Travelers looking for a tropical beach vacation without expensive flights and hotel rates have limited options. If you do not have a passport, that narrows your choices down even further.

For these and many other reasons, places like Panama City Beach in the panhandle of Florida are popular vacation spots.

During spring break and the summer months, the prices are expensive. Beachfront properties tend to sell out months in advance. If you are having a hard time finding an affordable hotel room, don’t worry. You can find cheap hotels in Panama City just a few minutes from the beach.

Panama City Beach, Florida, during spring break

Panama City Beach, Florida, during spring break (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inexpensive Hotels With Nearby Shopping

There are plenty of places to stay near the Panama City Mall. TownePlace Suites by Marriott offers studio, one, and two bedroom suites. All rooms have a fully stocked kitchen so you can cook instead of spending money eating every meal at a restaurant. Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham is another economical option in the same neighborhood. Both hotels provide a complimentary breakfast and have a pool and fitness center for guests. The parking and Wi-Fi are also included in your stay. A quick ride down Highway 231/75 and you will be at the beach in no time.

Budget-friendly Hotels Near the Beach and Marina

If you are visiting a friend at the Panama City campus of Florida State University, check out Suburban Extended Stay Hotel. Your parking and Wi-Fi are free and each room has a kitchenette. American Quality Lodge Panama City is in the same area and has a pool. Both are only 10 minutes by car to Panama City Beach. Enjoy the public access beaches, water parks, and shopping along the pier. The Old Man in the Sea Museum is another fun attraction and a perfect outing for a rainy day. Visit Saint Andrews State Park for all kinds of water sports, camping, and beach fun.

About a mile down the road is the Super 8 Panama City and Red Roof Inn. Both are pet-friendly hotels with a pool, free parking, and free Wi-Fi. They are close to the marina and the shops downtown. Look for discounted tickets to a show at Marina Civic Center. Ballet companies and theater groups from all over the world perform on this hometown stage. Bayou Joe’s is a local favorite for fresh food and beautiful views. Enjoy a Trash Burger or some Sunshine Pie. The marina looks out over the Saint Andrews Bay with the Gulf of Mexico beyond that. Head down to the marina for some of the most breath-taking┬ásunsets you’ll ever see.

In case you have not figured it out yet, it is almost impossible to pay for parking or Wi-Fi in Panama City. A number of hotels have pools and are happy to welcome your four-legged friends as well. There are plenty of cheap flights and affordable hotels in Panama City on You can even get email notifications when fares change. If you’ve been to Panama, don’t forget to leave a comment,and check out my page on Hipmunk to learn more about the amazing deals in Panama City.