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A Weekend Getaway to Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach, Florida's Pier Park

Entrance to Pier Park

When presented with the chance of visiting Panama City Beach for a quick weekend getaway, I jumped at the chance.  How could I say no?  Sugar white sand beaches, delicious food, the ocean…you get the idea.  There are tons of fun things to do, places to eat, and things to discover in PCB.


We reached Panama City Beach just after noon on a warm, beautiful day in May.  We decided to eat at Pier Park (pictured above).  Parking was to either side of the shopping center.  It is a very popular place, but somehow we managed to find a spot towards the back near the giant slide.

large slide

We walked past a lot of cute shops and restaurants.

French Fry Heaven sign

We thought about eating at Hofbräuhaus.

Hofbrau Haus in Panama City Beach

But hey!  We were at the beach and fresh seafood is what we wanted so we ended up having lunch at Pompano Joe’s.

Shrimp Po Boy and French fries

Shrimp Po Boy

On the walk back to our car, we stopped and bought a cup of Italian Ice.

blue raspberry shaved ice

After a quick stop at the condo to drop off our things, we headed for the beautiful beach.

pathway to beach

One of the things that I really wanted to do while in Panama City Beach was to find a donut shop.  As luck would have it, when we found a parking spot at the beach it happened to be directly across from Thomas’ Donut & Snack Shop.

donut shop in Panama City Beach

It was meant to be!

box of assorted donuts

After spending some time at the ocean, we headed down the main strip and dined at Barefoot Hideaway Grill.  There I enjoyed my first fish taco.  I ordered both the fried and blackened – both were delicious.

onion rings and tacos

I loved that Barefoot Hideaway is right on the beach.  The sun was starting to set and I was able to walk a few feet out onto the beach and capture the sunset with my camera.

sun setting in Panama City Beach

The next day, we took a Shell Island Cruise via Capt. Anderson’s Marina.

Captain Anderson's Marina in Panama City Beach

Our trip took 3 1/2 hours and it was a blast!  Shortly after launching from the marina, passengers were handed Cheetos.  We learned that seagulls love Cheetos and will take them from your hand.

feeding a seagull a Cheeto

We spotted dolphins several times while on the ship.  The captain stopped the boat so that we could watch them.  We were fortunate to even spot a juvenile dolphin swimming with the pod.

dolphin swimming in the Gulf of Mexico

To be honest, I was not sure what to expect about Shell Island.  When we arrived, we had to disembark and walk over a long dock to get to the other side.

bridge to beach

We were among the first to reach the end of the dock.  My husband spotted a couple of crabs running on the beach.  The two got away from us once we hit the sand, but my husband found another one buried under the sand.  He finally moved and I was able to record him scurrying to the water:

There is a reason that it is called Shell Island – there are a lot of shells dotting the seashore.  Most of what we found were small shells or fragments.

seashells on beach in Panama City Beach

We were able to find six perfect little sand dollars.

miniature sand dollar in a hand

We had about an hour to enjoy Shell Island before we had to head back.   On the ride back we saw even more dolphins.

Later that evening, we drove to Panama City Beach Winery.  All of their wines are produced in Florida and are award winners.

Wine Awards

They offer daily wine tastings.  I thought they were all pretty good, but I particularly liked their peach wine, White Gold.  I picked up a bottle and am saving it for my birthday.

pouring a glass of wine

For our last dinner at PCB, we ate at Firefly, which came highly recommended to me by friends.   Let me just say that my friends were right!

My son ordered pizza.

small pizza

Pizza Margherita

Since we arrived early, my husband and I ordered off of the Sunset Menu.

medallions of beef tenderloin

Medallions Of Beef Tenderloin

Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon

Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon

My son and I both ordered dessert.  It was neat watching the waitress set the Creme Brulee aflame in front of us.

White Chocolate Creme Brulee

White Chocolate Creme Brulee

Homemade Cheesecake

Homemade Cheesecake

After our incredible dinner, we played a round of mini golf at Barnacle Bay.  Although I was able to make a hole-in-one, I ended up second overall.

Mini Golf

This was such a great mini-vacation.  In addition to all of the fun things we got to see, do, and eat, another great benefit of the trip was seeing my teenager smile.   That was priceless.

Plan Your Panama City Beach Vacation is a great place to start planning your own Panama City Beach vacation.  You can follow Panama City Beach on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram |Pinterest| and the web.

What are your favorite things to at the beach?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Panama City Beach via Rhythm One. The opinions and text are all mine.

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