While it’s gained a bit of reputation as a spring break party destination over the years, the Florida panhandle city of Panama City Beach offers so much more than bars and beers. There is a wealth of outdoor activities, cultural hot spots, and wildlife just waiting to be explored! Just a few days in this Gulf of Mexico town is enough to get a taste of the fun you can have here.

Swim with dolphins

There are several opportunities to spend some quality time with these friendly mammals in PCB, whether it’s at one of the outdoor adventure complexes like Gulf World Marine Park, or a specialized company like Panama City Beach Dolphin Tours or Shell Island Blue Dolphin Tours. While the experience doesn’t come cheap, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime encounter that is well worth the cost.

Make a splash with water sports

Snorkeling, scuba diving, waterskiing … outdoor adventurers will certainly never be bored here! There will be boards, though, of the skim, surf, and kite variety! There are also more laid-back opportunities to take advantage of your proximity to the waves, including sunset cruises and banana boat rides.

Beach it!

It’s not called Panama City Beach for nothing, you know. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a place to sunbathe around here, between St. Andrews and Camp Helen State Parks, the most popular stretches of sand in the area, and the Conservation Park. If you want to get away from it all, head over to Shell Island, which is accessible only by boat for a truly secluded escape. In the mood for a more social experience? Look no further than beach clubs like Schooner’s, LaVela, or Spinnaker, which provide shoreside drinks and snacks as well as beach volleyball.

Take a hike

Gayle’s Trails is an every-growing network of interconnected paths that link various parts of the island together. All activities are welcome here, from running and walking to inline skating and dog-walking. The region’s year-round mild temperatures make this a great spot to visit during any season.

Golf the Gulf

PCB is home to not one, not two, but FIVE championship courses (that’s 162 holes) where golfers can hone their skills in the sunny, warm weather. In addition, hopefuls also make their way to the PGA’s qualifying school, which is hosted here.

Quick Guide to Panama City Beach