What Time Zone Does Panama City Beach Follow? [Updated]

Panama City Beach is a town in Florida that is known for the highest population of bottlenose dolphins in the world. The city offers a wide range of outdoor activities and recreational opportunities. From fishing and boating in the Gulf of Mexico to exploring the natural beauty of St. Andrews State Park or Shell Island, adventure enthusiasts will find plenty to indulge in.

While planning your trip to this tropical paradise, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local time zone to make the most of your experience. For this reason, we have prepared a brief guide on the Panama City Beach Time Zone.

What Time Zone Does Panama City Beach Follow?

The specific time zone of Panama City Beach is Central Standard Time (CST).

Central Standard Time (CST) is one of the 6 time zones in the United States. CST is characterized by being six hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-6). The offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) for Central Standard Time (CST) in Panama City Beach is -6 hours. This means that when it is 12:00 PM (noon) UTC, it will be 6:00 AM in Panama City Beach.

Panama City Beach Time Zone
Panama City Beach Time Zone

The Central Time Zone, which includes Panama City Beach, is one of the 6 primary time zones in the contiguous United States. It extends from the western border of Florida to the eastern border of North Dakota and from the Gulf of Mexico to parts of the western edge of Indiana. Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois all follow the Central Time Zone.

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Time Zone During Daylight Saving

It’s important to note that Panama City Beach, like many other areas, observes Daylight Saving Time (DST) during the summer months. During DST, the time zone changes to Central Daylight Time (CDT) which is UTC-5. This means that when it is 12:00 PM (noon) UTC, it will be 7:00 AM in Panama City Beach.

In Panama City Beach, DST typically begins on the second Sunday in March. On this day, residents and visitors set their clocks forward by one hour, usually during the early morning hours. This change effectively shifts the time by one hour ahead, creating longer evenings. DST continues throughout the summer season, allowing locals and tourists to make the most of the available daylight.

DST in Panama City Beach ends on the first Sunday in November. On this day, the clocks are moved back by one hour, usually during the early morning hours.

The dates for the beginning and end of DST have undergone several changes. In the past, these dates were not standardized and varied from year to year. However, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 standardized the DST schedule across the United States.

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Why Does Panama City Beach Follow CST?

Several factors influenced the selection of the Central Standard Time (CST) zone for Panama City Beach. One of the primary considerations is geographical location. Panama City Beach is located in the western part of Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico. As part of the central region of the United States, it aligns with the Central Time Zone.

Being in the same time zone as major cities like New Orleans, Houston, and Chicago brings several advantages as well. These cities are important economic centers and have strong business connections with Panama City Beach.

Many companies, organizations, and industries may have operations spanning multiple locations. By sharing the same time zone, businesses can offer better communication, scheduling, and coordination between these regions. It also facilitates efficient collaboration, reduces potential logistical challenges, and enhances productivity.

Furthermore, the social connections between Panama City Beach and neighboring areas are strengthened by being in the Central Time Zone. People traveling for business or leisure between these locations would find it easier to adjust their schedules and synchronize their activities. Whether it’s arranging meetings, attending conferences, or planning family visits, the consistent time zone eliminates confusion and simplifies planning.

Additionally, the convenience of being in the Central Time Zone extends to travelers visiting Panama City Beach. Visitors from nearby areas or even international destinations can seamlessly adjust their clocks and adapt to the local time, making their travel experience smoother and more enjoyable.


Being aware of the time zone in Panama City Beach is essential for planning your trip and ensuring a smooth experience. The city follows Central Standard Time (CST) and observes Daylight Saving Time (DST) during the summer months, shifting to Central Daylight Time (CDT). Whether you’re exploring the stunning beaches, engaging in outdoor activities, or simply enjoying the vibrant atmosphere, understanding the local time zone ensures that you make the most of your time in Panama City Beach.

Panama City Beach Time Zone - FAQs

Is Panama City Beach in the Central or Eastern time zone?

Panama City Beach follows Central Standard Time (CST), which is UTC-6 during standard time. This means that Panama City Beach is six hours behind UTC.

Does Panama City Beach observe Daylight Saving Time (DST)?

Yes, Panama City Beach observes Daylight Saving Time (DST).

When Does Panama City Beach Observe Daylight Saving Time?

DST in Panama City Beach begins on the second Sunday in March when clocks are set forward by one hour. DST ends on the first Sunday in November when clocks are set back by one hour, returning to Central Standard Time (CST).

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!

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