Shell Island Dolphin and Snorkel Excursions

There is an endless supply of fun things to do in the water in Panama City Beach. Visitors come from all over the country for a slice of life in the Florida Panhandle, and part of the draw is remote Shell Island.

Shell Island is a small island off the coast of northwestern Florida – a short day trip from Panama City Beach vacation rentals. Isolated from the city, this island haven is home to tons of wildlife that soar above, swim in, and graze alongside some of Florida’s most intricate waterways.

Saint Andrew Bay and the Gulf of Mexico surround the island, offering a series of beautiful bays, inlets, and fingers of land.

The best way to experience the hidden beauty is to dive – literally – into its waters with the help of a local tour guide. There are many opportunities near Shell Island that allow visitors to snorkeling, enjoy the sunset, and watch for playful dolphins that call Shell Island’s coast home.

What to Expect on a Tour with Aquatic Adventures

The Shell Island Dolphin and Snorkel Excursion by Aquatic Adventures (often referred to as FUNPCB) offers the unique opportunity to swim with dolphins and experience some of the more remote parts of the Florida coast.

This may be one of your best options for viewing marine life up close in the water. The tour involves snorkeling, shelling, and dolphin cruising activities in this all-in-one adventure.

You begin at the Lighthouse Marina (5325 N. Lagoon Dr., Panama City Beach) and head out to the Saint Andrew Bay by way of the Grand Lagoon. Passing through an inlet, you will be able to see the two strips of land that make up the eastern tip of Panama City Beach, which includes St. Andrews State Park (4607 State Park Ln., Panama City Beach), Bay Point, and the small peninsular tip of Alligator Point.

The ultimate destination is, of course, Shell Island. Here, everyone gets out of the boat and snorkels the quiet waterways along the island. Guests are provided all necessary Shell Island snorkeling gear, including instructions and safety tips to keep everyone safe. In these quiet waters away from the crowds, you’re sure to witness some spectacular exhibits of wildlife, including seahorses and starfish.

The final leg of the tour finds you cruising on the open water in Saint Andrew Bay on the lookout for frolicking dolphins, known to hop and play in the boat’s wake. Sometimes they’ll follow you all the way back to the marina.

Tour Details and Further Information

The adventure encompasses all the best things to do on Shell Island. Dolphin tours are available for groups of two to six people, with some special accommodations available upon request.

Guests select one of the available excursion times. Typically, there are four tours a day, beginning at around 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m., with some exceptions. Arrive roughly 20 minutes prior to launch time for check-in and orientation.

For the safety of all guests and guides, trips are weather permitting. Guests who have a trip canceled will be able to receive a refund or to select an alternative date. The captain reserves the right to cancel a tour at any time.

Contact

For more information or to book a tour, contact at Aquatic Adventures at 850-235-8051. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the week. It is located at 5325 N. Lagoon Dr., Panama City Beach, FL.

If you love adventure, plan to embark on a Shell Island snorkeling tour during your next vacation. Stay at one of our available Panama City Beach vacation rentals to see the dolphins and the water right around the corner from your home away from home.

Call us at 800-874-2412 for more information on availability, booking, and the many activities you can enjoy while visiting Panama Beach City.

Restaurant Highlight- Dusty’s Oyster Bar

Panama City Beach has hundreds of places to eat, many of which are fantastic. But Dusty’s Oyster Bar is special for quite a few reasons.

This acclaimed seafood restaurant and dive bar sits at the top of any best Panama City Beach restaurants list, serving up some of the best seafood in the Florida Panhandle.

Introducing Dusty’s Oyster Bar

Dusty’s is an oyster bar through and through, with an ambiance that will take you back a few years in time.

This casual restaurant displays its numerous seafood options across a large bar top. Guests are treated to fresh seafood, including oysters and crab, off the raw bar. The raw bar is, without a doubt, one of the main features that draw people from all over to this restaurant’s tables year-round.

Guests often opt for the four-variety oysters, a mix-and-match oyster special including both selections off the raw bar and cooked oysters. Guests can order dozens of oysters with a wide range of flavors like Mexi, Rocky, and Jalapeño-baked, among others.

A Quick Look at the Menu

At Dusty’s, there’s enough here to satisfy any craving. For visitors who aren’t too keen on a raw bar-style dinner, the restaurant offers a varied and budget-friendly menu that includes traditional seafood and other pub fare.

Some of the staples include fried shrimp baskets, gator bites, mozzarella sticks, and a number of soups, including clam chowder and gumbo.

The crab claws, smoked tuna dip, scallops, stuffed crab cakes, and grouper are popular choices among visitors and locals alike.

Most seafood options come fried, grilled, or blackened. The seafood adventure, a mix of many local kinds of seafood, and the oyster sampler are two delicious and must-try dishes.

Guests can also request take-out to bring those oyster plates back to their Panama City Beach rentals. The restaurant is kid-friendly, with a children’s menu that has both seafood and non-seafood staples.

Dusty’s has a full bar, including a selection of wine, beer – local, domestic, and imported – and hard liquor.

The Ambience

Dusty’s has that laid-back dive bar vibe. The building is rather small, which gives it all an intimate feel. Décor includes hundreds of dollar bills dangling from the ceiling and plastered on the walls – a unique design choice that sets it apart from other seafood joints.

Starfish hang in the glow of the many halogen beer signs that dot the walls. Red and white linoleum floors make you feel as though you’re in someone’s kitchen.

Dusty’s is close to the Gulf of Mexico, the restaurant is a block back from the shore on the main drag – and it can get busy.

At a place where the service is great and the food even better, there can be a wait during peak seasons (spring and summer). Visitors are welcomed to sit by the bar while they wait for a table.

All in all, Dusty’s is a great place to have a drink, savor great seafood, and get to know the locals. Welcoming and sometimes rambunctious, this casual restaurant perfectly reflects the relaxed beach ambiance of Panama City Beach.

Restaurant Facts and Details

Dusty’s is located at 16450 Front Beach Rd., Panama City Beach, FL near our rentals on Panama City Beach. Guests can park in the area and enjoy the nearby attractions, which includes a one-block walk to the beach and Aaron Bessant Park, a popular park with a large concert amphitheater.

There’s no doubt that this is one of the best Panama City Beach restaurants to experience, with sea fare that will make any aficionado pleased. Dusty’s is open every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and reservations are recommended for large groups.

It is right around the corner from our Panama City Beach rentals, which offer the opportunity to enjoy the beaches, local attractions, and community in total comfort and luxury. We promise you’ll love every moment you spend with us just like so many others have!

For more information on a Panama City Beach vacation, contact us at 800-874-2412. We can give you more details about available vacation rentals and how you can enjoy some of Florida’s most delicious oysters a stone’s throw away from your vacation home.

St. Andrews State Park

For those who want to get away from it all and experience the pristine nature of Panama City Beach on a family vacation, St. Andrews Park is the place to go.

Open year-round from 8 a.m. to sundown, this 1,200 acre protected area is a perfect nearby place to see the local wildlife in their natural habitat and enjoy outdoor activities.

Below is a guide to what you can expect to see and do at St. Andrews State Park while staying at our vacation rentals on Panama City Beach.

Things to Do at the Park

St. Andrews State Park is an ideal destination for anyone who loves the outdoors and coastal attractions of Florida. Fishing, hiking, scuba diving, picnicking, boating, and cycling are just a few of them. There’s so much to do there that you’ll likely want to make multiple visits as many others do.

The park includes two accessible piers for some leisurely afternoon fishing. Anglers can fish right off the pier or access the water with the on-site boat ramp.

Or take a swim along two and a half miles of white-sand beaches. The park offers two main hiking trails that circle its perimeter. Keep your eyes peeled for a large migratory bird population that stops to rest every year during the fall and early spring.

The Gator Lake Trail, a short, less than half-mile loop around a small lake, is a great place to spot alligators – especially in the early morning when they’re most active. Other wildlife you can spot include deer and a wide range of bird species on the park’s two trails.

You can find a small store with snacks for sale as well, a picnic pavilion, and restrooms for your convenience.

The park is also a main launch site for Shell Island Boat Tours. The tours will take you across the bay to Shell Island or out into the Gulf waters in pursuit of the famous bottlenose dolphins on snorkeling tours.

Events at St. Andrews State Park

Almost every month, park rangers host a number of educational and mostly free Panama City Beach events right in the park. On January 1st, a guide will take guests along the Heron Pond Trail and point out budding vegetation and wildlife in the area.

Guided hike participants receive free park entry for the day. Visitors should come prepared with hats, bug spray, sunscreen, and a lot of water.

Park Entry Fees

Fees vary based on the vehicle and length of stay. A day pass is $8 per vehicle (up to eight people), and $2 for walk-in pedestrians or cyclists.

Additional fees apply to those camping overnight, launching boats, or visiting with large tours or groups. Boat launches cost approx. $12 for an individual or $16 for a group (up to 8).
Discounts are available for seniors and some Florida residents who meet the requirements. You can request further details with the attendant upon entering the park.

Location and Contact Information

St. Andrews State Park is located at 4607 State Park Ln., Panama City Beach, FL, on the eastern end of Panama City Beach and just a few minutes from our vacation rentals.

While the main part of the park is easily accessible by vehicle, a large portion of the park is an inaccessible aquatic preserve, with acres of protected marshland.

You can contact the rangers responsible for the park at (850) 708-6100. They can cover any details regarding hours, applicable fees, and park restrictions.

A Top Outdoor Attraction on Panama City Beach

St. Andrews State Park is one of the most popular protected areas on Florida’s panhandle. It is a window into the nature and wildlife of the area – and you can experience it all on your next family vacation here.

With plenty of Panama City Beach events and other things to do in the area, you’ll have a lot to fill your schedule with. Now is the perfect time to schedule your getaway and see why St. Andrews State Park is so popular among visitors to our area.

The park is just a few minutes away from our comfortable vacation rentals, allowing you to explore it to your heart’s content and then retire after a long day of fun, with every amenity you could want and more.

Call us at (800)-874-2412 for details on any of our vacation rentals on Panama City Beach, including several reasonably priced 2 and 3-bedroom options filled with luxuries.

Nivol Brewery in Panama City Beach

Nivol Brewery

Nivol Brewery in Panama City Beach may be the holy grail of craft brewing in Florida.

It all started when three regular Joes pined over the perfect craft beer, arguing over what it should taste like, how to sell it, and how to even make it in the first place.
Their long debate resulted in a fantastic selection of craft beer in the Florida Panhandle – and one of the best Panama City Beach attractions. Now, you can explore the Nivol Brewery and experience these unique brews for yourself. It is easily one of the best things to do for couples and adults on vacation at our Panama City vacation rentals.

Two Sides to One Crafted Coin

There are two main activities you can take part in at the Nivol Brewery: ordering a drink at the bar and taking a tour of the distillery.

Upon walking in, you come across a bar top and a massive list of the current craft beer list on the back wall. The craft beers are written in chalk and you may see many scratch-outs as the menu changes almost daily.

But the best bet is to start your hoppy journey with the bartender – they will be able to give you suggestions based on type and flavor of brew and current seasonal picks. Ask to a sample a few before making your decision.

The brewery tour at Nivol is one of the best group activities in the area. Visitors can explore the brewing process, and how three regular guys with a love for craft beer turned this passion into a full-time business.

Exploring the state-of-the-art facility is an informative and fun experience, giving you unique insight into each sip. Next time you go for a pint, you’ll appreciate it, even more, understanding the time and energy that goes into making craft beer. And, of course, free samples are served at the end of the tour.

Things to Know Before You Visit

To get the most out of your visit to Nivol Brewery, we’ve put together a quick list of some of the things you should know before going.

  • Nivol’s menu is strictly beer – no food is served on the premises.
  • The Nivol Brewery mostly offers Nivol brand craft beers, but the team will periodically pour their favorites from other brands.
  • The craft beer menu changes frequently based on availability, but a few select seasonal items will remain well stocked up for about three months.
  • The brewery hosts events often, such as live music and social gatherings.

You can contact the staff at (850) 249-1150 for any further details pertaining to prices, events, ordering, and more.

Location and Hours

The Nivol Brewery is located at 483 Richard Jackson Blvd., Panama City Beach, FL – a perfect location near our vacation rentals. You can stop at Nivol and take a walk over to the beach two short blocks away. You can also explore the adjacent Shoppes at Edgewater for clothing and gifts, among several top dining destinations within walking distance like Firefly, Dee’s Hangout and Los Rancheros Mexican Restaurant.

Nivol’s hours vary throughout the week. They’re open Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., with extended hours from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The brewery is closed on Monday.

If you’re interested in experiencing Nivol Brewery and the many other Panama City Beach attractions for yourself, let us help you start to plan your vacation.

Whether you’re planning a friends’ trip or a romantic escape, we have a Panama Beach vacation rental to suit your needs. Contact us at Dunes of Panama at (800) 874-2412 for more information regarding our vacation rentals and the many things to do here on the coast of Florida.

NYE’s Events and Best Places to Watch the Fireworks in Panama City Beach/Panama City

Panama City Beach is a showcase of beautiful coastlines and natural parks and attractions that rival the best of Florida vacationing. This New Year’s Eve is expected to be the biggest yet, with the recent additions to Pier Park and the celebratory fireworks that sizzle as the New Year rolls on in.

10,000 Beach Balls at Pier Park and 8pm Fireworks

Pier Park was established in 2008, and in its brief history, it has become one of the to-go places to enjoy the unique shopping, family activities, and holiday events. The recently-erected Celebration Tower has become the centerpiece for the area. Its 80-feet can’t be missed, and the New Year’s Eve celebration last year was its official debut to the world.

8pm, at Pier Park, 10,000 beach balls will drop from the Celebration Tower. A fireworks show will officially kick off the evening after the kids enjoy face painting and live music.
Music from the Barry Fish Band will begin at 5:30pm at Pier Park. Terry Brock & Friends will begin their set at 8:15pm immediately following the fireworks, while 12South will begin their musical set at 10pm.

It’s a full-on festival. Music, fireworks, and thousands of beach balls fall 80 feet from the sky and cover the area. Pier Park is located at 600 Pier Park Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32413.

Midnight Ball Drop at the Celebration Tower

Though the music kicks off at 5:30pm and the beach balls drop at 8pm, you may want to stay for the final countdown.

A $110,000 glowing LED-light beach ball will drop from the Celebration Tower to welcome 2018 right in the middle of Pier Park. This is the perfect way to make a full night out of the event, and if your kids are old enough to stay up late then it’s ideal for families as well.

But that is not all. The ball drop will coincide with another launch of fireworks. Visitors staying from 8pm for the beach ball drop to midnight for the tower ball drop and the second fireworks show will experience a triple-kick of excitement.

Club La Vela

You know you are in a fantastic location for the New Year when a drop of 10,000 beach balls from the sky is not easily the first choice for adults.
There are many other Panama City Beach NYE events, such as the party at Club La Vela. The club will be dropping balloons filled with thousands of dollars of cash and prizes at midnight.
Guests can order a pre-package which includes unlimited premium drinks from 8pm to 11pm. You may not get the greatest view of the fireworks, but you can enjoy money and prize filled balloons, and really, what’s better than that?

The club is located at 8813 Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, FL 32408

A “Schooner’s” New Year’s Eve

Schooner’s is on the southern end of the island, about 20 minutes from Pier Park. But if you want to stay out the densest crowds for the holiday, you will have a lovely view of the fireworks falling over the Gulf as you sip some of the best cocktails in Florida from the comfort of a table surrounded by tiki-inspired décor.
Schooner’s will host their own fireworks presentation, so you won’t even have to strain your neck and eyes to see the Pier Park fireworks. It is, without a doubt, one of the best spots to see fireworks while avoiding the Pier Park traffic.

Schooner’s is located at 5121 Gulf Dr, Panama City, FL 32408.

Plenty to Do This New Year’s Eve on Panama City Beach

You can find plenty of dining on Panama City Beach where you can see the fireworks, especially if you want to stay at our conveniently located Panama City Beach vacation rentals.
But it’s the trifecta of the beach ball drop, the ball drop from Celebration Tower, and the fireworks that is possibly the most thrilling series of New Year’s events in the entire state.
Choose from any of the incredible above-mentioned events to guarantee a memorable time. If you have any questions about preparing for this year’s events or for vacation rental information, please call us today at 800-874-2412

View More Area Information to help plan your getaway! >>> Area Info

6 Delicious Restaurants to Dine Out for a Traditional Thanksgiving Feast

If you’re going to be near Panama City Beach for Thanksgiving, there are a plethora of suitable options for places to have your traditional Thanksgiving Day meal – right on par with or perhaps even better than the standard home-prepared holiday feast.

Going out to eat when you’re on vacation is also often the most convenient option, especially when it comes to a big meal like Thanksgiving. No cleanup, no preparation, and no hassle!

So, we decided to put together a quick list of places near our vacation rentals in Panama City Beach to have your holiday meal, whether you’re traveling, vacationing or just looking for an easier way!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

Coconuts Restaurant

Address: 17458 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
Phone: (850) 615-2047

Conveniently located right on Front Beach Road, this spot is a favorite for being open on Thanksgiving Day. Known for serving some of the best breakfast on the beach, Coconuts pulls out all the stops when it comes to serving up Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Here you’ll find a traditional home-style menu complete with smoked turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes rolls, and more. Of course, you’ll end the meal with a great spread of desserts—choose from pumpkin, apple, and pecan pie!

Boars Head

Address: 17290 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
Phone: (850) 234-6628

Also located on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach, the Boars Head restaurant is another worthy pick for Thanksgiving dinner. This spot is known for its delicious prime rib, strip steak, and other amazing cuts of meat.

On Thanksgiving, the restaurant prepares an amazing buffet that runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. You’ll find a selection of salads and soups, plus a carving station, plus all the traditional fixings. It costs under $40 for adults and just more than $15 for kids. Reservations are highly recommended, call ahead at the number provided.

Craft, Bar

Address: 15600 Panama City Beach Pkwy #180, Panama City Beach, FL
Phone: (850) 588-7309

If you’ve ever wanted to eat at a gastrobar for Thanksgiving, this is your chance! Usually, the meal is all about the food, but you won’t want to pass up trying one of the enticing beer choices or fun season themed cocktails offered here.

On the Parkway in Panama City Beach, enjoy a meal here and stay for the drinks after, it’s sure to be a memorable time! The casual atmosphere and reclaimed cypress wood used for table and bar tops provide you with the chance to enjoy a truly original Thanksgiving.

Harpoon Harry’s

Address: 12627 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
Phone: (850) 234-6060

Once again, Harpoon Harry’s will serve its traditional Thanksgiving buffet for the holiday. Located on Front Beach Road in Panama City, this is a cozy spot to eat and celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. you’ll be able to stuff yourself with all the traditional fixings—turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce and more.

The best part about this spot is you can choose to sit inside, or celebrate Thanksgiving by sitting on the beach and enjoying your meal. The cost of dinner is less than $30 for adults and just over $15 for kids. Thanksgiving dinner is expected to sell out, so you’ll definitely want to call and make reservations ahead of time.

Margaritaville

Address: 16230 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
Phone: (850) 235-7870

Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach is a fun spot to spend your Thanksgiving holiday. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving you can enjoy a traditionally roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, bread stuffing, honey garlic green beans, and pumpkin pie for dessert!

The cost is less than $20 per adult, and just over $10 for kids! The usual menu is also available to order from a la carte style, and you’ll want to call ahead to make a reservation.

Runaway Island

Address: 14521 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
Phone: (850) 634-4884

It’s called the buffet by the beach! Enjoy the Gulf front bar and grille for the holiday at Runaway Island. Reservations are suggested for the Thanksgiving Day meal.

If you’re looking to veer away from the traditional meal, here you’ll find some of the best local fresh seafood, each dish with its very own special flair. You’ll have a beautiful view of the beach during your meal and can also enjoy one of the signature frosty drinks!

After Thanksgiving is through, stop by any of these restaurants for some fantastic regular fare, typically made with local fresh ingredients. And, anytime you stay at our Panama City Beach vacation rentals, you’ll have access to them and many other top-rated eateries in the area right outside your door!

Top 3 Beachfront Restaurants in Panama City Beach

The top beachfront restaurants in Panama City Beach, Florida come with spectacular views and innovative menus. The staff at these establishments strive to exceed every guest’s expectation of what makes an excellent dining experience, from the food to the atmosphere along the water.

Below are three Panama City Beach restaurants as a guide to some of the most accomplished options in the area. Restaurants like these are where some of Florida’s longest-lasting vacation memories are made.

They are all located near along the coast, making them a short drive from our vacation rentals on Panama City Beach.

panama city beach restaurants

Saltwater Grill

Location: 11040 Hutchison Blvd, Panama City Beach, FL

When guests walk into the Saltwater Grill, they first notice the massive saltwater tank in the center of the building. This serene live tank holds a living reef that is visible from the main café area and the dazzling Mermaid room. It provides the perfect backdrop to an evening of fun and food that the Saltwater Grill promises and delivers.

The food at the Saltwater Grill surpasses expectations, breaching culinary perfection. The chefs keep aim to keep their dishes simple and elegant, while maintaining the essential Southern flair.

Barbecued shrimp and grits share a table with Snapper-Pontchartrain and bottles of red and white wine wait behind the bar, along with martinis and specialty drinks.

The toughest part about eating here is ordering. It’s hard to choose a combination among the multitude of choices. The restaurant’s friendly servers will help you decide, and even recommend their favorites according to your personal tastes.

Tourists and residents who come for dinner stay for the entertainment. The Piano Bar offers diverse live piano playing from the grand piano in the center of the bar. The music can be heard throughout the Mermaid room, and guests often stay to listen well after the meal is over.

Relaxing over dinner, after-dinner drinks, and entertainment is one reason why this beachfront joint has so many return customers. There is no better way to end a day in Panama City Beach than a visit to the Saltwater Grill.

saltwater grill panama city beach

Firefly

Location: 535 N Richard Jackson Boulevard, Panama City Beach, FL

If a casual fine dining experience is on the menu, Firefly is the place to eat. The menu has spectacular variety, with a focus on sushi, flavorful cuts of meat, and nearly 10 kinds of fish. This family-friendly, dinner hot spot is decorated for everything from cozy meals to big family gatherings.

Five different rooms give guests options in experiencing the Firefly. The Canopy Room is perfect for private events, while the 535 Library Room provides a homey atmosphere with big screen televisions.

The main dining room works well for casual dinners, while the Sushi and Firefly Bars provide different experiences. The Firefly Bar features strings of lights are draped over a canopy of branches.

The owners of this award-winning restaurant wanted to create something different from the other restaurants along the beach, and they succeeded with their unique ambiance and different dining room experiences.

Everyone can find something to enjoy here, from the extensive wine list to the “ever-evolving” menu. The spirits are top-shelf and the food is five-star quality. Firefly has been rated among the best restaurants on Panama City Beach, and is a must-visit for every vacationer.

Sharkey’s Beachfront Restaurant

Location: 15201 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Home to America’s largest open air tiki hut, Sharkey’s is a bar and grill located on the beach – what better location to eat, drink, and refuel for your next Panama City Beach adventure? You can choose ocean view or indoor dining, both serving up plates to the sound of the waves lapping against the shore.

The menu alone makes Sharkey’s one of the best places to eat around here. It is stocked with deep-fried favorites, sandwiches, oysters, and shareables, and their long list of shark-inspired specialty drinks – the Sharkerita (classic margarita with a twist) and the Nurse Shark (strawberry vodka, pineapple, grenadine), to name a couple – keep locals and vacationers alike coming back for more.

Sharkey’s offers fun live music some nights, and karaoke on others – no two nights are the same. Its large beachfront patio is the perfect place for a cold drink and good food after a sun-filled day.

Sharkey’s buzz is enough to attract any passersby, local or visitor. For a rambunctious evening with friends and family, the area’s most creative drinks, and delicious surf and turf, add Sharkey’s as part of your vacation experience.

These beachfront restaurants are complete with some of the most acclaimed seafood and land-based entrees in Florida, ambiance, energy that celebrates Florida beauty, and views to die for.

They are also all near our vacation rentals on Panama City Beach and are sure to provide entertainment and remarkable service that rivals their mouth-watering plates.

Upcoming Holiday Events in Panama City Beach

christmas events panama city beachEnjoy the holidays this year in a surreal and breathtaking oceanside Florida atmosphere. Panama City Beach offers a number of exciting activities that fit into everyone’s budget and lifestyle.

This year, the activities begin early, so there’s something going on all the time to help everyone get in the giving mood. This coastal city takes the holiday season seriously and has a ton of fun bringing their love of the holiday spirit to the streets.

Check out some of these top Panama City Beach Christmas events, and find the ones that appeal to you.

And while you’re browsing them, don’t forget to grab one of our reasonably priced yet premier rentals on Panama City Beach to spend more than a night enjoying our city’s celebrations.

Beach Home for the Holidays at Aaron Bessant Park

The fun begins at Aaron Bessant Park (600 S Pier Park Dr., Panama City Beach) on November 24th from 3:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Campfires, s’mores, and the opening of Santa’s Village kicks off the weekend.

The Harmony Shores Chorus will provide family-friendly entertainment, followed by the Panama City POPS Orchestra. Afterward, the Christmas tree will be lit, and the holiday season will begin!

S’mores and Christmas Carolers at Aaron Bessant Park

Return again on November 25th at the same time for more s’mores, the Christmas Carolers and Restless Heart onstage, followed by Seasons of Harmony. Fireworks ends each night with a colorful bang. Everyone is invited, even dogs kept on leashes.

The park reserves the right to inspect all bags, and asks that you only bring standard chairs for comfort. Please leave the big umbrellas and extensive beach gear at home.

Breakfast with Santa at Dave and Buster’s

Visit Dave and Buster’s (15701 LC Hilton Jr Dr, Panama City Beach) on December 3rd from 8:30 am to 11:00 am to have breakfast with Santa to keep the Christmas spirit going.

Each person pays for individual meals, but there is a special package that allows for a half price game card.

Families have two special package options, purchased before the event or the day of the event. The kids will have a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and enjoy a day of delectable food with amazing games and fun.

Christmas at The Barn

If Dave and Buster’s isn’t your cup of tea, elect to visit the 21 and up Christmas at the Barn event December 3rd (10025 Hutchison Blvd. Panama City Beach, FL) from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Purchase tickets early, then come for the drinks and exciting swing band.

Singles pay $30, while couples pay $50. The whole barn is transformed into a winter wonderland, giving you a place to get away from the sugar rush of candy canes and excited children.

Leave the world outside and come as a couple or as a single to enjoy a relaxing night of dancing and socializing.

panama city beach christmas parade

Christmas Tree Lighting

On December 5th, grab your unwrapped toy donation and head to the center of town at 16200 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach at around 6:00 pm for the annual Christmas tree lighting.

You’ll enjoy music from local school groups and treats provided by local churches, as well as the spectacular Christmas decorations around town.
All ages are invited, and the event is free. Bring the whole family to help get into the spirit of the holiday with the help of good will toward men.

Christmas Parade

After the tree is lit, start getting excited for December 10th, when the Optimist Club presents their Christmas Parade and Santa returns to Pier Park for lunch.

The parade is free, and individuals pay for their lunch with Santa. Both events provide the whole family with a full day of screen-free interaction. Head over to 600 Pier Park Dr. at 5:00 pm to participate in the festivities.

Bethlehem Christmas Village

The free Bethlehem Christmas Village runs from December 14th to December 17th at Capt. Anderson’s Marina in Panama City, and is an interactive, family-friendly nativity scene held between 5:30 and 8:30 pm each night.

The kids have a chance to try to find lodging, just like Mary and Joseph, and the family is welcome to experience the feel of the manger first-hand. This event is meant to be a break from the mainstream American holiday traditions.

Get ready for Christmas in our warm and welcoming beachside paradise, with plenty of events to keep you busy right outside of our top tier rentals on Panama City Beach.

5 Fun and Frightful Things to do in Panama City Beach this Halloween

Take a break in the sun and sand this Halloween season and also spend a day hunting zombies, an afternoon trick-or-treating, or a night to cozied up listening to creepy historical podcasts with a variety of Panama City Beach events to explore.

Creative minds come together in this Halloween with a slew of unique family friendly activities near our Panama City Beach vacation rentals –there’s something for everyone.

panama city halloween events

St. Andrew’s Trick or Treat Trail

There’s a good chance your kids are pretty eager to try on their costumes and test out their candy buckets. Historic St. Andrew’s might be able to make those dreams come true with its afternoon trick-or-treat trail the Saturday before Halloween.

Kids should come in costume in order to collect (free!) treats at the stops along the trail: the Farmers’ Market, Publishing Museum, and participating St. Andrew’s merchants. This family friendly Panama City Beach Halloween event is ideal for all ages.

When: October 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Historic St. Andrew’s, Panama City Beach
Cost: Free.
Great for: The whole family

XD Darkride Experience Zombie Hunt in Pier Park

This year-round virtual reality ride brings The Walking Dead to life. Viewers in motions seats, clad with 3D glasses and armed with laser blasters, hunt zombies–kill them before they get to you. The more living dead you hit, the more points you get. Zombie hunters can compete for high scores with other viewers.

When: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 12 to 7 p.m.
Where: 701 Pier Park Drive, Suite 153, Panama City Beach
Cost: $9.99
Great for: Older kids and teens

panama city beach halloween actvities

Pier Park Brew ‘n’ Boo Halloween Beer Festival

While the kids are out collecting candy by the pound, adults may want a different kind of treat this Halloween. Sample beer in costume at the 3rd annual Brew ‘n’ Boo Beer Festival the Saturday before Halloween.

With dozens of local and national beers to sample and live music, this event is bound to be a fun time for beer lovers who like to dress up. Tickets can be bought in advance or at the door. VIP wristbands are available both in advance and at the door for an extra $10, and include early entry into the event, a commemorative glass, and samples of hard-to-find and premium beers. A portion of proceeds go to American Cancer Society. Don’t forget to come wearing your spookiest costume!

When: October 28, 2:30 p.m.
Where: 600 Pier Park Dr., Panama City Beach
Cost: $25 advance (available for purchase at the Pier Park Mall office starting October 12). Cash only.
Great for: Adults (21+)

Theatre: Night of the Living Dead

For the theatre buff looking for a scare, Martin Theatre is presenting a Fright Night showing of Night of the Living Dead. The dead come back to life in this production, forcing a group of people to barricade themselves in a room to escape the flesh-eating zombies.

For something a little lighter, check out their production of Beetlejuice on October 29, in which a recently deceased couple come back to haunt their former home and rid it of an obnoxious family with the help of Beetlejuice.

When: October 31, 9 p.m.
Where: 409 Harrison Ave., Panama City
Cost: $5 donation at the door.
Great for: Teens and adults

Podcast: Fright Panama City

If you’re looking for a night in but are keen to explore the darker side of Panama City history this Halloween season, get a good pair of headphones and crank up the volume on Fright Panama City.

A podcast developed by The News Herald in partnership with Downtown Haunted Walking Tour, Fright Panama City tells eerie histories of city landmark and ghostly local stories, legend and true.

With new episodes coming out up until Halloween, the first one, The Van Kleeck Murder, is bound to pique your curiosity. Get the latest episodes.

When: October 13 to 31
Where: A comfy chair and a device with internet connection.
Cost: Free.
Great for: Teens and adults

This is just a small selection of what’s available to you near our exclusive and comfortable Panama City Beach vacation rentals this Halloween.

Please call us at (800)-874-2412 for more information or to book one of our beautiful beachside accommodation options as you explore the festivities.

Top 5 Grills and Pubs in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach offers several great restaurants, but sometimes the best places to eat are simple pubs and grills! The number of Panama City Beach restaurants can be overwhelming so here’s some dining info on the best places to eat.

You’ll find these fun eateries to be located just a short drive away from our luxurious Panama City Beach vacation rentals for your convenience. Our top picks include a variety of cuisines and atmospheres, so pick your favorite, or try them all!

panama city beach beer

Patches Pub & Grill

This is one of the highest rated Panama City Beach restaurants, and for good reason. Not only is the food here top notch, but the staff and the atmosphere of the place is so much fun. Located on Thomas Drive, Patched Pub & Grill specializes in your typical bar food.

From burgers, to pizza, sandwiches, wings and more, you’ll be sure to find something here that everyone can enjoy. The restaurant also has live music every Friday and Saturday night.

panama city beach grill

Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que

Many people call Moe’s a local gem in the array of Panama City Beach restaurants. Here you’ll find great barbeque of course—but also a fun ambiance. With a tiki hut bar out front and a large patio, Moe’s is one of the best places to eat if you’re looking for a mix between beach barbeque and southern comfort food.

Here you’ll find Alabama style pulled pork, ribs, wings, smoke turkey and chicken, plus delicious catfish and their signature shrimp Moe-Boy sandwich. Located on Front Beach Road, this spot is great for meat lovers, and you’ll also find gluten and dairy free items on the menu as well.

Saltwater Grill

If you’re looking for the best gulf coast fresh seafood or a juicy steak, this is the place you do not want to miss. Located right on Hutchinson Boulevard, locals say this is a perfect place for families or even for a romantic date.

Choose from a great selection of appetizers, salads and soups to start. If you’re looking for something even fresher, you can even pick your own lobster right out of their live lobster tank! The Saltwater Grill is also home to the only piano bar on the beach. So, stick around after your meal for a couple delicious cocktails and some fun music.

panama city beach gastro pub

Fishale Taphouse & Grill

This restaurant is not only one of the best places to eat in the area, but it’s also the first gastro pub to hit Panama City Beach. This spot specializes in microbrews, but also has an amazing selection of food on the menu. Fresh gulf seafood, sliders, flatbread pizza and more can be found here.

The atmosphere of this Panama City Beach restaurant also makes this a fun spot for a bite. An intimate dining room features two fireplaces, plus a modern lounge area. You can also rent out a private banquet facility for a larger party.

panama city beach pubs

Dee’s Hang Out

This restaurant is one of the best you’ll find in the Panama City Beach area. Located on North Richard Jackson Boulevard, Dee’s in infamous for its amazing Creole style food. From jambalaya, to all different preparations of oysters, and awesome po-boys and sandwiches—this place has it all.

There’s also a great drink menu, which includes delicious daiquiris, margaritas, and other fun cocktails! But this is also a great spot for the whole family with a fun kids menu too.

Experience some of the best cuisine that the region has to offer at these top rated grills and pubs the next time you stay in our Panama City Beach vacation rentals!