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One Day in Panama City Beach

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Panama City Beach is a town that is a contradiction of sorts, with beautiful beaches that just beg you to relax and unwind as well as plenty of activities, restaurants, and clubs to keep you up into the wee hours of the morning. Whether you're looking for a day of sun-filled indulgence or a full day of adventure, Panama City Beach is sure to deliver.

Good for
  • Solo
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Nightlife Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Beach Goer
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Like a Local

10 Places

3 City Tips

Print
Map

10 Places

Andy’s Flour Power

Restaurants

Beach at Panama City

Beaches

St. Andrews State Park

Beaches, State Parks

Shell Island

Islands

Gene's Oyster Bar

Restaurants

Panama City Beach Winery

Wineries & Vineyards

Pier Park

Shopping Malls

Aaron Bessant Park

Parks

Schooners

Restaurants

Club La Vela

Bars & Clubs

Katie C's City Tips

  • You're on the Gulf Coast of Florida, home to some of the best seafood in the country. Definitely try the locally-caught seafood like red snapper, grouper, or oysters — you won't regret it.
  • Panama City Beach is a tourist destination so tipping is appreciated —18% for good service at restaurants, 20%+ for great service. With groups of six or more, gratuity is often automatically added to the bill. (Ask your server if you have any questions about what's included.)
  • If you're planning on just staying at your hotel or resort, you won't need a car. However, if you plan on exploring outside of your walk-able area, a car is a necessity as there isn't much in the way of public transportation.
  • Save
    Andy’s Flour Power
    Restaurants (American, Cafe)
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    Start your day off right with one of the best breakfasts in town. Andy's is a locals' favorite, serving up a breakfast and lunch menu that is fresh, tasty, and served with a smile. Get here before 11am to enjoy breakfast and be prepared — it's not a huge place, so there might be a wait.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The french toast is exceptional and, if there are pistachio muffins, grab one for snacking on later.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 320 restaurants in Panama City Beach
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Andy's for lunch 20/11/2017
    • Great Breakfast place. 17/11/2017
    • Andy’s Flour Power
    Address:
    2629 Thomas Dr
    Panama City Beach, FL 32408-6256
    Phone:
    +1 850-230-0014
    Hours:
    Sun
    08:00 - 14:00
    Mon - Sat
    07:00 - 14:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Beach at Panama City
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    The number one reason people visit Panama City Beach? The clue's in the name — the beach. With 27 miles of pure white sand and sparkling water, this stretch of the Emerald Coast is consistently ranked one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Put up an umbrella, stretch out on the sand or get your feet (and body) wet in the temperate waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Looking for a bit of adventure? Enjoy one of the many water sports on offer: jet skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, body surfing, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, para-sailing, and more.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 72 things to do in Panama City Beach
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful beach 20/11/2017
    • Beautiful White Beaches 17/11/2017
    • Beach at Panama City
    Phone:
    +1 850-233-5070
    Other:
  • Save
    St. Andrews State Park
    Beaches, State Parks
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    Beloved by locals and frequent visitors, St. Andrews State Park is often overlooked by new guests, who don't realize that it's perched on the eastern edge of Panama City Beach. This state park has pristine beaches, nature trails to explore, two fishing piers, camp sites for overnight trips and — bonus — it's pet friendly.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • As St. Andrews is a state park, there is a small entry fee for each vehicle.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 72 things to do in Panama City Beach
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Park 16/11/2017
    • Awesome 15/11/2017
    • St. Andrews State Park
    Address:
    4607 State Park Ln
    Panama City Beach, FL 32408-7347
    Phone:
    +1 850-233-5140
    Other:
  • Save
    Shell Island
    Islands
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    A natural, undeveloped island that lies between the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay, Shell Island is only accessible by boat, which makes it less visited than many other areas in Panama City Beach. Known for the wide variety and sheer number of shells that wash up on its shore, Shell Island is most easily reached by shuttle from St. Andrews State Park.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Not only is it a beautiful ride to Shell Island but it's also a chance to see dolphins playing in the wake of your boat.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 72 things to do in Panama City Beach
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • May 2017 Vacation 17/11/2017
    • Great Family Time! 09/11/2017
    • Shell Island
    Phone:
    +1 850-233-5140
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Gene's Oyster Bar
    Restaurants (American, Seafood)
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    Panama City Beach is full of dive bars and old-school oyster shacks, but Gene's is perhaps the oldest, and best. Light on atmosphere but brimming with personality, Gene's is the very best of hole-in-the-wall oyster bars. Grab a seat at the bar and prepare to get your seafood fix with a side of salty local personalities.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    Tips
    • In addition to oysters (raw, baked, etc), try the soft shell crab if it's on the menu.
    • Gene's only takes cash: come prepared.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 195 restaurants in Panama City
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Best Oyster Bar in Panama City 18/11/2017
    • Best Oysters in Florida! 02/11/2017
    • Gene's Oyster Bar
    Address:
    302 Sherman Ave
    Panama City, FL 32401-4871
    Phone:
    +1 850-785-1232
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    11:00 - 21:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Panama City Beach Winery
    Wineries & Vineyards
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    Unique, just like Panama City Beach itself, this winery is a step away from what you'd find in a traditional establishment. Making wine from fruit other than grapes, the Panama City Beach Winery focuses on flavors like banana, mango, passion fruit, and cranberry. The result is sweet and refreshingly different.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Be sure to check out the slushy mixes — they're great for cooling down after a hot day.
    • Tastings are free, so it's easy to find a favorite.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 72 things to do in Panama City Beach
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Tourist trap that doesn't make wine 20/11/2017
    • Great Place, Phenomenal Service and Wine! 19/11/2017
    • Panama City Beach Winery
    Address:
    8730 Thomas Dr
    Suite 1103B
    Panama City Beach, FL 32408-4766
    Phone:
    +1 850-233-5950
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 17:00
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 - 17:00
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 - 17:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Pier Park
    Shopping Malls
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    Yes, Pier Park is basically a mall — but it's also so much more. In addition to shops, this large, outdoor shopping complex is home to several restaurants, and plenty of outdoor activities for the kids to enjoy, like bungee jumps and the Miracle Strip Amusement Park. It's located, as the name suggests, near the Russell-Fields pier (or City Pier) and, as such, is a great place to take a break from the beach and indulge in some retail therapy or grab a drink on a deck.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Beach Goer
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Pier Park is dog-friendly — there are several restaurants with decks where you can bring your pups and you can both enjoy the sunshine.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 72 things to do in Panama City Beach
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Shop, Eat, Drink 20/11/2017
    • People watch 15/11/2017
    • Pier Park
    Address:
    600 Pier Park Dr Ste 125
    Panama City Beach, FL 32413-2179
    Phone:
    +1 850-236-9974
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 18:00
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 - 21:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Aaron Bessant Park
    Parks
    Katie C Says:

    One of the most immaculately-maintained parks in Panama City Beach, Aaron Bessant Park is best known for its state-of-the-art amphitheater (located adjacent to Pier Park). Hosting big-name performers as well as local musicians, the park showcases world-class entertainment just steps from the beach.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Even when there are no shows scheduled, the park is a great place for walking (there are three loop trails), having a picnic, and relaxing.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #28 of 72 things to do in Panama City Beach
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Emerald Coast Cruzin' 16/11/2017
    • Emerald Coast Cruizin' 13/11/2017
    • Aaron Bessant Park
    Address:
    600 Pier Park Dr
    Panama City Beach, FL 32413-2169
  • Save
    Schooners
    Restaurants (American, Seafood, Bar, Soups)
    See more photos
    Katie C Says:

    It's true — Schooners may be one of the last local beach clubs. Located right on the beach, Schooners serves lunch, dinner, and plenty of fun way into the late night hours. Come and enjoy the people-watching from the deck, sprawl on the white sand beach, or enjoy a pickup game of beach volleyball. Whatever your speed, it's all good at Schooners.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Schooners is a fantastic location to enjoy the sunset; get there early to scout out a great spot on the deck.
    • Schooners is a great place for live music and is a great location for late-night fun.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 320 restaurants in Panama City Beach
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wow! 20/11/2017
    • Beautiful Sunset 14/11/2017
    • Schooners
    Address:
    5121 Historic Thomas Drive
    Panama City Beach, FL 32408-6903
    Phone:
    +1 850-235-3555
    Price range:
    US$8 - US$28
    Hours:
    Mon - Wed
    11:00 - 00:00
    Thu - Fri
    11:00 - 01:00
    Sat - Sun
    08:45 - 01:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Club La Vela
    Bars & Clubs
    Katie C Says:

    If you're looking to dance all night, Club La Vela is your best bet for late-night shenanigans. Does it cater to the MTV and Spring Break crowd? Yes! Is it huge, with several themed rooms, decks and lounges? Yes! If you're looking for a quiet nook to cuddle with your sweetie, then this is not the place. However, if you're looking for a quintessential Panama City Beach experience, then this most definitely is it.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Friends
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Club La Vela hosts teen nights where you can get in if you're 18 or older. Check ahead to see what the age limit is before you go.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 27 Nightlife in Panama City Beach
    • Not even worth it... 29/10/2017
    • lots of neon lights and loud music 13/09/2017
    • Club La Vela
    Address:
    8813 Thomas Dr
    Panama City Beach, FL 32408-4029
    Phone:
    +1 850-235-1061
    Other:
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