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.
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.
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.
Salt Lick Tavern
Enjoy a laid-back drink and superb food at the Salt Lick Tavern. This hidden gem serves smoked chicken wings, salsa burgers, fish bites, and a full selection of beer and spirits. The friendly bartenders, pool table, and live music make this a go-to adult destination.
Rest inside or out, and participate in Giant Jenga or Corn Hole competitions. Special discounts are often available, including an everyday military discount with identification. Take a moment to relax and enjoy a cool, refreshing drink in the Florida heat.
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.