and Sightseeing Tour in Shell Island: $65
  • 3 Hour Cruise, Snorkel, Swim/float Sandbar - tandem tiki option: $80
  • 90 min Cruise at Lower Grand Lagoon : $54
  • Beach Sunset and Lagoon Skyline Tour: $70
  • Beginner Scuba Diving Tour PCB Free Videos: $129
  • Beginner Scuba Diving Tour with Videos-PCB: $129
  • Catamaran Snorkel and Dolphin Watch Tour in Panama City Beach: $60
  • Cypress Springs Eco Adventure: $110
  • Dolphin Sightseeing Tour on The Footloose Catamaran from Panama City Beach: $35

Tours and Activities in Cape Cod

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cape Cod.

  • Cape Cod Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour: $17
  • The Anne Hutchinson Tour of Provincetown: $30
  • Plymouth Puzzling Adventure: $35
  • Mayflower Trolley Tour!: $36
  • 3-Hour Private Sightseeing Outdoor Escape Game in Eastham: $39
  • National Seashore Tour with Guided Hike: $65
  • Truro Cape Cod Lighthouse and Highland House Museum Tour: $65
  • Kayak The Creek Nature Tour: $80
  • Cape Cod Explorer Tour: $80
  • Cape Cod Sunset Kayak Tour: $80
  • Private Open-Air Pedicab Tour in Provincetown: $117
  • Private Province Town Pedicab Tour: $149

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Panama City $56
    Cape Cod $19


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Panama City and Cape Cod, we can see that Panama City is more expensive. And not only is Cape Cod much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cape Cod would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cape Cod 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 Cape Cod.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Panama City Expensive? and Is Cape Cod Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Panama City or Cape Cod?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Panama City or Cape Cod in the Summer?

Both Cape Cod and Panama City during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Panama City for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Cape Cod in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Panama City is a little warmer than Cape Cod. Typically, the summer temperatures in Panama City in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Cape Cod averages at about 68°F (20°C).

In Cape Cod, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Panama City. In the summer, Panama City often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Cape Cod. Panama City gets 283 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cape Cod receives 304 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Panama City. Panama City usually gets more rain in July than Cape Cod. Panama City gets 7.3 inches (184 mm) of rain, while Cape Cod receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Panama City 82°F (28°C) 
    Cape Cod 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Panama City or Cape Cod in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Panama City and Cape Cod. Many visitors come to Panama City in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Cape Cod for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Panama City is generally much warmer than Cape Cod. Daily temperatures in Panama City average around 71°F (22°C), and Cape Cod fluctuates around 53°F (12°C).

In Panama City, it's very sunny this time of the year. Panama City usually receives more sunshine than Cape Cod during autumn. Panama City gets 256 hours of sunny skies, while Cape Cod receives 194 hours of full sun in the autumn.

Cape Cod receives a lot of rain in the autumn. In October, Panama City usually receives less rain than Cape Cod. Panama City gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Cape Cod receives 4.4 inches (111 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Panama City 71°F (22°C) 
    Cape Cod 53°F (12°C)

Should I visit Panama City or Cape Cod in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Panama City as well as Cape Cod. Most visitors come to Panama City for the shopping scene and the cuisine during these months. Additionally, the winter months attract visitors to Cape Cod because of the shopping scene and the cuisine.

The weather in Cape Cod can be very cold. Panama City is much warmer than Cape Cod in the winter. The daily temperature in Panama City averages around 52°F (11°C) in January, and Cape Cod fluctuates around 31°F (-0°C).

In the winter, Panama City often gets more sunshine than Cape Cod. Panama City gets 185 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cape Cod receives 153 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Cape Cod. Panama City usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Cape Cod. Panama City gets 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain, while Cape Cod receives 4.2 inches (106 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Panama City 52°F (11°C) 
    Cape Cod 31°F (-0°C)

Should I visit Panama City or Cape Cod in the Spring?

Both Cape Cod and Panama City are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Panama City because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Cape Cod this time of year.

In the spring, Panama City is much warmer than Cape Cod. Typically, the spring temperatures in Panama City in April average around 68°F (20°C), and Cape Cod averages at about 45°F (7°C).

It's quite sunny in Cape Cod. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Panama City. Panama City usually receives more sunshine than Cape Cod during spring. Panama City gets 295 hours of sunny skies, while Cape Cod receives 225 hours of full sun in the spring.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Cape Cod. In April, Panama City usually receives less rain than Cape Cod. Panama City gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Cape Cod receives 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Panama City 68°F (20°C) 
    Cape Cod 45°F (7°C)

Typical Weather for Cape Cod and Panama City

Panama City Cape Cod
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 52°F (11°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 31°F (-0°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Feb 55°F (13°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 32°F (-0°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Mar 61°F (16°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 38°F (3°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm)
May 74°F (24°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 62°F (17°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 7.3 inches (184 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 7.5 inches (192 mm) 62°F (17°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 53°F (12°C) 4.4 inches (111 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Dec 56°F (13°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm) 36°F (2°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm)