What to do and see in Panama City Beach, United States: The Best Places and Tips

August 7, 2017 Enedina Augsburger

Panama City Beach, with its trademark white sand and warm Gulf waters, attracts everyone from spring breakers to retirees, singles to families. As a result, the city offers a range of activities for all ages and interests. Families won't want to miss the huge Shipwreck Island water park or the hundreds of animals and plants at Zoo World. Golfers will find plenty of top-rated courses and outdoor types can canoe, fish and nature walk at St. Andrew's State Nature Park. And there's always the 27 miles of beautiful oceanfront the city is famous for.
Restaurants in Panama City Beach

1. Water Planet

5709 N Lagoon Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32407
Excellent
93%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 555 reviews

Water Planet

Water Planet offers a variety of fun and educational swim-with-the-dolphin tours for the whole family in Panama City Beach, Florida, including the opportunity to explore Shell Island, snorkel on ship wrecks and collect shells. We also offer dolphin therapy programs for children with special needs. Specialized help for small children by request during your tour.

Reviewed By KHausherr

My son has wanted to swim with the dolphins for years. I chose this open water version and we weren’t disappointed. This was an awesome experience. We saw lots of dolphins in their natural habitat. Lots of places advertise dolphin experiences but this one delivers....MoreThank you guys. We appreciate your review very much.

2. Panama City Beach Winery

8730 Thomas Dr, Suite 1103B, Panama City Beach, FL 32408-4766 +1 850-233-5950
Excellent
89%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 1 reviews

Panama City Beach Winery

Located across the street from the magnificent beach!!! We are in the corner of the St. Thomas Square shopping area on Joan Avenue and Thomas Drive (facing Joan Avenue). We offer 100% real fruit wines. Some of our wines are made with over 9 pounds of fruit in one bottle! No reservation required for a complimentary wine tasting. If you have a large group or special celebration, call us and we will be happy to arrange a private after-hours tasting.

Reviewed By mp0ssa - Fort Benning, Georgia

Went with my better half completely curious about the idea that these wines are made of fruits other than grapes.

First, the service is amazing. They were not pushing us to buy anything. Just delighted us and educated us on how they make their wines, gave us a tasting, and were all about explaining the process.

Second, the locale is well-located, is whimsical and pretty, and spacious enough to do up to (i THINK) 7 tastings at the bar, then some more tables for extras. That is a plus.

Third. THE WINE!!!! OMG! Who ever heard of key lime wine? Well, it kicks behind. It is delicious! It is sweet, then tart, then kicks you, then cleanses your palate. Amazing.

We took the Key Lime wine home, a King Kiwi wine, and a Sangria that begged to be drank in VERY LARGE glasses.

I am definitely going back there and I plan to stay for a while, too ;)

3. St. Andrews State Park

4607 State Park Ln, Panama City Beach, FL 32408-7347 +1 850-233-5140
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

St. Andrews State Park

Reviewed By McTraveler614 - Columbus, Ohio

This was my family's second consecutive Spring Break camping trip to St. Andrew's State park. I won't rehash everything from my last review, but suffice it to say that the park was just as great as last year.

I continue to be impressed with the value of this park, when you consider all that it offers -- water-front camping, water and electric hook-ups, well-kept and clean shower houses, boat ramp, boat rentals, two fishing piers, pristine beaches, bike and golf cart rentals, two great stores, hiking trails, amazing wildlife... the list goes on and on.

Our only disappointment this year was the condition of the gulf-side beach near the jetties. There has been major erosion to this beach to the point where you have to descend down a very steep 10-12 foot slope to get to the water. The actual usable area of the beach is very narrow (less than 20 feet) between the water's edge and the dunes. So on a crowded day, it's difficult to find an open spot to set up. The "kiddie pool" side is not quite as bad, but there is also a pretty steep slope on that side to get to the water too. This was a minor inconvenience for us, because it meant dragging our beach cart up and down a steep hill. But for handicapped people, I assume both sides of the beach by the jetties are nearly inaccessible. I know there's not a lot that can be done to prevent erosion from hurricanes and other storms, but I'd love to see the State do some work to build these beaches back up.

For those who do need more "accessible" beach access, the conditions near the gulf-side pier appeared to be better with a more gradual slope and wider stretches of open sand. We just prefer to be near the jetties for fishing, snorkeling, etc.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that this park is planning to do some work on the campground starting in 2019 to add sewer lines and build up areas that typically flood. I'd like to go on record as saying I really hope they don't mess up the natural feel of this campground in order to cater to high-rollers with giant RVs. If you want full-hookup camping with pull-through sites and all the conveniences of home, Florida has a million private RV campgrounds that cater to your needs. What makes St. Andrews State Park great is that it still feels natural -- and there are plenty of sites that are perfect for tents and small pop-up campers. Please don't pave over paradise to put in a parking lot. That would be a true tragedy.

4. Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach, FL +1 850-233-5070
Excellent
78%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5 reviews

Panama City Beach

This 27-mile long beach offers a wide variety of activities to enjoy such as swimming, snorkeling, dolphin-spotting parasailing and jet skiing.

Reviewed By Kristy S

We had a great time but the kids on Front Beach Road were absolutely ridiculous yelling out Obscenities and Cat calling. One group of teenagers yelled out f you to my 11 year old daughter. Some kids need some serious home training. We spent most of our time at the beach which was beautiful and peaceful. It was a great time for our family.

5. Pier Park

600 Pier Park Dr Ste 125, Panama City Beach, FL 32413-2179 +1 850-236-9974
Excellent
63%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Pier Park

Pier Park located in Panama City Beach has become a main tourist attraction for shopping and entertainment with over a million visitors a year. This mega outdoor shopping mall consist of over 1.1 million square feet of specialty shops, retailers, and restaurants along with The Grand Theatre - a 16 screen, state of the art movie theatre. With over 80 stores and 25 restaurants it has become a family favorite destination.

Reviewed By threeredheads - Marengo, Ohio

We arrived to PCB several hours before we could check into our condo. We decided to check out Pier Park. We parked by Dave and Busters then walked towards the pier then back. We stopped in several stores to shop. The weather was perfect to walk around. Then we drove over to JC Penny and did more shopping in the stores in that area.
There are tons of stores to fit every budget.

6. Conservation Park

100 Conservation Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32413-5134
Excellent
64%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 264 reviews

Conservation Park

Reviewed By KRootMontrose - Montrose, MI

Free trails to walk , hike or bike. Clean bathrooms and maps for self guided trails of many different lengths for short or long hikes. Didn't see much wildlfe, just a few cottonmouth snakes in a culvert but would definitely go back. A nice peaceful area to visit in a rather busy city.

7. Shipwreck Island Waterpark

12201 Hutchison Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407-3424 +1 850-234-3333
Excellent
62%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 443 reviews

Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Plunge, ride, whirl, dunk, swim - whew! At the end of your day at Shipwreck Island, you'll be exhilarated, exhausted and soaked. Visit our tropical themed water park in Panama City Beach, Florida. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Reviewed By glammy130430 - Winchester, Tennessee

Wasn't sure why my son and daughter-in-law wanted to take the kids here when we were staying at the beach. I went along and the fun,attentive life guards , lunch places and chairs in the shade helped me understand. It was a very nice relaxing day.

8. Coconut Creek Family Fun Park

9807 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407-4134 +1 850-234-2625
Excellent
61%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 485 reviews

Coconut Creek Family Fun Park

Coconut Creek offers two 18-hole golf courses and a giant size human maze. Coconut Creek is your key to adventure and fun!

Reviewed By Jennifer W

This mini golf course at Coconut Creek was easily one of the most well maintained, if not the most well-maintained courses, I have used. It was a very nice setting with water features and large trees for shade. Our kids really loved the course - it was on the easy side - in my experience, but our middle grade kids loved it and enjoyed doing the course 3 times in 2 days - the benefit of buying their P.O.P. (unlimited use 2 day pass). The Gran Maze was equally fun for all of us. We worked our way through the maze several times, working to get a faster time each run. The kids thought it was really fun to see our names on the "fastest time board" - updated daily - when we went back for day 2.

9. Russell Fields City Pier

12213 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407-3407 +1 850-233-5080
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 224 reviews

Russell Fields City Pier

Reviewed By 901adventurechick - Cordova, Tennessee

Convinced my family to pay the 3 bucks to walk the pier. It's not the most amazing thing to do, but the atmosphere could calm a hectic day! Everyone just enjoying life and not in a rush...I only observed small Manta Rays, but you don't need to walk the pier for this, as they swam along the shore all day! Not sure why one need to pay 3 bucks for a walk but...its a great way to pass time and enjoy the ones you love while observing the gulf and clear water!

10. Gulf World Marine Park

15412 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413-2502 +1 850-234-5271
Excellent
61%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Gulf World Marine Park

Our daily shows featuring Dolphins, Sea Lions, Reptiles, Tropical Birds and other furry animals will amaze you. Pay one price and see all the shows and explore our indoor and outdoor tropical gardens showcasing penguins, sea turtles, alligators and flamingos. Our stingray petting pool is always a popular activity during your visit. Feed the stingrays at our new Stingray Bay attraction! Parking is free and we are open rain or shine. We offer many ways for you to get up close and personal with our animals. You can make a reservation for any of our interactive programs. Our Swim with a Dolphin program is a great opportunity to enter our million-gallon dolphin habitat and get eye to eye with these fantastic animals. The Trainer for a Day program is an all day program behind the scenes working with our trainers caring for our animals. Our Day Camps are filled with fun activities learning about different animals. Our Sea Lion or Dolphin Meet-N-Greet programs allow you to interact with our animals and trainers during training sessions.

Reviewed By Cynthia S

For the price of the adventure/swim, it was already a little steep and then the actual ride on the dolphin is very, very short. Then, you really get hit with the photos. Those prices are outrageous. HOWEVER, Maddie and Comet were Amazing!!!! Loved them!!

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