The Rich History of Bay County and Panama City Beach

Bay County is an area rich in American history. The St. Andrew Bay area was home to many Indians before it was settled as a community in the 1800s.

Pirates found the deep pockets of the Bay ideal to “lie in wait” for richly laden ships in route to Mexico or Spain. Legend has it that many a pirate buried his share of treasure at Spanish Shanty Point on Shell Island.

Another area teeming with history in Panama City Beach is St Andrews State Recreation Area. During World War II, it was part of the St. Andrews Sound Military Reservation. Circular cannon platforms are still in place near the jetties. Opened in 1951, the park now covers more than 1,200 acres.

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More About Bay County

FoundedApril 24, 1913
Largest cityPanama City
 • Total1,033 sq mi (2,675 km2)
 • Land758 sq mi (1,963 km2)
 • Water275 sq mi (712 km2), 26.6%
Population (est.)
 • (2017)183,563
 • Density242/sq mi (93/km2)
Time zoneCentral: UTC−6