Panama City Beach:

Top 10 Fall Outdoor Activities


This fall and winter, visitors of all types can discover Panama City Beach’s picture-perfect, Caribbean-like outdoor experiences, from families roadschooling and couples working remotely to girlfriends looking for a rejuvenating getaway. With over 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches and mild fall and winter temperatures, travelers will find plenty of adventure on and off the water.

Whether discovering a remote island and spotting wildlife in a nature sanctuary or finding inner peace with beach yoga and exploring Florida’s quiet marshes by kayak, the possibilities are endless at the Real. Fun. Beach. Take a look below for more information on Panama City Beach’s top 10 outdoor activities and discover why this coastal destination is the ultimate outdoor escape.

1. Explore Florida’s Hidden Gem – Shell Island

Accessible only by boat and surrounded by the world’s highest concentration of bottlenose dolphins, this pristine seven-mile island of sugar-white sand, emerald-green water and beautiful pine forest is truly an oasis for those who want to get away from it all. The perfect spot to reconnect with Mother Nature, Shell Island has natural beauty as far as the eye can see. From docile deer and nesting shorebirds to loggerhead turtles and elusive ghost crabs, a host of coastal creatures call this paradise home. Suited for a picnic, walk on the beach or snorkeling adventure on warmer days, the barrier island is accessible to visitors by private charter, boat rental or an hourly shuttle service.

2. Reconnect with Nature at St. Andrews and Camp Helen State Parks

Experience firsthand “the last undiscovered Florida coast.” From hiking, biking and birdwatching to swimming and fishing, the destination’s St. Andrews and Camp Helen State Parks are the ideal habitats for viewing the diverse animal and plant life that make up this nature lover’s wonderland. Named the #2 beach in the nation by TripAdvisor, St. Andrews State Park provides an outdoor retreat for every type of visitor, with activities including kayak and canoe rentals. Located on the western border of Panama City Beach, Camp Helen State Park is truly a local treasure. Visitors can explore coastal dunes and salt marshes along the Gulf or freshwater wetlands and scrub oak forests along the lake.

3. Discover the Wild Side of Florida on an Airboat Ride

Those looking to explore the labyrinth of creeks, islands and marshes, inaccessible by other modes of transportation, can book an airboat ride with Airboats Gone Wild. Riders will feel the wind in their faces as they tear through the water at speeds approaching Mach 10 and explore the beaten path where the wildest of wildlife dwells.

4. Enjoy Cotton Candy Sunsets with a Private Beach Bonfire

There is no better way to enjoy Panama City Beach’s breathtaking sunsets and cool nights than with family, friends, s’mores and a warm beach bonfire. Endless Rentals offers custom built propane fire pits, creating the perfect setting with no ash or smoke. In addition, the company can arrange cozy hammocks, perfect for a quiet evening on the destination’s famous beaches.

5. Kayak the Gulf and Backwaters

Beach lovers can surf the waves via kayak on Panama City Beach’s protected and open waters like the Grand Lagoon, St. Andrews Bay and various cold springs, rivers and lakes in the region. Bay Point Water Sports can provide everything needed to discover the clear waters in and around the destination, including single or tandem kayak rentals.

6. Beach Yoga

Yoga aficionados can achieve zen and stay fit, all while enjoying Panama City Beach’s natural beauty, with beach yoga. Studio By The Sea, Namaste A Mermaid’s Oasis and The Karma Shack at Zen Garden all provide a number of options for yogis of all skill levels.

7. Fishing

The crystal-clear depths of Panama City Beach’s sandy shores are home to a vast array of wildlife for adrenaline pumping offshore and inshore fishing. Novice and experienced anglers can reserve a fishing charter for a deep-sea catch-and-release experience in the Gulf of Mexico to see why Panama City Beach is known for its world-class fishing. Guides can help reel in those king mackerel, blues, redfish, flounder, pompano hardtail and cobia—all common in the area. Fishing adventures abound in Panama City Beach so much so that the award-winning “Chasin’ The Sun” TV show takes place in the region.

8. Beach Volleyball

Various beach access points and restaurants in Panama City Beach have volleyball nets that are open to the public. Guests and locals alike can grab a delicious lunch at Schooners or Sharky’s and then hit the sand for some volleyball. The City Pier, where multiple nets can be found, is also a great place to pick up a game.

9. Hike and Bike at Panama City Beach Conservation Park

With nearly 3,000 acres of protected land and more than 24 miles of trails and boardwalks, the Panama City Beach Conservation Park was developed to protect the area’s natural resources. The goal of this park was to encourage Panama City Beach residents and visitors to enjoy the incredible scenery found in this unique part of the country. Nature lovers can often spot native wildlife soaring and roaming freely, including eagles, alligators, woodpeckers, wild boar, whitetail deer, snakes and coyotes.

10. Tee Off on the Links

Recognized by Golf Digest Magazine as one of America’s top three golf towns, Panama City Beach has affordable greens fees paired with award-winning course design. Tee times are available year-round, with an average annual temperature of 74 degrees, and golfers can choose from the Nicklaus Course, the only Nicklaus Design course in Northwest Florida, as well as Holiday Golf Club and Signal Hill.


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