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Plan for Summer Family Fun in Panama City Beach

by Eugenia Lazaris

May 10, 2024

© Robhainer | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Summer is right around the corner and that means family travelers across the country gear up for well-deserved vacations. Whether you’ve got a few days or several weeks to spend exploring someplace new, Panama City Beach, Florida, has just what families need to create lasting summer memories.


The city was once known as a popular spring break destination, but thanks to a city ordinance passed in 2016 that banned drinking on the beach during the month of March, the city’s reputation has transformed into a family-friendly destination that welcomes visitors year-round to enjoy its beauty and charm.


The city is bookended by two state parks, Camp Helen State Park and St. Andrew’s State Park, which provide plenty of room for families to explore the great outdoors, enjoy the natural beauty of the area and observe the local wildlife. Camp Helen State Park was once a private family retreat and, although it has since become a space for the public to enjoy, it remains a haven for families to spend their time swimming, fishing, boating and exploring the trails.


St. Andrew’s State Park, on the opposite end of Panama City Beach, is home to a spot known as the Kiddie Pool. This family-friendly beach is known for its white-sand beaches and calm, shallow waters, making it the perfect place for a family to spend a day with a picnic lunch.


The city is home to 27 miles of beaches, and they aren’t just frequented by visitors in the daytime. At night the beaches are dotted with the bobbing beams of flashlights as visitors search the beaches for white crabs that only come out at night. Whether actually hunting crabs or just going for the light show, this fun activity is a way to experience Panama City Beach that is truly unique.


If you want to head away from the beach but still have a great time, there are plenty of kid-friendly attractions the whole family can enjoy together. There’s amusement park rides at Swampy Jack’s Wongo Adventure and waterslides at Shipwreck Island Waterpark. Head to Wonderworks, which promises “edu-tainment” at this “amusement park for the mind,” featuring exhibits, games and activities designed to challenge the mind.


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