Pier Park - Tops List of "Things to Do" in Panama City Beach
In 2008, Pier Park opened and became a premier destination in Panama City Beach for shopping, restaurants and local entertainment. This outdoor complex is truly massive in scale with over 124 stores alone. If you want trendy shopping, you've got it. Pier Park receives TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence Award and ranks it #6 for things to do while in Panama City Beach.
However, having active teen boys, we tend to forgo the shopping bags and gravitate toward fun and food. We won't provide a laundry list of all the places you can go to for sweets, coffee beverages, pizza, steak and so on. One of the trendier spots with a coastal view is Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. After a long hard winter, you'll want to blow out a flip flop, place a frozen concoction in hand, while soaking up the Florida sunshine!
On the entertainment side of things you can take in a movie at the Grand IMAX Pier Park 16 theater. Perfect on a rainy day or to pass time in the evening. Some of the other attractions include Mirror Maze & Lazer Craze or Pirate's Quest Laser Tag. XD Dark Ride Experience lets' you be a part of a movie or game, where you're immersed in a full-motion, interactive experience. And if you like country music and dancing, then put on your boots and enjoy the best country music and honky tonk at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge.
Pier Park is also the epicenter for many of the area concerts, festivals and events so be sure to catch out the Events Calendar for Panama City Beach to ensure you don't miss out while on vacation. And don't forget that a lot of the fun happens in the off season. For example, in October is the Brew & Boo Beer Festival, where guests can sample beers from all over the country. On Halloween night, Pier Park presents Mall-O-Ween so children can trick-or-treat safely. November, is the annual Shrimp, Crab & Oyster festival. You can sample delicious shrimp, crab, and oyster dishes from local restaurants. In December you can bring the kids to see Santa Claus at the Santa’s Waiting! event. Pier Park wraps up the holiday festivities with the New Year’s Eve Beach Ball Drop. You can ring in the New Year by the beach while 10,000 beach balls are dropped into the crowd. It's one great block party with live music!