Panama City Beach Travel Guide 2024

2024 Panama City Beach Vacation Guide

Panama City Beach is one of the best-known spring break destinations in Florida. Beach parties and college kids are everywhere, and the numerous hotels, motels, bars, and restaurants are all hopping with activity. For those not involved in the college scene, Panama City Beach still has a lot to offer. Gulf World Marine Park rescues and rehabilitates marine animals, in addition to offering educational exhibits and performances. Panama City Beach is also home to its own version of the Grand Ole Opry-the Ocean Opry Show. These musical performances run nightly during the summer, with fewer shows in the off-season.

Panama City is located on the panhandle of northwest Florida and is bordered by St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Gentle ocean breezes moderate the temperature, helping to make the area an ideal location for outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, and scuba diving. Panama City is also known as an art lovers paradise, as it is home to an active and lively art scene. One venue is The Visual Arts Center of Northwest Florida, where regional and national artworks are featured in two galleries. The Junior Museum of Bay County is a much-visited attraction for children, as it boasts hands-on activities that help to educate on topics such as science, pioneers, and trains. Every October downtown Panama City hosts Oktoberfest, where beer tents, carnival rides, and sausage-eating contests are main attractions.

Panama City Visitors Guide

Miles of world-famous white-sand beaches, days of warm Florida Sunshine, all in a laid back tropical atmosphere you can only find on Panama City Beach.

Located on Florida’s Panhandle and convenient to all of the South and Midwest, Panama City Beach is home to the most famous white sand beach in the world.  Mother Nature’s gifts to beach lovers, the white quartz crystals were once part of the Appalachian Mountains and over the eons have been washed to the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

Swim in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, enjoy the Florida Sunshine, take part in deep-sea fishing, scuba dive on one of the many shipwrecks in the area or just take a quiet stroll along the seashore, Panama City Beach has it all.

Outdoor activities are just part of the Panama City Beach experience.  If you are looking for a luxury resort, affordable beachfront hotel or a quaint bed and breakfast, Panama City Beach has something for every requirement and price range.

There’s always something going on when you celebrate spring break at Panama City Beach. Expect to mind huge parties on the beach that go on until late at night and they are fueled with celebrities showing up on the scene, dancing, volleyball, tiki bar parties, bikini contests, beer pong, tug of wars, freebies, delicious local food, young men and women everywhere all looking to have a good time. There are more than 250,000 students expected this year from more than 400 colleges coming to Panama City Beach this year for Spring Break 2013 so visitors can expect it to be quite a party.

Panama City Beach, Florida has been voted as the number one Spring Break destination by college students.

Panama City Beach Things to Do

Panama City Beach Vacation Guide was created to make your Panama City Beach Vacation the best it can be and to help make your stay even better we have listed some of the more popular activities like deep-sea fishing, boat rentals, golf courses and more.

Panama City Beach is situated on 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering clear, emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge. With more than 300 days of sunshine annually and attractions such as St. Andrews State Park and Pier Park, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers. These include championship golf courses, spas, sporting events, award-winning dining, and diverse recreational activities.

Panama City Beach attractions have thrilled visitors and locals of all ages for years. It’s true our beautiful beach is the biggest attraction, but there’s so much more. Spend the day wandering our state parks and experience some of Florida’s habitat and wildlife, St Andrews State Park and Camp Helen State Park are ranked some of the best in Florida. There are several small amusement parks in Panama City Beach that offer all kinds of rides, like Zip-Lines, Go-Karts, Bumper Boats, Ferris Wheels, and a Skywheel, the Spider, Sea Dragon and much more.  Here are some of the must-see things to do in Panama City Beach.

Camp Helen State Park
Camp Helen State Park is surrounded by three different bodies of water: the Gulf of Mexico, Phillips Inlet and Lake Powell. This 183-acre environment is a perfect habitat for shorebirds and other sea life, as well as bald eagles. In addition to hiking the island trails, both freshwater and shore fishing are popular activities at Camp Helen. Address: 23937 Panama City Beach Parkway | Panama City Beach, FL | 32408. Telephone: 1 850 233-5059

Gulf World Marine Park
Gulf World Marine Park is dedicated to the preservation of marine mammals and marine mammal education. The facility also rehabilitates and rescues stranded animals. Through the dolphin and other exhibits, it is hoped that the public will come to understand the nature and needs of marine mammals. The public may attend a number of shows ranging from Dolphins to Sea Lions to a Tropical bird show. Address: 15412 Front Beach Rd. | Panama City Beach, FL | 32413-2502. Telephone: 1 850 234-5271

Race City
We are the area’s LARGEST Amusement Center with the fastest, tallest, and steepest go-cart tracks on the beach! Don’t forget the largest Arcade, Black Light Mini Golf, Bumper Boats, Skycoaster, and Haunted House.

Ripley's in Panama City BeachRipley’s Believe It or Not
The world of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is filled with the world’s odd, unusual and unbelievable – but Believe It or Not!, our stories and exhibits are all 100% true! Come check us out. There’s a Little Weird in All of Us.

Sea Screamer
The Sea Screamer Cruise is an exciting way to experience the beauty of Panama City Beach. Take in the beautiful scenery, tour throughout the Shell Island waters and near the State Park area jetties then go for a refreshing 10-mile ride alongside the world’s most beautiful beaches and resorts.

Shipwreck Island Waterpark
Shipwreck Island has been entertaining families for thirty years. Panama City Beach’s ONLY Waterpark and is a great value for thrill-seekers, families, and kids! Shipwreck Island Waterpark is the only waterpark in the Panama City area. Some of the water rides include Pirate’s Plunge, Tree Top Drop and White Knuckle River. Address: 12000 Front Beach Road | Panama City Beach, FL | 32407. Telephone: 1 850 234-3333

Wonder WorksWonderWorks
Welcome to Wonder Works. When you enter the building, everything will be upside-down, so in order to participate in the fun, you must be inverted. Step inside the inversion tunnel and be turned right side up to begin your journey. Family fun awaits with more than 100 hands-on exhibits.

Fishing Charters

Captain Todd Jones with Back Bay Adventures
We offer guided fishing trips around Florida’s Panhandle from our base in Panama City Beach. We also offer duck hunting on the Gulf Coast between November – January each year.

We offer quality fishing trips at reasonable prices and we cater to everyone from the beginning angler to the seasoned fisherman. Whether you’re looking for family fun or a day with friends, we will do our best to make sure you have a great trip!

Pisces Charters
Our boat the Turbo Snail is a 27′ OAL Custom Ocean Master built in South Florida. It is very seaworthy whether you are fishing wrecks and reefs in the Gulf or the flats in the Bay. It has comfortable shaded seating, restroom (the Head), as well as


Paradise Adventures
Paradise Adventures is Panama City Beach’s newest and most unique boating adventure, and departs from the Pirates Cove Marina off of Thomas Drive. The “Privateer” is a 52 foot, U.S. Coast Guard Certified Catamaran that carries up to 49 passengers, and offers the most professional, safe and exciting water excursions along the Gulf Coast. All safety and snorkel gear will be provided.

Panama City Restaurant Guide

Mike’s Cafe and Oyster Bar
Mike’s Diner has a commitment to providing friendly service and the best quality food. Start your day with a great breakfast or a relaxing lunch in the cafe. End your day at the beach at the Oyster Bar. Enjoy a cold beer or cocktail, a dozen raw, steamed or baked oysters, or one of our new salads, pizzas, baked entrees or something from the steamer.

Saltwater Grill
When you walk into Saltwater Grill. You are presented with a panoramic view of our seven-foot-high, 25,000-gallon tropical saltwater aquarium. Both our Café dining room and Mermaid Room lounge offer dazzling views of this tropical reef and its nonstop parade of exotic sea creatures.

Angelo’s Steak Pit
If you don’t eat at Angelo’s Steak Pit, nobody will ever believe you vacationed in Panama City Beach. Home of Big Gus the 20,000 lb. Steer and that’s no bull.

Boars Head
The Boar’s Head Restaurant is a casual fine dining dinner house featuring fresh Gulf seafood and the finest Steaks and Prime Rib. Come enjoy dining on Panama City Beach amid the rustic elegance and attentive service for which the Boars Head Restaurant and Tavern is known.

Boon Docks
Boon Docks offers you a delicious array of local and regional seafood, which can be prepared in a variety of ways. Look out over the water and watch the barges go by, the occasional dolphin swim by and an alligator or two,

Pineapple Willy’s
Pineapple Willy started with the basics: great food, great cocktails, and great staff. We still serve the best ribs on the beach, you’d be hard-pressed to find better drinks, and the staff is as friendly and fun as ever.

Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant
Since 1967, Capt. Anderson’s has innovated many of the Gulf Coast’s classic dishes and won the loyalty of millions of customers and friends. It is a local tradition to dine early and watch the fishing fleets unload their catch.

Bayou On The Beach
Bayou on the Beach Restaurant & Oyster Bar in beautiful Panama City Beach, Florida! We will be waiting to show off our Louisiana Style Cookin’!

Schooners Last Local Beach Club
Schooners, the Last Local Beach Club. Lunch is awesome. Dinner is awesome. The bands are awesome. The beach is awesome. The sunsets are awesome. As a matter of fact, this just might be the best place on Earth.


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