There are so many places and things to see and do when on vacation in Panama City Beach. Here we made a list of 10 of our favorite things to see and do for both adults and children, while enjoying your vacation.
The list is in no particular order.
Shell Island is a 7-mile long, uninhabited island just off the coast. Only ¾ mile wide at its widest point, it’s prime for exploring.
You can snorkel, sunbathe, fish, or go shelling, of course! Sand dollars, conch shells, whelks, and snails are some of the many shells you’ll find here on Shell Island. As long as the creatures are no longer living in the shells, you’re welcome to take them home for souvenirs.
Two types of endangered sea turtles (loggerhead and green turtles) nest on the island from May-October, so be sure to watch out for the flagged nesting sites.
There are several ways to get to Shell Island. You can take a boat tour, there’s a shuttle from St. Andrews State Park, or you can even take a jet ski tour. Enjoy the ride and make sure you’re watching the waves – you’re likely to see some dolphins on the way!
Did you ever want to meet a giraffe? Snuggle a lemur? Pet a sloth? ZooWorld is a unique experience because you can get up close and personal with exotic animals. They are open every day, rain or shine, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
For more information and to buy tickets, go to zooworldpcb.com.
ZooWorld is just over 8 miles away from PanBeach Condo.
3. Pirate Cruise
Have you ever wanted to cruise on a pirate ship with a pirate captain? Sea Dragon offers a fun one with a friendly pirate theme. Your kids can swab the deck, have a sword fight, read a treasure map, and find sunken treasure! They promise non-stop activities for the kids, and the whole family will have a blast as you ride along on this 2-hour pirate adventure. Chances are, you’ll spot some dolphins along the way, too. For more information or to buy tickets, go to piratecruise.net.
Adults (over 15) = $25
Seniors (60 & up) = $21
Children (14 & under) = $19
Tots (ages 1 & 2) = $13
Babies (under 1 year) = free
Sunset cruise prices are $2 more
You can climb aboard the Sea Dragon at the Upper Grand Lagoon, about 12 miles from PanBeach Condo.
4. Pier Park
Pier Park offers over 900,000 square feet of shopping, dining and fun. There are restaurants, stores, and an IMAX theater. Many of the restaurants offer live music. They even have rides! For a complete list of the shopping and dining options, click here.
Pier Park is only about 2 miles from PanBeach Condo.
5. St. Andrews State Park
For beautiful, pristine beaches, amazing nature trails, and excellent fishing, you can’t beat St. Andrews State Park. Bring a picnic and enjoy the sea breeze as you eat at one of the pavilions onsite. Or take the shuttle across to Shell Island and enjoy the day. If snorkeling is your thing, swim right out from the jetties and see some of the best snorkeling Panama City Beach has to offer.
St. Andrews is open from 8am until sundown, 365 days a year. Entrance fees are $8 per vehicle, up to 8 people. For more information, go to www.floridastateparks.org/park/St-Andrews.
St. Andrews State Park is about 13 miles from PanBeach Condo.
6. Helicopter Tour
Have you ever wanted to see the beach from the air? Take a helicopter tour and check it out! You can do anything from a 5-minute quick tour of the beach (recommended for first-timers or families with small kids) to a 25-minute tour including Shell Island. Panhandle Helicopter is a highly-rated provider. If you’d like to check them out, go to panhandlehelicopter.com.
Prices start at $40/person.
Panhandle Helicopter is only about 2.5 miles from PanBeach Condo.
7. Gulf World Marine Park
Feed the sting rays, watch the sea lion or dolphin shows, or even swim with the dolphins! Explore the indoor and outdoor gardens featuring penguins, flamingos, sharks, alligators and more.
If you book your tickets online, you’ll save $5 per ticket. For tickets and more information, go to gulfworld.net.
Gulf World is only 3 miles from PanBeach Condo.
8. Sand Castle Lessons
Everyone loves building sand castles. Wouldn’t it be great to learn how to build them bigger, taller, and better? Sand castle coaches can come to your beach and teach you and your family – they’ll even bring all the equipment needed for a 2-hour lesson. Each of you will build your own approximately 3½ foot tall sand castle, with guidance from your coach of course.
What a unique way to make memories together! For more information or to book a lesson, go to beachsandsculptures.com. When you’re looking for availability and pricing, click on Panama City Beach, then West of Pier Park.
Prices start at $200 for up to 5 people and go up from there.
9. Snorkeling and Diving
In addition to all the natural beauty above the surface of the water, there’s more to see below! With natural reefs and historic wrecks, Panama City Beach offers scuba diving and snorkeling nearly year-round. Book a trip with a dive charter, or snorkel from the jetties at St. Andrews State Park.
10. Taking a Stroll
No matter the time of day, a walk on the beach never disappoints. The waves crash into shore, and the experience is ever changing as the sea, the sky, and the weather alter the view. So grab the hands of the ones you love, and take a stroll.