Panama City Beach, known for its 360 annual days of sunshine, 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches and brilliant emerald waters, is hosting a variety of family-friendly festivals and events for every type of traveler this fall. Whether an athlete, biker, country music fan, lobster lover, pirate seeker or Bloody Mary aficionado, locals and visitors alike will have something to look forward to this season in Panama City Beach.
For the seventh year in a row, the destination will celebrate the beginning of fall and Labor Day weekend with the best names in country music during the annual Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. This year’s festival is sure to be bigger and better than ever, with headliners including Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and Kid Rock. Organizers will be donating $10 from every ticket sold to hurricane relief efforts in the surrounding areas hit hardest by Hurricane Michael last year. While Panama City Beach was fortunate to suffer little damage from the Category 5 storm, other areas of the county were not so lucky, and the community is working to bring awareness and aid to the area.
October in Panama City Beach is the month of festivals, with events such as Oktoberfest, Pirates of the High Seas Fest, Schooners Lobster Festival & Tournament and the Bloody Mary & Music Festival. Locals and visitors alike can raise a glass of authentic German beer and enjoy a classic brat during the annual Oktoberfest on October 4-6. The next week, guests can replace their lederhosen for a pirate hat and sword for the annual Pirates of the High Seas Fest on October 11-13. This Columbus Day celebration will bring a treasure trove of fun-filled adventures, including sword-swinging showdowns, a pirate invasion and a spectacular fireworks display.
Schooners Lobster Festival and Tournament is the biggest lobster festival in the area, lasting an entire week from October 14-20. Held at Schooners Last Local Beach Club, attendees can expect live music, contests and lots of delicious Florida lobster. Foodies vising on October 19 can enjoy a second culinary festival as the fourth annual Bloody Mary & Music Festival will also be taking place. Featuring 20 local businesses competing in a friendly but fierce competition to determine who makes the best Bloody Mary, the winner will be crowned the “Big Tomato” and awarded a highly coveted, four-foot, tomato-topped trophy.
Known as “The Most Biker Friendly FREE Rally in the United States,” the Thunder Beach Autumn Motorcycle Rally on October 24-27 invites bikers from around the country to enjoy scenic rides along the Emerald Coast, live entertainment and local cuisine. Just days after bikers roll through Panama City Beach, some of the greatest athletes in the world will be racing down the beach November 2 during IRONMAN Florida. With the destination’s perfect temperatures and beautiful scenery, the Florida edition of the challenge serves as one of the most popular races on the circuit.
In November, families and friends of all ages will cruise into town for two annual favorites. Featuring thousands of hot rods and classic cars, the Emerald Coast Cruzin’ Car Show takes place at Aaron Bessant Park on November 6-9 and includes a parade, block party, car auction, giveaways and live country music. Later in the month, those visiting Panama City Beach for Thanksgiving weekend can kick off the Christmas season in style with Beach Home for the Holidays. A great holiday tradition for the entire family, this event includes free concerts, seasonal-themed events like campfires and s’mores, meet-and-greet with Santa and a Christmas tree-lighting celebration.
From one of the most highly anticipated county music concerts of the year to fighting pirates to ushering in the holiday season with Santa, Panama City Beach’s diverse fall calendar truly has something for everyone. Those looking for the picture-perfect destination for fall travel won’t want to miss the opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime at one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.