This summer, Panama City Beach invites residents and visitors to take full advantage of the great outdoors with a number of new adventures for the entire family. With over 27 miles of white sandy beaches and a variety of activities including paddleboarding, fishing, hiking, and camping, the destination promises to offer plenty of adventure on and around the water.
"We're grateful to receive nearly 320 days of sunshine annually and are always keen to point outdoor enthusiasts in the direction of our pristine beaches, waterways and award-winning state parks," shares Dan Rowe, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Whether it is scuba diving into our amazing shipwreck sites or exploring the natural beauty of Shell Island, we guarantee a wide variety of pursuits fit for all ages and budgets."
Below is an overview of outdoor activities:
Paddleboarding: SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) is experiencing a huge surge in popularity because it is such a fun way to explore the water. Panama City Beach offers the perfect paddleboarding environment thanks to a distinctive combination of protected and open water, including the Gulf of Mexico, rivers, bays, and lakes. Paddleboard classes cover everything from basic skills for staying upright to advanced techniques, and in Panama City Beach you're never far from an SUP guide or rental service. Serious anglers are even using paddleboards as a way to get closer to the action, hooking redfish, snook and even sailfish! For more information, visit WaterActivities - Panama City Beach, FL
St. Andrews State Park: As one of Florida's most popular state parks, St. Andrews has over one-and-a-half miles of beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and Grand Lagoon. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and canoeing while two fishing piers, a jetty, and a boat ramp provide ample fishing opportunities for anglers. Two nature trails wind through a rich diversity of coastal plant communities - a splendid opportunity for bird-watching. Full-facility campsites, as well as primitive youth group camping, make this park a popular overnight destination. A concession offers snacks, souvenirs, and fishing amenities. Shell Island Boat Tours are available through the summer. For more information, visit St. Andrews State Park - Panama City Beach, FL
Camp Helen State Park: The 183-acre park is bordered on three sides by water including the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell, the largest of the unique coastal dune lakes in Florida. Prehistoric mounds indicate that humans inhabited the area more than 4,000 years ago. Today, Camp Helen offers fishing, hiking trails, bird watching and swimming. For more information, visit Camp Helen State Park - Panama City Beach, FL
Conservation Park & John Muir Trail: Spanning over 2,900 acres of the West Bay ecosystem, Conservation Park is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts to explore and observe local wildlife. Along with an outdoor reception area, the park contains 12 walking and biking trails to choose from and will open the John Muir Trail in the fall of 2014 in memoriam of the "Father of National Parks," John Muir. For more information, visit Conservation Park - Panama City Beach, FL
Diving: The Gulf of Mexico off Panama City Beach provides the perfect home for a wide variety of sea life. Sea turtles, dolphins, giant manta rays, octopus, and schools of colorful fish are just a few of the inhabitants found near the excellent artificial reefs and sunken ships found in these emerald waters, making for some of Florida's most memorable diving. Panama City Beach dive charters run year-round, so anytime is a great time to discover the dozens of artificial reefs off the coast of Panama City Beach, or explore from shore at the jetties in St. Andrews State Park. For more information, visit Diving - Panama City Beach, FL
Fishing: Fishing enthusiasts know the gorgeous waters that surround Panama City Beach hold more than their fair share of tasty treasures. Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, fisherman don't have to go very far offshore to make a great catch. Panama City Beach is home to two fishing piers that offer the chance to land a whopper without stepping foot in a boat. The St. Andrews Bay and many inland waterways also offer superb shallow water fishing from a skiff or the shore. As a special this summer, Panama City Beach is offering license-free fishing from June 7-8, 2014. These dates are the perfect opportunity for parents who don't yet have a license, to take youth fishing, or for avid anglers to introduce a friend to the recreational pursuit without having to purchase a license. Visitors can also obtain 3-7 day fishing licenses. For more information, visit Fishing - Panama City Beach, FL