With 27 miles of white sand, a vibrant party atmosphere and turquoise waters, Panama City Beach is a hotbed for beach goers young and old. While this
spring break staple may be uber popular for college students in the spring, you don’t have to be bikini-clad and a beer pong pro to enjoy this locale. The salty waters just offshore are home to dozens of artificial reefs, making it a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Anglers will be delighted with the top-notch fishing in the area, and you can bet the seafood you’ll find here is some of the best.
Shipwreck Island Waterpark:
It gets hot in Panama City Beach, and sometimes you just may not want to jump into the ocean. Luckily, Shipwreck Island Waterpark boasts 500,000 gallons of water for you to cool off without being left with the sticky, saltwater residue on your skin. From thrilling rides and towering slides to leisurely pools, you can have a great adventure and get some R & R in the same location.
Gulf World Marine Park:
If you’re traveling with the entire family, there are few better places to explore than the Gulf Marine Park. Kids can pet stingrays, or even swim with the dolphins. Check out exhibits with some of the region’s most-beloved creatures like sea lions, tropical birds, alligators, sharks and dolphins.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium:
No matter how old you are, there is something to widen your eyes at this museum! Featuring more than 400 exhibits in 13 different themed galleries, this museum has unusual art and genuine artifacts from across the world that document off-beat history and momentous occasions. Don’t miss the Ripley’s 4D Moving Theater where you are transported directly into the heart of the action.
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Things to Do
Panama City Beach is a top destination for spring breakers, so you can be rest assured that you’ll be able to find plenty of nightlife. Club La Vela is one of the hottest clubs on the beach, with two stages that welcome some of the hottest acts on the scene, eight different rooms that each have a distinct character and more. There’s no party like Club La Vela – after all, it is the largest nightclub in the U.S.
If you’d like to escape the hustle of the beach, head over to Camp Helen State Park, a 180-acre park ideal for the nature enthusiast. Bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on three sides and by Lake Powell, Camp Helen offers scenic beauty that the main stretch of beach doesn’t have. You can come here to go swimming, hiking or fishing in both freshwater and saltwater.
Panama City is home to five championship golf courses, and Golf Digest magazine named this hub one of America’s top three golf towns. With 320 days of sunshine and an average temperature of 74 degrees, PCB is the perfect place to tee off. Don’t forget to bring your clubs around as these courses are affordable and open year-round.
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Top Restaurants and Shopping
Many restaurants in Panama City Beach are open-air, for the ultimate casual dining experience. Several local spots are in an ideal location to watch the sunset over the sparkling Gulf waters. From laid-back markets to white table cloth dining, Panama City has it all.
Want to start your day off right? First Watch is an award-winning, made-to-order breakfast joint that features all your favorite menu items, and some you’ve never heard of. Then, finish off your day at one of the most beloved spots in town, Firefly. This famed locale is elegant and romantic.
No trip is complete without shopping at Pier Park, an open-air collection of brightly hued buildings that offer travelers a bit of retail therapy. With more than a million square feet of local shops, national chains and more, you’ll find something to treat yourself. If you are looking for a souvenir shop with cute knick-knacks and antiques, head over to Blue Heron Fine Gifts or the Beach House Market – the latter features 30 vendors under one roof.