Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is a stunning coastal destination in Florida that offers an array of exciting activities and beautiful attractions for visitors of all ages. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant atmosphere, it’s no wonder that Panama City Beach is a popular choice for a summer holiday. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sandy shores, explore underwater wonders, or indulge in thrilling adventures, this city has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the best places to visit in Panama City Beach and discover the incredible experiences that await.

Best Beaches in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, each offering a unique charm and atmosphere. Here are some of the top beaches you shouldn’t miss:

1. Panama City Beach

The namesake beach of the city, Panama City Beach, stretches for miles, boasting powdery white sands and azure waters. It’s perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles.

2. Shell Island

A barrier island located just off the coast of Panama City Beach, Shell Island is a paradise for nature lovers. Explore its untouched beaches, go shelling, and encounter an abundance of wildlife.

3. St. Andrews State Park

Nestled on a peninsula, St. Andrews State Park is a natural oasis offering pristine beaches, nature trails, and a picturesque lagoon. It’s ideal for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and camping.

4. Camp Helen State Park

This hidden gem features a combination of coastal dune lakes, unspoiled beaches, and serene trails. It’s a tranquil spot to enjoy birdwatching, fishing, and picnicking.

Water Activities and Attractions

Apart from its stunning beaches, Panama City Beach offers an array of water activities and attractions for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts.

Snorkeling and Diving

Dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico and explore vibrant coral reefs, sunken ships, and an abundance of marine life. Snorkeling and diving tours are available for all skill levels.

Dolphin Tours

Embark on a thrilling dolphin tour and witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. These tours offer an unforgettable experience as you observe dolphins swimming and playing in the waves.

Jet Skiing

Feel the exhilaration of riding a jet ski along the coast, enjoying the stunning views and the refreshing ocean breeze. Jet ski rentals are widely available, and you can explore the waters at your own pace.

Fishing Charters

Panama City Beach is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts. Hop on a fishing charter and venture into the deep waters to catch a variety of fish, including red snapper, grouper, and amberjack.

Water Parks

Beat the heat and enjoy a day of fun at one of the water parks in Panama City Beach. Experience thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and interactive play areas suitable for all ages.

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Entertainment and Nightlife

Panama City Beach offers an exciting array of entertainment options for visitors looking to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and family-friendly attractions.

Pier Park

Pier Park is a premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in Panama City Beach. Explore a wide range of retail stores, indulge in delicious cuisine, and enjoy live music and events.

Gulf World Marine Park

Immerse yourself in the world of marine life at Gulf World Marine Park. Watch captivating animal shows, swim with dolphins, interact with stingrays, and learn about various marine species.

Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Shipwreck Island Waterpark is a haven for thrill-seekers and families. Enjoy a variety of water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and a kids’ play area, ensuring hours of endless fun.

Live Music and Bars

Experience the vibrant nightlife of Panama City Beach by visiting the many bars and venues that offer live music performances. Dance the night away, savor delicious drinks, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

Outdoor Adventures

For those seeking outdoor adventures and nature exploration, Panama City Beach offers an abundance of options.

Conservation Park

Explore the beauty of nature at the Conservation Park, which features scenic trails winding through wetlands and pine forests. Spot native wildlife, go hiking, biking, or horseback riding.

ZooWorld Zoological Conservatory

Get up close and personal with a variety of exotic animals at ZooWorld Zoological Conservatory. From lions and tigers to reptiles and birds, this zoo offers a fascinating experience for animal lovers.

Gulf Coast State Park

Spanning over 1,900 acres, Gulf Coast State Park offers a range of activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and camping. It’s a nature lover’s paradise with diverse ecosystems to explore.

Eco Tours

Embark on an eco tour and discover the natural wonders of Panama City Beach. Glide through the calm waters on a kayak or paddleboard while observing the local flora, fauna, and bird species.

Family-Friendly Attractions

Panama City Beach is a fantastic destination for families, with numerous attractions that cater to all age groups.


WonderWorks is an interactive amusement park that combines education and entertainment. Enjoy over 100 hands-on exhibits, laser tag, a ropes course, and an indoor glow-in-the-dark mini-golf.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Step into the bizarre world of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum, filled with oddities, illusions, and interactive exhibits. Explore themed galleries and discover extraordinary artifacts.

Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf

Putt your way through a pirate-themed mini-golf course at Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf. Enjoy the challenging holes, cascading waterfalls, and lush tropical landscaping.

Hidden Lagoon Super Race Track and Golf

Hidden Lagoon Super Race Track and Golf offers thrilling go-kart tracks for racing enthusiasts. It also features mini-golf courses, bumper boats, and an arcade for hours of family fun.

Shopping and Dining

Panama City Beach is a haven for shopping enthusiasts, offering a wide range of stores and delectable dining options.

Beachfront Restaurants

Indulge in delicious seafood and waterfront dining at the many beachfront restaurants in Panama City Beach. Savor fresh catches while enjoying stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Local Cuisine

Experience the flavors of the region by trying local cuisine in Panama City Beach. From Southern comfort food to Gulf Coast specialties, there are plenty of dining options to satisfy your taste buds.

Beachside Markets

Explore beachside markets and shops that offer unique souvenirs, clothing, beach gear, and artwork. Stroll along the boardwalk and browse through the charming boutiques and stalls.

Accommodation Options

Panama City Beach provides a wide range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets.

Beachfront Resorts

Stay in luxurious beachfront resorts that offer stunning views, upscale amenities, and direct access to the beach. Enjoy top-notch services, spas, pools, and on-site dining options.

Vacation Rentals

Opt for vacation rentals, including beachfront condos or private homes, which provide a more personalized experience. These rentals offer comfort, privacy, and the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen.

Hotels and Motels

Panama City Beach also offers a variety of hotels and motels for travelers seeking comfortable and affordable accommodations. Choose from a range of options located near the beach or within easy access to attractions.

Events and Festivals

Throughout the year, Panama City Beach hosts a variety of events and festivals that add excitement to your visit.

Seabreeze Jazz Festival

Enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, featuring renowned artists and captivating performances. This annual event draws music lovers from around the country.

Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally

Motorcycle enthusiasts flock to Panama City Beach for the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally. This event showcases bike shows, live music, poker runs, and various vendor displays.

Lobster Festival and Tournament

Indulge in a seafood extravaganza at the Lobster Festival and Tournament. Sample delicious lobster dishes, participate in games and contests, and enjoy live entertainment.

Pirates of the High Seas Fest

Join the swashbuckling fun at the Pirates of the High Seas Fest. This family-friendly festival celebrates the pirate heritage of the region and offers parades, concerts, fireworks, and pirate-themed activities.


Panama City Beach is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, thrilling adventures, family-friendly attractions, and vibrant entertainment options. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the pristine beaches, exhilarating water activities, or memorable family experiences, this city has it all. Explore the best places to visit, indulge in delicious cuisine, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Panama City Beach.


Is Panama City Beach a safe destination for families?

Panama City Beach is generally considered a safe destination for families. However, it’s always recommended to practice caution, especially near the water and in crowded areas. It’s advisable to follow safety guidelines and supervise children at all times.

When is the best time to visit Panama City Beach?

The best time to visit Panama City Beach is during the summer months, from May to August, when the weather is warm and ideal for beach activities. However, spring and fall offer pleasant temperatures with fewer crowds, making it a great time to visit as well.

Are there any free attractions in Panama City Beach?

Yes, there are several free attractions in Panama City Beach. The beaches are open to the public, and you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing without any cost. Additionally, some parks, such as St. Andrews State Park, offer free access to nature trails and picnic areas.

What are some popular water activities in Panama City Beach?

Popular water activities in Panama City Beach include snorkeling, diving, jet skiing, fishing charters, and exploring the waters on paddleboards or kayaks. These activities allow you to make the most of the beautiful coastline and abundant marine life.

Can I swim with dolphins in Panama City Beach?

Yes, there are opportunities to swim with dolphins in Panama City Beach. Gulf World Marine Park offers interactive programs that allow you to swim and interact with dolphins under the supervision of trained professionals. It’s an unforgettable experience for animal lovers.

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