Things To Do In Panama City, Florida

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Lying on St. Andrews Bay in the Florida panhandle, Panama City is a quaint community with plenty of fun things to do from dusk to dawn.  It’s a great place to go for a weekend getaway. I have compiled a list of Six Things To Do in Panama City – think of it as the weekend visitor’s mini guide to Panama City.

Arrow directions in Panama City, Florida.

1. Go for a Leisure Drive

Take a drive down West Beach Street and you might be reminded of the likes of New Orleans or Charleston.  Tall pine trees, as well as palm trees, line the road that borders St. Andrew’s Bay.  

If you are heading west, you will run into historic St. Andrews, the marina, antique shops, an art studio, and great places to eat.  How awesome is it to be driving along underneath the blue sky with a view of the bay!

Bay view with tall pine trees and palm trees.

2.  Buy Farm Fresh Produce on Saturdays

Tomatoes being sold at a farmer's market.

St. Andrews Waterfront Farmers Market is open most Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm at Smith’s Yacht Basin next to The Shrimp Boat restaurant.  Not only will you find fresh fruit and vegetables, but also handmade and homemade items such as children’s clothing, jewelry, wooden kitchenware, homemade bread, and soap.

Farmers' market by the marina in Panama City.

3. Explore St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico

Two kids holding shells they found at the beach.

Lying on St. Andrews Bay makes it easy for visitors to Panama City to engage in water activities.  From searching for shells like the ones pictured above which were found near the marina to dolphin cruises, you can do it in Panama City.  (Note:  If you do find a shell with a live hermit crab still occupying it, you will need to return it to the water unless you have a saltwater fishing license.)

Boats at the St. Andrews marina.

4. Get Creative

People crafting inside Floriopolis art studio.

Panama City is home to Floriopolis, a non-profit art studio, gallery, and market run by volunteers.  Anytime that Floropolis is open, they offer Art on the Spot – a quick art project that you can drop in to make.  They also have $10 Studio Days, where for only $10 you can get as creative as you’d like using Floropolis’ materials or your own.  For those who are less creative but have an appreciation for art, unique creations by over 100 local artists are for sale.

Floropolis is open Tuesday through Saturday and is located at 1125 Beck Ave.

Don't feed the Artist sign.

5. Eat Fresh Seafood

Plate with shrimp tacos and French fries.

You can’t make a trip to Panama City without indulging in seafood.  After all, the oysters are from nearby Apalachicola Bay and the shrimp is from the Gulf of Mexico.

Smoked oyster on a cracker.

There are so many local restaurants that you might decide to make annual trips to Panama City just to be able to eat at them all.  There are plenty of options for those landlubbers out there who aren’t too keen on seafood, too.  (Read Where To Eat in Panama City for a few dining suggestions.)

6. Enjoy Incredible Sunsets and Sunrises

Sun setting over the bay near the Gulf of Mexico.

There is something magical about watching the sunset over St. Andrews Bay.  The soft glow of the sun as it kisses the horizon in one last goodbye until it rises to shine again over the deep blue water.  Both the Panama City Marina and St. Andrews Marina are great spots to take in them both.


More Things To Do in Panama City

For more ideas of things to do in Panama City and historic St. Andrews, visit DestinationPanamaCity.com.  There you will find information about Lodging, Dining, Things To Do, and Events.

There’s also a Trip Planning feature that includes:

  • Sample Itineraries such as Fit For Foodies, On the Waterfront, Ecotourism, Kids, and Antiquing & Shopping,
  • A map and information about getting to and around Panama City, and
  • Information for planning a wedding in Panama City.

Want to stay on the beach? Check out the post about the Hampton Inn and Suites at Panama City Beach, Florida.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Panama City?

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