United States

8 fun things to do in Panama City Beach, Florida! [2023]

8 fun things to do in Panama City Beach, Florida! [2023]
Shanzeh Nauman
linkedin logoInstagram logoLink to website icon
Travel Videos

Need a break from your regular schedule? Why not visit Panama City Beach? If your traveler's soul urges you to plan another escape, Panama City should be on your bucket list. 

Panama City Beach is the ultimate travel destination, from the epic nightlife and party scene to its scenic views and palette-exploding dining experiences. It's no wonder that this city is one of the most visited tourist destinations. 

So, let's jump on to another episode of top things to do when you're exploring the US, this time in Panama City Beach, Florida!

When to visit Panama City Beach?

Panama City is undoubtedly one of the best tourist spots in Florida and even the United States. So, if you're anywhere near the area or even have to take a slight detour to visit this wonderful city, don't miss the opportunity. 

But if you're planning a vacation trip and can schedule it anytime you want, try and avoid going in the winter months. While lodging prices are significantly lower, temperatures can drop to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 ˚C) in the evenings. The weather would be too chilly and windy if you plan to relax on the beach. 

Moreover, many businesses and attractions are likely to be closed during the winter months, so you won't be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

So, what's the best time to visit?

On the other hand, the best time to take a trip to Panama City is from late April to June. This timeframe guarantees warm-enough weather and less traffic.

If you're looking to party it up, visit Panama City Beach in March or April and join the college students who flock here for spring break each year!

How many days to explore Panama City Beach?

Panama City Beach is a beautiful vacation spot and boasts numerous attractions. Ideally, avoid planning day trips to Panama City Beach, as one-day wouldn't be enough! If you'd like to tackle all of the best things in Panama City Beach, plan to stay for at least 3 days!

What are the things to do in Panama City Beach in those 3 days? Let's get into the top attractions you must visit while you're there.

8 Things to do in Panama City Beach Florida

1. Visit St. Andrews State Park 

St. Andrews State Park holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and tourists. In fact, according to a recent poll, the state park was voted as one of the top five beaches in the country. 

A few minutes from Panama City Beach, Andrew State Park has a lot to offer, including a spectacular view, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and other recreational activities. The beach shelters a rich collection of wildlife species such as deer, turtles, birds, and even gators. The staff there is also helpful and will accommodate you to help make your trip a memorable one!

Beach view of Panama City Beach.
Photo by Jose Llamas on Unsplash

2. Check out Pier Park

If you're looking for things to do in Panama City, look right across the Russell-Fields Pier, more commonly known as City Pier, and you'll find Pier Park. 

Pier Park is one of Panama City Beach's very rare attractions that are the complete package. 

Not only do you get a mesmerizing view of the sea, but there are fantastic rides, beautiful walking areas, and some of the best shopping specialty shops. This mega outdoor shopping mall has as many as 80 stores and 25 restaurants. 

Traveler's Tip: The official timings of Pier Park are from 10 in the morning till 9 at night. Try to visit here on a cold rainy day for an even better experience.

Pier Park Panama City Beach
Image Courtesy: Visit Panama City Beach

3. Spend a day at Shipwreck Island Waterpark

There are numerous places to visit in Panama, but none as entertaining and lively as Shipwreck Island Waterpark. You'll be amazed to know that the park hosts almost half a million gallons of continuously moving water. 

There are tons of slides and rides in the park, among which the Great Shipwreck is the best. The Great Shipwreck is a zipline experience that whizzes the tourists from Spanish Galleon before they are unceremoniously dropped into a refreshing 8.5 feet pool of water. 

Visit the Goofy Golf to play on any 18 mini-golf courses while you dry off.

Traveler's Tip: Plan for at least 3-4 hours while visiting this attraction for the best value.

4. See the Alligators at the ZooWorld Zoological Conservatory

This famous attraction is one of the best things to do in Panama City Beach for families, especially if you're traveling with kids. 

ZooWorld conservatory is home to roughly 260 different species of animals from all over the world, including some endangered and threatened species. The zookeepers are excellent in their knowledge and demeanor and even let the tourists interact with the animals closely and personally. 

The best part of the visit is the 15 minutes of the lemur experience, which is definitely worth it for the price! 

Florida alligators at panama zooworld conservatory
Photo by Dawn McDonald on Unsplash

5. Go to Ripley's Believe It or Not

Going to Ripley's Believe It or Not is another top thing to do for families and kids in Panama City Beach! 

This attraction has a wide variety of activities that are so interesting that you're going to regret not visiting this place earlier. 

Navigate your way through "Impossible Laser Race" or the "Marvelous Mirror Maze" if you want to go for something challenging. Strap on your seatbelts before hopping onto the 7D moving theatre with spot-on digital effects and motion seats. 

You can also make a replica of your hand and keep it as a souvenir so that you take more than just a handful of memories from this trip to Ripley's. 

Traveler's Tip: This is a great indoor itinerary to schedule in case it rains!

 Ripley's Believe It or Not Panama City Beach.
Image Courtesy of Visit Panama City Beach

6. Try the famous escape rooms 

Speaking of fun things to do in Panama City Beach, why not try out some of their most uniquely themed escape rooms? 

Each escape room has a different theme: outer space, ancient lore, pirate adventures, mermaids, haunted tombs, and abandoned terminals. 

Put your wit, teamwork, problem-solving, and the ability to think out of the box to test, and make sure you manage to get out of the room before time runs out!

7. Have a fantastic view of the city from the SkyWheel

It might not have global recognition, but SkyWheel Panama City is one of the best things to do in Panama City, especially for the incredible sights. 

Having a splendid view and seeing the city at the height of 200 feet should definitely be included in the list of things to do in Panama City, Florida. 

The Ferris wheel has 30 gondolas, all of which are fully air-conditioned. The VIP gondola seats 4 people with a glass floor for the premium private experience,  while the standard gondola accommodates 6 people.

In addition, there is also an 18-hole mini-golf course nearby called Putt-Putt, a zip line known as SkyRail, and SkyTrail, which is a ropes course looping around obstacles high in the air.

Skywheel panama city beach.
Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

8. See the Russells-Fields City Pier

We've previously mentioned Pier Park as one of the top things to do in Panama City Beach. If you're planning on visiting Pier Park, be sure to also visit the Russells-Fields City Pier, located adjacent to the public beach!

If swimming and diving in the ocean are not your cups of Joe, you'll find taking a stroll down Russells-Fields City Pier the perfect thing to do in Panama. The pier is also lined up with amazing restaurants to satisfy your palate. 

Sunset on this pier is one of the sights to behold, so take a camera to capture a few aesthetic pictures!

Plan Your Trip to Panama City Beach

Now that you know what there is to do in Panama City, why not start planning your trip with Pilot?

Pilot is your brand new travel planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere. Make the planning experience more fun by collaborating with your travel buddies! Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features!

Did we mention that it's completely free? Try it out now!


Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Make the most of every trip

Join 14,000+ travelers and Pilot your next adventure!
Get the app
Get the app
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.