There is more to Panama City and the beach than white sand and bikinis... it may take some time to discover, but this is a place filled with history... a history that contributes much to its character...
Many of our local waterways, cities and natural landmarks were named by Spanish explorers hundreds of years ago. This is true for most of Florida... the conquistadors made a practice of naming important navigational landmarks (usually bays and rivers) for Catholic saints.
Hence, St. Andrew's Bay, the large bay which is at the heart of this county was named for St. Andrew because it was discovered on the day the Catholic calendar designated to the patron Saint, Andrew.
Written records of these early Spanish expeditions reported sightings of "tall" Indians living in lodges thatched with palm trees along the many magnificent harbors and deep pockets customary to this area. The Spanish explorers built several forts and outposts along the Gulf Coast... one was in a sheltered shallow-water cove on Shell Island, still know as Spanish Shanty Cove.