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Panama City Beach In a Weekend

Destination(s): Panama City Beach

This guide is designed to give you an action packed weekend on the "World's Most Beautiful Beaches". The restaurants offer some of the finest outdoor dining in the area and the activities put you in the center of all Panama City Beach has to offer. read more about Panama City Beach In a Weekend

Bay Point Marriott Resort

Bay Point Marriott Resort

  • 4200 MARRIOTT DRIVE
  • tel:+1 850 236 6000
  • Visit website
  • Panama City, 32408
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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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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Gulf World Marine Park

Gulf World Marine Park

  • 15412 Front Beach Rd
  • At Hill Ave
  • tel:850/234-5271
  • Visit website
  • Panama City Beach, 32407

Located on the quieter, west end of the beach, Gulf World is a marine park that offers visitors to Panama City Beach an inside look at the local marine life with live animal exhibits, educational shows, and interactive activities. Gulf World is a nice break from the countless miniature golf courses and endless days at the beach that are certain occupy some of your time while in Panama City Beach. The animal shows that are offered at Gulf World are free with admission and you can actually plan your entire visit to see all of the shows while taking time to enjoy the many other things the park has to offer easily due to the multiple show times offered. The Sea Lion and Dolphin shows are a few of the high points along with the Stingray petting pool. If you have the itch to get even closer to nature, check out the Trainer for a Day or Swim with the Dolphins options offered. There is additional cost but if you can afford it, both are highly recommended and will enhance your experience even more. If you are lucky, you may catch a special event or concert scheduled while on your visit. If you get the chance to see one, you will definitely have a good time. read more about Gulf World Marine Park

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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Breakers

Breakers

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