Bay County (pop. 168,852) is east of Walton County, along the Gulf of Mexico. The only other Bay County is in Michigan, on Saginaw Bay.
The county seat of Bay County is Panama City (pop. 36,484). It was incorporated in 1909, at the time of the construction of the Panama Canal.
The Bay County Courthouse dates from 1915.
The separate city of Panama City Beach (pop. 12,018) has been called “The Spring Break Capital of the World.”
Panama City Beach’s many attractions for tourists include a Goofy Golf miniature golf course, dating from 1959, and a Ripley’s Believe it or Not! museum shaped like a sinking ocean liner.
At Big Willy’s Surf & Swim, customers enter the building through the mouth of a killer whale.
Nearby, Tyndall Air Force Base (established 1941) is home of the 325th Fighter Wing of the Air Combat Command.
Mexico Beach (pop. 1,072) has one of the world’s largest chairs, available for photos.
The city of Lynn Haven (pop. 18,493) was established in 1913 as a retirement community for retired Union soldiers. In Monument Park is America’s southernmost monument dedicated to Civil War soldiers from the North.
The unincorporated community of Fountain, in the northern part of the county, has a barbecue smoker in the shape of a pig at Austin’s Smokin’ Butt Hut.
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