Three Days, Three Ways to Enjoy Panama City Beach

May 28, 2024

Whether planning an escape with girlfriends or organizing a fun-filled family getaway, Panama City Beach is the perfect place for a weekend of fun and relaxation. With several airport options and non-stop flights, it’s also an accessible destination from nearly anywhere in the country. Bustling with family-friendly activities and miles of white sand beaches and emerald waters, Panama City Beach sets the scene for a weekend to remember. If you’re looking for different ways to enjoy your time here, we’re sharing a few of our favorite things to do in Panama City Beach! 

Beach Day, All Day

Of course, at the top of the list of family-friendly activities is a day at the beach! Panama City Beach welcomes beachgoers with 27 miles of sandy shoreline and crystal-clear waters, perfect for fun on the sand or in the water. A beach day promises plenty of sun and relaxation, from surfing the waves to a beachside lunch to savoring refreshing treats along the boardwalk!

With more than a hundred public beach access points, the beach is easily accessible regardless of where you stay when visiting. Each access point offers unique amenities, including public parking, piers, dog-friendly areas, picnic tables, and more. And, while you won’t have an issue getting to the beach, you may have trouble deciding which ones to hit, so here are a few suggestions. 

Rick Seltzer Park

Near public beach access 16, this local favorite offers nearly 5 acres of coastline and plenty of parking with no admission fee required to enter the park. The beautiful beach offers unobstructed views and unspoiled beauty with plenty of amenities like restrooms, picnic tables, a swimming area, and water fountains. After your beach day, you can enjoy easy access to shopping and eateries just a crosswalk away!

Public Beach Access 51

Close to restaurants and shopping, Public Beach Access 51 offers the perfect location for a fun day at the beach. Enjoy lunch or dinner at the nearby beachside restaurant, Runaway Island, serving tasty dishes like parmesan-crusted flounder, blackened mahi tacos, and smaller bites like creamy Rockefeller spinach dip and delicious crab cakes. 

Entertainment Away From the Beach

The wonderful thing about Panama City Beach is that there’s much more to do beyond the beach! You’ll find no shortage of fun, family-friendly activities for all ages, whether hitting the zoo, a water park, or trying something entirely new! 

Zoo World

Take a break from the beach and spend an afternoon with exotic animals at Zoo World!  It’s a fantastic way to teach them about animals in a safe and interactive environment. Feed some alligators or a giraffe, pet a sloth, and spend time with other incredible animals that call Zoo World home.

Wonder Works

Described as an “amusement park for your mind,” you’ll find over a hundred hands-on exhibits at Wonder Works, one of our favorite things to do in Panama City Beach. Expand your imagination in the Imagination Lab, experience the Extreme Weather Zone, or go galactic in their Space Discovery Zone. 

Just Jump Trampoline Park

Get the energy out at this 30,000-square-foot facility packed with family-friendly activities like a large open jump area with a tumble track, dodgeball, basketball, a double trapeze and Gladiator Pit, and a kiddie-only area for guests six and under. Here’s a little tip—get discounts each Thursday during Family Day!

Shipwreck Island Water Park

With thrilling water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and much more, Shipwreck Island Water Park is another one of our favorite things to do in Panama City Beach. Race down the White Knuckle River in a tube large enough for the whole family or hit the Zoom Flume—either way, it’s the perfect place to cool off and enjoy a day in the water. 

Other Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors

Whether you’re interested in picnicking, hiking, biking, or engaging in recreational sports such as tennis or basketball, these parks offer an inviting alternative to beachside relaxation.

St. Andrews State Park

Perfect for guests of all ages, this beautiful park boasts over one-and-a-half miles of beaches. Beachgoers can enjoy water activities like snorkeling, kayaking, or scuba diving or cast a line along the two fishing piers. Visitors can also enjoy the calm “kiddie pool” behind the jetties, natural trails, and a concession stand offering snacks and souvenirs. 

Camp Helen State Park

Spend a magical day on the water kayaking or paddleboarding, or take a hike and enjoy the natural scenery along one of the nature trails. With fresh and saltwater fishing options and 180 acres to explore, it’s no surprise this is another one of our favorite things to do in Panama City Beach and a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Frank Brown Park

Frank Brown Park offers guests over 100 acres to enjoy, making this the largest park in Panama City Beach. Take a swing at the batting cages, shoot some hoops at the outdoor basketball courts, enjoy a game of tennis, or cast a line at the freshwater youth fishing pond! 

Pier Park 

While Pier Park might not be a traditional park, it’s a must-do in Panama City Beach! Spend an afternoon or evening shopping at over one hundred stores, then finish your day with dinner at Pompano Joe’s, the Back Porch Seafood and Oyster House, or one of the many other available dining options onsite, and don’t forget dessert at The Yard Milkshake Bar!

Panama City Beach has endless family-friendly activities, shopping, and restaurants for you and your family, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface! Book a getaway today with Scenic Stays, and see what makes this Panama City Beach the perfect fun-filled, family-friendly beach destination! 


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