Fun Things to Do Near Panama City Beach!
There are many other interesting sites and areas near Panama City Beach other than just sand shopping and food. In addition to the State Parks that surround our beautiful beach, there are some interesting trips to take that are still near Panama City Beach but just off the beaten path. Take a day trip and see what you can see!
Chautauqua Vineyard in Defuniak Springs
Delightful day of culture, arts & crafts, and of course, wine! Visit this beautiful winery and learn about the grapes, wine making, and more while enjoying a day with a loved one.
Approximate Driving Time: One hour drive – HWY 98W to 331N
The Chipola River, the largest tributary of the Apalachicola, also boasts 63 fresh water springs, the largest number of any rivershed in Northwest Florida. This river spreads over 52 miles through high limestone bluffs, past caves and exciting rapids.
Econfina Creek Canoe Trail is one of Florida’s designated canoe trails where wildlife is plentiful and adventure awaits. This trail is a beautiful, swift-flowing creek with high limestone walls, sand bluffs, lush vegetation.. The upper section is narrow with tight curves and several fastwater chutes. The lower section is spring-fed and slower. Website: http://www.floridastateparks.org/econfinariver/
Approximate Driving Time: 60 Minutes up Hwy79N and East on Hwy20.
The focal point is a stately post-Civil War southern mansion among moss-draped live oak trees surrounded by lush gardens. Guided tours of the house are available hourly Thursday through Monday (including holidays). Visitors can enjoy the grounds, gardens, and picnic area daily from 8:00 a.m. to sunset seven days a week.
Approximate Driving Time:30-minute drive west – US 98 to CR 395
Falling Waters State Park
Huge trees and fern-covered sinkholes line Sink Hole Trail, the boardwalk that leads visitors to Florida’s highest waterfall. Falling Waters Sink is a 100-foot deep, 20-foot wide cylindrical pit into which flows a small stream that drops 73 feet to the bottom of the sink. See beautiful native and migrating butterflies in the butterfly garden, take a swim in the lake, have a family picnic, or go for a Hike and experience the verdant, gently sloping landscape of North Florida
Approximate Driving Time:One hour drive north – SR 77A
Florida Caverns State Park
The only Florida state park to offer cave tours to the public! The cave has amazing formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones, and draperies. Florida Caverns is also popular for swimming, fishing, picnicking, canoeing, boating, hiking, and bicycling.
Approximate Driving Time:One and a half hour drive north – US 231 to SR 167
Ponce De Leon Springs State Park
This beautiful spring is named for Juan Ponce de León, who led the first Spanish expedition to Florida in 1513-as legend has it-in search of the “fountain of youth.” Visitors can take a dip in the cool, clear waters of Ponce de Leon Springs where the water temperature remains a constant 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Visitors can take a leisurely walk along two self-guided nature trails through a lush forest, have a picnic at the park, and spend the day enjoying the outdoors.
Approximate Driving Time: One hour drive – SR 79 to 20 W to 81N
Port St. Joe
Famous for great scalloping on St. Joseph’s Bay during July – September! This area is also the historic old capitol of Florida, the site of the State Constitution signing and the Constitution Convention Museum.
Approximate Driving Time: One hour drive – E on Hwy. 98
This area is home to an eclectic variety of shops & restaurants that sit on quaint cobblestone streets. Spend the day with some shopping or on the quiet white sandy beaches – or a little of both!
Approximate Driving Time: 25 Minutes – Hwy. 98 W to CR 30A
Guided river boat tours are offered daily to provide a view of how unspoiled, natural Florida may have appeared. Alligators and turtles bask in the sun at arm’s length, while birds feed on the native vegetation. Glass-bottom boat tours offer the visitor a unique opportunity to observe the underwater habitat.
Approximate Driving Time: Two hour drive – US 231 N to SR 20 to SR 267