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

Should you visit Panama City or Myrtle Beach?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Panama City or Myrtle Beach, 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. Other popular activities here include beaches, shopping, and nightlife.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is a busy, jam-packed, and high energy beach city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the nightlife and beaches.

Panama City and Myrtle Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good music scene
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly


Is there more to do in Panama City or Myrtle Beach?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Myrtle Beach. Although Panama City and Myrtle Beach are both popular with visitors, Myrtle Beach has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Myrtle Beach is more popular for its nightlife and big city activities, while Panama City is known for its food, music, resorts, shopping, and impressive beauty. Panama City is popular for its watersports, sandy beaches, and year-round beach weather. Myrtle Beach is popular for its party-hard atmosphere, spring break crowds, and beachfront nightlife scene. It is also home to the Myrtle Beach boardwalk.

the Myrtle Beach boardwalk
The Myrtle Beach boardwalk

How is Panama City different from Myrtle Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Myrtle Beach 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 Myrtle Beach? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Panama City is very good for its restaurant scene. However, Myrtle Beach is a beach city with minimal options for its local flavors and cuisine.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Panama City area. 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.

Myrtle Beach offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Slices of pizza and seafood buffets are the most common options in the area. There are also themed restaurants and dinner shows that make for a fun night, even if the food isn't the highest quality.


Is Panama City or Myrtle Beach Better for Nightlife?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is an amazing beach city to visit for nightlife and partying. Also, Panama City is still popular, but not quite as popular for its evening party scene.

Myrtle Beach has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. This beach is famous for its nightlife. From all-night bars and clubs, to music concerts and outdoor venues, there's no shortage of things to do. Bachelor and Bachelorette parties and spring break crowds make this the place to be for a party.

The nightlife in Panama City has something for everybody. 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.

Is Panama City or Myrtle Beach Better for Music?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Panama City is very good for its music scene. However, Myrtle Beach is not a live music destination.

Music lovers will find a few good venues in Panama City. A popular way to enjoy music in the area is to find a restaurant with a lounge where local musicians perform.

Myrtle Beach is not a live music destination.

Is Panama City or Myrtle Beach Better for Resorts?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Panama City is very good for its resorts. However, Myrtle Beach is a beach city with minimal options for its luxury resorts.

Panama City has a few great resort options. Most people stay in condos that are VRBO's or Airbnbs, but there are resorts in the area as well.

Myrtle Beach has a few resort options worth checking out. While there are a handful of resorts in the area, like the popular Marriott Vacation Club, most hotels are crowded and lacking in space.


Is Panama City or Myrtle Beach Better for Beaches?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Both Panama City and Myrtle Beach have excellent 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 Myrtle Beach attract visitors from all over. Most people head to the center of town and boardwalk for the nightlife and vibrant activities more than the actual beach. The stretches north and south have nice beaches lined with hotels and resorts, and a much more family-friendly atmosphere. If you want a more relaxed beach setting without the huge crowds, check out Myrtle Beach State Park.

Is the Shopping Better in Panama City or Myrtle Beach?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Panama City is very good for its shopping areas. However, Myrtle Beach is a beach city with minimal options for shopping.

Many visitors go to Panama City to go shopping. There are a number of malls and shopping centers in the area.

Myrtle Beach is a good destination for shopping. The town is filled with souvenir shops, t-shirt shops, and candy vendors that make shopping entertaining.

Is Panama City or Myrtle Beach Better for Families?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Panama City is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. However, Myrtle Beach is a beach city with minimal options for its kid-friendly activities.

Panama City is one of the most popular family destinations. 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.

For families, Myrtle Beach is not always the best place to visit. While this area isn't generally considered a family destination, there are some newer vacation clubs and resorts that cater specifically to families and have become popular. The Marriott Vacation Club is one of the most popular with families in Myrtle Beach.


Is Panama City or Myrtle Beach Better for Couples?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Panama City is a great destination for couples. Also, Myrtle Beach is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

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.

Myrtle Beach is a nice destination for couples. The beach area isn't exactly a romantic destination but for couples who enjoy going out and having fun together, there is no shortage of night time activities.

Is Panama City or Myrtle Beach Better for Students?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Panama City and Myrtle Beach are excellent places to visit for students.

Panama City is a great beach town to visit as a student. It's not the spring break destination that it once was, but you'll still find students hanging out around the spring holidays.

Students come from all over to stay in Myrtle Beach. University students flock to the area for spring break and end of year celebrations. If you're a student during those times, this is the place to be, otherwise, the area is best avoided.

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

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Panama City is a beach town with a few options for its public transit. However, Myrtle Beach is a beach city with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

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 quite limited in Myrtle Beach. There are no real public transit options so you'll need a car to get around.


Is Panama City or Myrtle Beach a more walkable city?

Panama City
Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is a beach city with a few options for its high level of walkability. However, Panama City is a beach town with minimal options for its ease of walking around.

Myrtle Beach is generally not very walkable. By the Boardwalk, it's easy to walk around, but traffic can still be congested and once you're out of the main strip, a car is essential.

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 Myrtle Beach Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Myrtle Beach or Panama City?

How long in Panama City or Myrtle Beach?

Both Panama City and Myrtle Beach have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Panama City has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Panama City than Myrtle Beach. In general, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Panama City, and 2-7 days is enough time in Myrtle Beach.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Myrtle Beach 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 Myrtle Beach.


  • How many days in Panama City or Myrtle Beach? Ideal Length of Stay
    Panama City 3-7 
    Myrtle Beach 2-7

One day in Panama City or Myrtle Beach?

In Panama City, many people enjoy the live music and food that this fun-filled beach town offers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife when visiting the busy beach city of Myrtle Beach. It's also a great beach destination, too. Most people visit for the nightlife. 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 Myrtle Beach?

Panama City is a fun place to experience. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife when visiting the party-filled destination of Myrtle Beach. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This beach city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.


Five days in Panama City or Myrtle Beach?

In Panama City, many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife that this active destination offers. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife when visiting the jam-packed beach city of Myrtle Beach. 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 Myrtle Beach?

Panama City is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife when visiting the destination of Myrtle Beach. 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 nightlife. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this beach city.


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, Myrtle Beach 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 Myrtle Beach is $173. 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 Myrtle Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Panama City $128
    Myrtle Beach $88
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Panama City $256
    Myrtle Beach $176
Compare Hotels in Panama City and Myrtle Beach

Looking for a hotel in Panama City or Myrtle Beach? 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 Myrtle Beach


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 and Myrtle Beach Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Panama City $48
    Myrtle Beach $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Myrtle Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Myrtle Beach:

  • Myrtle Beach Intl. Airport (MYR) to Myrtle Beach - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $86
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Myrtle Beach Airport MYR: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer to Myrtle Beach Airport (MYR): $36

Is it cheaper to fly into Panama City or Myrtle Beach?

Prices for flights to both Myrtle Beach 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
    Myrtle Beach $56

Typical Food Prices in Myrtle Beach

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Myrtle Beach:


  • Dinner for Two
    $49
  • Diner Breakfast for Two
    $21

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Myrtle Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Myrtle Beach.

  • Murder Mystery Dinner Show in Myrtle Beach: $50
  • Polynesian Fire Luau and Dinner Show Ticket in Myrtle Beach: $67
  • North Dinner Cruise on a Paddle Wheel Boat: $70
  • Luau with Polynesian Dinner and Live Show: $71

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Panama City $19
    Myrtle Beach $46

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

Typical Entertainment Prices in Myrtle Beach

Here are a few typical costs in Myrtle Beach for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Mini Golf for Two
    $18
  • Beach Chairs
    $15

Tours and Activities in Myrtle Beach

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

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Myrtle Beach by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Murder Mystery Detective Experience Myrtle Beach, SC: $15
  • Ghosts and Pirates Haunted City Walking Tour: $26
  • Murrells Inlet: Scenic Sunset Cruise: $29
  • Myrtle Beach Ghosts Tour: $30
  • Murrells Inlet: Saltwater Marsh Shelling & Eco Tour: $32
  • Myrtle Beach Military History Trolley Tour: $40
  • Myrtle Beach Area Ghosts, Pirates and Historic Families Trolley Tour: $40
  • The Comedy Shoppe at Wonders Theatre Ticket: $40
  • Early Myrtle Beach History and The WWII Years Trolley Tour: $40
  • Myrtle Beach History, Movies and Music Trolley Tour: $40
  • Waccamaw River Nature and Wildlife Tour: $41

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Panama City $56
    Myrtle Beach $16


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

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 Myrtle Beach Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Panama City or Myrtle Beach?

Panama City has a larger population, and is about 49% larger than the population of Myrtle Beach. When comparing the sizes of Panama City and Myrtle Beach, 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 Myrtle Beach?

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 Myrtle Beach in the Summer?

Both Myrtle Beach and Panama City are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Panama City for the beaches, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Myrtle Beach because of the beaches, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Panama City is around the same temperature as Myrtle Beach. Typically, the summer temperatures in Panama City in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Myrtle Beach averages at about 81°F (27°C).

It's quite sunny in Myrtle Beach. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Panama City. Panama City usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Myrtle Beach during summer. Panama City gets 283 hours of sunny skies, while Myrtle Beach receives 283 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Myrtle Beach. It's quite rainy in Panama City. In July, Panama City usually receives less rain than Myrtle Beach. Panama City gets 7.3 inches (184 mm) of rain, while Myrtle Beach receives 8.1 inches (207 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Panama City 82°F (28°C) 
    Myrtle Beach 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Panama City or Myrtle Beach in the Autumn?

Both Myrtle Beach and Panama City during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Panama City because of the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene are the main draw to Myrtle Beach this time of year.

In October, Panama City is generally a little warmer than Myrtle Beach. Daily temperatures in Panama City average around 71°F (22°C), and Myrtle Beach fluctuates around 65°F (18°C).

In Myrtle Beach, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Panama City. In the autumn, Panama City often gets more sunshine than Myrtle Beach. Panama City gets 256 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Myrtle Beach receives 227 hours of full sun.

Panama City usually gets more rain in October than Myrtle Beach. Panama City gets 3.4 inches (86 mm) of rain, while Myrtle Beach receives 2.7 inches (68 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Panama City 71°F (22°C) 
    Myrtle Beach 65°F (18°C)

Should I visit Panama City or Myrtle Beach in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Panama City and Myrtle Beach. The shopping scene and the cuisine are the main draw to Panama City this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Myrtle Beach for the shopping scene and the cuisine.

Panama City is much warmer than Myrtle Beach in the winter. The daily temperature in Panama City averages around 52°F (11°C) in January, and Myrtle Beach fluctuates around 45°F (7°C).

Panama City usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Myrtle Beach during winter. Panama City gets 185 hours of sunny skies, while Myrtle Beach receives 180 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Panama City usually receives around the same amount of rain as Myrtle Beach. Panama City gets 3.9 inches (99 mm) of rain, while Myrtle Beach receives 3.9 inches (98 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Panama City 52°F (11°C) 
    Myrtle Beach 45°F (7°C)

Should I visit Panama City or Myrtle Beach in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Panama City as well as Myrtle Beach. Many travelers come to Panama City for the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Myrtle Beach in the spring for the beaches and the activities around the city.

In the spring, Panama City is a little warmer than Myrtle Beach. Typically, the spring temperatures in Panama City in April average around 68°F (20°C), and Myrtle Beach averages at about 62°F (17°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Myrtle Beach. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Panama City this time of the year. In the spring, Panama City often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Myrtle Beach. Panama City gets 295 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Myrtle Beach receives 278 hours of full sun.

Panama City usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Myrtle Beach. Panama City gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Myrtle Beach receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Panama City 68°F (20°C) 
    Myrtle Beach 62°F (17°C)

Typical Weather for Myrtle Beach and Panama City

Panama City Myrtle Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 52°F (11°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 45°F (7°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Feb 55°F (13°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm) 48°F (9°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm)
Mar 61°F (16°C) 4.3 inches (108 mm) 55°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Apr 68°F (20°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
May 74°F (24°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 70°F (21°C) 4.4 inches (113 mm)
Jun 80°F (27°C) 4.6 inches (116 mm) 77°F (25°C) 6 inches (152 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 7.3 inches (184 mm) 81°F (27°C) 8.1 inches (207 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 80°F (26°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Sep 79°F (26°C) 7.5 inches (192 mm) 75°F (24°C) 5 inches (128 mm)
Oct 71°F (22°C) 3.4 inches (86 mm) 65°F (18°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Nov 63°F (17°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm) 57°F (14°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm)
Dec 56°F (13°C) 4.1 inches (104 mm) 49°F (9°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm)