ST. ANDREWS, Fla. (WMBB) – Several travel and tourism websites and publications are singling Historic St. Andrews for its unique events and wonderful restaurants.
Matthew Cole is the owner of The Taproom in St. Andrews.
Cole said on a busy weekend 50 percent of the people who come into his business are tourists.
“So a lot of people need to know about St. Andrews and want to know about St. Andrews,” Cole said.
Cole said all the business owners work together in St. Andrews to make it a comfortable place for both tourists and locals.
He said a huge perk of the town is that you can walk from place to place all day long.
“It’s exciting, St. Andrews is beautiful,” Cole said. “This little fishing village has been here for 100 something years and we just want to welcome people down here to our community for shopping and dining and drinking and live music.”
Destination Panama City President and CEO Jennifer Vigil said St. Andrews has many big selling points like its walkability and locally owned businesses. She said this growth is starting to be recognized on a higher level.
“St. Andrews for us is a gem,” Vigil said. “It’s one of the things that we are thankful we get to brag about.”
This month, “Treasure Coast Newspapers” added St. Andrews to their list of 55 bucket list places to visit in Florida.
In August, “Trips to Discover” travel website named Hunt’s Oyster Bar as one of the top 15 seafood restaurants in Florida.
“The aesthetics of the community are very welcoming and the pedestrian feel of both St. Andrews and downtown has helped us in the tourism industry as a major attraction,” Vigil said.
Vigil said more lodging options have also become available in St. Andrews this year.
“The really exciting thing about St. Andrews and Downtown that a lot of people don’t realize is that there is already a lot of lodging,” Vigil said.
While there are no hotels in St. Andrews, Vigil said many visitors are staying with Airbnb and VRBO hosts.
She said those types of options in Panama City grew by 70 percent in the last year.