Panama City Beach is a much sought-after tourist hotspot, and it’s not hard to see why. Located along the coast of Northwest Florida, the lengthy white sandy beaches are the ultimate travel destination for vacationers, whether it’s for a honeymoon, family vacation, group vacation, or even a company retreat. People visit here for their holidays or for a long weekend in the hopes of well-spent quality time together.
While the crystal-clear waters and white sand may be the main attraction of the place, there are multiple fun activities that can be completed around the area as well. Panama City Beach is also home to hundreds of artificial coral reefs and fish, making it a popular spot for those who like to dive or go fishing.
Things To Do in Panama City Beach, FL
Although some of the following attractions are seasonal, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your stay during the off-season. Here are some of the best family vacation hotspots in Panama City Beach, Florida.
The White Sand Beach
This beautiful beach with its emerald green waters and sugary white sand is the highlight of Panama City. It’s enjoyed by both locals and visitors who want to swim, relax, play, and soak up the sun. Along this portion of the Gulf of Mexico, there are miles of sparkling white sandy beach for children to play on, and glorious deep waters that the adults and divers can enjoy.
From spring until fall, the beachfront hotels and condominiums are regularly filled up. These same accommodations offer great deals if you come in the off-season and allow you to enjoy the views, relax, and witness the serenity of the place.
Gulf World Marine Park
What’s a family vacation without going to a park at least once? Gulf World Marine Park is one of the leading family attractions in Panama City Beach. There are all kinds of marine life to see and great free shows that feature different trained animals. You’ll want to arrange a visit to the park if you or your kids love dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, sea lions, and other sea life creatures. Visitors often express how much they’ve enjoyed the park. The attractions are a huge hit for kids, and if you have spare cash to spend, you can even take part in a fantastic experience of swimming with dolphins.
St. Andrews State Park
To keep the whole family pleased, St. Andrews State Park has plenty of attractions and activities. The park features a beautiful, clean beach with multiple facilities to keep guests entertained. The park can, however, quickly become crowded, especially on the weekend. You should also keep your eyes open for wildlife lurking in the area. Animals such as whitetail deers, alligators, and more are seen in and out of the water.
Despite this, St. Andrews has plenty of safe areas to go swimming and snorkeling. The Shell Island Dolphin and Snorkel Excursion include an exciting cruise where you and your family can watch the dolphins.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
You and your family can be witness to the most eccentric and fascinating discoveries in history. The collection of unusual artifacts, rare gems, and other displays can be seen at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! The ship-shaped facility has four main attractions:
- Marvelous Mirror Maze
- 7D Moving Theater
- LaseRace (A laser obstacle course)
- The Odditorium
The Odditorium is where you’ll find an impressive collection of strange objects, as well as interactive galleries that pay homage to the unusual. Your kids are sure to be in awe with the amazing shows, rare crafts, and unbelievable real artifacts from around the world.
A shopping, dining, and entertainment complex in one, Pier Park is one of the most visited places in Panama City Beach. This is the go-to spot if you’re looking to grab something to eat. It’s also the perfect place to enjoy your time while getting away from the beach for a while. There are multiple shops in the complex where you and your family can grab items and souvenirs. You’ll also see a lot of familiar restaurants such as Subway, Five Guys, and Olive Garden. Aside from all that, there’s one other place where your kids can have the time of their lives: the on-site theme park.
Where To Stay During a Family Vacation in Panama City Beach?
There are plenty of vacation properties you can choose from when it comes to accommodation. These include hotels, condos, and vacation homes for lease. Here are a few highly rated spots that are sure to give you a great experience:
- Splash Resort Condominiums Panama City Beach – A kid-friendly condo with an indoor water park, mini bowling alley, ice cream shop, and more.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Panama City Beach – Located in a fantastic spot, this budget-friendly beachfront hotel features bright decor and a lovely pool with stunning ocean views.
- Long Beach Resort – The condo has 85 units available, including a variety of studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms.
- Osprey on the Gulf – Osprey is a fantastic mid-range beachfront resort, with accommodating staff, ocean views, balconies, and an area where your family can gather and have a BBQ.
Calypso Resort & Towers – One of the nicer properties in Panama beach is this incredible high-rise resort. The resort’s interior is a little dated, but it’s impossible to beat the location and beach access.