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18 Top-Rated Things to do in Panama City Beach for an Epic Vacation

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Things to do in Panama City Beach: Take a stroll on soft white sands as you watch bottleneck dolphins play in the surf with a vista of turquoise waters stretched out beyond.

Sounds magical, doesn’t it?

This is one of the endless special experiences that Panama City Beach offers. This resort town features 27 miles of pearly white beaches, two state parks, waterfront restaurants, and a plethora of entertainment options for an unforgettable holiday.  

Planning a retreat in this quintessential American Beach town?

Here are list of the best things to do in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Dive in!

Soak up the sun at the beach 

Dip your toes in the white sand stretches at the beach as you enjoy the balmy gulf waters. You can swim, enjoy a picnic, or indulge in seafood at the numerous waterfront restaurants for a fun day out.

Things to do in Panama City Beach
city beach

The shallow waters here make it a perfect spot for younger kids, attracting many families to spend a relaxing afternoon here. 

Explore Pier Park 


An entertainment hub, this pier park offers an array of options for dining and shopping. Relish a scrumptious meal on the open patio of restaurants for the perfect waterfront view.

Pier Park

You can also enjoy the rides at Pier Park Amusements or catch a movie at the IMAX theatre for a lively evening.

Enjoy birding at Russell-Fields Pier 

One of the longest piers along the Gulf of Mexico, this pier offers spectacular views as it juts out 1500 feet in the sea.

Russell-Fields Pier 

You’ll also find a variety of birds here from pelicans, and gulls to herons, amongst many others.

It’s exciting to watch them move around in search of prey. You can also enjoy fishing or catch the gorgeous gulf coast sunset from this prime location. 

Enjoy spectacular views from the top of Skywheel 

This 170-foot-high Ferris Wheel is the perfect spot to get a bird’s eye view of the city. Whether you’re travelling with your partner or the whole family, riding in its air-conditioned gondola makes for a special experience.

Skywheel 

Want some extra thrill? Take the VIP one with glass flooring.

You can also indulge in other activities in the complex such as an obstacle course, ziplining, and mini-golf. 

Get up close with marine animals at Gulf World Marine Park 

Snorkel beside stingrays, swim with dolphins, get up and close with harbour seals or catch a show at this incredible marine park.

Marine Park

The park holds free daily shows with sea lions, dolphins, and different kinds of birds.

You can learn about marine life and also enjoy the interactive experiences this park offers for a fun family outing. 

Explore St. Andrews State Park 


There’s something for everyone in this diverse area. You can go for a swim or snorkel in the shallow areas or enjoy the waves in its separate section.

St. Andrews State Park

Wish to stay overnight?

Park your RV in one of the campsites.

One of the most interesting things to do in this park is explore Shell Island.

This 700-acre barrier island features an exquisite stretch of beach that can be reached via boat. The place exudes tranquillity.

Get curious at Ripley’s Believe it or Not 

Visiting Ripley’s Believe it or Not is one of the most unique experiences offered by Panama City Beach, FL.

This ‘ship’ features the Odditorium which showcases various oddities, a 7D Moving Theatre, the Impossible LaserRace, and the Marvellous Mirror Maze.

The entire experience will evoke curiosity, wonder, and excitement, perfect for a memorable outing. 

Splash around at Shipwreck Island Waterpark 

Want to make a splash going down a slide?

Head to this tropically themed waterpark.

Waterpark

With tall waterslides, a lazy river, water cannons, kid-friendly pools, and play areas, this is the perfect place for a fun family outing. Craving some adrenaline rush? Zipline from Spanish Galleon into a pool below. 

Enjoy the thrill of water sports at Panama City Beach

There is no dearth of options for adventure junkies here. Go parasailing, test your surfing skills, snorkel, ride a jet ski or go wakeboarding, the options here are endless if you love to have a thrilling time.

water sport

You can even get on a speeding banana boat and feel the high vibe of the place. 

Have a fun outing at Coconut Creek Family Fun Park 

Get your enthusiastic spirit on as you try to find your way out of a giant outdoor maze at Coconut Creek Family Fun Park.

If you love golfing, the park features two mini-golf courses with impressive water features and giant African animal statues.

The experience here is one of a kind. 

 Set sail on the Gulf waters

What’s more tranquil that listening to the slow rumble of water as your boat glides away from the crowded beaches?

There is a plethora of sailing tours available. If you’re seeking something more adventurous, opt for a tour that includes snorkelling at Shell Island.

To elevate the fun, you can also choose a pirate-themed tour, a Sunset Catamaran Sail, or a dolphin sightseeing tour. 

Hike at Panama City Beach Conservation Park 

Love to spend time amidst nature?

This vast park features more than a dozen well-kept trails, uplands, and wetlands. You can hike, enjoy birding and biking or go for wildlife spotting amidst its abundant natural greenery.

Panama City Beach Conservation Park

Explore the park without worrying about the heat as towering pine trees provide ample shade. If you wish to have a lazy afternoon picnic, there are also some great shaded picnic areas. 

Be surprised at WonderWorks 

Famous for its topsy-turvy architectural design, this is one of the city’s most famous attractions. 

The place offers an interactive and fun learning experience where you can enjoy rides, explore the Space Discovery area where you can get into a replica Mercury capsule, or create a mural with backlit coloured pegs, amongst so many more cool activities.

You won’t find a dull moment in this intriguing place. 

Swim with the dolphins at Water Planet 

Swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat makes for a pretty great story.

The staff members of WaterPlanet will educate you about these exquisite creatures and brief you about safety procedures before you jump in.

You can also opt for their full-day-swim-with-the-dolphin programs which include a sightseeing boat tour and a trip to Shell Island. 

Feed a giraffe at ZooWorld 

A popular off-the-beach activity is a visit to ZooWorld. Witness tigers, giraffes, lions, reptiles, and other animals in this park.

Zoo world

Want to get up close to some of them?

You can feed giraffes, pet sloths, feed alligators, hug lemurs, and take a stroll with tropical birds flying above. With such interactive experiences, a memorable time is guaranteed. 

Sip on your favourite wine at Panama Beach Winery 

Indulge yourself in 100% fruit-made wines at this winery. In close proximity to the shore, this is a perfect spot for unwinding after a day of exploration at the beach.

Winery

With more than a dozen wines to choose from, this is a must-visit if you love wines. You can even bring your favourite one home!

Go on a deep fishing trip 

If you love to fish, there are plenty of boat trips that will take you toward the ocean for a good catch.

Some of the commonly found species include Redfish, Flounder, Tuna, and Spotted Seatrout amongst others.

You can go for a full-day excursion or a couple of hours-long trips. Most of the trips include a guided tour as well. 

Go alligator spotting on an airboat tour 

How about getting on a high-speed airboat that’ll take you through wetlands and swamps for alligator sightings?

airboat tour 

Pretty exciting! This eco-friendly adventure will take you through prime spots for alligators such as West Bay. The entire experience is thrilling. 

With so many offerings, Panama City Beach, FL is perfect for an epic holiday. 

So, get your itinerary set and head to this incredible place.

Follow us for more such tips!

FAQs:

Q. How far is Panama City Beach?

Panama City Beach is approximately 10 miles away from Panama City (Florida).

 Q. Where is Panama City Beach?

It is on the Gulf of Mexico Coast in Bay County, Florida, USA. 

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