Welcome to the breathtaking coastal paradise of Panama City, Florida! Nestled along the stunning Gulf of Mexico, this vibrant city offers a perfect blend of sun-soaked beaches, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re a beach bum, nature enthusiast, or history buff, Panama City has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the top things to do in Panama City, ensuring an unforgettable experience for your visit.
Sun, Sand, and Surf at Panama City Beach: Panama City is renowned for its pristine white sandy beaches, and a visit to the iconic Panama City Beach is an absolute must. Stretching for 27 miles along the Gulf of Mexico, the beach provides ample opportunities for sunbathing, beach volleyball, and water sports. Don’t miss out on the breathtaking sunset views over the horizon.
St. Andrews State Park: For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, St. Andrews State Park is a haven of natural beauty. With hiking trails, birdwatching spots, and opportunities for snorkeling and kayaking, this state park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The diverse ecosystems, including dunes, pines, and salt marshes, make it a fascinating destination.
Explore Historic St. Andrews: Step back in time by exploring the charming historic district of St. Andrews. With its cobblestone streets and historic architecture, this area is rich in character. Visit the St. Andrews Marina, shop for unique souvenirs in the boutiques, and savor delicious seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants.
Gulf World Marine Park: Get up close and personal with marine life at Gulf World Marine Park. From playful dolphins and sea lions to educational shows featuring marine biologists, this park provides a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in interactive programs like swimming with dolphins.
Shipwreck Island Waterpark: Beat the Florida heat at Shipwreck Island Waterpark, a family-friendly destination with thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and wave pools. Perfect for a day of aquatic fun, this waterpark is a favorite among both locals and tourists.
Panama City Center for the Arts: Immerse yourself in the local arts scene at the Panama City Center for the Arts. Featuring rotating exhibits, workshops, and performances, this cultural hub showcases the creativity of the community. Check the calendar for events and exhibitions during your visit.
Visit Shell Island: For a truly secluded and pristine experience, take a boat trip to Shell Island. This undeveloped barrier island boasts sugar-white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. Explore the natural beauty, collect seashells, and enjoy a day of relaxation in this unspoiled paradise.
Fishing Adventures: Panama City is a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, embark on a deep-sea fishing charter for a chance to catch a variety of Gulf fish, including snapper, grouper, and even shark. Several charter companies in the area offer half-day or full-day excursions, providing a thrilling experience on the open waters.
Dining at Pier Park: Indulge in a culinary adventure at Pier Park, a premier shopping and entertainment complex. With a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and eateries, you can savor everything from fresh seafood to international cuisine. After a delightful meal, explore the shops, catch a movie, or simply enjoy the lively atmosphere.
Airboat Tours in Econfina Creek: Take a thrilling airboat tour through the scenic Econfina Creek for a unique perspective of Florida’s natural beauty. Glide through the marshes and swamps, spotting wildlife like alligators, birds, and turtles. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the ecosystem, making it an educational and exciting adventure.
Historic Panama City Publishing Co. Museum: Delve into the city’s history at the Panama City Publishing Co. Museum. Housed in a historic building, this museum showcases the region’s rich heritage through exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays. Learn about the development of the city, its newspaper history, and the impact of various events on the community.
Live Entertainment at Aaron Bessant Park: Check the events calendar for live performances and concerts at Aaron Bessant Park. The park hosts various music festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Bring a blanket, relax on the lawn, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere as you immerse yourself in the local entertainment scene.
Scenic Helicopter Tours: Elevate your experience with a scenic helicopter tour over Panama City Beach. Witness breathtaking aerial views of the coastline, turquoise waters, and iconic landmarks. Several tour operators offer different flight options, allowing you to choose the duration and sights you want to explore from above.
Golfing at Signal Hill Golf Course: Enjoy a round of golf at Signal Hill Golf Course, a public course offering a challenging yet scenic layout. Surrounded by lush greenery and featuring well-maintained fairways, this course provides a relaxing and enjoyable golfing experience for players of all skill levels.
Camp Helen State Park: For a tranquil retreat, visit Camp Helen State Park, nestled between Panama City Beach and Inlet Beach. This hidden gem offers hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and a pristine coastal dune lake. Pack a picnic and spend a day surrounded by nature in this serene state park.
Panama City, Florida, is a destination that seamlessly combines natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences. From the sun-soaked beaches to the historic districts and family-friendly attractions, there’s something for everyone in this coastal paradise. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or excitement, Panama City is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. Pack your bags, soak up the sunshine, and let Panama City be the backdrop to your next incredible getaway. Happy exploring!