Free Things To Do in Panama City Beach
- #2View all PhotosfreeBeaches#2 in Panama City BeachBeaches, Sightseeing, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Sightseeing, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
With 27 miles of beaches and nearly 100 access points, PCB is a beach bum's paradise. You won't have a difficult time finding a stretch of sand to park your towel; in fact, you may have a harder time deciding on what shoreline to relax.
If you want to stay close to the downtown area, head to Front Beach Road. From here, you'll find a bevy of convenient Panama City Beach access points and street parking. To experience Florida's coastal beauty at its most natural, hop a shuttle boat to Shell Island. This barrier island off of St. Andrews State Park is undeveloped with few crowds and a peaceful atmosphere, according to recent visitors. Plus, it's a haven for dolphins. For even more undeveloped land, head to Camp Helen State Park, which sits on the far western border of Panama City Beach. Along with a quiet beach, it's also home to trails that snake through dunes and scrub oak forests, not to mention a rare dune lake.
- #5View all Photos#5 in Panama City BeachHiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDHiking, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
When you're ready to explore more of PCB's nature, head to Conservation Park. As a safeguard for wetlands, wildlife and pine forest, the park is a natural filter, balancing treated water before it travels to the St. Andrews Bay. This nearly 3,000-acre park features 12 different trails of varying difficultly and eight boardwalks totaling more than a mile in length. Bring binoculars – you'll likely spot plenty of birds and wildlife in the wetlands area.
According to recent visitors, the park's well-maintained, flat trails are perfect for hiking or biking. One word of caution from reviewers: Bring plenty of sunscreen and water. Though some said the park was a bit out of the way compared to other top attractions (it's about 10 miles west of downtown Panama City Beach and best reached by car), travelers also enjoyed that its location away from the beach crowds made it incredibly peaceful.
- #8View all PhotosfreePier Park#8 in Panama City BeachAmusement Parks, Shopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDAmusement Parks, Shopping, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
PCB is first and foremost a beach destination. But when you need a break from the sun and surf (or if some clouds thwart your plans), the area has a bevy of attractions to keep you entertained away from the shoreline. Case in point: Pier Park. An outdoor retail, dining and entertainment hub, Pier Park is home to familiar chain restaurants like Olive Garden, Subway and Five Guys, along with popular stores like Charming Charlie, Dillard's and Old Navy, among others. When you need a reprieve from shopping, head to Pier Park Amusements, the on-site theme park (a hit with recent visitors). It features a giant slide, a small roller coaster and a free-fall ride, along with more gentle attractions for young children
Along with the variety of stores and activities, visitors particularly liked how clean and safe the area is.
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