A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America Panama City vs. Duck for Beaches, Families, Nightlife, and Couples

Should you visit Panama City or Duck?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Panama City or Duck, 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 fun-filled, active, and cosmopolitan beach town. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for food, beaches, and shopping.

Duck

Duck is a laid-back, traditional, and compact beach town. 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. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and food.

Panama City and Duck: 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
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Panama City or Duck?

Both Duck and Panama City have plenty of things to do for visitors. Both offer a variety of sights, activities, and attractions for tourists. Panama City is very popular for its nightlife and music, while Duck attracts visitors for its museums, beaches, hiking, shopping, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Panama City is more touristy than Duck and is known for its watersports, sandy beaches, and year-round beach weather. Duck is famous for its quaint atmosphere and small town charm.

How is Panama City different from Duck?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Panama City or Duck?

Panama City
Duck

Duck is not so good for its museums and landmarks. However, Panama City does not have museums and landmarks.

Duck offers a few options for museum-goers. Hanging out at the beach and enjoy water sports or outdoor activities are the main draw of this town. You won't find much in the form of museums or indoor activities.

Panama City does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Panama City
Duck

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Panama City and Duck can be difficult as they are each nice in their own way.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Panama City. 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.

Duck is becoming an appealing option for foodies. For such a small town, there's a decent selection of restaurants that range from local seafood eateries to pizza delivery. Homemade ice cream is a favorite in the area, but you also can't skip out on the flagship Duck Donuts store.

Is Panama City or Duck Better for Nightlife?

Panama City
Duck

Panama City is a well-known place for nightlife. However, Duck is not a good beach town for nightlife and partying.

Panama City offers plenty to do in the evening. 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.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Duck. It's known as a family-friendly destination that isn't often associated with a strong nightlife, but there is often live music and other festivals during the summer months.

Is Panama City or Duck Better for Music?

Panama City
Duck

Panama City is a popular place for live music. However, Duck is not a live music destination.

The music scene in Panama City is active and vibrant. A popular way to enjoy music in the area is to find a restaurant with a lounge where local musicians perform.

Duck is not a live music destination.


Is Panama City or Duck Better for Resorts?

Panama City
Duck

With a similar set of options, nice resorts can be found in both Panama City and Duck.

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.

Duck has a few great resort options. Most of the accommodation around town is in the form of vacation beach rental houses that are perfect for family gatherings or larger groups.

Is Panama City or Duck Better for Beaches?

Panama City
Duck

Duck is an amazing beach town to visit for the beache. Also, Panama City is still popular, but not quite as popular for the beach.

The beaches in Duck are among the best in the world. Long sandy beaches with great surf and a wonderful boardwalk make this a great beach destination. Kids play in the tidal pools and families relax under their beach umbrellas in a classic beach setting.

The beaches at Panama City attract visitors from all over. 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.

Is Panama City or Duck Better for Hiking?

Panama City
Duck

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

Duck has hiking trails worth exploring. The Duck Trail runs for six miles and passes through town. It's popular with walkers, cyclists, and inline skaters.

Panama City is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Panama City or Duck?

Panama City
Duck

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

Duck is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Head to the Waterfront Shops for some of the town's best shopping. You can wander along the boardwalk and check out the independent vendors and local restaurants.

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 Duck Better for Families?

Panama City
Duck

Panama City is renowned for its family-friendly activities. Also, Duck is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Panama City is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Duck is very family-friendly. Kid-friendly beaches, local ice cream joints, and the famed Duck Donuts all make this an ideal kid's beach destination. There's a waterpark nearby and plenty of water sports that the whole family can enjoy. The boardwalk is also a very family-friendly environment.

Is Panama City or Duck Better for Couples?

Panama City
Duck

Panama City and Duck are both very good 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.

Duck is a great beach town if you're traveling as a couple. It's a charming beach town with great local restaurants and a beautiful and peaceful setting. For couples who want to enjoy a relaxing beach town without the energy of a larger destination, then this is the perfect place. Much of the accommodation is in the form of rental houses, which can be a bit much for a couple, but the setting is perfect for a weekend escape.


Is Panama City or Duck Better for Students?

Panama City
Duck

Panama City is a well-known place for students. However, Duck is not popular with students.

Panama City is a very popular beach town for students and younger travelers. It's not the spring break destination that it once was, but you'll still find students hanging out around the spring holidays.

Duck is not popular with students.

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

Panama City
Duck

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

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 Duck. It's best to have a car if you want to exploring the Outer Banks and its many activities.

Is Panama City or Duck a more walkable city?

Panama City
Duck

Duck is an amazing beach town to visit for its high level of walkability. However, Panama City is a beach town with minimal options for its ease of walking around.

Getting around Duck on foot is easy. It's a wonderfully walkable and pedestrian-friendly town with a great boardwalk and many walking and cycling paths.

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 Duck Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Duck or Panama City?

How long in Panama City or Duck?

Both Panama City and Duck have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Duck has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Duck 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 Duck.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Duck 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 Duck.


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

One day in Panama City or Duck?

Visitors enjoy the live music and food when visiting the destination of Panama City. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Duck is a small town with plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. Most people visit for the beaches. 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 Duck?

Panama City is a fun place to experience. It's also a great beach destination, too. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Duck 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 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.

Five days in Panama City or Duck?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the cosmopolitan destination of Panama City. This beach town offers something for everyone. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Even though Duck 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 Duck?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the active beach town of Panama City. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

Duck 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. Most people visit for the beaches. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this beach town.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, and The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Duck 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 Duck is $188. 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 Duck in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Panama City $128
    Duck $107
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Panama City $256
    Duck $214
Compare Hotels in Panama City and Duck

Looking for a hotel in Panama City or Duck? 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 Duck


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
    Duck $66

Is it cheaper to fly into Panama City or Duck?

Prices for flights to both Duck 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
    Duck $45

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Panama City $19
    Duck $13

Tours and Activities in Panama City

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

  • Panama City Beach: SkyWheel Ticket with Sunset Option: $19
  • SkyWheel Panama City Beach Sunset Ticket: $23
  • Panama City Beach: SkyWheel Ticket and Mini Golf Combo: $26
  • Bike Rental with Smartphone Tour: $28
  • Self-Guided Bike Tour: Pedal At Your Pace: $28
  • Sunset Dolphin Cruise in St. Andrews Bay: $29
  • Dolphin Sightseeing Tour on The Footloose Catamaran from Panama City Beach: $35
  • Panama City Beach Dolphin Sightseeing Sail: $40
  • Sunset & Dolphin Catamaran Cruise with Island Time: $42
  • Panama City Beach: Sunset Catamaran Cruise: $45
  • Shell Island Snorkel and Dolphin Catamaran Cruise with Island Time : $52
  • 90 min Cruise at Lower Grand Lagoon : $54

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Panama City $56
    Duck $45


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

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 Duck Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Panama City or Duck?

Panama City has a larger population, and is about 70 times larger than the population of Duck. When comparing the sizes of Panama City and Duck, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


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

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 Panama City or Duck in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Panama City and Duck. Many visitors come to Panama City in the summer for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Duck for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In July, Panama City is generally around the same temperature as Duck. Daily temperatures in Panama City average around 82°F (28°C), and Duck fluctuates around 78°F (26°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Duck this time of the year. In Panama City, it's very sunny this time of the year. Panama City usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Duck during summer. Panama City gets 283 hours of sunny skies, while Duck receives 279 hours of full sun in the summer.

Duck receives a lot of rain in the summer. Panama City gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Panama City usually receives more rain than Duck. Panama City gets 7.3 inches (184 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Panama City 82°F (28°C) 
    Duck 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Panama City or Duck in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Panama City as well as Duck. Most visitors come to Panama City for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Duck because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.

Panama City is a little warmer than Duck in the autumn. The daily temperature in Panama City averages around 71°F (22°C) in October, and Duck fluctuates around 62°F (16°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Duck. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Panama City this time of the year. In the autumn, Panama City often gets more sunshine than Duck. Panama City gets 256 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Duck receives 211 hours of full sun.

Panama City usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Duck. Panama City gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 3.2 inches (82 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Panama City 71°F (22°C) 
    Duck 62°F (16°C)

Should I visit Panama City or Duck in the Winter?

Both Duck and Panama City are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Panama City because of the shopping scene and the cuisine. Also, the shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Duck this time of year.

It's quite cold in Duck in the winter. In the winter, Panama City is much warmer than Duck. Typically, the winter temperatures in Panama City in January average around 52°F (11°C), and Duck averages at about 41°F (5°C).

Panama City usually receives more sunshine than Duck during winter. Panama City gets 185 hours of sunny skies, while Duck receives 168 hours of full sun in the winter.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Duck. In January, Panama City usually receives around the same amount of rain as Duck. Panama City gets 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 4.1 inches (105 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Panama City 52°F (11°C) 
    Duck 41°F (5°C)

Should I visit Panama City or Duck in the Spring?

Both Duck and Panama City during the spring are popular places to visit. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Panama City this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Duck for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty.

In April, Panama City is generally a little warmer than Duck. Daily temperatures in Panama City average around 68°F (20°C), and Duck fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

In Duck, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Panama City. In the spring, Panama City often gets more sunshine than Duck. Panama City gets 295 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Duck receives 253 hours of full sun.

Panama City usually gets less rain in April than Duck. Panama City gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Duck receives 3 inches (75 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Panama City 68°F (20°C) 
    Duck 59°F (15°C)

Typical Weather for Duck and Panama City

Panama City Duck
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 52°F (11°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 41°F (5°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Feb 55°F (13°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 42°F (6°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)
Mar 61°F (16°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 50°F (10°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 59°F (15°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
May 74°F (24°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 67°F (19°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 74°F (23°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 7.3 inches (184 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5 inches (127 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 7.5 inches (192 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.7 inches (119 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3.2 inches (82 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 53°F (12°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Dec 56°F (13°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.4 inches (85 mm)