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


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!

ZooWorld Zoological Conservatory in Panama City Beach

One of the most exciting family-friendly attractions to see in Panama City Beach is ZooWorld. As one of the top-rated things to do on a Panama City Beach vacation, it always promises to be a blast for the entire family.

You will be able to see many different kinds of animals here, with unique interactions that you won’t find elsewhere. It’s also conveniently located just a few minutes from our Panama City Beach vacation rentals.

An interactive animal conservatory

ZooWorld prides itself on being an interactive and educational conservatory. Don’t be mistaken—this is no normal zoo. At ZooWorld you are able to get up close and personal with tons of fun, furry, and friendly creatures and endangered species.

ZooWorld sits on seven acres of land where you will see some of the most amazing animals on display. This Panama City Beach attraction allows you to interact with its many animals.

panama city beach zoo

Love sloths? ZooWorld allows you to get up close with them, and you’re even allowed to pet them! Are you more adventurous and want to pet an alligator? Well, you can do that at ZooWorld too!

Or head out with your group on the giraffe feeding tower tour. This experience will bring you eye to eye with beautiful and super tall giraffes; with a chance to feed them crunchy lettuce leaves as well.

On top of all of that, you can also hold lemurs, feed tiny zoo babies, and even take a walk through the free flight aviary filled with hundreds of colorful and exotic birds.

Along with those up close encounters, you’ll also find tigers, prairie dogs, iguanas, a red tailed boa, lions, peacocks, gorillas and so much more! This spot is home to more than 200 creatures in total!

ZooWorld panama city beach

The great part about ZooWorld is that even though it has so many animals on display, and gives you the ability to get up close and personal with some of them, the main focus still remains on conservation of these beautiful creatures. This Panama City Beach attraction is also a non-profit wildlife conservatory.

The reason there are so many animal encounters is because zoo staff feel that this is the best way to educate visitors about the importance of keeping the animals safe. While you enjoy the experience of snuggling a lemur or petting a sloth, you will also learn about how the animals are affected by humans in the wild, and what small steps you can take to help keep them safe.

Located on Front Beach Road, this is definitely one of the places to see you should put on your to-visit list while exploring Panama City Beach. You will probably want to allot yourself at least 2 hours to see everything this attraction has to offer, but it’s easy to spend a whole day here.

ZooWorld is open every day, rain or shine, from 9:30 in the morning to 4 in the evening. Admission is $16.95 for adults, $12.95 for children 2 years old to 12 years old, and $15.95 for seniors. Plus, children under two years old get in free, and there are military discounts available.

This really is one of the best places to see if you are visiting Panama City Beach for any reason, especially during a family vacation. The staff at ZooWorld tries to add new attractions at least once a year so there’s always unique and fun exhibits for you to see.

If you add this spot to your list of things to do in the area you won’t be disappointed. You and your family will come away from this experience with so many good stories and memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Book one of our comfortable Panama City Beach vacation rentals today which are located right down the street from ZooWorld!

Shipwreck Island Water Park

If you didn’t come to Panama City Beach to spend every and all day on the sand and in the blue Gulf waters (though no one would certainly blame you if that was your entire itinerary), you’re in luck! There are plenty of attractions to keep you busy at this top Florida vacation destination!

There are two state parks where you can picnic, hike, bird-watch, paddleboat and so much more. Love diving? You’ll find a diving museum at Panama City Beach, with displays of submersibles, diving suits and even underwater living facilities. Like strange stuff and oddities? There’s a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum in this waterfront town as well.

But if you’re vacationing at Panama City Beach between the end of April and Labor Day weekend, one of the places to see and experience for the entire family is Shipwreck Island Water Park.

Enjoy the water without the sand! Lots of fun ways to get wet, stay cool and just have a blast. Find out why Shipwreck Island Water Park absolutely needs to be on your To Do list during your Panama City Beach vacation.

shipwreck island waterpark

Waterpark Rides & Slides

Take a 65-foot free-all plunge down an open slide or choose the twisting, enclosed slide, both offered at the Tree Top Drop. Get the whole family into an inner tube and twist and wind your way down the 660-foot White Knuckle River. Competitive? Race down the duel 60-foot slides at Pirate’s Plunge Racing Slides–two small drops along the way rather than a straight plunge, but rest assured, this is no slow-poke ride.

Weave and turn on the popular Zoom Flume, swing out on a cable from the Great Shipwreck the theme park is named for and free-fall into the cool blue waters of the lagoon the ship resides in, or grab the next available tube and swish down the tubes of Raging Rapids.

Want to get wet without getting your heart rate pounding? There’s a 2,000-foot lazy river, a fun wave pool, and a tipping bucket that’s ready to dump 750 gallons of refreshing aqua on the heads of you and your loved ones in the redeveloped Skull Island portion of the park.

For the kiddies (many rides have a height restriction of 48″), there’s Skull Island, a family-oriented pool with a kiddie slide, as well as Tadpole Hole, with colorful animal-themed slides, a fort and a rope climb in just a foot or so of water.

Things to Know About Shipwreck Island Water Park

The park is open every day during the months of June and July, from 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Some days in May and August see hours of operation from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The last day the park is opened is Labor Day.

Season passes are offered at a discount.

Hot dogs, burgers, pizza, wraps and salads along with sweet stuff like funnel cakes and ice cream are found at seven eating establishments located around the park. There’s also a souvenir shop!

Birthday parties can be reserved during the months of operation.

By now you realize that Shipwreck Island Water Park is one of THE places to see when you visit Panama City Beach. There’s a reason why TripAdvisor rates the park 4.5 out of 5 and that a whopping 87% of reviewers rate the park as Excellent or Very Good!

So come ahead and dive in and have one the best days of your vacation!

panama city beach waterpark

Dolphin Tours in Panama City

panama city beach dolphin tour

Dolphin Tours: One of the Top-Rated Activities in Panama City Beach

There is no shortage of things to do when you spend your next vacation at Panama City Beach, FL! As you would expect, nearly 30 miles of white-sand beaches and the irresistible blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide plenty of activities: swimming, sunbathing, fishing, kayaking, surfing, jet skiing and so much more.

Not to mention shops and dining establishments, there are plenty of Panama City Beach things to do even when you don’t count many of the other attractions, such as two state parks that offer hiking, bird watching, cycling and paddle-boating; a waterpark; and a diving museum.

Dolphin tours remain one of the most sought-after and enjoyable activities offered at this waterfront town. Listed below are some of the guided dolphin tours available from several vendors in this part of northwest Florida.

Dolphin and Snorkel Tours

Dolphin sightings guaranteed!

Dolphin and Snorkel Tours in Panama Beach City will take you miles out of the way to make sure you see what you came out to see…and if you don’t see a dolphin, you get to come back for as many complementary tours it takes for you to make your encounter!

This tour company is located closest to the marina where dolphins are most commonly seen. Though not advertised as a swim tour, you will have the chance to get into the water with the dolphins when possible. Dolphin and Snorkel Tours, however, does not interfere with the natural habits of the dolphins and interaction with them is not forced.

Private and group tours available.

panama city beach dolphin tour

Blue Dolphin Tours

Small tours (only six passengers at a time) make Blue Dolphin Tours a prime choice if you don’t want to go out with a crowd. A small group, introduced to the water before the dolphins arrive, won’t make as much disruption as a larger number of snorkelers, so the dolphins won’t be scared away or tend to avoid the area.

The tour takes you on the Gulf side of Shell Island, where dolphins are commonly found. You will be instructed on the ways in which to interact with these bottle-nosed dolphins as well as learn about the laws pertaining to human contact with dolphins.

This is an interactive and learning experience you and your family will never forget.

Flippers Dolphin Tours & Boat Rentals

Offering both boat and jet ski dolphin tours, Flippers makes this a completely unforgettable experience.

The well-versed captain of your boat tour is highly knowledge about the dolphins indigenous to this area and you’ll learn plenty of facts as the tour unfolds. When it comes time to swim with these magnificent creatures, you’ll be provided with snorkel gear and assisted on the swim ladder as you descend into the dolphin-infested waters.

Can you imagine more enjoyable Panama Beach activities than the moment you come into personal contact with a wild dolphin?

Jet ski tours take you up close and personal to the dolphins as well. Knowledgeable tour guides and the chance to swim with the dolphins are offered on this tour as well.

jet ski tours panama city beach

Wild Dolphin Tours

Take a two- or three-hour boat ride and meet the dolphins on a tour directed by Wild Dolphin Tours.

Each boat offers stereo with Ipod/Bluetooth capabilities and seats six in a U-shaped area that provides great, unobstructed views. Grab a cold water from the cooler provided and watch the dolphins swim nearby.

Of course you’ll have the chance to slip into the water with the dolphins; snorkel gear and even swim noodles and shelling nets are provided.
Shell Island Dolphin Tours

Jet ski and boat tours to meet the region’s bottlenose dolphin are provided by Shell Island Dolphin Tours.

The jet ski is a generous 20+ mile trip on 3-passenger jet skis (a child with two adults). The boat ride is two hours and provides personal encounters with these inquisitive and alluring creatures.

Tours start at 8:00 a.m. and the last departs at 5:15 p.m.

Top 4 Locally Sourced Seafood Restaurants in Panama City

panama city beach seafood

Panama City Beach, FL: A Great Place to Vacation

Welcome to a prime vacation spot in Florida: beautiful Panama City Beach! Over 25 miles of prime white-sand beaches and the enticing blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There’s lots to do here: beach activities, dolphin tours, state parks and so much more.

If you love seafood, you’re in the right place: a lot of Panama City Beach restaurants are seafood restaurants, and many are locally sourced. That means you get the freshest Gulf water catches available.

We’ve put together some dining info on the top four locally sourced Panama City Beach restaurants. Read on!

Captain Anderson’s Restaurant & Waterfront Market

In business since 1967, Captain Anderson’s Restaurant is one of the best places to eat (it’s been named among America’s Top 50 Restaurants and made the Restaurant Hall of Fame in 2005–a distinctly high honor!).

The owners of this fine establishment work with local fishermen to ensure that the freshest local seafood is being served every day. You get grilled Bay shrimp and Gulf scallops, flounder and grouper in delectable entrees.

Over 725 seats in this restaurant assure that everyone gets in and everyone enjoys the freshest catches of the day!

panama city beach restaurant

Dockside Seafood & Oyster House

Boasting dishes made of fish “fresh out of the Gulf”, Dockside Seafood & Oyster House, overlooking the Grand Lagoon and offering dining on the patio, is one of the best places to eat in Panama City Beach if you want a locally sourced seafood restaurant.

There’s shrimp, grouper, snapper and oysters taken right from the Gulf and prepared in fine entrees. Dockside also cleans and cooks YOUR fresh catches…so spend the day casting your line into the sea and sit down and enjoy what you caught thanks to the fine chefs at this top Panama City Beach restaurant.

You’ll love the open, airy feel of Dockside Seafood & Oyster House. Definitely, put this one on your list.

Sandbar Seafood and Deli

Oysters and shrimp bought fresh off the boat! That’s the main thing you’ll hear when you research Sandbar Seafood and Deli dining info.

Oyster dishes, in addition to raw or steamed, include:

  • Mexican Baked Oysters
  • Cajun Baked Oysters
  • Cheese Baked Oysters
  • Horseradish Parmesan Baked Oysters
  • Spinach & Smoked Cheese Baked Oysters

Gulf shrimp is served steamed, with scallops or spicy. A la carte by the pound! Regular, large and royal shrimp available.

If you want fresh Gulf catches in a casual dining atmosphere, then Sandbar Seafood and Deli can be your lunch or dinner stop!

panama city beach places to eat

Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant & Tiki Bar

For nearly 30 years, Sharkey’s has been a staple of Panama City Beach, offering one of the best places to eat in the area.

Dishes of fresh caught Gulf fish include fresh grouper, grilled or blackened; fried, grilled or blackened Gulf jumbo shrimp; snapper with Pineapple Mango Salsa; grouper topped with Herbed Crab Butter; and grilled or blackened cobia with Beurre Blanc sauce.

The unique offerings of Sharky’s will keep you coming back time and again! There’s an outdoor deck and the fish isn’t the only local source: entertainment comes from fine local bands!

Located right on the beach, with tropical drinks served from the bar and a great view of the Gulf and the beach, Sharky’s is among the finest of the locally sourced Panama City Beach restaurants.

Panama City’s Thomas Drive

Panama City Beach has it all for every member of the family. The beauty of the beach draws pleasure seekers year-round, while strips of entertainment deliver, such as Thomas Drive. This area is rich with activities, places to eat, and the sweet smell of the ocean. This beachside drive gives vacationers and locals alike a variety of opportunity for fun in the Florida sun.

panama city beach thomas drive

Jaws Souvenir Shop

There are a number of souvenir shops in Florida, but this one deserves special attention for its unique marketing ideas. To begin, visitors walk through the mouth of a giant shark to enter the shop. Once inside, shoppers are treated to an array of Florida trinkets and souvenirs. This store, however, reaches beyond the basics with a live shark feeding, twice a day. Times are posted, so be sure to plan for the show.

Liza’s Kitchen

This adorable kitchen is perfect for a quick soup, salad, or sandwich lunch. The counter-style restaurant invites diners to belly up for some of Panama City’s best sandwich feasts. The weekends bring relaxing brunch opportunities before crossing the street to the beach. Best known for the focaccia, this family-owned restaurant was built around Liza, the daughter of the founder, and her picture remains as a focal point on the wall.

Rick Seltzer Park

Fans of undeveloped, quiet beaches will love the Rick Seltzer Park. Take the opportunity for environmental education and laid-back nature viewing on 170 feet of gulf front dunes. The whole family will enjoy the interpretive displays, communicating the importance of dunes on the beach.

This beach is free of high-rises, which creates the feeling of an isolated beach in the center of it all. When you need a break from the hustle and bustle, this park is the perfect stop. There are picnic areas, pavilions, restrooms, water access, and a comfortable swimming area available here.

Emerald Falls Family Recreation Center

The Emerald Falls Family Recreation Center gives families a day of fresh water fun. Enjoy the bumper boats after playing a round of fantasy mini golf. Visit the Kids Kingdom with the little ones, or the Alien Arcade with the teenagers.

Don’t forget to hold onto your lunch on the Max Flight Simulator, where you’ll be transported on the roller coaster from the future. Grab a go-kart and have a race, or team up in a double rider go-kart. Visit the Vertical Accelerator or the SkyFlyer for more thrills in this full-day amusement center, nestled discreetly on Thomas Drive.

Slingshot and Indy Speedway

People flock to this attraction to experience the Slingshot machine, which propels riders into the amazing Florida sky. Traveling at 100 miles per hour, this ride uses powerful springs to send you on the ride of your life. It rests next to the Vomatron, which rotates a 200 foot arm for speeds up to 70 miles per hour. Sit in the capsules and let the ride spin you into dizzying extremes. Save time for the go-karts here, which offers rides to all ages with double go-karts for parent/child pairs.

Sea Screamer Boat Tours

Book a boat tour of Panama City Beach at the Sea Screamer Boat Tours on Thomas Drive. This 73-foot boat provides plenty of space for everyone, sailing through the waters of Shell Island, and past State Park areas. Relax on the 10-mile ride near the gorgeous beaches and on the refreshing ocean water.

The captain and crew review points of interest along the Emerald Coast, as well as the history of Panama City. Enjoy the sunset cruise for a romantic, beautiful seaside experience. You’ll witness dolphins, enjoy nautical tales, relax with themed music, and sail next to some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

As you travel down Thomas Drive, you’ll notice the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. This world-famous name attracts those seeking the oddest facts from around the world. This museum holds the Odditorium, the 7D Moving Theater, the Marvelous Mirror Maze, and the Impossible LaseRace.

Check out the shrunken heads, a real vampire killing kit, a floating car, hands-on activities, and hard to believe sculptures here. The Moving Theater takes your family on an adventure for all five senses, while the Impossible LaseRace challenges you to avoid the lasers at every turn. The whole family will be able to create Wax Hands while visiting for a takeaway souvenir.

Shell Island

Shell Island is unquestionably one of the top attractions to explore during a vacation to Panama City Beach. No trip here is complete without visiting this fascinating natural wonder at least one time.

This wildlife habitat is strictly protected to keep it beautiful and pristine and offers an incredible haven for swimming, shell hunting and beach going.

As one of the most popular Panama City Beach things to do, you and your group are sure to love the clear blue water, sugary sand, colorful shells, and playful dolphins of Shell Island.

panama city beach things to do

Shell Hunting at Shell Island

Shell Island offers some exciting shell hunting opportunities as the name suggests, but keep in mind that some of the areas that get a lot of foot traffic will have fewer shells. Spend some time scouring the island’s less visited areas to find gems such as conch shells, starfish, sand dollars and more!

Wildlife Viewing at Shell Island

Shell Island has a fascinating amount of local wildlife including dolphins, loggerhead turtles, green sea turtles, ghost crabs, beach mice, nine-banded armadillos, alligators that live in the lake on the island, marsh rabbits, racoons and more.

This small island has an incredible range of species for its size so bring a camera along! There’s a very good chance that you’ll be able to spot bottlenose dolphins from the shore, but go snorkeling or take a dolphin viewing tour to guarantee an interaction with these friendly creatures.

Snorkeling at Shell Island

Snorkeling at Shell Island is very popular and one of the best ways to see the bottlenose dolphins and other ocean wildlife up close. There are shallow snorkeling areas near St. Andrews State Park right across from Shell Island that are ideal for smaller children as well. You can rent snorkeling gear from the Shell Island Shuttle or several other local rental companies.

Getting to Shell Island

The easiest and most convenient way to get to Shell Island is through one of the local ferry services. They offer multiple trips to the island throughout the day. Pack up a cooler with food and drinks, some sunscreen and beach gear, towels and umbrellas and head over to one of the nearby ferries from Dunes of Panama.

The ferries run from around 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer, 7 days a week. Service is usually about every 30 minutes or so, and it’s common for people to spend 1 to 4 hours on the island.

Options to get to Shell Island include:

  • The Shell Island Shuttle from St. Andrews Park
  • The PCB Island Express Ferry from Capt. Anderson’s Marina

Dockside parking is available at the marinas where the ferries depart.

Things to Remember When Visiting Shell Island

  • When preparing to visit Shell Island, remember that it is a protected natural wildlife refuge with no concession stands or restroom facilities, so bring everything you’ll need with you and use the restroom right before you leave.
  • You can take any shells with you that you find, but be sure that there are no living inhabitants in them!
  • Take back anything that you bring with you to the island and clean up any garbage.
  • Pets unfortunately are not allowed on Shell Island.

Dunes of Panama offers convenient access to Shell Island

Dunes of Panama is conveniently located near Shell Island and offers you the utmost in luxury and amenities while exploring this incredible natural attraction and so many others that are available to you in the Panama City Beach Area.

This extraordinary barrier island is worth visiting any time of year, so don’t miss it during your next trip to Panama City Beach!

Give us a call today at 1-800-874-2412 or 850-234-8839 or send an email to for more information about the luxurious and comfortable accommodations at Dunes of Panama!