Things To Do

Top 18 Things To Do In Panama City Beach Florida

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Things to do in Panama City Beach Florida include water activities and St. Andrews State Park. The place is the perfect blend of sun-soaked beaches and pristine shores.

You can explore and discover the natural beauty of the place. Apart from that, you can also enjoy shopping at Pier Park, encounter marlin life at Gulf World Marine, and make a splash at Shipwreck Island Waterpark.

Panama City Beach's unique blend of relaxation and excitement offers an unforgettable escape with its fishing and golfing, vibrant nightlife, and breathtaking sunset cruises.

Stay at Panama City Beach Hotels and enjoy your vacation with some of the best places to stay in Panama City.

If you are planning to visit, then you shouldn't miss Top 18 Things To Do In Panama City Beach Florida. The list below helps you to explore in the best possible way.

Best Things To Do In Panama City Beach

1Panama City Beach: A Beach Day
2St. Andrews State Park
3Water Activities
4Pier Park
5Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise
6Shell Island
7ZooWorld Zoological & Botanical Conservatory
8Ripley's Believe It or Not!
9Seafood Tours In The City
10Art Galleries

1. Panama City Beach: A Beach Day

A beach day in Panama City Beach offers a variety of activities to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. You can start your day with a serene sunrise walk along the Gulf's edges and enjoy the morning breakfast on the shoreline.

Relax under the shades of your umbrella, soaking in the sun and diving into the inviting turquoise water activities. You can swim, play beach games, or snorkel to uncover the vibrant marine life.

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The best way to explore the best beach in Florida is by watching the breathtaking sunset view. The place also offers seasonal delights like bioluminescent glow and spectacular fireworks displays.

For a relaxing, adventurous, and natural beauty vacation, explore the beach and never miss Pier 60 Clearwater to stop by for the best beach view experiences.

Best Things To Do In Panama City FL Beach:

  • Sunrise Walk and Breakfast on the beach
  • Swimming and Sunbathing
  • Picnic Lunch and Sandcastle Building
  • Beach Games
  • Sunset Celebration

2. St. Andrews State Park

St. Andrews State Park Panama City Florida is a natural gem offering diverse outdoor experiences. Located on a scenic peninsula, this park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and beach lovers.

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The park is renowned for its lush coastal dune ecosystem and hiking trails that wind through maritime forests and sand pine scrub habitats. It offers a chance to observe wildlife in their natural habitat, including birds and alligators.

It also provides the best tent camping in Florida between the Gulf of Mexico and St.Andrews Bay. The bay's calm waters make it an excellent spot for kayaking, paddleboarding, and even snorkeling.

More Information:

  • The park offers an annual ticket pass of $60 and a vehicle entrance fee of $8.
  • It offers the shuttle to Shell Island
  • A huge picnic area and camping side are also available
  • It is a popular spot for catching fish.

3. Water Activities

It offers a variety of water sports that cater to adventure seekers. Activities like jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides allow one to feel the exhilaration of speed and water splashes.

Activities in Panama City Beach Florida offer a quiet and intimate way to explore the serene waterways while dolphin-watching tours. The sports allow you to immerse yourself in the natural environment.

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From exploring different unique experiences to offering adventures, it is the best way to enjoy your beach vacation excitingly. You can feel the speed of the jet or can enjoy the calmness of kayaking.

Explore the beach activities and games with your loved ones. It is perfect for families with kids or events suitable for the best honeymoon experience.

Different Water Activities In Panama City:

  • Jet Skiing
  • Parasailing 
  • Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking
  • Banana Boat Rides

4. Pier Park

The popular and vibrant destination offers a variety of attractions and experiences. Its premier shopping area provides many shops, boutiques, and stores.

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Pier Park in Panama City Beach Florida has many restaurants, cafes, and eateries catering to different tastes. You can catch a movie at the state-of-the-art movie theater, enjoy live music performances, and participate in various events and festivals throughout the year.

This family-friendly park also features amusement rides like a colorful carousel and a mini train that winds through the area. Centrally located in Panama City Beach, the place also makes easy access to staying places.

What To Do In Pier Park?

  • Explore shopping boutiques for fashion, accessories, or special items.
  • Enjoy a diverse culinary experience
  • Have fun with the amusement rides
  • Walk along the Russell-Fields Pier
  • Check out the various entertainment options available

5. Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise

For the most unique and immersive experience for both kids and adults, this is the perfect place to combine entertainment and adventure. Step at a private ship designed to resemble a classic private vessel.

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The biggest highlight of the Pirate Ship Panama City Beach FL is the treasure hunt, where you can participate in a lively treasure hunt to find the hidden botty. Different activities on the cruise range from water gun battles to dance parties.

The interactive storytelling skill of the crew engages passengers with tales of pirated and swashbuckling adventures. The cruise often offers themen merchandise and souvenirs that you can purchase to remember your pirate adventures.

Additional Information:

  • Ticket price ranges from $25 to 40 for adults and $15 to $30 for kids.
  • The location is neat to the Pier Park area
  • It is best for hiking trails and opportunities
  • Never miss watching wildlife in their natural habitat
  • Children below 3 years old can board the cruise for free

6. Shell Island

Shell Island Panama City Beach Florida is a pristine and uninhabited Island known for its natural beauty, abundant marine life, and untouchable beaches. It is a popular destination for people seeking more scheduled and unspoiled coastal experiences.

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Shell Island tours Panama City is only accessible by boat, where you can take a shuttle from St. Andrew State Park to reach the place. The area is ideal for swimming and sunbathing, observing various color searches, fish species, and sand dollars.

It is home to diverse wildlife, including shorebirds, seabirds, and other native species. You might also be able to spot dolphins and other marine creatures near the area's shores.

Important Notes:

  • The place follows the Leave No Trace principle. Pack out everything you bring and avoid leaving any traces behind
  • Check the boat schedule and any regulations associated with visiting Shell Island
  • Ticket price: $20 to $40 for adults and $15 to $30 per kids

7. ZooWorld Zoological & Botanical Conservatory

The small yet captivating zoo offers a unique opportunity to get close to various animals and learn about wildlife conservation efforts. You can see creatures like lemurs, tigers, lions, reptiles, birds, monkeys, and more.

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Zooworld Zoological and Botanical Conservatory showcase a range of tropical plants, flowers, and trees. It's a tranquil space that provides an opportunity to learn about different plant species.

Its setting allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the world of animals and plants. It's a relaxing and refreshing experience.

What The Zoo Offer?

  • Close Encounters to Anilamls
  • Family-friendly atmosphere
  • Botanical gardens
  • Photography opportunities
  • Escape into Nature

8. Ripley's Believe It or Not!

A visit to Ripleys Panama City promises an unforgettable journey into the world of the bizarre, the extraordinary, and the unexplainable. It offers an immersive experience that challenges perception and sparks curiosity.

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It is a family-friendly fusion of entertainment and education, offering insights into cultures, history, and extraordinary human achievements. Dive into a world of shrunken heads and interactive optical illusions that celebrate both nature's mysteries and human ingenuity.

Whether you're a fan of the unusual or simply seeking a one-of-a-kind adventure, Ripley's Believe It or Not offers a captivating and offbeat exploration of our world's fascinating and unexpected aspects.

Additional Attractions:

  • Mirror Maze
  • 4D Theater
  • Gift Shops
  • Optical Illusions
  • Unusual Aircrafts

9. Seafood Tours In The City

Panama City Beach is known for its fantastic seafood dining options. The culinary voyage immerses you in the essence of coastal living.

Enjoy locally sourced seafood, from shrimp to fish, skillfully prepared by chefs who embrace the art of seafood cuisine. Every bite carries the essence of the Gulf Coast's culinary legacy, whether in classic Southern flavors or innovative creations.

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Seafood restaurants in Panama City Beach offer a picturesque setting by the ocean, where you can enjoy your meal with a view. Plus, your dining experience supports local businesses and connects you to the coastal culture and flavors.

Best Seafood Restaurants In Panama City Beach:

  • Captain Anderson's Restaurant & Waterfront Market
  • Schooners Beach Club
  • Runaway Island Beach Bar & Grill
  • Saltwater Grill
  • Bayou on the Beach Café & Oyster Bar

10. Art Galleries

The place offers art galleries that showcase both local and contemporary works. All the galleries in the town offer unique and enriching experiences.

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You can discover local and regional artists' stories, inspirations, and perspectives through their artworks, exploring paintings, sculptures, photography, and other forms of creative expression.

Visiting galleries lets you engage with thought-provoking pieces, ignite your creativity, and reflect on various perspectives. Many galleries also offer opportunities to interact with artists, allowing you to gain deeper insights into their works, techniques, and creative processes.

5 Best Art Galleries In Panama City Beach:

11. Gulf World Marine Park

Visitors can connect with various marine animals at Gulf World Marine Park Panama City Beach. Capturing 17 acres of land, it features captivating live shows and interactive exhibits of dolphins, sea lions, tropical birds, and more.

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Gulf World offers interactive experiences that allow visitors to get closer to marine animals. You can also witness the thrilling dolphin performance, marvel at the intelligence of sea lions, and even have the opportunity to swim with dolphins or interact with other animals.

The park is designed to be family-friendly, providing entertainment and educational opportunities suitable for all ages. It's a popular destination for families seeking a day of marine-themed activities.

Additional Information:

  • Address: 15412 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413
  • Contact: +1 850-234-5271
  • General Admission (Age 5 and up) – $25 + tax
  • Young Children – FREE (Ages 4 and under with paid adult)

12. Dolphin Watching Tours

For an unforgettable aquatic adventure with dolphins, visit Panama City Beach and immerse yourself in the breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. The experienced captain provides safe and exciting encounters with dolphins.

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Book a cruise and observe the optimal dolphin featuring a spacious deck and panoramic views. You can feel the excitement as the crew navigates the azure waters, locating dolphins playing and summing alongside the boat.

Dolphin Cruise Panama City Beach tours consider wildlife preservation and ensure minimal disturbance. You may spot other wildlife like seabirds and sea turtles besides dolphins.

Dolphins Tour Packages:

  • Dolphin Watching Excursions
  • Sunset and Scenic Tours
  • Private Tours
  • Educational Narration
  • Combo Tours

13. Shipwreck Island Water Park

It offers a fun-filled and refreshing experience for individuals and families. It features a variety of thrilling water attractions, including water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and more.

There are attractions suitable for different age groups, ensuring everyone, from young children to adults, can enjoy the park.  It's a great way to stay calm and blast during the warmer months.

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Shipwreck Island Water Park Panama City FL offers diverse attractions, from thrilling high-speed slides to calmer, more relaxing areas. It also provides dining options and amenities like shaded areas, lounge chairs, and rentals.

From the moment you step into the park to when you leave, the park promises a day of laughter, thrills, and unforgettable fun.

What To Expect:

  • Themed Experience
  • Wide Range of Attractions
  • Tropically Inspired
  • Family-Focused Amenities
  • Community Involvement

14. Sunset Cruise

A sunset cruise offers an unparalleled blend of natural beauty, tranquility, and magical moments that create an unforgettable experience. The sight of the setting sun reflecting on the gentle waves is a captivating spectacle that evokes awe and wonder.

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Panama City Beach Sunset Cruise's serene ambiance is perfect for relaxation, whether with someone special or seeking tranquility. It creates a profound connection to nature and the surrounding world, whether shared or experienced in solitude.

One of the highlights of a sunset cruise is the opportunity to witness wildlife in their natural habitat. Dolphins often appear during this time, adding a touch of magic to the already captivating scene.

Top 5 Crusie Tours:

  • Paradise Adventures Catamaran Sunset Cruise
  • Island Time Sunset Cruises
  • Sea Screamer Sunset Cruise
  • Lady Anderson Dining Yacht Sunset Cruise
  • Shell Island Dolphin & Sunset Cruise

15. Helicopter Tours

For the most thrilling experience of this coastal paradise, never miss a helicopter ride with your loved ones. The ride witnesses breathtaking vistas that ground-level views can't capture.

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Helicopter tours offer a unique perspective of Panama City Beach, revealing the coastline's vastness and the mesmerizing contrast between the ocean and the city. Perfect for special occasions or adventurous escapes, these tours provide unforgettable memories of the area's natural beauty.

Spot marine life from above the Gulf of Mexico during the helicopter tour, adding an enchanting touch of wonder. Don't miss out on the must-do adventure of a Panama City Beach helicopter tour for an unforgettable experience.

Best Heli Tours In Panama City Beach:

  • The Panhandle Helicopter Company
  • Miracle Strip Panama City Beach Helicopter Tours
  • The Shark Run Tour
  • The Run to the Pass Tour
  • The Shell Island Tour

16. Spa and Wellness

The beach city is known for its beautiful beaches and recreational activities. The area likely has several spas and wellness centers that cater to tourists and locals alike.

Spa in Panama City Beach offers a range of treatments and therapies designed to help you relax and reduce stress. From massages and facials to saunas and hot tubs, these treatments can provide a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

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A spa session can provide extra relaxation after enjoying the beach and outdoor activities. Some spas might also offer wellness-focused treatments like yoga or meditation sessions.

Spas often provide beauty treatments such as facials, body scrubs, and manicures/pedicures. These treatments can help you feel pampered and leave you looking and feeling refreshed.

Taking time for self-care is essential for overall well-being. A spa visit is a way to prioritize your own health and happiness.

17. Hiking Trails

While Panama City is known for its stunning coastal attractions, there are several reasons why you might want to explore hiking opportunities in and around the city. You can discover local ecosystems, wildlife, and plant life you wouldn't encounter on the coast.

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Despite not being a mountainous region, Panama City has diverse landscapes, including coastal dunes, pine forests, wetlands, and lakes. Hiking in Panama lets you appreciate these different environments up close.

Walking trails provide a peaceful escape from crowded beaches and tourist areas. It's a way to find tranquility and solitude while connecting with nature. The varied landscapes, unique flora, and wildlife make great photography subjects.

Hiking Trails In Panama City Beach Includes:

  • Conservation Park
  • St. Andrews State Park
  • Econfina Creek Water Management Area
  • Camp Helen State Park

18. Beach Bonfires

Panama City's pristine beaches create the perfect backdrop for unforgettable beach bonfires. The soft sands, gentle waves, and breathtaking sunsets provide a serene atmosphere.

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Bonfires on the beach foster social connections, making it an ideal spot to gather with loved ones, celebrate special occasions, or unwind. The area's relatively low light pollution offers clear night skies for stargazing, enhancing the magical ambiance. 

In Panama City, certain beach areas permit bonfires with the right permits, creating a distinct and charming experience.

Whether celebrating, bonding with friends, or seeking romance, these beach bonfires offer relaxation and lasting memories in a picturesque setting.

Some FAQs

What to do in Panama City Beach?

From exploring beaches to visiting different arts and monuments, Panama City Beach offers variety of things to do.

Where to stay in Panama City Beach?

Stay at the beachfront hotels that offer different package services in Panama City Beach. Embassy Suites is one of the best Panama City Beach hotels.

How far is Destin from Panama City?

Destin is 56 miles away from Panama City. You can use trains, flight or road to reach to the place.