Located on the Florida panhandle, Panama City Beach is a popular vacation destination and offers plenty of activities for visitors. From beach days to deep sea fishing, there’s something for everyone! Here are the top 11 fun-filled beach activities that you should check out when visiting Panama City Beach.
Hit the Beach
Ready for the best free activity to enjoy on your Panama City Beach vacation? Head to the beautiful beach! Stroll along the shoreline and feel the soft sand beneath your feet. Take a dip in the crystal clear water, or grab a beach chair and relax with an icy cold beverage. There are plenty of restaurants nearby to grab lunch or dinner, so you can spend your day snacking while taking in the beautiful surroundings. Make sure to also keep an eye out for shells and other treasures that the ocean has washed ashore!
Of course, you can also up the game by enjoying a ride on a banana boat, jet ski, or even going parasailing!
From souvenirs to designer items, Panama City Beach has it all when it comes to shopping opportunities. With over 200 stores and boutiques, shoppers are sure to find something that fits their budget and style. The city is home to some amazing shopping centers such as Pier Park which offers a variety of shops for all kinds of shoppers. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs to remember your trip, or want to splurge on some designer items, Panama City Beach has something for everyone. With so many great stores and boutiques available, you can easily shop ‘til you drop in Panama City Beach! Get ready to explore the amazing shopping options this fun destination has to offer.
Imagine a place where you can dip your toes in the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico, take a leisurely stroll, try your hand at a carnival game, and indulge in a delicious meal all in one location. That place exists, and it’s called Pier Park in Panama City Beach. This iconic shopping and entertainment destination has it all. With vibrant colors, lively music, and the salty sea breeze, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation from the moment you arrive. Whether you want to shop ’til you drop or simply relax with an ice cream cone, Pier Park has something for everyone. It’s no wonder why visitors flock to this hotspot year after year.
Visit Shell Island
Shell Island is a gorgeous seven-mile barrier island located just five miles away from the beautiful white sands of Panama City Beach. Whether you’re looking to soak up some sun, take in breathtaking views, or explore the vast shoreline for shells and other beach treasures, this idyllic spot has something special to offer every visitor. An ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts, Shell Island is the perfect place for swimming, birdwatching, fishing, and more. From breathtaking sunsets to undiscovered wildlife, Shell Island promises an unforgettable escape from the ordinary.
Are you ready for an adventure? Shell Island is the perfect destination for a fun day of exploring! But how do you get there? Here are some of the ways you can travel to this amazing destination.
Rent a Boat
Boats are by far the most popular way to reach Shell Island. You whole family can rent a boat for the day for an exciting and enjoyable way to see all this lovely island has to offer!
Take a Shell Island Boat Tour
Shell Island Tours are a great way to explore the beautiful waters around Panama City Beach. This unforgettable experience will take you on an adventure through one of the most stunning areas in Florida, full of gorgeous coral reefs and marine life. See dolphins, sea turtles, and other amazing creatures up close while snorkeling or just taking in the sights. With experienced guides and captivating views, Shell Island boat tours are sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Take the Shuttle
With Shell Island Shuttle, you can easily access this beautiful paradise with daily trips from St. Andrews State Park Marina or Grand Lagoon Marina.
Shell Island Shuttle amenities include comfortable, air-conditioned boats, friendly and knowledgeable captains, and a wide selection of beverages. They also offer roundtrip transportation to Shell Island with a stop at Starfish Reef, the perfect spot for snorkeling and shelling.
Enjoy Live Music Events at Aaron Bessant Amphitheater
Aaron Bessant Amphitheater is located right near Pier Park and provides locals and visitors alike with excellent live music performances throughout the year from both local artists and nationally recognized acts alike! The amphitheater also often hosts food truck and craft beer festivals featuring craft brews from all over Florida so be sure to check out what’s going on before heading out for your trip!
The Seabreeze Jazz Festival is an annual event that takes place at the amphitheater. This festival offers the perfect opportunity for music lovers to enjoy an amazing display of jazz music, food, drinks, and a great time with family and friends. The amphitheater is an impressive venue with a seating capacity of 7,500, making it the perfect spot for music enthusiasts to gather and enjoy performances from Grammy award-winning artists, classic jazz giants, and up-and-coming musicians.
At the Jazz Festival, visitors get to be part of an electrifying jazz atmosphere, with the smooth sounds of the trumpet, saxophone, and bass guitar filling the air. It’s not uncommon to see people tapping their feet and swaying to the beat. A wide variety of delicious foods and drinks are available which makes this event a great opportunity to indulge in some tasty bites while watching some live performances. Besides, visitors can also shop for unique merchandise, jazz memorabilia, and clothing from vendors spread throughout the venue.
From the Summer Concert Series to Oktoberfest and so much more, there is always something to look forward to at Aaron Bessant Amphitheater.
Spend the Day Deep Sea Fishing
If you’re an avid angler looking for a day out on the open waters of the Gulf Coast then look no further than deep sea fishing tours in Panama City Beach. Charter boats are available for both half and full-day trips with all equipment provided by experienced guides who will show you where to cast your line so you can snag that big catch!
Choose from a variety of private offshore fishing trips or party boats of various sizes and budgets.
Take flight over beautiful PCB waters with parasailing adventures offered by local outfitters along Front Beach Road and Thomas Drive. These once-in-a-lifetime experiences will give you an unforgettable bird’s eye view of this gorgeous area in northwest Florida!
Local outfitters offer various parasailing packages that cater to your preference, including different heights and durations. Extending up to hundreds of feet in the air, you’ll soar above the stunning waters of Panama City Beach. The crystal-clear waters, together with the skies’ blues and greens, make for an incredible canvas of colors.
Take a Dolphin Cruise
Cruising in Panama City Beach to see dolphins is a blast for all ages! Picture yourself sailing the beautiful bay waters and catching glimpses of these friendly and playful creatures in their element. Guides on board share cool dolphin facts, adding to the fun – and giving you plenty of knowledge to impress your friends with when you get back home! If you love wildlife or just want an awesome few hours under the sun, booking a dolphin cruise in Panama City Beach is a must.
Enjoy a Sunset Cruise
Sunset cruises in Panama City Beach are pure magic. Picture this level of tranquility: you’re on a boat, the sky painted in shades of orange and pink, reflecting off the calm waters. And once the sun starts its descent, the whole scene is just breathtaking. With many cruises offering complimentary drinks and tropical music for dancing, you won’t want to miss out on this experience that’s equal parts family-friendly and date night perfection!
Try Inshore Bay Fishing
Prefer the calmer waters of the bay? Inshore fishing charters are a fantastic pick for anglers of all experience levels – even your little ones who could reel in their first big catch! Cast your line for speckled sea trout, redfish, sheepshead, mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, flounder and more, with your bait and tackle, as well as your state fishing licence included in your charter.
See Panama City Beach On a Helicopter
See the breathtaking blue waters of Saint Andrews Bay and Panama City Beach from the skies! With a variety of customizations for the sights you’d like to see, a Panama City Beach helicopter tour is a thrilling pick for family adventures, first dates and beyond.
Explore Theme Parks
Round off your visit with a visit to one of many fun theme parks in Panama City Beach.
Shipwreck Island Waterpark
Shipwreck Island Waterpark is an exciting destination for any water enthusiast. It features over 14 acres of water activities and attractions, ranging from thrilling slides and rides to family-friendly splash pads and pools.
Coconut Creek Family Fun Park
Coconut Creek Family Fun Park is the perfect place for families to enjoy a day filled with exciting activities, featuring a mini-golf course, go-karts, bumper boats, and batting cages.
Gulf World Marine Park
Gulfworld Marine Park is the ultimate destination for animal lovers of all ages and offers a perfect mix of thrill and education. The park features an impressive lineup of aquatic animals, from playful bottlenose dolphins to cute California sea lions, graceful eagles, and elusive sharks.
If you’re an adventurous soul looking for a unique experience, Gulf World’s “Trainer for a Day” program is the ultimate treat. It’s a chance to dive deep into the world of marine biology, learning the ins and outs of animal care, training, feeding and so much more. Imagine being a part of a team that works to protect the animals and their environment!
For those who want to learn more about these marine animals, Gulf World offers educational daily activities for both kids and adults. You get the opportunity to learn about the unique traits of different species, their habitats, and some fun facts about their lifestyle. It’s an interactive and immersive experience that brings you closer to the wonders of the ocean.
What’s more, Gulf World offers visitors a chance to interact with some of the animals, such as feeding the playful stingrays at Stingray Bay. It’s an exhilarating experience watching these fascinating creatures glide through the water and feed right out of your hand!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Panama City Beach is a must-see attraction for those looking for a sensational and unique experience. Located on Panama City Beach’s Front Beach Road, Ripley’s is a one-stop shop for thoroughly entertaining exhibits, captivating artifacts, and interactive displays.
Upon entering Ripley’s, you’ll quickly notice the astounding collection of unbelievable oddities on display. From the unusual to the unbelievable, every exhibit promises to leave you fascinated and bewildered. You can witness bizarre human feats of strength, catch a glimpse of a seven-legged sheep, or even see a shrunken head. The collection is so extensive and diverse that it will keep visitors of all ages captivated for hours.
One of the most popular exhibits at Ripley’s is the Mirror Maze, where visitors must navigate a seemingly unending maze of reflections to find their way out. With numerous hallways, twists, and turns, this mirror maze is not for the faint of heart. It’s an incredibly intriguing experience that’s sure to challenge and inspire children and adults alike. Additionally, the Laser Race will get your heart pumping as you dash through a set of lasers without breaking any beams.
Ripley’s in Panama City Beach is also famous for featuring interesting educational displays. Inspect ancient fossils, real-life torture instruments, and historical oddities from around the world. The exhibits are thoughtfully curated to ensure that guests get a well-rounded understanding of the curiosities presented to them, providing both entertainment and insight.
Zoo World is a must-see attraction in Panama City Beach that promises to provide visitors with a unique and exciting experience. Located on Front Beach Road, this fantastic zoo and conservation park is home to a wide variety of animals from all over the world that are sure to amaze and delight guests of all ages.
One of the things that sets Zoo World apart from other zoos is its interactive exhibits. Unlike other zoos, visitors here can get up close and personal with many of the animals, including kangaroos, lemurs, and sloths. The zoo also offers a hands-on experience where guests can interact with reptiles and other creatures.
Wonderworks Panama City Beach is a fascinating experience for people of all ages. It transports you to a world of scientific wonders, optical illusions, and interactive exhibits that are sure to amaze and engage you. This indoor amusement park is located at Front Beach Road and has become a popular attraction among locals and tourists alike.
One of the most interesting things about Wonderworks is that it is an upside-down building. This unique feature is just the beginning of the many unexpected and fun experiences that await you inside the attraction. With over 100 interactive exhibits that require hands-on participation, you’ll find everything from a giant piano you can walk on, to a hurricane simulation exhibit where you can feel what it’s like to be in the eye of a storm.
Wonderworks offers several additional features that go beyond your usual science museum. You’ll find laser tag, a ropes course, and a 4D motion theater inside. These attractions are a great way to mix up your day and add some thrills to your Wonderworks experience.
Panama City Beach is an amazing destination with something fun around every corner! From hitting the beach to exploring water parks there’s no shortage of ways to fill your day in this coastal paradise located on Florida’s Emerald Coast! Make sure to pencil these 7 exciting activities into your itinerary so that you don’t miss out on any of the excitement waiting for you during your next visit to Panama City Beach!