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  • Writer's pictureksmith959


Updated: Dec 6, 2021

We spent 3 months living in Panama City Beach Florida for a travel nursing assignment, so here are our favorite things to do and eat in PCB!

If you would rather watch, here is our video below!


Easily our favorite thing to do in PCB! Shell island is a barrier island right off of St. Andrews State Park. It is basically just a barren beach as in there are no restrooms or other facilities.

This was not a big deal because it is absolutely beautiful and the beauty makes up for it!

Here is some of the best snorkeling and shell hunting in all of PCB in my opinion.

I saw a ton of sea life here including tons of fish, jelly fish, crab and a sting ray! It was super fun snorkeling around and seeing how diverse the sea life is there. The best snorkel spot is over by the jetties, just an FYI!

Check out our other blog post over shell island including transportation and other tips!


600 Pier Park Dr, Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Pier park is a shopping and dining area located right off of the beach! There are several streets of fun that make up pier park. They have everything from a ferris wheel, to kids attractions, and everything in between. This is a very family friendly area of PCB.

Here are some places to visit at Pier Park:

The Yard Milkshake Bar - This places has several over the top milkshakes that are very instagram worthy!! We tried the strawberry cheese cake milkshake when we visited, and oh was it good! The milkshakes are so big that they can definitely be shared.

Margaritaville- Who doesn't love Margaritaville?! I know that there are many chains around the world, but you definitely have to eat at one when you can!

Sky Wheel- We honestly don't often go for the touristy things like a ferris wheel, but after looking at it for 3 months we decided to check it out. It felt super safe and was pretty neat seeing the coastline from up above!

Also, they have a rope's course right by the sky wheel.

Paula Dean's Restaurant- We have never tried this one, but we hear that it is good and worth a try!

Can you tell that we are foodies?!

There are numerous shops here, some local and some chain stores. We loved visiting all of the local shops with handmade goods and souvenirs!

I highly recommend watching our YouTube video as there are some family friendly activities that we show.


Of course you have to go to the beach at Panama City Beach, haha! This is super obvious, but I want to point out some tips!

Parking: We loved parking at Rick Seltzer Beach Park. Here you can find restrooms and showers as well as numerous parking spots!

There is also parking at pier park and across the street is the dog beach. We would park here if doing both pier park and the beach, as well as if we were bringing our dog.

You can find other parking spots around, but these are our favorites!

When visiting the beach, try to find spots that are away from the hotels. You will have a much more peaceful time!

Visit the beach close to sunset! You will see much more marine life including dolphins and packs of sting rays!! We would always see them come out around this time! Not only do you see more wildlife, but you will also get some of the most amazing sunsets that you have ever seen!


4607 State Park Ln, Panama City, FL 32408

This state park is such a gem in PCB! You have a mix of both the beach and also the forest like wetlands. Here you can see all kinds of wildlife including alligators, birds, deer, and all kinds of amazing animals!

The beach here is known to be the surfing spot in PCB as the jetties allow the perfect waves for it. You can also find several piers where fishing is common.

The jetties here are also the spot for shore scuba diving and snorkeling. Tons of marine life!

There is also a lagoon that is more kid friendly where local families hang out!

If you are looking to visit shell island, the shuttle takes off at the state park as well!

Entry fees can be found on their website below.


These museum attractions are perfect for the entire family and even better on a rainy day in PCB. They are right across the street from each other, so it would be an awesome day spent if doing both.

The wonderworks building is an upside down building that you cannot miss! It is full of education and entertainment exhibits that cycle out throughout the year!

Ripley's Believe It Or Not is filled with crazy, fun, and odd attractions such as the ripley's museum, mirror maze, and laser tag.


  • Pineapple Willys

  • Thomas Donuts

  • Sharky's

  • Schooners

  • Captain Andersons

  • C-Level

  • History Class Brewing


There are so many things to do in PCB that we cannot possibly list them all here! You can find everything from mini golf, silly souvenir stores, silly roadside attractions, zooworld, aquariums and many more!

What are your favorite things to do in PCB?!

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