Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Fitness on the Road: Aerial Yoga in PCB

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If it seems like all I did in Panama City Beach was eat and drink, that’s only partially correct. We also found plenty of time for fitness, too. You know, when we weren’t eating and drinking, of course.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

When I’m at home in Tennessee, I work out with a trainer one to two days a week and on my own the other five. I’m often asked if I keep up that pace on the road, and the short answer is “no” with the long answer being: “… but I try to incorporate at least one active activity in my schedule every day.”

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Two years ago when in PCB, I tried SUP Yoga for the first time. On last year’s visit, we chartered a boat out to Shell Island and did a little paddleboarding. This time around, I wanted to try something different, and when I saw that Yoga Elements had aerial yoga, I knew exactly what we’d be doing.

Aerial Yoga in Panama City Beach

I’d tried aerial in New York and Nashville, but this was by far the best class I’ve taken yet. The three of us were the only students, and the studio overlooked Carillon’s lake, so the instructor Jackie—who was a straight-up aerial rock star, it must be said—opened up the doors and we had a glorious coastal breeze to inhale as we got our om on.

Aerial Yoga in Panama City Beach
Aerial Yoga in Panama City Beach

We started in a seated position before going up to higher levels of skill (and higher levels on the hammock; you clip your carabiners on whatever height you’re working on at the moment).

Next up were some floor asanas that included common poses everyone knows like plank and pigeons.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Then, we moved on to the really fun stuff: inversions. You know how I love to be upside down!
Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Both of my companions were total aerial newbies but that didn’t stop them from jumping right in. I was so proud of them, as it can be mildly intimidating dangling precariously from the ceiling like so.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Aerial Yoga in Panama City Beach
Aerial Yoga in Panama City Beach

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

I’ve now tried both aerial silks and hammock-style yoga, and I definitely prefer the latter. I think it’s less painful when you don’t have the knot poking into your back, not to mention you get a nice nap in the swing when you’re done.

Aerial Yoga in Panama City Beach

Savasana never felt so good. Namaste.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

And for those of you scared to try it, I promise it’s not scary once you get the run-down of the equipment from your instructor, nor is it painful and in some respects it’s even easier than regular ol’ yoga. As someone with perpetually tight hamstrings, I can get into a much deeper stretch doing aerial than I ever could on solid ground.

Aerial Yoga in Panama City Beach
Aerial Yoga in Panama City Beach

Aerial Yoga in Panama City Beach

And for those of you who can’t quite do a headstand—or a shoulder stand or a pincha for that matter—aerial yoga is a great way to get your first taste of inversions even before you have the upper body strength to support yourself unassisted.
Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

After yoga, Jade, Angie, David and I headed into the nearby Conservation Park for a stroll. The 2,900-acre recreational area is laced with hiking and biking trails, not to mention inhabited by wildlife galore. The longest of the 12 trails is 11 miles in length, so runners and cyclists have plenty of space to get their training on.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

For those of you who, like me, wrongly thought PCB was all sand and surf, think again.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach
The skies were looking a bit ominous that morning so we didn’t press our luck and only did a quick mile loop to get a feel for the day-use park. As many years as I’ve been coming down to the Panhandle, I never knew there were lush forests such as this one.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Of course with any type of activity comes hunger and we quenched ours with a little food crawl of St. Andrews, starting first with fried green tomatoes, Bloody Marys and key lime pie at Uncle Ernie’s right on the water.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

They modestly boast they’re home to the best key lime pie in the county, and after testing the waters in the name of research, I’d say that I agree based on what I’ve tasted so far.
Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Then, it was off to Finns for fish tacos to try out the famed food truck’s newest location over the bridge (verdict: every bit as good as the original outpost).

Our nights in PCB were casual with sunset viewings from our private beach at Carillon to a little inversion practice and some snuggle time with this little gal, the newest member of our girl band.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach
Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Carillon-10-min

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

The icing on the cake of our girlfriend getaways was dinner on the final two evenings, both of which I wound up spending at Signature Market in Carillon Beach.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

The latest restaurant to open in PCB is by far my favorite of all: With a menu that rotates daily and focuses on seasonal items—dishes on the menu included flounder cheeks, a pulled pork delicacy and a bacon-wrapped burger—Signature Market is the perfect spot for a nicer meal in a quiet setting: great for date nights, family outings or friend dinners such as ours. And if they have the bread pudding or key lime anything on the menu, don’t pass it up—just trust me on this.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Kid Augustine gave its beer selection her stamp of approval!

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach
Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach
Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

While I’ve been going there my entire life, this was the first time I’d been to Panama City Beach exclusively for a girls’ getaway—I’d always fancied it more of a family vacation spot—and I can’t wait to take my sister and my mom back with me for round two.

Planning a Girls' Trip to Panama City Beach

Those of you in the know, what did we miss this time around so I can plan better for the next? I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be back sooner rather than later…

I traveled to PCB for a project with Travel Mindset and Visit Panama City Beach.
COMMENTS
  • April 25, 2016

    These pictures are just all so gorgeous!!!

    • May 10, 2016

      Thank you, friend! Appreciate it!

  • April 25, 2016

    Holy wow this place looks amazing! Talk about a retreat!

    • May 12, 2016

      It was perfect! And I get to go back next week for another project, yaaaay.

  • April 25, 2016

    I love the idea of planning yourself some special exerciser activity for your vacation. I’m one of those people who meticulously packs her workout gear for every trip but can never bring myself to run on the hotel treadmill when there’s so much adventuring to be had. But aerial yoga, that looks fun enough to get me to strap on a sports bra!

    • May 12, 2016

      SAME, girl. Same. I always have the best intentions to hit the gym every day—and thus always pack a workout outfit or three—and does it ever happen? No, not once.

      All that to say, aerial yoga in Albany next month? =)

  • April 26, 2016

    You’ve totally changed my perception of PCB from a WT/College Drunk destination.

    I’ve got to try aerial yoga sometime, that looks like so much fun!

    • May 10, 2016

      It’s lovely, especially the western part! Sure, there are college town parts down by the Strip but it’s 26 miles long so there are always going to be awesome bits and not-as-awesome bits =)

  • April 29, 2016

    Haha I would never even attempt to dangle from those ropes 🙂 It looks like fun though and it makes for some good photography!

    • May 12, 2016

      It’s a lot easier than it looks, I promise!

  • May 3, 2016

    Doing yoga is really hard. Cheers for doing it!

    • May 10, 2016

      It’s even more fun with gravity assisting you! =)

  • May 10, 2016

    You must visit Eden gardens state park. It is ine of my favorite parks in the area. They have beautiful formal gardens and you can tour the historic wesley mansion that looks like something out of gone with the wind. Also just a 45 min drive north are some of the most stunning fresh water limestone springs that are so clear and blue they are incredible. Lizas kitchen on thomas drive is fantastic for lunch (its right by finns) and the fried strawberries at sisters by the sea grill and grog are also amazing. I love where I live 🙂

    • May 10, 2016

      That sounds lovely! I’ll definitely check it out next time I’m down by South Walton. Actually heading back to PCB next week for a fitness story! Any favorite activities/companies to check out there that fall under that domain?

      And I’ve had Liza’s Kitchen before but might have to head there again next week (only eaten their brunch and it was so good!).

  • October 17, 2016

    It’s flawless, particularly the western part! Indeed, there are school town parts around the Strip however it’s 26 miles in length so there are continually going to be magnificent bits and not-as-marvelous bits

  • December 7, 2016

    It may take time to get the hang of it. But yoga is awesome when you finally learn on how to do it right.

  • December 13, 2016

    Dietary supplements offer all of the benefits that natural sources do, though in a different, more quick absorbing form. Athletes and people with a lack of protein in their diets can use them to recover much quicker, build muscle and as a quick source when they need to consume more.

  • December 30, 2016

    Last time I was in PCB was for spring break 23 years ago! I need to get back there and see more than just the beach. Amazing pictures, I would love to walk on that trail in the wooded area

    • December 31, 2016

      I also started going there about 25 years ago, Janine, and it’s SUCH a different scene now! A lot of development, much like everywhere else in the US, and you’ve got so much more to do than just the Strip. I hope you get the chance to check it out again someday soon =)

  • January 14, 2017

    very nice… i love yoga,.. i wish i could do it everyday!

  • February 27, 2017

    Wow! It’s amazing how you do that Yoga…and why is Augustine so cute >3

  • March 5, 2017

    loved your 1st picture!

  • April 25, 2017

    Yoga is awesome!! I’m trying it. Thanks.

  • May 23, 2017

    Com mudar da alicerce, os cidadãos abertura envelhecendo, assim como seu sistema sofre transtornos, criando limitações dia
    depois de momento propício. http://www.triplec.at/

  • May 30, 2017

    Relamente um excelente post muito completo, já estou aplicando aqui no Brasil

  • July 29, 2017

    the very good tip, thanks.

  • August 5, 2017

    Excellent your article was looking for yoga and found your website and saw that to do yoga have to have a lot of disposition and a good teacher to teach. Thanks for the input and even more.

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