Home of amazing Beach, Pier Park, SkyWheel and exciting of things to do in Panama City Beach on Memorial Day. We've compiled some of the best activities to do in Panama City Beach on this Memorial Day holiday.
Panama City's beautiful beach is the centerpiece of the city and loved by locals and tourists of all ages, who come here to swim, play, relax, socialize, and soak up the sun.
Twenty-seven miles of dazzling white sand stretches along this section of the Gulf of Mexico at Panama City Beach, and the shallow waters are perfect for younger kids, inviting beyond belief in the summer heat.
One of the major landmarks along the waterfront is City Pier, where much of the hottest beach scene is centered, with beach volleyball games and young people hanging out and socializing.
Across the street from the wooden pier is Pier Park, with shops and restaurants. This can be a good place to break for lunch or catch some shade on Memorial Day visit.
The beachfront hotels and condos that run up and down the shore fill up from spring until fall. If you are coming in the off-season to enjoy the view or the tranquility, these hotels offer steep discounts.
Pier Park, directly across from Russell-Fields Pier, more commonly known as City Pier, is a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, with a tourist-oriented twist. If you are looking for a break from the beach, Pier Park is a convenient and pleasant distraction. It's also the best place to visit on a cold or rainy day.
Pier Park is a lively place and a perfect place to shop and go for lunch or dinner on Memorial Day. Most restaurants feature outdoor patios where you can catch the sea breeze.
Shopping options range from beach-themed apparel shops to high-end chain and department stores. Also on-site is the Pier Park Amusements, which features a variety of things to do, including rides and an IMAX theater.
One of the newer attractions in Panama City Beach is the SkyWheel, a giant 170-foot-high Ferris wheel. Amazing views are enjoyed from any one of the 30 gondolas, all fully air-conditioned. Each gondola seats six people, except for the VIP glass-floored one, which seats only four.
In addition to the SkyWheel, the entertainment complex also offers a ropes course called the SkyTrail that loops you around a series of obstacles high in the air. Don't worry, you'll be firmly secured to a safety line at all times.
If you've ever wanted to try ziplining, the SkyRail is worth a try. This short zipline will give you a taste of what larger courses may be like and whether you'd like to give them a try as you travel around.
A fun mini-golf, also known as Putt-Putt in the southern United States, is also available during Memorial Day, and its unique and challenging holes are guaranteed to bring a smile to you and your kids' faces.
Russell-Fields Pier, just across the street from Pier Park, juts out 1,500 feet into the sea. This pier, one of the longest along the entire Gulf of Mexico, is an excellent place to wander out to soak up amazing views up and down the coast. It's also a popular place to visit on Memorial Day to catch the sunset.
Look over the side of the pier as you walk out to the end. There's a good chance that you'll see a passing dolphin or perhaps a manta ray skimming along the bottom. The pier attracts all kinds of birdlife, from pelicans to gulls, right through to herons. These patient avian observers stand at the ready to help out the fishermen in exchange for a piece of bait.
If you are into fishing, the pier is one of the best spots in Panama City to try your luck. Some of the common catches are pompano, mullet, grouper, cobia, and many others, depending on the season. A small admission fee is charged to access the pier and is good for the day. A higher fee is charged to fish.
The pier is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you'd like to visit another pier that is a bit more low-key, consider heading to M.B. Miller County Pier. It's about 15 minutes north along Highway 30, just past the SpringHill Suites Panama City Beach Beachfront hotel.
Gulf World Marine Park is one of Panama City Beach's top fun family attractions during Memorial Day weekend. The park has all kinds of sea life and free daily shows featuring dolphins, sea lions, and a variety of birds. Park residents include alligators, penguins, sharks, and many other exciting critters.
The park also offers exclusive hands-on and interactive experiences, including a 20,000-gallon stingray pool where visitors can not only pet the smooth, graceful fish but actually get to wade in the pool and snorkel beside them.
Interactive programs include the ever-popular swimming with the dolphins and the opportunity to get up close with adorable harbor seals or participate in a sea lion training session. If you've ever wanted to get a wet, sloppy kiss from a dolphin, this is the place to do it.
The park is open seasonally and closed between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
St. Andrews State Park is a diverse area with a little of everything when it comes to beach activities along the Gulf of Mexico. Featuring shallow, protected areas for a relaxing swim or snorkel, and sections with larger waves for playing in, St. Andrews is the perfect place for anyone looking to enjoy the beach and ocean.
One of the most popular things to do in this park is exploring Shell Island on Memorial Day, a 700-acre barrier island with a glorious stretch of beach. The Shell Island Shuttle runs every half hour during the summer, picking up and dropping off passengers. You can also rent a pontoon boat to get to Shell Island, a great option for families who want to explore the island at their own pace and do some snorkeling.
St. Andrews State Park is a popular place to camp, with 60 sites, all with water and electricity. Maximum RV size is 45 feet. The state is in the midst of a significant upgrade to the campground facilities. This project is expected to be finished at some point in 2022.
To add a little fun and excitement to your holiday or Memorial Day, boat tours are a great way to see some marine life, access snorkeling sites, or do some sailing. Excursions range from dolphin sightseeing tours to Sea-Doo, canoe, kayak, and stand up paddleboard rentals.
Fishing charters are offered by several companies, and catamaran sailing trips are also popular, particularly sunset sails. For families, the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise is a kid's themed pirate ship with two-hour sailings and on-board activities for children. Again, many of these are season specific and are not offered in the low season, and reservations are highly recommended.
A particularly good boat excursion is the Sunset Catamaran Sail, popular with families but also an incredibly romantic outing for couples. The sail departs late in the afternoon on a Privateer catamaran, and guests can enjoy a complimentary beverage while enjoying the ambiance of island music and keeping an eye out for dolphins. As the sun goes down, passengers get an unparalleled view of the colors as it dips beneath the horizon over the Gulf.