Best Places to See and Be in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is a long-established vacation spot for visitors, both American and international. Panama City is unique in that it offers miles of pristine beach alongside a city with plenty of activities and amenities.

From hanging out the local pier to hiking at a state park to a day at the aquarium, you won’t be short of things to do on your next trip to the beach.

Here are a few of the best 2019 Panama City places to be and things to do:

Panama Beach City Things to Do

Pier Park

Pier Park is a community hub built around a 1,500-foot pier in the heart of Panama City Beach.

The park features a shopping complex with more than 120 stores, a town, center, and a boardwalk – the perfect place to spend an afternoon relaxing and shopping with an ice cream cone.

Opened in 2008, the park quickly became a favorite hangout among locals and visitors alike – and a place for vacationers to pick up anything they might have left at home. Perhaps the best part of Pier Park is the Grand IMAX theatre, which streams everything from new releases to documentaries.

Whether for a casual afternoon stroll or the annual New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop, this is one of the best 2019 Panama City places to be.

Shipwreck Island Water Park

This waterpark is one of the best things to do for families at Panama City Beach.

Youngsters will enjoy Tadpole Hole, a shallow splash pool full of giant creatures and miniature slides. This is both a fun and safe place for little kids to play.

Older kids and adults will enjoy the Pirate’s Plunge, two 60-foot, parallel waterslides that plunge to the finish line – first one to the bottom wins! Or, twist and turn in a multi-person tube down the White Knuckle River. The Lazy River, Wave Pool, and the Raging Rapids are fun for the whole family.

Shipwreck Island is located at 12201 Hutchison Blvd. off of Middle Beach Road.

St. Andrews State Park

Come see this stunning state park at the tip of the arm, featuring two miles of pristine white-sand beach surrounded by turquoise waters.

Hop on our bike and ride the paved trails through this beautiful park. Or, hike one of its marked trails. If you prefer the surf, you can rent a kayak, canoe, or snorkel gear on-site, and head to the water.

The park also offers concession stands with snacks and souvenirs, as well as fishing gear so you can attempt to reel in some Florida swimmers. From St. Andrews, you can take a shuttle boat to Shell Island, an undeveloped barrier island off the coast.

The park is located at the very end of Panama City Beach and costs $8 per vehicle to enter. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to sundown.

Gulf World

A must-visit for families vacationing in Panama City Beach, Gulf World offers a look into the marine life of the surrounding Gulf of Mexico and beyond.

Daily events include bottlenose dolphin, sea lion, and bird shows, as well as stingray, shark, and turtle feedings.

Older children and adults can get up close and personal with sea lions, seals, and dolphins with Gulf World’s interactive programs. Remember to reserve ahead of time for in-water and interactive experiences.

Have a budding marine biologist in the family? Sign them up to be a trainer for the day. They can help prepare meals and training sessions, and even appear on-stage at the Dolphin Show.

Be sure to visit the tortoise and alligator habitats, as well as the tropical gardens, before you leave. Gulf World is located at 15412 Front Beach Rd. in Panama City Beach, and is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, excluding major holidays.

Come See Us

Panama City Beach has so many things to do for one day that you’ll need to squeeze in a good night’s sleep for the next huge day. Book one of The Dunes’ rentals, just a few breezy steps from the beach, so you can enjoy both proximity to the water and a central location to the area’s attractions. To reserve today, check out our rentals online or call us at 800-874-2412.