Best Attractions & Activities

With all of the things to do and see in a city, deciding how to spend your time can be quite an agonizing decision. 10best has narrowed all of the available attractions in Panama City to a list of the most appealing and reputable, to aide in your decision making. You can rest easy knowing that any choice you make from our list is sure to please.


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Visitors to Panama City looking for more refined cultural pursuits will enjoy this gallery and showplace for local and regional pieces. Since 1966, the gallery has displayed paintings, murals, metalwork and portraiture by artists like Dan Dunn, Dorothy Vickers, Betty Tenhundfeld Johnson and Robert Hodgell.

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Bay Point Golf Club
Photo courtesy of Bay Point Golf Club

Golf enthusiasts enjoy hitting the fairways at this primo destination, located minutes from the beaches of Panama City. Bay Point is home to two immaculate yet challenging courses, the Meadows Course and the Nicklaus Course, formerly known as Lagoon Legend. Guests can rent clubs and equipment, participate in individual or group lessons from a PGA-approved pro, and enjoy a post-round cocktail at Club 19.

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Shell Island

This uninhabited island off the coast is a popular destination for sightseeing and enjoying natural beauty. Bottlenoses play in the water surrounding the island, which itself is home to a fascinating cast of creatures and critters. Spend your day swimming with the dolphins and relaxing on the sand, far removed from the mainland's tourist beaches. Hop a Shell Island Shuttle over Shell Island, and be sure to sign up for snorkeling packages or kayak rentals on the way.

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St. Andrews State Park

Nature lovers adore this unspoiled Gulf Coast preserve, where the scenery is nothing short of stunning: soft, white beaches wedged between lush native flora and calm, blue water. The park has two fishing piers, space for a variety of waters sports and a network of nature trails. St. Andrews also offers two campgrounds and sites for RV enthusiasts. An on-site concession area sells snacks, souvenirs, and camping and fishing supplies.

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Shipwreck Island Waterpark

Kids of all ages will enjoy splashing around at this family water park, specifically during summer months. The park includes thrill rides such as Raging Rapids and Pirates Plunge, as well as kid-friendly attractions like the wave pool, flume ride and lazy river. As to more restful pursuits, the park's tropical landscaping is perfect for those wanting to while away their day in flowering beauty. Slap on the sunscreen and be ready to have some fun!

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Gulf World Marine Park

This Panama City attraction offers great opportunities for learning about the animals. Fun and educational for every member of the family, Gulf World gives dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, reptiles and tropical birds some well-deserved time in the spotlight. In addition, special programs let park visitors "Swim with a Dolphin," become a "Trainer for a Day," enjoy "Dolphin Day Camp" (Reservations required). They also host special concert performances in the Tropical Garden Theatre.

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Captain Anderson's Marina

If you're out to spend time on the water, look first to Captain Anderson's, where the daily slate includes a variety of popular daytrips and excursions. Landlubbers can enjoy saltwater fishing expeditions, island tours and dolphin tours with trained, friendly guides. For more romantic pursuits, the marina provides dinner cruises. Small group tours are also available. And before heading to your home port, be sure to check out the on-site fish and seafood market.

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Panhandle Helicopter lets you tour Panama City and its beautiful beaches from high above. Experience a completely different vantage point aboard an individual charter flight or as a part of a scenic tour. Choose flights in duration from 5 to 25 minutes.Their helicopter tours are safe and provide ample opportunity to take breathtaking beach and Gulf photos. NB Conveniently located near Pier Park, the flights range from the 5 mile, pier- to- pier flight up to the 28 mile Shell Island tour and the 36 mile seaside tour. Prices start at $40 per person.

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This green space near the city center is a good place to get back to nature, and it hosts to numerous local events throughout the year. The park's shade trees and walking paths make for a pleasant retreat from the rigors of the city, especially during sweltering summer days.

Read more about McKenzie Park →