20 Fun Things To Do In Panama City Beach, Florida - Updated 2024

things to do in panama city beach florida
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Panama City Beach, Florida, United States, is a popular beach town for spring breakers since it is known as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. It is not just for them, though. It is also a great place to enjoy with family. And if you’re looking for the best places to stay in Panama City Beach, plenty of amazing options are available here - from top beachfront hotels to the best Vrbo beach houses with a pool. Now that you accommodation is sorted, go our and explore the city! Check out these fun things to do in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Where to stay in Panama City Beach, Florida

Miles of sandy beaches, rolls of waves, and glorious Florida sun are only some of the things that await you in Panama City Beach. While the city is great for all types of visitors, it is generally a pleasant treat for families who are looking for an unforgettable vacation. The beautiful beaches alone provide plenty of things to do during spring break. Aside from beaches, you can also visit zoos, nature parks, waterparks, eco trails, and amusement and theme parks that your whole family can enjoy. While in the city, don’t forget to book accommodations that suit your needs. You can opt for kid-friendly hotel rooms which come with access to the hotel’s amenities. If your family prefers private stays, you can book spacious condominiums where you can wake up to stunning views of the sea. There are also luxury apartments available right by the beach.

Here are our top recommendations on where to stay:
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1. Get your adrenaline pumping at Scream Machine Thrill Ride at Panama City Beach (from USD 69.0)

Feel the thrilling ocean wind as you breeze through the water with a twin-engine jet boat by Scream Machine Thrill Ride. Describing itself as “a rollercoaster on water”, this ride is a perfect Panama City beach activity for thrillseekers and adventures alike.

With the speed that this boat is going, get ready to feel the saltwater splash on your body. It’s not always adrenaline-pumping activities and thrills, because the ride can also take you to some great sightseeing spots that you can enjoy in peace.

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Panama City Beach Scream Machine Turbo Boat Ride

Duration: 1 hour

222 reviews

2. Bond with your friends and family at AXE Throwing (from USD 29.0)

Thinking of what to do in Panama City Beach? Why not try some team-building activity or family bonding moment at AXE Throwing? Test your strength and dexterity down these lanes as you bond with your companions because nothing screams fun bonding than throwing an ax at a target while your companions cheer you on. Don’t worry too much about your age or skill level as the venue has skilled ax-throwing coaches that will teach you the proper techniques of throwing!

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Panama City Beach Ax-Throwing Experience

Duration: 1 hour

294 reviews

3. Satisfy your foodie soul at Chewie’s Kitchen

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

While your hotel with an in-room kitchen enables you to prepare delicious meals, here’s another place to check out for when you want to take a break from food preparation. Chewie’s Kitchen is known for its gourmet sandwiches, salads, and more. If you are looking to enjoy delicious food while you are here, you can head to this American restaurant and order Chewie’s royal roast beef sandwich, which comes with slow-cooked prime rib, melted provolone cheese, and rosemary red wine gravy. You can also enjoy a lighter option, like a Greek salad, or enjoy the establishment’s soup of the day. If you are visiting with your kids, Chewie’s Kitchen offers kiddie meals, such as chicken fingers and grilled cheese.

Chewie’s Kitchen

Address: 9952 Hutchison Blvd UNIT 200, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States

Website: Chewie’s Kitchen

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon)

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4. Tour around on an e-bike adventure (from USD 81.0)

One of the best ways to tour around this town is to embark on a biking adventure, offering tourists uninterrupted views of the natural landscapes of Panama City Beach. You can experience the culture of the place by exploring the historic area of St. Andrews, where you can find a waterfront farmers’ market. The Panama City Publishing Company & Museum can also be part of the itinerary, making this two-hour tour ideal for those who want to witness the town’s rich history.

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Panama City Small-Group E-Bike Tour

Duration: 2 hours

91 reviews

5. Visit Panama City Beach Winery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Wine enthusiasts can surely have a great time at Panama City Beach Winery. This local winery produces high-quality natural fruit wines and offers complimentary wine tastings to its visitors. Not only that, but the establishment also offers refreshing wine slushes with unique flavors, such as mocha, key lime, and banana. If you are planning to visit to buy a gift for your special someone, you can opt for the packaging with a message in a bottle to make it more special.

Panama City Beach Winery

Address: 8730 Thomas Dr #1103B, Panama City Beach, FL 32408, United States

Website: Panama City Beach Winery

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sun)

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6. Catch a performance at Todd Herendeen Theatre

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Todd Herendeen Theatre can offer travelers a unique experience, showcasing live performances all year round. You can choose to buy a ticket for a dinner show, or you can also opt to just watch the show. The performances are tributes to the rock and country music icons, such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison. From November to December, you can watch Christmas shows performed by the talented artist and the band.

Todd Herendeen Theatre

Address: 8010 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States

Website: Todd Herendeen Theatre

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 3pm; Sat: 5:30pm - 7pm (closed on Sun)

Price: 27.95 USD onwards

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7. Have fun at Escape Manor

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If you are looking to enjoy an unforgettable experience during your visit to Panama City Beach, Escape Manor might be an ideal place for you and your loved ones. This establishment offers several escape rooms with different themes, from the asylum to the attic, which makes this one of the more unique things to do in Panama City Beach. Some rooms can allow up to six players, but the attic room can allow up to eight players, so you can have some fun with your friends. The cabin room is unique as it does not offer any clues, making it perfect for those who are up for the challenge.

Escape Manor

Address: 430 Harrison Ave, Panama City, FL 32401, United States

Website: Escape Manor

Opening hours: 10am - 10:30pm (daily)

Price: 30 USD onwards

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8. Go shopping at Pier Park

A Walk On The Pier
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jody Claborn used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

What do locals do in Panama City Beach, FL? A couple of them go to Pier Park. It is an outdoor shopping complex that opened to the public in 2008 and people have been enjoying shopping and hanging out here ever since then. It is quite popular with the locals and tourists alike. There are a total of 124 stores where you can find anything from jewelry to women’s clothes. Some stores that you will find are: Target, JcPenny, and Marshalls. There are lots of places to eat and relax as well. Last, but not least, there is a Grand IMAX theatre here, so be sure to catch a movie while here.

Pier Park

Address: 600 Pier Park Drive, Panama City Beach, FL

Website: Pier Park

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9. Enjoy water activities at Water Planet

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Water Planet on Saturday, September 10, 2016

This is a smaller, yet fun marine park in Panama City Beach. You can swim with dolphins here as well, but what is unique about this specific place is that is offers Dolphin Therapy Programs for children with special needs as well as emotionally challenged and fragile children. These kids get to interact with the beautiful dolphins and these programs are designed to make them feel comfortable doing so. It is nice to see the care and love put into these programs.

Water Planet

Address: 5709 N Lagoon Drive, Panama City Beach, FL

Website: Water Planet

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10. Splash into fun at Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

This is a fun waterpark for kids and families that is a popular tourist attraction. For little kids there is a shallow pool named Tadpole Hole. The older kids will enjoy the tipping bucket and the large pool. You will also find a few family slides and challenging slides. Last, but not least, for those who want to relax there is a lazy river and a wave pool here.

Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Address: 12201 Hutchison Boulevard, Panama City Beach, FL

Website: Shipwreck Island Waterpark

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11. Be awed by the attractions at WonderWorks

Source: Photo by Flickr user mcchots used under CC BY-SA 2.0

When you are in Panama City Beach, you will notice an upside-down building. This is the place called WonderWorks, which is a really great attraction for families. It is an indoor amusement and theme park, a laser tag center and a historical landmark that offers more than 100 interactive exhibits for kids and adults alike. Some of the exhibits you will find here include: an imagination lab, a physical challenge zone and a light and sound zone. You will have loads of fun exploring the many interactive exhibits at this place.


Address: 9910 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL

Website: WonderWorks

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12. Visit Shell Island

Shell Island
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jerry Bedwell used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This is a natural, undeveloped island which lies between the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay. The sand dunes here are about seven miles (11.2 kilometers) long. The world’s highest concentration of bottle-nosed dolphins resides in this beautiful island, so be sure to pay them a visit as well as the various wildlife. Also, here you can snorkel, fish and bird watch or just enjoy a relaxing day on the beach. If you do plan to spend the day, be sure to pack a picnic lunch.

Shell Island

Address: 3601 Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32408

Website: Shell Island

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13. See the animals at Zoo World

Zoo World
Source: Photo by Flickr user Karsun Designs used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This is a zoo and wildlife sanctuary where you can get hands on with wild animals and get close up to the many exotic creatures from around the world that reside here. Basically, you will have a chance to see animals in their natural environment and you can also play with them. I mean you can actually do really fun things here like kiss a giraffe, hug a lemur, hold an alligator or even pet a porcupine! If you want to, that is.

Zoo World

Address: 9008 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL

Website: Zoo World

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14. Unwind at Camp Helen State Park

The Lodge at Camp Helen State Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Steveirwin1 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This is one beautiful park, I have to say. It is a nice place to fish, kayak, have a picnic, swim or just walk and take in the natural beauty. The park offers some really breathtaking scenic views and that is why people enjoy hiking here or just spending the day at the park. You may spot some interesting animals here as well. Be sure to stop here with family.

Camp Helen State Park

Address: 23937 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach, FL

Website: Camp Helen State Park

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15. Interact with marine life at Gulf World Marine Park

things to do in panama city beach florida | interact with marine life at gulf world marine park
Source: www.klook.com

If you’re looking for interesting Panama City Beach activities, then make your way to Gulf World Marine Park. This is a marine park like Sea World, but not as big, where you can swim with the dolphins, interact with them and also spend the night at the marine park. Also, there are daily live shows to enjoy. There are also turtles, birds, harbor seals and penguins here. This place hosts special events on Halloween, mother’s day and father’s day to name a few. A really fun place to interact with beautiful creatures.

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1 Day Gulf World Marine Park Ticket in Panama City Beach - Klook Philippines

16. Enjoy a sunset catamaran cruise (from USD 41.0)

For a romantic activity to do with your partner, how about embarking on a Sunset & Dolphin Catamaran Cruise in Panama City Beach? Hop aboard a lovely catamaran and enjoy a cruise on Grand Lagoon while taking in gorgeous sunset views. Watch pods of dolphins swim by, listen to the beautiful music onboard, take in views of elegant homes and sail past St. Andrews State Park. Hold your partner close and enjoy a magical evening on this two-hour cruise.

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Sunset & Dolphin Catamaran Cruise with Island Time

Duration: 2 hours

1057 reviews

17. Embark on an eco tour (from USD 110.0)

For a fun day out on the water, book this Cold Spring Eco Tour that lets you explore the beauty of Cypress Springs. Choose from a kayak, canoe or paddleboard to make your way to Cypress Springs across Holmes Creek. Once there, your guide will provide you with all snorkeling equipment, including underwater scooters which take all the effort out of snorkeling so you can be relaxed and take in all the marine life views. A sandwich lunch and drinks are also included in this tour.

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Cold Spring Kayak or Canoe Eco Tour with Snorkeling, Swimming

Duration: 5 to 6 hours

356 reviews

18. Try out various beach adventures (from USD 65.0)

Those looking for adventurous activities to enjoy in the water should consider joining Panama City Beach Adventure Catamaran Sail. This catamaran adventure combines sailing with water activities like snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and more. Sail to Shell Island and enjoy splashing about and having fun on a giant trampoline, a see-saw ball, a water slide, a climbing wall, and more.

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Panama City Beach Water Activity Adventure Catamaran Sail

Duration: 3 hours

404 reviews

19. Check out Ripley's Believe It Or Not

Ripley's Panama City
Source: Photo by Flickr user Richard Elzey used under CC BY 2.0

A popular tourist attraction in almost any city that it is located in, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is a must-visit spot in Panama City Beach too. With a quirk exterior resembling a ship sinking into the ground, the museum can be spotted from afar. Inside, all manner of odd objects and artifacts are on display, including Titanic memorabilia, weird animal and human skeletons, artwork and wax figurines. You can also check out a mirror maze, a 7D-theater, a laser race challenge, and more.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not

Address: 9907 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407, United States

Website: Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 10.99 USD onwards

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20. Spend a day outdoors at Coconut Creek Family Fun Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Coconut Creek Mini-Golf & Gran Maze on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

For a fun day out with your family in Panama City Beach, visit Coconut Creek Family Fun Park. Spread across a large area, this beautiful park has many places to explore, enjoy or simply relax in. The highlight, however, are two 18-hole mini-golf courses and a giant maze. Enjoy a round of golf in beautiful green surroundings or find your way out of the maze. The latter attraction is perfect to play individually or as a team too. You can also take a stroll through the beautifully landscaped park that has a lake, bridges, waterfalls, and more.

Coconut Creek Family Fun Park

Address: Dummy address

Website: Coconut Creek Family Fun Park

Opening hours: 9am - 11:30pm (daily)

Price: 13.50 USD onwards

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Some last words about Panama City Beach, Florida

Fun things to do in Panama City Beach, Florida
Source: Pixabay

Panama City Beach, Florida, is a fun city that has a beautiful beach. Known also as the Emerald Coast, this is certainly is a place where you can spend the whole day just relaxing on the beach. But, Panama City Beach has much more to offer and see. Whether you’re looking for family attractions or things to do in Panama City Beach for free, you are sure to find them all here. The places mentioned here provide fun for all ages, so be sure to enjoy the town with family and/or friends.

Just don’t forget to check the cozy cabins, cheap hotels, and Airbnb vacation rentals available in the area for your accommodation needs.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Tabassum Rahmani, a technical writer born and raised in the United States to Indian parents, boasts over a decade of writing experience. She has a passion for sharing her life's adventures and...Read more

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