Gulf World Marine Park#9 in Best Things To Do in Panama City Beach
If you love dolphins, you'll want to schedule a stop at Gulf World Marine Park. Though the park houses several other species, including sea turtles, stingrays, sharks and sea lions, dolphins are the main attraction here, and one of the major reasons visitors recommend spending a few hours at the park. Similar to SeaWorld, the Gulf World Marine Park hosts animal shows (dolphins and sea lions are the only animals that perform), feeding demonstrations and opportunities to swim with the dolphins and interact with the park's other residents, including a variety of birds and reptiles.
Aside from the animals, recent visitors were also impressed with the knowledgeable trainers and said this attraction was a hit with the kids. If you need a rainy day activity, reviewers said this would be a solid choice. And if you're willing to splurge, travelers said swimming with the dolphins was an unforgettable experience.
Admission costs $29 for adults, $19 for kids ages 5 to 11 and is free for children 4 and younger. You can save $5 per ticket if you purchase admission online at the Gulf World Marine Park website. Admission prices do not include dolphin swims (which can cost as much as $169 per person) or other interactive programs. The park is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You'll find the aquarium about 5 miles northwest of downtown Panama City Beach off Front Beach Road.
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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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