2-Days At the [Panama City] Beach

Day 1 You'll See:

Day 2 You'll See:

This trip isn’t just a day at the beach, it’s an educational, culinary, and natural adventure and so much more! Within these two days at Panama City Beach your class will get to do all the celebrating you can, two days chock-full of the best food, attractions, and of course, beaches! Let loose and bury your feet in the sand while you and your classmates enjoy unique museums and shopping opportunities, as well as some of the freshest seafood in the city!

 

Day
1

Conservation Park - What better way to start your Panama City Beach adventure than at one of the top nature preserves in the city, Conservation Park. This 2,900 acre expansive green space is located behind US 98 on Conservation Drive, an area featuring vast woodland areas with miles of hiking trails located within. This is truly a hikers, bikers, and nature lovers paradise, with 24 miles of trails, a mile of boardwalk, 2,000 acres of wildlife-filled wetlands, and 900 acres of exquisite uplands. The purpose of this park is to protect and balance the area’s native natural resources while providing an ample amount of publically available outdoor recreation opportunities. There is an intense removal and reintroduction of certain species in the area, bringing freely-roaming wildlife all day long to the revamped wetlands. Located on the former Baxley homestead there is also an interpretive information and amenity building provides an educational outdoor classroom as well as several picnic pavilions.

Grand Lagoon Waterfront Farmers Market - The early bird gets the worm with this next stop, the Grand Lagoon Waterfront Farmers Market. This Waterfront Market area is a gorgeously scenic, culturally vibrant, and locally lively area within Panama City Beach that serves as a true economy booster, featuring the region’s favorite "makers, bakers, and growers" each and every Saturday and Sunday morning, year round. Locals flock here to support local economy and get their favorite one of a kind PCB items while tourist come here to immerse themselves into the local culture, shop for cheap, fresh foods, and listen to whatever local musician is performing live! Here you will find fresh fruits and veggies, baked items, desserts, and local handicrafts. If you have a large group and are looking for a good, cheap lunch idea, come here and have your students pick out their own picnic items. After you shop the market you can stroll the historic docks at Captain Anderson Marina, book a fishing trip, or shop near Grand Lagoon Bridge!

Dee’s Hangout - When in Rome. . . and the same goes for Panama City Beach and the tradition of eating fresh, delicious seafood. This unsurprising local favorite is a cozy, bare-bones and no frill eatery within a strip mall space, an overall quite homey eatery specializing in Cajun cuisine. Dee’s is a point on the beach where you can find some of the most flavorful and fresh seafood: the food within is a mix of authentic Creole and highly delicious Cajun seafood dishes, including everything from shrimp po boys to jalapeno oysters. Most people come here for the Fresh Cajun Platter, a large plate full of fried catfish, chicken gumbo, shrimp etouffee, coleslaw, and hush puppies. There are several other various favorites from Dee’s too, such as the Cajun Spiced Jambalaya, Smoked Tuna Dip, and locally sourced pale ale from Grayton Beer company. Dee’s strives to be so authentic that they actually import their French Bread from NOLA weekly!

Panama City Beach Pier - The Panama City Beach Pier, or Russell Fields Pier, is the massive and highly beloved concrete pier jutting out 1,500 feet from the sandy Panama City Beach shores into the Gulf of Mexico. This, the City Pier, is the exact twin to the County Pier, the M.B Miller Pier, oftentimes confused for one another. The pier is one of the area’s most popular tourist attractions, as well as the longest pier on the Gulf! The Russell Fields Pier is a fantastic spot for fishing, as well as watching the sunrise or sunset each day along the seemingly endless oceanside views. There are amazing marine life viewing opportunities, many guests walking away having caught glimpse of a jellyfish, dolphin, or any of the local fish. Enjoy a stroll along the pier and watch the swirling emerald waters set as the backdrop for an epic fish catch, or perhaps just head over the Pier Park shopping center nearby!

 

Day
2

Man in the Sea Museum - Welcome to the Man in the Sea Museum, the one-of-a-kind museum that presents exhibits and documents related to the history of diving located along Panama City Beach Parkway. This museum, opened in 1982, is owned by the Institute of Diving and presents various information on the progress of diving technology throughout history within its 5,000 square miles of maritime artifacts. Here your group can climb through a submarine, learn about the progression of helmets and other various gear, and even see SEALAB 1, the world’s first undersea habitat, up close and personal. Inside the museum your group will see a large collection of rare diving equipment that plays its part to highlight man’s success underwater. The museum strives to bring the most recent news and updates on underwater scientific and technological endeavors, as well as the discovery of artifacts and the overall impact man has had on earth’s important aquatic environment.

Dusty’s Oyster Bar - Once you’ve worked up an appetite playing in Panama City Beach find your way here, to the "true local's favorite" and absolute must-stop eatery by the name of Dusty’s Oyster Bar. The obvious attraction of this raw oyster bar doesn’t stop merely at the freshness and taste, but at the local flavor of people and conversations you get here, a swirling mix of stories of successful fishermen, beach conditions, and local weather. Inside Dusty’s your group will find a pleasant dive bar atmosphere, the cozy interior accented by a collage of constant signed dollar bills along the ceiling, as well as the beer banners and flat screen TVs blaring popular sporting events throughout the walls. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the food is delicious to say the least. You will of course find oysters and crab galore, as well as fried mushrooms, baked oysters, tuna dip, apalachicola frog legs, and slaw. Don’t get too overwhelmed though, be sure to save room for key lime pie!

Beach Time - Spend some time immersing yourself in what Panama City Beach is all about, the beach! At Panama City Beach you will find over 27 miles of pristine beachfront perfect for swimming, diving, snorkeling, fishing, boating, and shell collecting, with dozens of public access beach points strewn about. You will find two state parks within this beach area, as well as several celebrated waterfront eateries serving the freshest local seafood. Panama City Beach is known for its powdery white sand beaches and emerald waters bordering the Gulf of Mexico, as well as for being the wreck capital of the South. Your group can find numerous historic shipwrecks to explore if you’re feeling adventurous, or perhaps you can just stay on the sand and enjoy the various legendary beachside attractions found in almost every step. Panama City Beach is also highly well-known for its sunset viewing opportunities, with the coastline angling slightly to the west, making it possible to see the perfect sunset of the Gulf of Mexico each and every day of the year!

Shell Island - Head over to St. Andrews State Park and hop aboard the Shell Island Shuttle to get to your next exciting adventure at the seven mile stretch of island oasis known as Shell Island. This pristine wildlife sanctuary is a tropical paradise far removed from the hustle and crowds of the city and is located just between St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The Shell Island Shuttle is the absolute easiest, safest, and fastest way to the island, with a convenient drop off spot inside the Jetty Rocks on Shell Island, leaving you with a very short walk over to the stunning sandy beach and unbelievably clear Gulf waters. Bring your camera to capture the breathtaking  white sand and blue waters, the views provided here taking the concept of a day at the beach to a whole new level. Your group can choose to relax on the beach, take a snorkeling adventure, impart on a nature walk, rent a kayak, or, of course, collect shells!