PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLA., Jan. 7, 2015 - As 2015 kicks off on the white sandy shores of Florida's panhandle, Panama City Beach looks forward to another year of fun in the sun with a brand new wave of activities and attractions. Featuring new direct flights from Texas, restaurants and Grammy award-winning entertainment, 2015 promises to become a banner year for everyone's REAL.FUN.BEACH.
"After reflecting on unprecedented visitation numbers in 2014, we are delighted to launch an exciting lineup of new travel options and happenings in 2015," explains Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Dan Rowe. "In particular, we extend a warm welcome to new beachgoers thanks to nonstop airlift expansion out of Houston, Texas."
Below is an overview of what's new in 2015:
United Airlines Offers Direct Flights from Houston, Texas
Beginning on March 5, 2015, Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) will begin direct service to Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). The twice daily schedule will be operated by United Airlines regional branch, United Express. Bookings are now available on www.united.com and open up Panama City Beach to all 176 destinations through Houston's airport.
Gulf World Marine Park Announces New Stingray Habitat
At the beginning of 2015, Gulf World will open a new indoor marine habitat containing a variety of rays and small sharks. Guests will be able to feed the rays poolside or kneel in the 2.5 ft. deep pool for a more interactive experience.
New Voyages with Paradise Adventures
Known for an array of dolphin tours, sunset sails and half-day sightseeing cruises, Paradise Adventures announces several new opportunities to experience Panama City Beach on the water. New in 2015, guests can book a three hour adventure sail to Shell Island, where a 10 ft. waterslide, two water trampolines and water seesaw will be waiting. Unlimited rides on the Banana Boat, paddleboards and kayaks will also be offered along with the option to book a parasailing reservation. Additionally, a six passenger Fun Boat has been added to the fleet for smaller groups looking to experience the Shell Island Adventure Tour.
John Muir Trail
Panama City Beach Conservation Park contains almost 3,000 acres and has recently opened the John Muir Trail, named for famed conservationist and "Father of the National Parks" John Muir. The mile-long path is lined with wiregrass and showcases Northwest Florida's bounty of flora and fauna.
Alan Jackson Joins 2nd Annual Chasin' the Sun Music Festival
Grammy award winning singer and songwriter Alan Jackson will perform front and center at the 2015 Chasin' the Sun Music Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26. The area's newest concert tradition celebrates tropical rock and classic beach tunes for the perfect vacation soundtrack.
New Restaurants & Play Center in Pier Park
Pier Park, with over one-million square feet of retail space, as well restaurants, a beautiful beach and countless amusements, has quickly become a focus of shopping, and home to many events in Panama City Beach. New for 2015, visitors will find an Osaka Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar and The Craft Bar, a Florida Gastropub that features 35 beers on tap and 100 craft bottles. Pier Park will also be opening Monkey Bizness, a drop-in play center for kids to enjoy safe, energetic activities under adult supervision.
Mike's Café & Oyster Bar Expands to accommodate group events
Originally opened as Mike's Diner in 1986, owner Mike Thomas added an oyster bar in 2010 and is now expanding the oyster bar to add 55 more seats by February 2015. The additional space will also accommodate private parties of up to 90 people, and host seafood boils, oyster bakes and more. For more information, visit mikescafeandoysterbar.com.