Nothing is quite as relaxing as watching the emerald crests of the Gulf Coast break into eruptions of sea foam in the distance — the white noise of crashing waves filling the breeze as it drifts inland. The sight and sound has beckoned locals and visitors alike for generations. Some answered the call more actively than others. While many people are content with basking in the sun, others hunt seashells, build sandcastles or dive for treasures below the waves. But an increasingly diverse audience is gaining a new appreciation for gliding across the surface of the water.

The origins of surfing in Florida date back to as early as the 1930s, typically being found on beaches in the southern part of the state. Eventually, popular culture spread the allure of the sport to the Gulf Coast, which is still regarded by some as Florida’s best kept surf secret. Check out these hot spots that locals favor when looking to catch some waves:


St. Andrews State Park

St. Andrews State Park is consistently one of the most popular and most visited state parks in Florida. Situated on a peninsula at the far eastern edge of Panama City Beach, St. Andrews State Park is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the south, the St. Andrews Pass to the east and the Grand Lagoon to the north. Beach goers will love over 1.5 miles of beaches that rest on the Gulf and Grand Lagoon.

Russell-Fields City Pier

The Russell Fields Pier (City Pier) is one of the area's most popular tourist attractions. As the longest pier on the Gulf (over 1500 feet), The City Pier offers fantastic fishing, surfing and breath taking views of sunrises and sunsets. Whether you are looking for a great place to fish, surf or just a stroll, don't miss the City Pier.

M.B. Miller County Pier

Located on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico in Panama City Beach, the M.B Miller County Pier offers a great location for strolling, enjoying sunsets, sunrises and water activities, with a breathtaking views of emerald green waters and white sand beaches. 


In Panama City Beach, whether you are paddleboarding, kayaking or surfing, water sports are a way of life, and you’ll find the equipment, guides and lessons here to experience them to the fullest. To check out more fun water activities to enjoy while exploring PCB, click here.