Panama City Beach Area Guide

Explore the Florida's Gulf Coast

Panama City Beach offers a vacation for all. This bustling town along Florida’s northwest Gulf Coast is home to family-friendly attractions, more than 100 public beach access points, multiple theme parks, two protected nature preserves, 


Panama City Beach attractions offer something for the whole family. 


Shipwreck Island Waterpark has been a staple in Panama City Beach since 1983. The 20-acre park features both exciting and relaxing attractions like the Ocean Motion Wave Pool, White Knuckle River, Pirate’s Plunge Racing Slide, Great Shipwreck zip line, and the Lazy River. The Coconut Creek Family Fun Park has two 18-hole mini-golf courses and the first giant size maze in the U.S. The Gran Maze is an exciting way to challenge all ages.


Want to get closer to wildlife? Gulf World Marine Park is an educational facility that is home to rough-toothed dolphins, tropical birds, stingrays, African penguins, harbor seals, California sea lions, and more. Zoo World is another great experience in Panama City Beach where you can cuddle a lemur, play with goats, feed alligators, pet a sloth, feed a giraffe, and more. 


You can’t miss the Ripley’s Panama City Beach amusement center, which is home to more than 500 exhibits, 15 galleries, a laser race, mirror maze, and more. 


Nature Preserves

Being outside is the way of life in Panama City Beach, and luckily there are plenty of opportunities to explore the native nature and diverse landscape of the area. St. Andrews State Park is a 1,200-acre park along the St. Andrews Bay and Gulf of Mexico featuring 1.5 miles of pristine shoreline. The park’s Shell Island is a popular spot to go dolphin watching, shelling, or just exploring.


In the opposite direction from Panama City Beach, the 180-acre Camp Helen State Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and offers hiking trails, fishing, beachcombing, and swimming. 


Shopping and Nightlife


Pier Park is the Florida panhandle’s top shopping destination, featuring more than 90 acres and 120 stores. Pier Park is also home to a variety of restaurants and entertainment options. You can find nationally known stores as well as local boutiques here. The Beach House Market is your go-to for home goods. The space features 22 vendors selling unique items. 


Adults can’t skip a visit to the Panama City Beach Winery, which offers sweet fruit wines using 100 percent fruit. Check out their key lime, kiwi, passion fruit, guava, and more. More of a hops fan? Nivol Brewery is the first craft brewery in Bay County serving up a rotating selection of beers in an industrial tap room. Check the website for events. 


Whether you're looking for a quick bite to eat or a fine dining experience, Panama City Beach has something to offer. Enjoy the food and stunning views at Runaway Island or grab a shrimp po boy at Dee's Hang Out. Seafood lovers will rejoice in Panama City Beach, and there are countless places to find fresh dishes. The Wharf Local Seafood Buffet, Saltwater Grill, Pineapple Willy's, and Under the Boardwalk are just a few local favorites.

If you need to grab a quick and affordable meal, try The Front Porch, Juan Taco, Beach House of Gulf Highlands, and Bikini Bob's Bar

Art and Culture

Panama City Beach is home to a thriving art and culture scene that puts on local events, productions, and showcases. The Kaleidoscope Theatre, the Marina Civic Center, and Martin Theater are all staples in the art community. Looking for some art? The Center for the Arts gallery is a beautiful and modern space with rotating exhibits. If you’re interested in purchasing something to bring home with you, Pieces on the Beach boasts a collection of antique furniture, local art, and coastal decor. 


Panama City Beach has so much to offer and Aqua Gulf Resort is centrally located near the area’s best amenities. Let us help you make the most of your Panama City Beach vacation, and contact us with any questions. Browse our Panama City Beach vacation rentals and begin preparing for your time in the sun. 


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