Panama City Beach offers an array of exciting and budget-friendly activities that allow you to enjoy sun-soaked days without emptying your wallet. From the stunning beaches to the lush park trails and wildlife encounters, there's no shortage of affordable and free things to do in Panama City Beach.
Experience the beauty of PCB’s coastline, featuring 27 miles of pristine beaches and crystal-clear Gulf waters, all at no cost to you. With nearly 100 free public access points, you won’t have difficulty finding a spot to dig your toes into the famous sugar-white sand. Even from the comfort of your own home, you can take in the breathtaking views of our shores through our Panama City Beach cam.
And if you're planning to bring your furry friend along, let them stretch out their legs at the dedicated dog beach on the west side of the Russell-Fields City Pier.
If you're planning a beach getaway for the whole family, add Shell Island to your itinerary. Its unspoiled natural beauty and serene ambiance offer the perfect backdrop for a truly immersive outdoor experience.
This pristine barrier island stretches seven miles between the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay, offering various activities. From exciting snorkeling adventures to thrilling fishing excursions and numerous opportunities to spot dolphins, there's no shortage of free and affordable activities on and around Shell Island.
Getting to this undeveloped destination is easy. You can bring your boat, book a charter, or opt for the convenient Shell Island Shuttle, which runs during the summer, spring, and fall (with varying departure times). Round-trip shuttle tickets cost between $17.95 and $24.95
Panama City Beach Parks
Camp Helen State Park
Pack a picnic lunch and visit Camp Helen State Park, 180 acres of ecological wonder bordered on three sides by water, the Gulf to the south and Lake Powell to the north and east.
Activities include freshwater and saltwater fishing, swimming, hiking, and beachcombing. Rent or bring kayaks and paddleboards and explore Florida’s largest dune lake. Admission to the park costs $2 for pedestrians and cyclists and $4 for vehicles/motorcycles.
St. Andrews State Park
With the Gulf on one side and St. Andrews Bay on the other, St. Andrews State Park is a coastal gem known for its unique blend of pristine nature and recreational opportunities. With a mile and a half of white-sand beaches, hiking trails, bird-watching, and superb fishing spots, the park has something for everyone.
Explore the water via kayak or canoe, or dive underwater for an unforgettable diving and snorkeling adventure. Visit for the day or stay overnight at the park’s various campsites, which include glamping tents.
Admission to the park is $2 for pedestrians and cyclists or $4 for single-occupant vehicles and motorcycles. For cars with two to eight passengers, the fee is only $8.
Panama City Beach Conservation Park
Spanning nearly 3,000 acres, the Panama City Beach Conservation Park features 24-plus miles of trails of varying difficulty for hikers and cyclists and eight boardwalks totaling more than a mile in length. Bring binoculars—you’ll likely spot plenty of birds and wildlife in the wetlands area of this picturesque park.
Frank Brown Park
Frank Brown Park is a renowned venue, boasting a state-of-the-art sports complex and a well-loved events space. This expansive park is home to top-tier recreational facilities and features an impressive aquatic center and a children's playground, all set within its sprawling 200-plus acres of natural beauty. The best part? You can access and enjoy the park itself free of charge, making it the perfect spot for a fun day without breaking the bank.
Entrance fees apply if you're interested in taking a dip in the park's aquatic center. These fees typically range from $3 to $8 per person, depending on the specific activities and amenities you wish to enjoy.
Aaron Bessant Park
Nestled within 70 acres of meticulously maintained greenery, Aaron Bessant Park is a popular spot for relaxation and recreation. This expansive park offers diverse attractions, from a cutting-edge amphitheater designed for events to inviting playgrounds, scenic lakeside hiking trails, and serene picnic areas.
Inclusivity is a key feature of all Panama City Beach parks. They’re equipped with accessible amenities, ensuring every visitor can enjoy their experience fully. Additionally, leashed dogs are welcome, so you can bring your furry companions to share in the fun and beauty of these parks.
Pier Park is your one-stop destination for an unforgettable day of entertainment and excitement in Panama City Beach.
Whether you're taking in stunning panoramic beach views from the SkyWheel, indulging in some friendly competition with mini-golf, or immersing yourself in the world of cinema at The Grand Theatre IMAX , there's something for everyone to enjoy at this vibrant hub of fun. Pier Park also boasts a diverse mix of shops and restaurants.
Embrace guilt-free exploration with a blend of window shopping and art gallery browsing, all while keeping an eye out for enticing discount deals. Explore Pier Park with its renowned name-brand and specialty boutiques and the charming Decor By The Shore shopping trail, which introduces you to over a dozen unique mom-and-pop shops.
Whatever your choice, you're bound to have a great time—and perhaps even rack up some impressive Fitbit mileage along the way.
Fishing is a beloved year-round activity in PCB and a fantastic way to relish the area's natural beauty without breaking the bank, especially if you have your own boat.
Alternatively, you can opt for an affordable fishing experience by paying a modest admission fee to cast your line from Panama City Beach piers. They offer an accessible and cost-effective way to enjoy fishing in the stunning Panama City Beach surroundings.
Live Music & Events
Experiencing live music in Panama City Beach doesn't have to break the bank. Many beachfront bars and restaurants frequently showcase exceptional local artists and bands, creating a memorable dining experience.
Panama City Beach's vibrant music scene extends beyond dining venues to our city's parks and event spaces, which host annual and regular live music festivals and concerts. The best part? Many of these events are free of charge or come with wallet-friendly admission fees, ensuring that everyone can revel in the harmonious sounds of PCB.
With various free and budget-friendly attractions, from fishing excursions to park adventures, Panama City Beach offers many affordable ways to enjoy all the Gulf Coast offers.