Panama City Beach Is the Perfect Spot for Outdoor Adventures—Here’s Why!

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By now, your kids have perfected all of their indoor daredevil tricks. The couch has officially become a landing pad for adorable human rocket ships. And you can’t get from one room to another without tripping over an elaborate obstacle course. Yep. It’s officially time for a vacation that moves all of that energy to the great outdoors. And there’s nothing better than the sand, sea, and sunshine of Florida’s Panama City Beach. Check out PCB’s awesome outdoor adventures for kids (and kids at heart!):

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Ride the Waves

Cruise around the Gulf of Mexico on a guided or unguided jet ski tour. This family-friendly activity is a great way to explore the area’s gorgeous emerald green waters— refreshing salt water spray in your face, not optional! Be sure to zip over to Shell Island, a stunning barrier island off the coast. Discover the natural beauty of its sand dunes, wildlife, seashells, and of course, playful dolphins. And if you’re up for trying a new watersport, learn paddleboarding techniques from a skilled instructor.

Set Sail… From the Sky

For a high-flying thrill, take a parasailing ride with your crew—no experience necessary. Soar above the beach with Adventures at Sea for a breathtaking look at the white sandy coastline, pristine waters, marine life and “tiny” beachgoers and boats below. Up to three people can be accommodated, so you can gently glide through the sweeping panoramic views together. Be sure to let the captain know if you want to stay dry or get your feet wet!

Go Off the Beaten Path

Head into the backwaters on an airboat—the only type of boat that can transport you into a remote maze of creeks, islands and marshes. Wild Thang Airboat Tours take you speeding into the wild, where alligators, dolphins, manatees, snakes, stingrays and birds dwell. Keep a lookout for old sunken boats (and anything else that may lurk below!). For an adventure after dark, book an hour long ride for a glimpse of the “red eyes” of alligators under the crew’s spotlights. Children must be at least two years old to ride.

Explore an Underwater World

Get immersed in aquatic life and scuba dive with the Dive Locker. Twelve year olds and up can learn the basics, gear up with a divemaster and head to St. Andrews State Park for an awesome introductory excursion under the water’s surface. Swim with new pals like octopus, hog snappers and plenty of other spectacular tropical fish. Who knows, you may come across some pirate’s treasures, too. Have more time? Ten year olds and up can become certified scuba divers following a three-day course. If you’re not ready to take the plunge (literally), a dolphin tour by boat is another awe-inspiring way to see your favorite sea creatures.

Go Wild at the Waterpark

Slide, splash, swim, float and even relax! A fun-filled tropical setting isn’t just reserved for the beach. Shipwreck Island Waterpark is a family favorite, thanks to the water slides, lazy river, 500,000 gallon wave pool, tipping bucket that dumps tons of water on enthusiastic patrons, and kiddy area with shallow pools galore. Bottom line: there’s something for every age and stage at this action packed theme water park.

It’s All Fun and Games

Head to one of many amusement parks in the area. Check out Cobra Adventure Park for a ride on The Dragon Wagon, a “kids-only” roller coaster. Race go-karts on four levels or play mini golf. Families with little ones love the Kids Kingdom of pint-sized rides (located right next to the beach) at Emerald Falls Family Recreation Center.

Learn more about these adventures and all of the other ways you can explore in PCB at!