Dolphin Tours#3 in Best Things To Do in Panama City Beach
Though you can see and interact with dolphins at the Gulf World Marine Park, locals and visitors will tell you: there's nothing like observing them in the wild. Dolphin tours are a popular to-do in Panama City Beach, and often described by travelers as their favorite experience in PCB.
Similar to the area's fishing charters, there are a variety of dolphin tours to choose from. If you want a more intimate wildlife-viewing experience, consider Dolphin and Snorkel Tours, which limits the number of guests on its boats to six people. The company also guarantees dolphin sightings because of its location at the Bay Point Marina (the closest marina to Shell Island, which is where dolphins are usually spotted). These tours, which typically last three hours, also include snorkel gear in case you'd like to get in the water to explore more.
Another company praised by recent visitors: Sea Screamer. These two-hour tours also cruise around St. Andrew Bay and the waters of Shell Island. Though this cruise is not as intimate in terms of the number of passengers it allows, it is cheaper: Adult tickets cost $22, compared to $65 per person on Dolphin and Snorkel Tours. Plus, Sea Screamer also offers sunset tours. Most tours depart from the marina where they dock; check individual company websites for more information.
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#1 St. Andrews State Park
St. Andrews State Park has enough attractions and activities to keep every member of your family happy. Along with a nearly 2-mile-long white sand beach, the park also boasts paved bike trails, marked hiking trails, water sports equipment rentals (including canoes, kayaks and snorkeling gear) and shuttle boat tours to Shell Island, a 7-mile long undeveloped barrier island. Additionally, the park provides a concession stand with snacks, souvenirs and fishing supplies.
Recent visitors described the park as beautiful and praised the clean beach and facilities. Reviewers said the park can get quite crowded on the weekends and advised visiting during the week if your itinerary allows. And keep your eyes peeled for plenty of wildlife: travelers said there was a lot of activity in and out of the water from local animals like alligators, heron, ibis and white tail deer.
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