7 Things to Do in Panama City

7 Things to do in Panama City

Yesterday I pulled out my journal and wrote down every place Pai and I have traveled to since December. In the 7 months we’ve been married, we’ve traveled to 9 different cities and 7 states together. That’s a city for every month and then some! I’m excited to start a mini travel series on my blog to document our travels and tell you about all the fun things to do in the Eastern United States. You can expect to find a different travel post on the 3rd Wednesday of the month for the next few months.

Today I’m sharing all about what you should do in Panama City Beach, Florida. 

When we first started thinking about honeymooning in PCB, I was hesitant because all I only knew it as the spring break capitol of the South. Fun fact: I used to think Panama City Beach was in Panama below Texas. Clearly those private school geography classes didn’t help. Panama City is in Florida, and Panama is below Mexico, not Texas. Woops.

My first advice to couples for their honeymooning adventures is DON’T GO ANYWHERE SUPER BUSY. We received this excellent advice from our friends who went to Disney and while they had fun at Disney, they said they were exhausted. Pai and I threw a party for 350 people, so a quiet and relaxing week was exactly what we needed.

We went to Panama City in December, so most of the fun things to do were closed. I wanted to swim with dolphins and go snorkling, but both attractions were closed for the winter, so we had to find other fun things to do.

7 Things to do in Panama City

Explore Panama City

On the first day of the honeymoon, we ventured off the beach front and into the heart of Panama City. The city is rich with history and has a great little downtown area to walk around. We found a little place called Willows Tea Room where we went for high tea and enjoyed an English Breakfast Tea and scones. But let me tell you – this little place was delicious but the scones were teeny and the staff wasn’t very friendly. Pai tried to get another scone since it was our honeymoon and the lady wouldn’t let us. Clearly she didn’t believe in young love. . .

7 Things to Do in Panama City

Eat all the Seafood

Neither Pai nor I grew up eating a lot of fish, but being right on the ocean, we knew we had to take advantage of the fresh fish around us. One of my favorite restaurants we ate at was Runaway Island right on the beach. We went for a late dinner and even though we couldn’t see the ocean, we could hear the waves lapping on the sand as we enjoyed our crab cakes and blackened snapper. The food was absolutely amazing and we received excellent service from the waitstaff. While it was a long wait because there was an entire (drunken) party, we enjoyed the ambiance of stringed lights on the back porch of the restaurant.

Go on a Food Tour

Pai and I have noticed a theme when we go places. We may do some fun activities, but we mostly eat. I think we’re slowly turning Pai into a foodie. We signed up to do a walking food tour and it was one of our favorite days of the week. Our tour guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the area and loved food as much as we did. On the tour with us was a family from Missouri who loved to laugh a lot, so we had an excellent time. While on our food tour, we visited four places in Panama City.

Our first stop was at the Capt’s Table. At the Capt’s Table we tried she crab soup – which I absolutely LOVED, a smoked tuna dip – ALSO AMAZING, and the good old fashioned shrimp n’ grits. This was the day I discovered that I liked hush puppies. Yum.

7 Things to Do in Panama City

7 Things to Do in Panama City

7 Things to Do in Panama City

The only non-food stop on our food tour was at a local publishing company. I, of course, was in awe of the whole thing. The printing press was still in use and we were able to see the employees making stamped Christmas cards for a Christmas party someone was having. We learned all about the history of the printing press and the captain who founded the place, but of course I can remember none of it because that was seven months ago.

7 Things to Do in Panama City

Probably my very favorite food stop was this hippie hole in the wall called Little Village/Finn’s Island Style Grub. This place had outdoor seating with flaps for when it rains and there were tons of hipsters sitting around enjoying a nice brew. We ate quesadillas and this amazing black bean rice cilantro mix that I’ve never quite been able to get out my head. With our meal we were given a blood orange cider that – oh my word – made me fall in love with blood oranges.

7 Things to Do in Panama City

7 Things to Do in Panama City

After the Capt’s Table, we ventured on over to Uncle Ernie’s Bayfront Grill and Brewhouse for dessert as the sun set over the water. The views were gorgeous and the keylime pie was divine. Unfortunately for Pai, he didn’t pace himself very well, so by the time we arrived at Uncle Ernie’s he was rather full which meant, fortunately for me, I got more of the keylime pie.

7 Things to Do in Panama City

7 Things to Do in Panama City

7 Things to Do in Panama City

The tour took about two hours and left us fat and happy, so we didn’t need to eat again until about 10pm when it was time for a midnight snack. If you’re ever in Panama, I would highly recommend. You can sign up for the Beck Avenue Food Tour here.

Do Nothing

Hello? You’re on a beach with white sands and clear blue water. Lay on that beach and do absolutely nothing! OK so I really wanted to get a cupcake one day and take a picture with the cupcake and the ocean and the background and caption it, “Cake by the Ocean” since that song was oh-so popular last year. Pai thought I was absolutely ridiculous so we didn’t buy cake just for the picture. Maybe next time, though. . . Fun fact about the seagull below – this guy kept trying to eat our food. Pai had run back to the condo to get something and while he was gone, this seagull called all its other seagull friends and I was absolutely surrounded. They wanted the Cheetos and I didn’t want to share. It was a terrifying experience.

7 Things to Do in Panama City

See the Dunes

We adventured out to a highly recommended restaurant called The Donut Hole one morning and had an amazing breakfast. We got protein packed breakfasts and donuts for the road. I’m never going to say no to a recommended donut. On our way back to our condo, though, we drove on Hwy 98 and took the scenic route home. While taking the scenic route, we came upon a state park with gorgeous sand dunes, so we moseyed on over and walked on the quietest, whitest beach with these gorgeous sand dunes we were explicitly told not to climb on. Bummer.

7 Things to Do in Panama City

7 Things to Do in Panama City

 

Go to Seaside

Remember the Truman Show? Well the Truman Show was filmed in Seaside, FL – the most perfect little town you ever did see. The beach houses in this little place sell for millions of dollars, or you can air bnb one for a couple grand for a night. We decided to just go with biking around the place for the afternoon. We found the house that Truman lived in, but weren’t able to take a picture because there was a car behind us so we couldn’t stop. It was our favorite day of the honeymoon. We biked around the town, stopped for ice cream, perused a book shop (you know me) and walked along the beach.

7 Things to Do in Panama City

7 Things to Do in Panama City

7 Things to Do in Panama City

*Note: Husband’s don’t appreciate taking ice cream pics before eating said ice cream.

A Few Other Things. . . 

Although we spent most of our time exploring, eating, and hanging out in the condo, there was still a lot to do that we didn’t get to. Panama City has a Dave & Buster’s, an Imax movie theater, and Destin is only an hour away. Fudpuckers in Destin, FL is SO much fun and would highly recommend. There is one in particular that has alligators in a moat like thing surrounding the restaurant, so you basically get to eat with the alligators. One night, Fudpuckers had a karaoke contest that I was super tempted to try, but we didn’t drive the hour at 9pm because we were too exhausted.

7 Things to Do in Panama City

Have you been to Panama City before? What is your favorite thing to do?

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