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Family Vacation to Panama City Beach, FL

Destination(s): Panama City Beach

This guide is designed to show you a little bit of everything Panama City Beach has to offer. This guide takes you everywhere from swimming with dolphins to sliding down a 70 foot water slide. Enjoy! read more about Family Vacation to Panama City Beach, FL

Sunbird Condo Suites

Sunbird Condo Suites

  • 9850 South Thomas Drive
  • tel:(866) 213-0903,(850) 249-0606
  • Panama City Beach, 32408


The Sunbird condominiums are a set of condos that are owned and occupied for part of the year and leased to vacationers and snowbirds throughout the year. The rooms are beautifully decorated and all come with at least a partial gulf view. The staff was very courteous and helpful and the property is run much like a hotel. The hotel offers many options for fun. First and foremost is the beach. The beautiful sugar white sand and emerald water is only a few steps from the hotel. The condo has multiple pools and a game room as well. One of the nicest things about the Sunbird is the location. Thomas drive is a very popular area that is dotted with more restaurants, family fun parks, and bars than you could possibly visit in one trip. The only downfall to the Sunbird is a slight stray cat problem. I am not sure where they came from, but sitting on the balcony, you could see 10-20 strays running around the property. Some appeared to be clean, others were rather mangy. They don't seem to bother the rooms, but it is a bit of an eyesore. The Sunbird has many qualities that make it a great place to stay. The location, amenities, and rooms all are real pluses. The Sunbird is also a great value. Rooms are reasonably priced and can run anywhere from $69 and up depending on view and time of year. Consider Sunbird a good decision when looking at places to stay in Panama City Beach. read more about Sunbird Condo Suites

Shell Island Boat Rentals

Shell Island Boat Rentals

  • 3605 Thomas Drive
  • tel:(850) 234-7245
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32408

Shell Island Boat Rental and Blue Dolphin Tours is an excellent way to get lost in your Panama City Beach vacation. Here you can rent a boat for a full or half day and and explore St Andrews Bay and the pristine beaches of Shell Island National Seashore. You also have the option of taking a guided dolphin or snorkeling your.

The Blue Dolphin Tour is a must see event if you have the means. Up to six people can go on a single trip. You arrive at one of four designated times for the two hour tour where you are taking out to where the dolphins usually congregate and are put in the water before the dolphins arrive. This makes them curious and more interested in their new playmates. This is a vast improvement over tours that carry up to 25 people and often scare the dolphins off instead of luring them in.

Renting a boat is highly recommended. The staff is excellent at teaching the basics to even the most novice boater. Maps are provided to help guide you out to shell island and they can also point out where the dolphins are most likely to be seen.

The best thing going for Shell Island Rentals is their prices. Tours are less than 50 USD per person and a single boat rental for up to six people is under 250 USD. This is in line with what you would spend at some of the other attractions in town and the prospect of swimming with dolphins will excite almost any kid.

I highly recommend Shell Island Rentals and Tours for anyone traveling to Panama City Beach.
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Shipwreck Island

Shipwreck Island

  • 12201 Middle Beach Road
  • tel:+1 850 234 3333
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32407

While visiting Panama City Beach the options for spending a day away from the beach are plentiful. Shipwreck Island stands alone atop the list of countless miniature golf courses and shopping centers to choose from. Shipwreck Island is a 20 acre water park located just off the beach and is a must visit when in Panama City Beach. The park itself offers a large variety of attractions in an effort to cater to everyone from toddlers to seniors. The White Knuckle River is a 660 foot long ride that allows for an entire family to take part in the activity at the same time. For the thrill seeker, Shipwreck Island offers waterslides that twist, turn, and drop. Some of the slides, like The Pirate's Plunge, drop visitors over 60 feet side by side in a race to the bottom. The 500,000 gallon Ocean Motion Wave Pool sends three foot waves crashing down every ten minutes and the Great Shipwreck is a unique, hands on replica of a 17th century ship that allows park visitors to swing, zip, and jump into a crystal clear lagoon pool. Shipwreck Island is moderately priced and parking is free. Admission prices are; $33 for guests over 50 inches tall, $28 for guests between 35 and 50 inches tall, $22 for Senior Citizens and children under 35 inches are admitted free. Shipwreck Island is open from April through September and if you are vacationing in Panama City Beach during that time period Shipwreck Island should definitely make your list of must see attractions. read more about Shipwreck Island

Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach

  • County Road 30A
  • tel:+1 850 278 2100
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32459
Gulf World Marine Park

Gulf World Marine Park

  • 15412 Front Beach Road
  • tel:+1 850 234 5271
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32413
Cobra Adventure Park

Cobra Adventure Park

  • 9323 Front Beach Road
  • tel:+1 850 235 0321
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32407


Cobra Adventure Park in Panama City Beach is a family fun park that does not fall short on attractions to keep you and your family busy. The park itself offers many attractions. The massive arcade will keep the kids busy fighting bad guys, playing air hockey, and winning prizes. The four level go cart tracks are a blast. You whip around racing other drivers up and down hills and around sharp corners. The miniature golf course is fun and challenging and is appropriate for all ages. If you like to seek thrills, then you have found the right place. Hop on to the vertical accelerator, a bungee type thrill ride that shoots you and your "orb" from a stationary position up into the sky at blistering speeds. The best part about Cobra is that you can stay there an entire day or evening and not get bored. Although Cobra Adventure Park can get expensive, it is a good time and will keep the family entertained. I definitely recommend stopping by while you are in Panama City Beach. read more about Cobra Adventure Park

Wonder Works Panama City Beach

Wonder Works Panama City Beach

  • 9910 Front Beach Road
  • tel:(850) 329-0782
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32407


Wonder Works is an attraction that stands alone in uniqueness and changes the perception of what a typical "hands on" museum can be and is one of the newest additions to the Panama City Beach attraction scene. The building is interesting to say the least. The upside down plantation style home design sets you up for the kind of mind twisting exhibits and activities that are in store for you. The fun is endless once inside the building. Awaiting you are a 10,000 square foot laser tag arena, as well as the "Wonder Coaster", a user piloted indoor roller coaster that lets the participant decide on everything from drops to corkscrews. Virtual games like basketball, soccer, and swimming with the sharks give you a virtual reality experience while the rope challenge course take you several stories in the air as you navigate the "human spider web". It would be easy to spend and entire day in the building and still not see everything Wonder Works has to offer. Wonder Works has a very fairly priced admission structure. And unlike many of the other Panama City Beach attractions, you can choose to do each activity separately or as a total package. Wonder Works will entertain the entire family. read more about Wonder Works Panama City Beach

Harpoon Harry's

Harpoon Harry's

  • 12627 Front Beach Road
  • tel:+1 850 234 6060
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32407
Pineapple Willy's

Pineapple Willy's

  • 9875 South Thomas Drive
  • tel:+1 850 235 0928
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32408

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Pineapple Willy's is a Panama City Beach landmark and has been open on the original pier in Panama City Beach since 1935. Pineapple Willy's is famous for their ribs that they cover in a Jack Daniels whisky based barbecue sauce and is a well known spring break party destination.

 

What the Pineapple Willy's menu lacks in size, it makes up in substance. The kitchen and staff take the local seafood and gives it a Willy's touch. Caribbean style flavors are blended with the old Florida fish house style to offer something for anyone's taste buds.

While most restaurants in the region brag about their fresh seafood, Pineapple Willy's celebrates their barbeque ribs which have won many local and national awards including best in the nation by the National Barbeque Association.

 

Pineapple Willy's is easy to find and is within walking distance of many attractions and you can enter the restaurant from the beach as well. The atmosphere at Pineapple Willy's is upbeat and lively. Live music is offered on weekends and during peak tourist season.  Parking is free and plentiful.

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Museum of Man In The Sea

Museum of Man In The Sea

  • 17314 Panama City Beach Parkway
  • tel:(850) 235-4101
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32413

Panama City Beach is home to the United States Navy's Diving and Salvage Training Center as well as excellent scuba diving, having both natural and man made reefs. With this kind of nautical history it is no wonder that Museum of Man in the Sea was erected to celebrate the history of diving. Museum of Man of the Sea is located away from the crowd of the beaches and is easy to find on Panama City Beach Parkway. The museum is dedicated to celebrating the early history of diving and houses a large collection of rare, authentic diving equipment, including SEALAB-1, a famous Navy diving vessel. The museum also has an array of visual exhibits that give the visitor a true feel for what early diving perils were like in comparison to the high tech SCUBA equipment available today. Parking is free and admission to Man of the Sea is only $5 for adults and admission is free for children under 7. This is a great place to stop in for a change of pace from your beach vacation. read more about Museum of Man In The Sea

Hammerhead Fred's

Hammerhead Fred's

  • 8752 Thomas Drive
  • tel:(850) 233-3907
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Bch, 32408


From the time you pull in to the parking lot at Hammerhead Fred's, you get a taste of what it in store for you as you dine. The restaurants signage includes a tail strung Great White Shark. It can't hurt you, but it is excellent for picture taking. As you exit your car, the sound of steel drums and Caribbean style music fill your ears as you walk up to the well landscaped entry way and waiting area. Once enter Hammerhead Fred's, the upbeat and positive atmosphere continues. The wait staff was fun and informed and willing to make a suggestion. This is important because the service industry has to deal with spring breakers each year and can, at times, become jaded to tourists. This has not been the case on any of my visits to Hammerhead Fred's. In fact, the love for visitors is visible in all aspects of the restaurant. Bring a permanent marker and leave your mark, literally. Feel free to write on your table, seat, wall, or wherever you can find space to fit your name. Reading the scribbling of other patrons is one of the more entertaining ways to wait for your meal. The menu truly does have something for everyone. I know this cliché' but, it does. The seafood is always fresh, and Apalachicola Oysters are one of the specialties which are one of the many reasons to visit. Hammerhead Fred's prices are in line with most of the other restaurants that fall within this category making it even more desirable due to the fact that the food is excellent. If you arrive in Panama City Beach and are inundated with dining options, do your family a favor and visit Hammerhead Fred's. read more about Hammerhead Fred's

Sharky's Beach Club

Sharky's Beach Club

  • 15201 Front Beach Road
  • tel:+1 850 235 2420
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32413
Captain Anderson's Restaurant & Waterfront Seafood Market

Captain Anderson's Restaurant & Waterfront Seafood Market

  • 5551 N. Lagoon Dr
  • At Thomas Dr
  • tel:850/234-2225
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32408
Angelo's Steak Pit

Angelo's Steak Pit

  • 9527 Front Beach Road
  • tel:+1 850 234 2913
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32407


When visiting Panama City Beach, seafood is a staple on the menu at almost every restaurant in town. However, eating seafood everyday while on vacation will get dull and boring. That is why it is really nice to have a place like Angelo's in a town dominated by local seafood. Finding Angelo's is easy. Just look for Big Gus, the 20,000 pound steer that stands in front of the restaurant. Parking is free and plentiful and Angelo's is in a prime location on Front Beach Road and is within walking distance of many of the top attractions in Panama City Beach. When walking from the parking lot to the building itself, your mouth will begin to water as the smell of steaks being grilled are met by the sight of the hand cut beef being grilled while you watch from the window outside of the establishment. The menu is actually quite diverse. Of course you have every option possible for steaks, but Angelo's also offers pork, chicken, and of course fresh local seafood. Prices are fair and are in line with most of the other non-chain restaurants in Panama City Beach. When in Panama City Beach, be sure to stop by Angelo's for a great steak and be sure to head out front and take a photo with Big Gus. read more about Angelo's Steak Pit

Calypso Beach Café

Calypso Beach Café

  • 15812 Front Beach Road
  • tel:+1 850 234 6788
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32413
Zoo World

Zoo World

  • 9008 Front Beach Road
  • tel:(850) 230-1243
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32407

Zoo World is an excellent stop during any visit to Panama City Beach. It allows the visitor to get an up close and personal look at the animals and exhibits and interact more than you would be able to at a larger zoo in a bigger city.

What Zoo World lacks in overall size, it more than makes up for with the experience. Lions, Florida Panthers, Alligators, and other wildlife are just a few of the animals you can observe. Zoo World also has a large collection of endangered species and rescued animals which add to the appeal of the place. The staff is very helpful and their interaction with the animals rivals anything you will find at bigger zoos.

Twice daily hand feeding of the zoo's Bengal Tigers and a petting zoo that has a stairway to reach the tallest zoo tenant, a giraffe, are a few of the highlights of Zoo World.  Shows take place daily and trainer for a day programs are available if you want a true hands on experience. Admission for a family of four is very reasonable and will cost around 50 USD and parking is free.

If you are looking for a way to get off of the beach for a day and not spend all of your vacation money in one trip, Zoo World is an excellent destination when visiting Panama City Beach.
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Dirty Dick's Crab House

Dirty Dick's Crab House

  • 9800 Front Beach Road
  • tel:+1 850 230 3425
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32407