Our trip to the Sheraton Bay Point in Panama City Beach Florida was really so amazing, I don’t even know where to start. Let’s start with what you probably thought of when I just said “Panama City Beach.” I can tell you what I thought of when I heard those words; Spring Break 2001. Being from the south, Panama City Beach was always a spring break destination throughout my high school and college years and let’s just say I don’t really think of the words “luxurious” or “family friendly” when I think back on those crazy spring break days. I kept trying to explain to my husband on our six hour car ride down from Atlanta what to expect when we got to PCB, but we never even went near what I was describing on our way to the Sheraton Bay Point Resort. The Sheraton Bay Point is the cutest (non-little) resort in Panama City Beach and it is truly (and I mean TRULY) a hidden gem on the Gulf.
The Sheraton Bay Point Resort is a AAA Four Diamond Resort nestled along the shores of St. Andrew’s Bay, so it’s not your typical hotel or condo located on the crazy Panama City Beach that you might think of. The resort just went through a $30 million renovation where everything was pretty much striped down to the studs.
When we first got to the hotel, you could see that the resort had a golf course since we could see it while driving in, along with all of the people using these cool hoverboard golf carts. When we checked into our room, our view outside our balcony was absolutely breathtaking. Our room overlooked the bay and one of the pools and seriously made me want to stay there forever. I got to go on a tour of the property which made me wish that I had my wedding there! The SBPR has a TON of space, including two Grand Ballrooms, the St. Andrews Pavillion and Lawn with lots of flexible indoor and outdoor space. Not only would this be a great place for wedding, but all of the pre-wedding festivities as well! They have the golf course for all the groomsmen and also a harbor across the street where you can charter fishing trips. I also got to experience an amazing massage at the Serenity Spa and Salon that would be perfect for a bride and all of her girls!
After my massage, the three of us walked out onto the long pier and walked to the Private Bay Beach at the very end of it to do a little bit of exploring. The beach was a beautiful, private spot with white sandy beaches and shallow waters (perfect if you have a toddler like we did!). We soon discovered that there were tons of hermit crabs along the shoreline, so we had a great time picking them all up and showing Bennett what a crab was. As dinnertime approached, we made our way back down the wooden pier (this time valet picked us up in a golf cart) and we enjoyed dinner at Flip Flops, an open air poolside restaurant where Tom and I enjoyed some fish tacos and some drinks.
When we woke up on Saturday, we decided to order room service and enjoy some breakfast in bed. I also got up before everyone else did and made my way downstairs to take advantage of some Starbucks that they serve in their new Cafe. This also gave me a chance to enjoy the morning views outside right there on the bay. Our breakfast in bed didn’t last long, because I wanted to attend a morning yoga class down on the patio. I love yoga and haven’t had a chance to go much lately, so I was really itching to go (plus, yoga on the bay? You can’t beat that view!).
After yoga, I quickly changed and packed up so that we could catch a ride on the Bay Point Lady, a boat that takes you to Shell Island. She’ll Island is a seven mile stretch of barrier island with pristine beaches and rolling sand dunes. This was so amazing because it is untouched by modern development and you don’t have to deal with the beach crowd. The boat ride was about 20 minutes long and we even saw some dolphins on our ride out there! Another thing I want to mention is how nice the boat crew was. They saw Bennett and gave him a little green explorer backpack full of exploring toys for Shell Island. It had binoculars, a canteen, a magnifying glass, a compass and several other little toy items that Bennett thought was just the coolest. I thought this was such a nice touch and really reminded me how amazing it is to stay at a private resort like this that really paid attention to detail and taking care of their guests.
After spending a few hours on Shell Island, we took the boat back and enjoyed lunch at Pelican’s Bar and Grill which is located dockside, right in the center of the wooden pier (and right next door to the Private Bay Beach). It was nice being outside right on the water enjoying our lunch. After Bennett’s nap time we headed back out to the Private Bay Beach to do a little paddle boarding! Luckily the water is shallow near the island, so it wasn’t so scary getting on the board and getting accustomed to it. Once I got the hang of it, I went out into the deeper water and really enjoyed it. We even put Bennett on one of the board ends and gave him a little mini ride in the shallow sections. The Resort also offers Jet Ski and Pontoon Boat rentals and even has a dolphin tour you can go on! After we swam and went paddle boarding, we decided to check out the bikes for rent on the property (they even have electric bikes too!) They didn’t have any bike trailers, so unfortunately Tom and I had to go for solo bike rides, but it was still really fun!
We finished up the evening at Tides, which is their casual fine dining restaurant inside the hotel where Tom and I both enjoyed calamari, sea bass and Krispy Kreme bread pudding for dessert (yes, I said Krispy Kreme!). You can tell by our picture that we were all exhausted and sunburnt from an amazing fun-filled day. Seriously, we could barely keep our eyes open through our 6pm dinner and poor little Bennett was an absolute trooper!
This was our last day at the resort and I was so sad to leave this place. We enjoyed brunch back down at Tides again where they had a brunch Buffett (along with a smoothie/juice bar that had all kinds of concoctions like a energizing smoothie and a green detoxifying smoothie) set up, along with items you could order off the menu. Tom and Bennett enjoyed the ridiculous spread from the brunch Buffett and I ordered the Crabcake Benedict off of the menu which was just out of this world! We spent a few hours on the Private Bay Beach again and then enjoyed a late checkout (part of the “wind down” weekend) before we hit the road home. I cannot even express to you how much of an awesome time that we had at the Sheraton Bay Point Resort. The staff went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a luxurious beach retreat within a short driving distance from the Atlanta area. The resort is great for couples, families and even dogs! Thank you Sheraton Bay Point for giving me and my family a weekend we will never forget!