Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach, Florida is not a destination you’d immediately be attracted to, especially if it’s not Miami.

But reset your thinking, because this beach town has a lot to offer and much to do and see.

Allow my gude to planning your first trip here steer you towards a great experience.

The Beach!

It’s an obvious choice, but the beach in Panama City, Florida is pristine and spectacular. The beach is regularly sifted, there’s plenty of restaurants and recreational activities, and since pets are only allowed at Pier Park, no worries about pet waste interfering with your relaxing time.

Dolphin and Snorkel Tour

A definite must if you plan to enjoy the azure waters.  A number of tour companies can take you, but the best one is simply called, Dolphin and Snorkel Tours, run by trusty Captain Lorraine. She has mountains of knowledge about the surrounding sea life and you’ll be able to spot animals like dolphins, sea urchins, sea slugs, starfish, and a variety of crabs.

Conservation Park

Not too far from the airport, this park is full of walkable, gravel and sand paths that delve into wildlife, especially easily spotted during the summer months. Bring sunscreen, a water bottle, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes for this enjoyable hike. A great way to connect to nature.

Panama City Beach Winery

Time for a bit of adult fun. This winery ferments wine from passionfruit and the owner, Larry, walks you through all the types of wine during a comprehensive tasting. Larry usually gives two samples per wine and even knows a great deal about Panama City Beach and can give you his own travel tips!

Waterskiing and Jet Skiing

Two pastimes that have a large price tag are actually really fun to do. Perhaps put aside a budget for this. As long as your kids are 10 years and older, and wearing life jackets, it’s safe to take them on a jet ski.

As for waterskiing, it’s a little better to have some experience, but if you’re willing to give it a go, you should try it. Cost of both these sports probably runs about $100 to $160 for forty-five minutes to an hour.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not!

This quirky television show spun off from this equally quirky museum. Take your kids and explore the weird, funny displays that will have the family laughing and pointing in disbelief. Check out the John F. Kennedy portrait made of computer keys or the gold-plated car.

There’s also a theater, a oddotorium (that’s actually the name!), and a maze for the kids to take part in. You can buy combo tickets for any of these other areas, or single tickets are $17.99 for adults; $12.99 for children.

If you are needing flights and hotels in Panama City Beach, try an aggregator site. Those sites are a smart way to book economical travel.

I hope these tips will make your trip memorable, fun, and enticing!

Photo: by Theresa Stiffel via