Looking for a unique vacation experience in Panama City Beach? Choose from 7 specially-designed helicopter tours that range from 5-13 miles and last between 5-26 minutes. The Shell Island Tour, one of their most popular rides, hits all of the major hotspots including St. Andrews State Park, Grand Lagoon, Shell Island, and the shipping channel. This tour is especially neat because some of the sights along Shell Island are only viewable from the air. The Shark Run, a 16-mile ride, is specifically designed to see sharks in their natural habitat. Want to visit the beautiful 30A area without getting stuck in traffic? Try the Seaside Tour, which takes you over Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Alys Beach, Seagrove Beach and Seaside.
Intro Ride (5 miles): $40 per person
Miracle Strip (10 miles): $55 per person
Shark Run (16 miles): $80 per person
Run To The Pass (22 miles): $100 per person
Shell Island (28 miles): $125 per person
Seaside Tour (36 miles): $150 per person
Shell Island/Breakfast Point (36 miles): $150 per person
Location: 15726 Front Beach Rd., Panama City Beach, FL 32413
Island Time Sailing
One of the most relaxing ways to experience the beauty of Panama City Beach is by partaking in one of Island Time Sailing’s daytime or sunset dolphin cruises. These two-hour cruises traverse the Grand Lagoon, St. Andrews State Park and into the Gulf of Mexico (as long as the gulf is calm). Keep your camera at the ready to snap pictures of the gulf, nearby dolphins and those gorgeous sunsets. For the sunset cruise, there are additional games and entertainment from the crew after the sun goes down. Visitors that are in town for the Fourth of July will be able to book special firework sunset cruises on July 3rd and 4th!
Dolphin Sunset Cruise Child (0-12): $20
Dolphin Sunset Cruise Adult (13+): $30
Location: 3605 Thomas Dr., Panama City Beach, Florida 32408
Enjoy panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico and Panama City Beach’s shoreline from one of Paradise Watersports’ 6-passenger parasails. You will get a 2-in-1 experience when you purchase a parasail ride as you will be transported out to the parasail boat in one of their Banana Boats. You many choose from two packages: the Scaredy Cat and the Thrill Seeker. The Scaredy Cat ride goes for 2 miles, is tethered by 600 feet of rope and will include a dip into the gulf at the end. The Thrill Seeker goes for 3-4 miles, is tethered by 800 feet of rope (which means you will be capable of going higher in the air) and two dips into the gulf. With both of these packages, you can request not to get wet, and they will land the parasail on the back deck of the boat. Both packages come with 30-50 photographs of you and your friends/family during the ride. Pro tip: leave your hats on the beach so they aren’t blown away once your parasail get launched.
Scaredy Cat: $79 per person
Thrill Seeker: $99 per person
Location: Paradise Watersports operates at many spots along the beach including in front of multiple By The Sea Resorts properties such as Beach Tower, Chateau, Legacy, Beachbreak and Beachcomber.
Captain Anderson Deep Sea Fishing
The fishing enthusiast in your family is going to love the deep sea fishing charters offered by Captain Anderson’s Marina. These fishing excursions range from 5-12 hours and are a great vacation memory for beginning, intermediate and advanced anglers. If there are members of your group that just want to enjoy the views of the water instead of fishing, they may purchase a “rider” spot for a reduced price. If you want to go one step further, you can even charter one of their private fishing boats and specialize the trip to your family’s desires. For a slight charge, you can have the fish that you catch cleaned and filleted at the Captain Anderson’s fish market when you return to the marina. You can even have your fish vacuum packed, and the market will keep it in their deep freezer until you are ready to pick it up at the end of your vacation.
5 hour: $66
6 hour: $71
8 hour: $81
10 hour: $91
12 hour with bunk: $106
12 hour without bunk $101
Location: 5550 N Lagoon Dr., Panama City Beach, FL 32408
Located a mere 11 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Pier Park is Airboat Adventures, which offers tours in Everglade-like airboats. Both the Gator-Eco Tour and Sunset Tour are designed to search for native wildlife such as alligators, bald eagles, ospreys, dolphins and more. While Panama City Beach is known for the Gulf of Mexico, these tours will allow you to gain a new appreciation for the backwaters of the nearby bays, rivers, marshlands, creeks and swamps. The Gator-Eco Tour, which has 6 daily tour times, lasts 1 hour and includes an educational alligator demonstration. The Sunset Tour lasts 1.5 hours and the departure time varies per day depending on the time of sunset.
Gator-Eco Tour Adult: $33
Gator-Eco Tour Child (4-12): $22
Gator-Eco Tour Child (2-3): Free
Sunset Tour Adult: $42
Sunset Tour Child (2-12): $25
Location: 6523 Highway 79, Panama City Beach, Florida 32413
Skywheel – Coming Soon!
If you have been to Panama City Beach recently, you might have seen SkyWheel under construction across from Grand 16 movie theatre in Pier Park. This brand new observation wheel, upon completion, will feature 30 enclosed gondolas that will be capable of holding six adults each. These climate-controlled gondolas will be the perfect way to beat the heat of the summer. Your whole family will love the bird’s eye and panoramic views of the city, including the Gulf of Mexico. Move over London Eye, SkyWheel Panama City Beach is coming for you!
Location: 15700 LC Hilton Jr. Dr., Panama City Beach, Florida 32413