Our most recommended things to do in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach: Sunset Catamaran Cruise

1. Panama City Beach: Sunset Catamaran Cruise

Admire the sunset as you cruise around the Gulf of Mexico aboard a catamaran. Unwind with a drink as you marvel as the blue sky transforms into a spectacular light show. Check in with plenty of time, then take a 5-7 minute walk down to the dock where you will board "Footloose," your catamaran for the evening. Set sail to explore the Gulf of Mexico and admire some of the best sites Panama City Beach has to offer with the sea breeze in your hair. Listen to tropical music as you sail and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine, Sangria, cold beer, or a non-alcoholic drink. You can buy additional drinks and snacks at the fully stocked onboard bar, which takes cash or credit cards. Keep a sharp lookout for dolphins as these majestic creatures are often more active in the late afternoon. Enjoy the company of family and friends as you admire the western horizon turn every color imaginable in a breathtaking show.

Shell Island: Water Park and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

2. Shell Island: Water Park and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Embark on a boat trip from Panama City Beach to Shell Island, including a complimentary drink and a variety of water activities to make your day memorable. Have fun at the inflatable water park or try out kayaking or snorkeling. End your day sailing into the Gulf of Mexico for dolphin sightseeing.  Your day begins with a scenic trip through Grand Lagoon and over to Shell Island. Once at Shell Island, enjoy an inflatable water park, paddleboards, kayaks, and snorkeling. Have a go on trampolines, a water see-saw called the “rockit,” and other inflatables. If you’re looking for something a little more slow-paced, explore the waters on a kayak, take a paddleboard ride, or give snorkeling a try. Get plenty of time to take in all of the natural beauty that Shell Island has to offer. If just hanging out is your plan, relax and listen to music on the boat or in one of the two sunning nets located at the front of the boat while you sip on a refreshing beverage. All activities and inflatables are all-inclusive with unlimited use during your trip. The last portion of the trip will be spent sightseeing and dolphin watching before making a round-trip return to Panama City Beach.

Panama City Beach: Gulf World Marine Park Entry Ticket

3. Panama City Beach: Gulf World Marine Park Entry Ticket

Enjoy and explore a world of underwater animals at Gulf World Marine Park. Enjoy a fun day out for all the family where educational tours and animal encounters abound. Learn more about your favorite animals and experience them up close. During your visit, get the chance to watch 3 daily educational presentations featuring dolphins, sea lions, and more. Explore the indoor and outdoor gardens, see tropical birds, and get up close and personal with the park's friendly stingrays and even pet them. Enjoy the shows and explore the exhibits for as long as you like. Take advantage of the flexibility in your ticket to linger longer and wander around the grounds.

Panama City Beach: Snorkeling Trip by Boat

4. Panama City Beach: Snorkeling Trip by Boat

Enjoy a snorkeling trip by boat as you look out for dolphins and other sea creatures. Treat yourself to a complimentary drink on board as you cruise through the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Depart into Historic Grand Lagoon for a 15-minute relaxing cruise out to the Shell Island snorkeling area. Along the way, keep your eyes out for sea animals in their natural habitat. Take in the views as the vessel drops anchor. Plunge into the waters to snorkel for seashells and to catch a glimpse of the underwater world. As well as snorkeling, treat yourself to time to relax, float, and take in the sun. Sip on a complimentary drink on board. Wade through the shallow water onto Shell Island to hunt for more shells. Before returning home, the boat will ride out further into the Gulf of Mexico to search for more dolphins and sight-see along the way.

Panama City Beach: Dolphin Watching Trip by Catamaran

5. Panama City Beach: Dolphin Watching Trip by Catamaran

Head out to sea to meet the resident Panama City Beach dolphins. Enjoy informative commentary from your captain and crew, and sip a complimentary drink as you go. Board the “Footloose” Catamaran and head out into shimmering waters of the Gulf of Mexico near Shell Island. Partake in a beer, wine, or soft drink as you head out from the dock. Watch the dolphins as they swim, play, and feed in their natural habitat. Learn all about these beautiful creatures with informative commentary from your captain and crew. Take advantage of an onboard bar during your trip. Keep your eyes out for encounters with the bottlenose dolphins as you voyage through the turquoise waters.

Panama City Beach: High-Speed Speedboat Thrill Ride

6. Panama City Beach: High-Speed Speedboat Thrill Ride

Zip across the water, let loose, and even let out a shriek or two when you ride the Scream Machine: a twin-engine jet boat whose speed, 360-degree turns, and nose dives make it feel more like a rollercoaster on water. No long taxi times, no dolphin watching, just pure adrenaline. This Scream Machine is a 30' - 800 hp thrill ride powered by a set of twin Turbo Yanmar 350 diesel engines. Fish tails, nose dives, rocket launches and 360 degree power slides. This ride isn't for the faint of heart

Panama City Beach: Beginners Scuba Diving Tour

7. Panama City Beach: Beginners Scuba Diving Tour

If you wish to try scuba diving and you have never been underwater before, this Discovery Scuba Diving Activity is your best fit. No swimming skills, no previous experience, and no certification is required. This is the very first step in discovering the underwater world. Your Dive Instructor will meet you at the St. Andrews State Park Jetties public area pavilions, located at the end of the parking lot. First, he will starts with a safety breafing to introduce you the fundamentals of scuba diving (10-15 min). Next he will proceed to the shore diving site and teach you some basic diving skills in shallow water (3ft) to get you comfortable with breathing underwater and make sure you are familiar with underwater sign language. Now let Scuba Diving Begin! This experience guarantees you a fun, relaxing and unforgettable time, and your Instructor will make sure you are comfortable, carefree, and safe during your tour.

Panama City: Sunset Speedboat Tour with Dolphin Watching

8. Panama City: Sunset Speedboat Tour with Dolphin Watching

While in Panama City enjoy a roller coaster on water powered by a twin engine jet boat, with turns, nose dives and the legendary 360 degree spin! Don't miss out on the stunning sunset over Choctawhatchee Bay. This Panama City Beach Dolphin Watching Sunset Cruise takes you out on the water at the perfect time to get stunning photos of the sunset. Plus, you'll most likely spot a dolphin or two while cruising the bay, too. A thrill ride that complements any vacation, An outdoor adventure you’ll never forget!

Panama City Beach: Beginner Scuba Diving Experience

9. Panama City Beach: Beginner Scuba Diving Experience

Go scuba diving while in Panama City Beach, Florida, and experience the beautiful underwater world that the area has to offer. This activity is suitable for beginners and promises to leave you with a suite of unforgettable impressions of the sea as well as a new skill. Head to the beach and meet your expert diving team. You don't even have to know how to swim to participate in this activity. Total beginners are guaranteed to see some beautiful ocean life and have a great time. Begin with a fundamentals briefing on the beach. Hear about the basics of scuba diving for around 15 minutes before heading waist-deep into the water to get you comfortable breathing underwater. After the dive professionals have you feeling comfortable, they will give you an underwater tour, showcasing all the beautiful aquatic life and fish. They'll also capture some of these unforgettable memories on video for you to take home.

Lower Grand Lagoon: Panama City Beach Guided Snorkeling Tour

10. Lower Grand Lagoon: Panama City Beach Guided Snorkeling Tour

On this snorkeling tour, venture into the waters around the man-made site known as the Jetties in St. Andrews State Park Aquatic Preserve. With an instructor on hand, you can relax and enjoy your snorkeling experience. Let yourself be awed by the biodiversity and beauty of this underwater world. Arrive at the scenic St. Andrews State Park and meet your snorkel instructor under the pavilions by the parking lot. After introductions and a brief safety orientation, don your snorkel gear and head over to the Jetties site. There, admire the rock structure jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico. As you scale this man-made finger of rock, follow your instructor to the best place to enter the water. Once submerged, marvel at the emerald shades of water as you begin exploring. Watch for invertebrates, like blue crabs, hermit crabs, and the occasional octopus scuttling along the rocks. Continue snorkeling to glimpse a rainbow of different fish species, including tangs, sergeant majors, damselfish, pufferfish, and wrasse. Several dolphin pods frequent the waters around the jetty, which you may see, along with manatees and rays. Watch for occasional visitors from the deeper Gulf. After you've snorkeled for about an hour and a half, return to shore to conclude your adventure.

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What people are saying about Panama City Beach

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 191 reviews

The kiosk was a little hard to find but the experience was excellent! I highly recommend this for a nice relaxing time and it comes with a free drink!

It was perfect! Beautiful sunset! Captain Justine and Bartender Moseley were wonderful! Would do again in a heartbeat!

I love that the catamaran was small so it was not crowded! It was the favorite part of our trip. Highly recommend!

This was so much fun!! Seeing dolphins and having a drink with good music and a sunset!! Would do it again ❤️

Wonderful nice staff , free drinks, snacks aboard, music, walk to boat was long but nice