Best Things to Do in Panama City (FL)
Located just inland from the narrow channel of water that connects West and St. Andrews Bays in Florida’s Bay County, Panama City had a population of slightly more than 36,000 residents at the time of the last census. Get a Panama City (FL) energy drink for your vacation to keep your energy levels up to enjoy 100 percent of your time.
Other than Tallahassee and Pensacola, it’s the largest city in the panhandle and is close enough to the neighboring state of Alabama to make day trips an option.
Panama City is one of the state’s largest spring break destinations as well and draws crazy college students from the northeast and Midwest portions of the country.
Below are things to do in and around Panama City, Florida.
1. St. Andrews State Park
In a recent travel magazine poll St. Andrews State Park was voted one of the top five beaches in the country.
Considering the competition, it’s pretty impressive, and in addition to its natural splendor, St. Andrews State Park offers guests a number of recreation options, including fishing, kayaking, and hiking.
The park is home to numerous wildlife species, and many of them are regularly viewed from the myriad of trails that wind their way through the park’s varied habitats.
Nearby Shell Island is a popular side excursion from the park, but most guests are perfectly content with St. Andrews’s amenities and decide to stay put.
2. Museum of Man in the Sea
Founded in the mid-‘70s by a group of Navy divers and marine biologists, the Museum of Man in the Sea is a unique area attraction that details the long and fascinating history of man’s interaction with the submarine world.
The museum’s exhibits include a submarine and other early diving devices, as well as brass diving helmets and other underwater breathing apparatus that look downright dangerous and scary by today’s standards.
There’s a great introductory film available to visitors that’s a great way to start your exploration; it’ll give you a historical overview of the things you’re about to see.
3. Pier Park
Of all of Panama City’s destinations, Pier Park is probably the most complete because it offers guests incredible views of the sea, beautiful walking areas, and several dining and retail establishments that have been known to keep visitors occupied for hours on end.
The mostly outdoor complex includes more than 100 stores like Old Navy and American Eagle Outfitters. For those who’ve worked up an appetite or just need a shot of caffeine to get them through the day, there is a Starbucks, Red Robin, and Red Brick Oven Pizza.
Consider sticking around for an evening movie or live entertainment as the sun goes down.
4. Signal Hill Golf Course
For more than five decades, Signal Hill Golf Course has been a favorite destination for savvy and value-minded golfers interested in playing a great course without spending an arm and a leg.
Signal Hill is located on Thomas Drive in Panama City and is known for its well-kept fairways and greens, and nice clubhouse and restaurant.
The 18-hole, par 71 course is a bit shorter than most at just over 5,600 yards, which means it’s appropriate for players of most ages and skill levels but still long enough to challenge seasoned players.
Reserve tee times in advance during peak season.
5. Shipwreck Island Waterpark
Featuring half a million gallons of continually moving water in a number of distinct pool areas, Shipwreck Island Waterpark is a popular destination for families with children when everyone has had their fill of the beach.
With several slides, wave pools, and a lazy river course that’s nearly a half-mile long, running out of things to do won’t be a problem. For toddlers who haven’t yet learned to swim, there are separate shallow areas where they can frolic safely with their parents.
The Waterpark has plenty of shaded seating areas and food and drinks stand onsite, and it does get filled to capacity during the dog days of summer.