Panama City Beach Community Information

Panama City Beach Florida Vacation Guide

Guide to the West End of Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is one of Northwest Florida's top vacation destinations.  Every year, people from all over the world flock to PCB to enjoy the sugar white sand beaches, emerald Gulf water, and amazing sunsets!  No matter where you stay, you're never far from the water, breathtaking views, and the 30A corridor.  In this guide, we'll focus specifically on the west end of Panama City Beach.  We'll highlight some of the best places to stay and fun things to do in PCB so let's get started!

Panama City Beach Kayaking in the Gulf Of Mexico is fun
White Sand Beaches

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Getting to Panama City Beach is Easy

Panama City Beach is a whopping 27 miles long so there is plenty of room to stretch out.  Getting to "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches" is an easy drive for many people who live in southern cities such as Atlanta, Nashville, and Birmingham to name just a few.  Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is just a 20 minute drive from the sand and is extremely user-friendly.  It offers direct flights to many cities including but not limited to; Chicago, Dallas, Charlotte, Houston and St. Louis.

Fun Things to Do in Panama City Beach - PIER PARK

Pier Park Panama City Beach Fun things to do
The Panama City Beach area is loaded with fun things to do.  In addition to the endless water activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, and fishing, there are a bunch other fun things to check out off the sand.  Pier Park is where you're sure to find something fun for everyone in your group.  So what exactly is Pier Park and where is it located?  Let's dive into that now...

Pier Park is super easy to get to if your staying on 30A or anywhere in Panama City Beach as it's located just east of highway 79 off of Front Beach Road.  You can also access Pier Park via highway 98 as it has expanded in recent years to include "Pier Park North".  
jimmy buffett's margaritaville PCB
Dave & Busters at Pier Park
Lot's of great food options at Pier Park PCB
At Pier Park, you'll find a great selection of shops, restaurants, a movie theatre, a Ferris Wheel, carnival rides and much more.  Some of the the restaurants you'll find at Pier Park include but are not limited to; Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dave & Buster's, Dicks' Last Resort, Pompano Joe's, Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House and much more.  Shopping enthusiast will enjoy a huge selection of retail stores some of which include; Target, J.C. Penney, Old Navy, Columbia, Coastal Casuals, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Gulf Coast Sandal Factory and much more.
Ferris wheel at Pier Park
Fun Shops at Pier Park in PCB
The south side of Pier Park stretches' all the way to the Gulf Of Mexico and is a popular public beach access point.  A portion of the public beach access at Pier Park is pet friendly which is great for those that bring their furry friends with them on vacation!  Make sure to venture out onto the massive pier that stretches about 1,500 feet out into the Gulf waters.  The pier at Pier Park is a great place to take family photos, fish and soak in the Panama City Beach coastline!

Below is a quick 30A Escapes TikTok Video of the Pier at Pier Park in Panama City Beach...
Dog Friendly Beach at Pier Park
Pier at Pier Park

Fun Things to Do in Panama City Beach - Camp Helen State Park

Old pier at Camp Helen State Park
Located on the far west end of Panama City Beach just over the Phillips Inlet Bridge is where you'll find Camp Helen State Park.  It neighbors Inlet Beach so it's easy to get to no matter if you're staying on 30A or in Panama City Beach.  A vast series of trails run throughout Camp Helen.  The east end of the State Park is on the rare coastal dune lake, Lake Powell which periodically opens to the ocean waters.  Camp Helen runs all the way south to the Gulf Of Mexico.  Kayak, Stand Up Paddleboard, hiking, history, fishing and nature enthusiast are sure to have a great time exploring all the beautiful things Camp Helen State Park has to offer!

History of Camp Helen State Park on West End of Panama City Beach...

Tour of Camp Helen State Park...

Fun Things to Do in Panama City Beach - Gulf World Marine Park

Gulf World is a great place to spend a day with your family when you need a break from the beach.  It's the Panama City Beach version of SeaWorld as they have Dolphins, Sea Lions, Turtles, Stingrays and many other types of marine life on display.  Gulf World Marine Park has daily "Swim with the Dolphins" adventure experiences available.  In addition, they feature interactive learning programs, daily shows and much more!

Interview with Staff at Gulf World Marine Park

Fun Things to Do in Panama City Beach - Wild Thang Airboat Tours

Wild Thang Airboat Tours PCB
No one in the area does airboat tours better than Wild Thang.  They're just a 10 minute drive from the sandy beach, located under the West Bay Bridge next to Boon Docks restaurant.  We were lucky enough to experience a ride with Captain Roger of Wild Thang Airboat Tours and it was an absolute blast!  He did a bunch of fun spins and the ride was extremely comfortable.  It was a totally unique experience and it's a great thing to do as a family.  We even saw a few alligators which was super cool!  They offer day and night trips so make sure to put Wild Thang Airboat Tours on your "To-Do" list when vacationing in Panama City Beach.

Interview with Captain Roger at Wild Thang Airboat Tours in Panama City Beach

Fun Things to Do - Panama City Beach Winery

Panama City Beach Winery
If you're in need of a break from the sun you might want to consider dropping in at Panama City Beach Winery for a complimentary tasting.  They have a huge selection of premium fruit wines that are sure to enhance your Florida vacation.  In addition, they have an awesome shop loaded with unique accessories that make great gifts or additions to your home.  The owners are super friendly and you're sure to have a great time at Panama City Beach Winery!

Interview with owners of Panama City Beach Winery

Best West End Panama City Restaurants

Salty Sue's Panama City Beach
Dusty's Oyster Bar PCB
The west end of Panama City Beach is loaded with great dining options.  Here are some of our favorite PCB food spots... 

Dusty's Oyster Bar:  This is easily one of our favorite restaurants on the west end of Panama City Beach.  In addition to fresh oysters, they have burgers, wings and everything in-between.  The ceiling at Dusty's Oyster Bar is covered in dollar bills and it's truly a unique Panama City Beach restaurant that is a must try.

Salty Sue's:  Located off of highway 98 just west of 79, Salty Sue's is the Go-To-Place for great southern BBQ!  They're pulled pork is unmatched and their seafood is great as well.  Salty Sue's is one of those rare restaurants where everything on the menu is an A+.

Sunnyside Grill:  Located off Front Beach Road, Sunnyside Grill is where you'll find the best home-cooked breakfast on the west end of Panama City Beach!  It's a quirky beach shack food spot that has amazing breakfast and lunch food.

Thomas Donut & Snack Shop:  A PCB institution since the early 1970's, Thomas Donut & Snack Shop needs to be on your family's To-Do-List!  In addition to great donuts they have breakfast sandwiches that will knock your sox off.

Diego's Burrito Factory & Margarita Bar:  If you like burritos, margaritas, cold draft beer and a laid-back beach atmosphere then you're sure to love Diego's.  It's similar in style to a Chipotle but with a local touch.  The burritos are large, fresh and sure to leave a smile on your face!

Gypsea Crepe:  Although it's not really on the west end, we have to include Gypsea Crepe in our list of top Panama City Beach food spots.  They make the most delicious French crepes we've ever tasted and are most defiantly worth the drive!

Interview with Gypsea Crepes Restaurant Owner in Panama City Beach

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30A Specials

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Gulf Front 30A Rentals

Gulf Front 30A Rentals

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Explore 30A on Complimentary Bikes!

Explore 30A on Complimentary Bikes!

Explore 30A on Complimentary Bikes!

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30A Rentals with Private Pools

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Next Level 30A Rental Cleaning!

Next Level 30A Rental Cleaning!

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