Things to do in Panama City Beach
Relax on the beach!! by far my favorite thing to do!
Take a walk out on the City Pier at Pier Park. This will cost you $2 each but you’ll have beautiful views of the beach and can see pretty much all of the beaches east and west. Most people like to walk out just before sunset for gorgeous pictures of the sunset. You can also see what the locals are catching. We’ve seen them catch everything from Spanish mackerel, cobia, flounder, blowfish, drum, and yes even some sharks (usually caught at night).
Go Fishing either from the pier or the beach! Half Hitch at the pier can set you up with everything you need to fish the gulf. From fishing poles to bait they have it all and can let you know what’s biting and how to catch ‘em!
Pier Park amusement rides and entertainment. This is ever changing and each time we go back to the beach it seems they have added some sort of new attraction. There are all kinds of rides, laser tag, arcades, train rides, slides, bungee jumping, etc. Also, the movie theater Grand 16 Cinemas at Pier Park http://thegrandtheatre.com/location.asp?house_id=10522
Learn to Surf… or Skim or Paddleboard Mr. Surf’s has everything you need to surf or skim the beach. They also have qualified instructors and provide surf camps, board rentals, and bike rentals. Try paddle boarding as a family! Mr. Surf’s can set you up with an eco tour or dolphin sight seeing tours, a really cool experience.
While you’re at Mr. Surf’s, stop in next door at the Finns Island Style Grub food truck and try the Fish Tacos, delicious! http://finnsislandstylegrub.com
Historic St Andrews Walking Tour – Old St Andrews has a lot of history and is a very beautiful little town with a lot of hidden gems. You can take a free guided walking tour on Wednesdays and Fridays or there is also an audio tour (see website). There are lots of unique shops and antique stores and a very large selection of restaurants in the area.
Deep Sea Fishing
Charter a fishing boat. There are lots of choices in PCB for fishing charters but you will need to book early as they get booked up rather quickly. We personally have used Family Tradition and Best Bet by www.panamacitybeachfishing.net
Visit St Andrews State Park– this is one of my favorite things to do any time of year. There are all sorts of activities you can do here like biking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and wildlife viewing, but my favorite is snorkeling at the ‘kiddie pool’. The kiddie pool is the very shallow area just behind the jetties at the pass on the bay side of the beach. We have snorkeled all over the Caribbean but I have never seen a sea turtle until we snorkeled here! We’ve snorkeled here many times and we always see something different. If you start at the shallow end behind the jetty rocks and swim along the rocks you will see all kinds or marine life. You can bring your own equipment or rent from the concession store. Kayaking or Paddle boarding in the area or on the lagoon side of the park can also be a lot of fun. Refreshments and souvenirs are also available at the concession store. St Andrews State Park is located at the East end of the beach.
Want to be a little more adventurous? Panama City Beach also has some of the best scuba diving around. There are several dive shops around with trips planned just about all year round or you could join up with our favorite dive shop located in our hometown.
Southern Skin Divers Supply, Birmingham, AL – these guys have the oldest scuba diving shop in the country, and I can personally say they definitely know their stuff! They have numerous dive trips to PCB (as well as all over the world) and can make sure you have a safe and enjoyable dive trip. If you need to become certified they can help you with that too. If I can do it anybody can! We have been on numerous dives with these guys and it’s always an adventure. They also can hook you up with a spearfishing trip. My husband has recently taken up this sport and he is definitely addicted. Why deep sea fish when you can go down and pick which fish you want!
Visit Shell Island
Shell Island is part of St Andrews State Park and is an undeveloped barrier island that separates the Gulf from the bay. Almost any time of year you will find an abundance of untouched shells, crystal clear water and beautiful white sand beaches. For the best experience go early before the tours and you could have the island all to yourself. The best places to find untouched shells are at the far east end of the island where most people never even venture to. There are several ways to get to shell island. With several shuttle options, pontoon boat rentals, or Waverunner rentals, getting there is half the fun! Be sure to pack a lunch, snacks, plenty of drinks and sunscreen and make a day of it.
Whatever you choose to do I hope you have a wonderful time! And please let me know about your experiences!