How To Keep Busy In Panama City Beach In 24 Hours

Your usual everyday routine may be ruled by the clock, it it’s much less important in Panama City Beach. The sun rules here, and it shines for around 320 days every year on this charming town in northwest Florida. There are numerous ways to find entertainment, both off and on the beach. This is a true escape enjoyed at your own pace.

 A friend I have had for twenty years wanted to go to Panama City Beach for the weekend, and I was excited. I let go of my meetings, obligations and schedule for the weekend. I considered the amazing change in scenery a nice bonus.

 Beating the Sunrise

 I have always liked to hit the ground at full speed. We both woke at 5 a.m. on our first morning here,
and headed to our charter boat on the Gulf waters. We already knew there would be plenty of fish. We were both amazed as the sun exploded over the horizon, and the sleep we missed was worth it because we caught enough grouper to feed an entire family. There were boats everywhere, and it looked like there was a floating city street on the water.

 Our captain talked about the abundance of catches in the summer like snapper, amberjack and the sport fisherman’s favorite, cobia. We were drawn by the closeness of the deep, open water. After a few hours, we had satisfied our taste, so we retied our poles and went back to the shore.

 Mid-Morning Golf

 These two landlubbers were famished, so we went to Pier Park to reel in our breakfast. It’s a shopping and entertainment complex right across from the pier at Panama City Beach, and covers 900,000 square-feet. Most people who have been to Panama City Beach will send you to Pier Park. After couple chocolate croissants and soy vanilla lattes, we were ready to hit the town.

 As part of the Sunshine state, it’s always tee time in Panama City Beach. I was happy with the pristine greens at the Wyndham Bay Point Resort and the Nicklaus Course. This is the only course in northwest Florida with a Nicklaus-designed course. We hoofed the first nine because my friend insisted she could really show her stuff playing the par 72 course. Hole #5 has a lagoon feature, and quickly reminded her she was still an amateur. Playing the course poorly for a golf aficionado beats not getting to play at all.

 After the ninth hole, we understood why Panama City Beach has been ranked by Golf Digest as one of the three top golf towns in America. We didn’t have a chance to play all the other courses, but there were a lot to choose from like the Holiday Golf Club, the Hombre Golf Club, and the first golf club in Panama City Beach, Signal Hill.

 Lunchtime Respite

 We made a fast stop at one of the numerous fish shacks on the seaside because our tummies were rumbling. One of the best known, and oldest is Pineapple Willy's Beachside Bar and Grill, and its right on the beach. Their can’t-go-wrong menu includes Jack Daniel's BBQ ribs.

 Bayou Bill's Crab House remains my favorite restaurant, you can find it at the beach’s far west end. This is where the locals enjoy shuck oysters, and fresh pink Gulf shrimp from Apalachicola Bay.

 Afternoon in Nature

 Panama City Beach is made of sun-bleached sand covering 27 miles. Its part of Florida’s longest running beach restoration. I was tempted to bake on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world once the carbs from lunch kicked in.

 My girlfriend wanted to visit ZooWorld, and over 260 animals make their home in this zoological park. There are endangered and rare species, two Sumatran tigers, African lions, and two exotic baboons called Mandrills. We may have visited Coconut Creek Family Fun Park, and Shipwreck Island Water Park if we brought the kids.

 Dusk and Beyond

 We had barely scratched the surface of this amazing destination by the sea, but were exhausted by six. We just had a drink by the pool and relaxed. Panama City Beach offers memorable attractions and unusual experiences, but my favorite is free, the famous Florida sunset.

 My two boys would have insisted we board the Sea Dragon. This is a pirate ship, and a pirate conquest is re-enacted by the crew. This night was just for my friend and I to relax in Panama City Beach.

 The town has a reputation for their night life, and I may have gone to one of the dance clubs on the beachside in something party-friendly if I were younger. I have become smarter with age, so I ordered another girly drink instead. Then I watched the show as the last orange of the sunset faded into the night in the sky of Panama City Beach.

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