Yet another birthday, yet another spur of the moment holiday! 😀 It is becoming a tradition to go on a holiday during my birthday and I’m definitely not complaining! 😛
My birthday is in March, which technically means cold, dreary weather with little or no sunshine! 😐 We were terribly craving for some sunshine and warm temperatures and what better place to experience that than in the sunshine state! 😉 We had a couple of places in mind but we finally zeroed in on Panama City Beach! 😀
We planned this trip quite literally at the last minute! We booked our hotel an hour before we left and looked up places and attractions on the go. It’s so much fun to plan a trip on a whim and just get going! 😀
Panama City is an inland county seat of Bay county, FL and Panama City Beach is it’s coastal neighbor known for it’s white sandy beaches. They say that the beach in PCB is so beautiful that it is considered to be one of best beaches in the entire country!
Besides beautiful white sandy beaches, PCB also has some incredible opportunities for water sports, boat tours and onshore entertainment. There are numerous attractions you can choose from and I will talk about the “Top 10 things you MUST do in Panama City Beach” on your next vacation there! 🙂
1) Go on a Cruise:
For a cruise, Panama City has multiple options to choose from since different companies offer different types of activities and excursions. We chose the Dolphin/Sunset Cruise, which we absolutely LOVED and highly recommend. You can also go on a Pirate Cruise, get on a sea screamer and multiple other options. See what you like and book in advance. You will really enjoy looking at the dolphins and just cruising around Shell Island and St. Andrews Bay.
2) Take a helicopter ride over the Gulf of Mexico
This was quite nice but we would have been happier if we had seen some sharks that we were promised we would see from up above. There are multiple options here as well based on how many minutes you want to fly over the Gulf of Mexico and the city. We chose ‘Shark Run’ – which basically said that we will be flown over the Gulf of Mexico to spot sharks. #NeverHappened 😐 It is nevertheless a great experience to fly over the beautiful coast, I would however suggest you don’t fall for gimmicky options and just choose the one with good amount of flying minutes.
3) Walk along the beautiful Panama City Beach & Pier
You have to pay a small fee to walk on the pier but it is still quite nice and well maintained. It is a nice spot for fishing and hence you will see a lot of people trying their hand at it. We on the other hand just walked around for a while and enjoyed the beautiful view.
4) Visit Wonderworks:
The building of Wonderworks will catch your attention as soon as you see it. It is freakin’ upside down! Well, obviously not upside down but they have made it look that way and it has been done so well.
Wonderworks has more than hundred activities for adults and children. It has a laser tag arena, a virtual rollercoaster and a three-story glow in the dark ropes challenge. You can also dance on a gigantic piano, try on a spacesuit, attempt to land a space shuttle, play in the bubble lab or lay on a bed of nails! 😀 It is a super fun place and is definitely worth a visit.
5) Ripley’s Believe it or Not:
Ripley has museums all over the country and I had been to one of their museums in San Francisco. I wasn’t particularly impressed and hence wasn’t sure if this one would be any different.
The Ripley’s in Panama City Beach is however a lot better. The building first of all looks like a huge ship and apart from housing the most odd and weird stuff from around the world, it also has a lot of interactive activities including a 7D theater, a laser course and tons of other fun activities. You should definitely pay this place a visit.
6) Theme parks & Water parks:
There are a lot of theme parks & water parks in Panama City Beach. We have been to a fair share of theme parks in this past year and hence didn’t want to go to another one. You on the other hand can definitely visit these parks. You can find so many at every nook and corner of the city.
7) Try Parasailing & Snorkeling:
A lot of companies offer parasailing and snorkeling options with so many other fun activities in their itinerary. Make sure you do some research and plan as per your interests.
8) Go Mini Golfing:
Mini Golf seemed to be quite popular in Panama City Beach since we came across so many of them. It’s really fun and you will probably have more fun if you have a big gang of friends along with you. 🙂
9) Sea Screamer:
The Sea Screamer is a powerful boat capable of traveling at very high speed. Dolphins love the wake that racing watercrafts stir up, and almost always show up to play near the boat. The two-hour Dolphin Cruises are super fun and the captain will tell you interesting facts about the local area, its history, and the marine wildlife while cruising around Shell Island and along the Panama City Beach waterfront.
10) Visit Pier Park:
Pier Park was also a very popular tourist spot in PCB. It has a very relaxed vibe with many shopping and eating options spread across the place. It’s right on the beach and comes alive as soon as the sun goes down (and the stars come out :P).
So these are my Top 10 recommendations for things you could or should 😛 do in Panama City Beach on your next visit. Do let me know if any of you try these activities! 🙂
I have a lot of travel planned for this year and want to write as much as I possibly could. So keep watching this space and don’t forget to follow me here and on social media (IG: @musingsofatravelista) for more updates!
Until next time…