Top Things to Do in Panama City Beach

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Looking for an exciting and fun-filled getaway that’s perfect for the whole family or a group of friends? Panama City Beach (PCB), Florida, is a coastal paradise offering a wide array of activities for both kids and adults alike. From stunning attractions at Pier Park to the sun-kissed sandy shores of Shell Island, this refreshing vacation destination is teeming with amazing attractions and outdoor activities perfect for bonding moments with loved ones. 

To help you plan ahead for your trip to the gorgeous Florida Panhandle, we’ve put together a list of top Panama City Beach attractions, activities, and experiences to enjoy. So grab your beach gear, and let’s explore everything PCB has to offer!

Popular Attractions Around Panama City Beach

For those who enjoy fun in the sun, Panama City Beach has plenty to offer. And if you’re looking for things to do in Panama City Beach with kids, you’ll be amazed at how much you have to choose from!

Spend a Day Shopping at Pier Park

Let’s talk about one of the most popular attractions in Panama City Beach — Pier Park. This outdoor shopping and entertainment center is situated in the heart of PCB and offers a wide array of activities and stores for visitors of all ages.

With over 1.1 million square feet of shopping space, Pier Park has more than 124 stores and restaurants. Shopaholics will love the variety of stores available, including major brands such as Michael Kors, Nike, Forever 21, and Victoria’s Secret. And when you need a break from shopping, Pier Park offers plenty of options for dining and entertainment, including a large movie theater to catch the latest flick.

But the shopping is only half the fun at Pier Park. It’s also a great place to people watch, take a stroll, or enjoy the beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. During summer months, Pier Park offers free concerts and entertainment, making it an ideal spot to soak up the fun atmosphere of Panama City Beach. Plus, you can head to the pier across the street to fish or spot dolphins!

Get Lost in the Wonder of Shell Island

If you’re looking to relax, there’s no better place than Shell Island. With miles of untouched beaches, it’s the perfect spot to lay out your towel and soak up some sunshine. You can also take a stroll along the shoreline and admire the stunning views of St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

For those looking for more active pursuits, Shell Island has plenty to offer. Once you arrive, rent a pontoon boat or kayak and explore the island from the water. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go snorkeling or dolphin watching!

Take a Stroll in Conservation Park

Another prime location for free things to do in Panama City Beach is to head over to Conservation Park. Located at 100 Conservation Drive, this park is full of activities and sights to explore. With over 2,900 acres of land and 24 miles of trails, your entire family can enjoy exploring the area.

Conservation Park is huge with the local outdoorsy community, with trails ranging from easy to moderate difficulty. Each is perfect for walking, jogging, or biking among the beautiful PCB scenery. You can take a stroll through the cypress domes dotted along the boardwalks. Or if you’re up for an excursion, you can hike longer trails like Cypress Pond Trail or Osprey Trail.

And don’t forget to bring your binoculars so you can spot some local wildlife! Conservation Park is known as one of the best places to birdwatch in Panama City Beach, with native species that range from bald eagles and brown pelicans to red-shouldered hawks and ospreys.

See the Odd, Weird & Unusual at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

Want to impress the family? If you’re looking for a unique and fun experience in Panama City Beach, then Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! in PCB is the place to be! This indoor PCB attraction features 100s of rare and unusual artifacts, interactive exhibits, eye-catching artwork, and oddities you have to see to believe.

Marvel at the world’s largest collection of shrunken heads, see a floating wooden fiat, or try out some of the fun interactives. Best of all, the museum features plenty of fun things to do with kids — including educational activities and photo opportunities throughout the sprawling facility. 

This mind-blowing museum is truly one of the oddest and most fun parts of visiting Panama City Beach!

Get Soaked at Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Shipwreck Island Waterpark in Panama City Beach, Florida, is the perfect place to spend a summer day. Nearly 3 million gallons of water flow through this massive water park, making it the perfect place to cool down and have a blast.

The park features some of the best water attractions in Panama City Beach, such as the Pirate Play Slide Complex — complete with multiple slides and water cannons — to the lazy river (which parents will enjoy as much as the kids). There are also plenty of activities for older kids and teenagers, like the wave pool, surf simulator, and a 3-story water slide.

Get Above It All at SkyWheel

Looking for a relaxing and serene activity along the Emerald Coast? Take a ride on SkyWheel Panama City Beach — a towering Ferris wheel that offers stunning views of the city and its surrounding beachscapes. With fully air-conditioned cabins, you’ll be able to sit back and take in the breathtaking vistas that stretch out for miles. 

As you slowly ascend, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay, as well as the glittering cityscape of Panama City Beach.

SkyWheel is open daily from late morning until late evening and is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Panama City Beach. Psst…add this to your list if you are looking for things to do in Panama City Beach at night.

Meet Furry (And Not-So-Furry) Friends at ZooWorld

Want to see some wildlife? Located on 5 acres of beautiful beachfront property, ZooWorld is home to exotic animals from all over the world. From tigers and wolves to lemurs and sloths, you’ll find a wide array of creatures to learn about.

The zoo offers a variety of educational programs and interactive exhibits that make learning fun. Kids will love the petting area, where they can get up close with friendly goats and other animals. There are also plenty of food and drink options throughout ZooWorld, so you can stay all day and enjoy the many wildlife encounters.

See the Awe of WonderWorks

One of the best things to do with kids in Panama City Beach is to visit WonderWorks PCB. This unique attraction combines education and entertainment with interactive, hands-on exhibits and simulations. This 29,000-square-foot amusement park is full of interactive exhibits that will spark imagination and challenge your mind — and offers plenty to do for the whole family.

Rumor has it that WonderWorks was originally a secret laboratory where experiments that turned the world upside down were conducted. No matter what the truth is, it’s now a fun-filled destination that offers plenty of educational and entertaining experiences that kids, parents, and grandparents can enjoy together.

Get Competitive at Race City

Last but not least on our list of top things to do in Panama City Beach is Race City! With go-karts, bumper boats, a sky coaster, and more, there’s something for everyone. Race City offers the fastest, tallest, and steepest go-cart tracks on the beach. Just off the boardwalks, you can hop in your go-kart and race around the track for a thrilling experience. You can even challenge your friends and family to a round of mini-golf.

Dive Into Nature: Parks, Boardwalks, & Other Outdoor Activities in Panama City Beach

Visit St. Andrews State Park

St. Andrews State Park is a must-visit destination in Panama City Beach, perfect for a fun-filled day on its pristine beach, exploring its nature trails, or boating to Shell Island. The park offers visitors a range of activities, such as fishing, snorkeling, and kayaking, making it an ideal location for those who love water activities.

The park is on a peninsula with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico on one side and St. Andrews Bay on the other. The Shell Island Shuttle takes visitors from the park’s marina to Shell Island, a beautiful uninhabited island with crystal-clear waters, where you can collect shells, observe dolphins and sea turtles, or simply relax in the sun.

In addition to its scenic beauty, St. Andrews State Park is also home to a diverse group of wildlife, such as nesting sea turtles and migratory birds. The park’s staff offers educational programs and guided tours, providing opportunities to learn about the park’s flora and fauna.

Explore Camp Helen State Park

Another prime spot for nature lovers is Camp Helen State Park. Located on the shores of the Gulf Coast, just west of Panama City Beach, this beautiful beach park boasts white sand beaches and a variety of recreational activities. Visitors can explore its nature trails, observe local wildlife, or take part in fishing and kayaking tours.

Camp Helen State Park is also home to a variety of historical sites, including the ruins of an old French colonial settlement. Visitors can observe archaeological finds and learn about the park’s fascinating past. The park is open from early morning until late evening and offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature in all its glory.

Have Fun in the Sun at Coconut Creek Family Fun Park

If you want to get outside and play with the whole family, Coconut Creek Family Fun Park is a great destination that hosts 2 tropical mini-golf courses and the Gran Maze — a giant puzzle in the shape of a pirate ship. You’ll love the variety of activities that it has to offer, including go-karts, batting cages, and bumper boats.

See the Wild (Water) Life at Gulf World Marine Park

Gulf World Marine Park brings you up close and personal with the marine life in PCB. The park features daily performances like sea lion and dolphin shows, shark feedings, and hands-on experiences. If you aren’t quite ready to dive down deep with the creatures of PC Beach, then this is as close as you’ll get without getting wet.

Hit the Waves with Kayaking & Dolphin Tours

All ages can witness the whims of the ocean’s majestic residents up close by going on kayaking and dolphin tours in Panama City Beach. These tours offer a unique and unforgettable experience as you paddle through the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and get up close and personal with various marine life, including playful dolphins.

Many tour companies offer guided kayaking tours, taking you on a journey through different channels and waterways, where you might also encounter turtles, stingrays, and a variety of fish species. These tours are suitable for all levels of kayakers, from beginners to the more experienced. 

Experience the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise

Another great activity on our list of best things to do in Panama City Beach is sightseeing and games aboard the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise. This family-friendly adventure on Grand Lagoon includes a 2-hour family activity cruise that takes you and your crew through the Gulf Coast. You’ll get to spot dolphins, listen to great music, and participate in non-stop pirate activities, matey. It’s an unforgettable experience!

Take a Load Off at Panama City Beach Winery

For a taste of the beach, add Panama City Beach Winery to your itinerary. You can savor and indulge in local award-winning fruit wines that perfectly complement a sunny Florida day — and take in stunning panoramas of the area from their tasting room.

Make the Most of Your Panama City Beach Stay with Florida CFY

Are you all set for your next vacation in Panama City Beach? With so many fun things to do in PCB, choosing where to stay shouldn’t be tough. At Floriday CFY, we make it easy to create the perfect home-away-from-home with our selection of Panama City Beach rentals.

Our PCB vacation rentals offer easy access to all the attractions and amenities in the area — including loads of PCB restaurants. With its endless sunshine, white sandy beaches, and a plethora of thrilling activities, Panama City Beach is the ultimate destination for a family vacation or beach retreat with friends.

We understand the importance of a stress-free getaway, so we offer various amenities and services to ensure that your stay with us remains in your memories for a lifetime. From comfy accommodations to top-notch facilities to resort extras, we have your every need covered.So, why wait? Book your Panama City Beach rental with Florida CFY today and get ready to explore every inch of PCB’s charm. Check availability for Panama City Beach and other popular Florida beach rentals on our website or give us a call at 1.800.295.0971 to help plan your beach vacation.