Panama City Beach Area Guide

Plan Your Panama City Beach Vacation

With miles of spanning white sand beaches, an array of family-friendly attractions, and plenty of state parks and outdoor activities to keep you busy exploring, Panama City Beach is a prime destination for vacationers looking to experience the Sunshine State.  

A view of Camp Helen State Park and Beach

Beaches & Parks 

Spend a day at the beach when you visit Panama City Beach! Set up your beach gear on Panama City Beach or head to a state park like St. Andrews State Park or Camp Helen State Park and Beach for more acres of protected environmental areas, hiking and biking trails, and prime fishing spots.  


Take a boat ride over to Shell Island during your visit to St. Andrews State Park! An undeveloped 700-acre barrier island, Shell Island is a prime destination for shelling, snorkeling, and relaxing on the stunning sandy shoreline.  

Two children enjoy a day at a Panama City Beach water park

Panama City Beach Attractions 

The beach isn’t the only thing that makes Panama City Beach an ideal family vacation destination! With a variety of kid-friendly attractions, you’re sure to find an activity that will delight the whole family. Spend a hot summers day finding thrills on the waterslides at the Shipwreck Island Waterpark or head to Zoo World or Gulf World to learn about nature and wildlife!  


The Coconut Creek Family Fun Park is the perfect place to play a round of mini golf or find your way through their extensive maze! Or spend the afternoon at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! which invites guests to experience the collection of oddities and hands-on experiences. And of course, with a visit on the Gulf Coast you’ll want to get out on the water. Hop Aboard the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise for a 2-hour scenic ride on a pirate ship complete with activities for kids and the possibility of seeing dolphins!  

A woman shops in Panama City Beach


Want to pick up a souvenir or new outfit during your stay? Visit one of Panama City Beach’s shopping areas to spend an afternoon strolling through stores and finding dining opportunities as well! The Pier Park is a shopping district that features more than 120 stores as well as restaurants and even sweet shops like ice cream and cookie shops!  


The Beach House is a unique market-style store that features 22 vendors with booths that feature coastal and unique décor. For waterfront shopping visit the Little Village! Featuring pieces from local artists as well as handmade, eco-friendly, and fair-trade products from across the world, Little Village is the perfect place to shop for unique pieces as well as enjoy events and snacks from Finns Island Style Grub.  

A group of friends cheers with tropical drinks

Panama City Beach Dining 

Panama City Beach is also home to waterfront dining and seafood restaurants that serve as the perfect place to enjoy a meal with family and friends. Head to Runaway Island for delicious seafood dishes just steps from the beach! For even more beachfront dining, Sharky’s also features a beachy setting with live music and good eats. Pineapple Willy’s is a perfect place to enjoy a tropical drink, barbecue, and live music! And Saltwater Grill is an elevated eatery with seafood cuisine and a stunning 25,000-gallon saltwater aquarium.