Panama City Beach, and Upper Grand Lagoon in particular, is a place filled with adventure! But sometimes having so many options can be a bit overwhelming, so what’s the best choice to suit your interests? Well hopefully the list below answers your questions! We’ve split our possible interests into four categories: Exploring, Shopping, Hotels, and Partying, then went into more detail from there! Links are also provided for those looking to get more information easily; have fun!
Things to Do: Explore
The Panama City Beach area is full of activities, but many of the best ones come from your own search! For example, Shell Island is completely undeveloped and covered in shells and sand dollars. Why not spend a day walking to the more secluded parts of it and explore what you can find? If you’re in to diving, you could also head out into St. Andrews Bay and go explore for sunken ships! If you’re interested in spending the day exploring in this way, then check out Lagoon Pontoons! Pontoon rentals allow you to travel to Shell Island easily and without having to wait for the shuttle, as well as provides a convenient raft to dive off of. If you don’t have the dive gear, or just don’t want to pack it, then check out the top dive shop in the area: Diver’s Den! These two Upper Grand Lagoon shops will get you everything you need to explore Panama City Beach just like the old pirates of Florida used to!
Things to Do: Shopping
Once you’ve had a full day of the best beach and sun you can get, you might be looking for a different way to spend the time. There are a ton of local places to go shopping in the Upper Grand Lagoon, with many being within walking or biking distance from the hotels! If you’re looking for a local art experience, check out the Beach Art Group, who meet regularly for paint parties, art classes, and workshops! They also have frequent exhibits if you’re shopping around for some new beach-themed art! If you’re less into art, but want to check out some furniture and decorations, have a look at The Shadow Box, which is known for their completely unique and Panama City-themed items. They used to be known as The Corner Store, so if you’ve received recommendations to go there, you know who to visit instead! For clothes, take a look at Sister Kate’s, who’s got everything from jewelry to clothing and accessories to help make you look like you’re a local here! It’s also located in the middle of a beautiful neighborhood near the bay! Lower Grand Lagoon has more touristy shopping options, while the Upper Grand Lagoon has a stronger local flair to it.
Things to Do: Hotels
It may seem strange to have hotels listed under possible plans, it’s not without good reason! While most of the hotels in Panama City Beach are located either West of Grand Lagoon, or in Lower Grand Lagoon, there are still many hotels to choose from in the Upper Grand Lagoon. These hotels, since they don’t have access to Gulf-facing estate locations like the hotels in Lower Grand Lagoon, have to try to get you the most out your travel by using Saint Andrews Bay in order to compensate. One of the top hotels in Upper Grand Lagoon is Sheraton Bay Point Resort, which is designed like a neighborhood with beautiful views of St. Andrews State Park from your windows! It also has access to Alligator Point, which is an almost exclusive peninsula and is considered by some to be the best location for lunch on the Bay. Other hotels include Hampton Inn and La Quinta, which are both in the upper part of the Upper Grand Lagoon. The Hampton Inn is more about convenience, located just off of Thomas Drive near where all the major restaurants, shops and events of Panama City Beach are. Depending on your hotels room, you may be able to see the Grand Lagoon channel twisting around a beautiful neighborhood to the East of the location. La Quinta is located across the street from the Naval Military base, being one of the few hotels allowing for either a more local experience, or convenience for travel oriented towards the base.
Things to Do: Party
If you’re planning to travel to Panama City Beach, odds are it’s because you’re looking for the party! However, it should be known that the Upper Grand Lagoon isn’t the place to go for a party involving hard alcohol, unless you plan on bringing it back to your hotels. An overview of some of the places you can find a party like that can be found in our article covering the Best Things to Do in Lower Grand Lagoon. Upper Grand Lagoon is more for a family fun type of party. The first location is for the Sea Dragon Pirate Cruise. This family-oriented experience is one of the top ways to learn about all the wildlife in St. Andrews Bay, including the famous Florida dolphins! There are also tons of pirate-themed games that children will love, such as a kid-cannon, swabbing the deck, and themed music. Another great way to have fun is with Gulf Coast Jet Boats, which are not jet skis. These are incredibly well designed boats with the single purpose of moving really fast across the bay. If you’re interested in being able to spot dolphins at high speed while bouncing off of every wave in the gulf of Panama City Beach, then this is the place for you. If you’re wanting something less intense, then maybe you’ll be interested in Zoo World, where you can interact with all sorts of animals, including the famous Florida alligator! You can partake in feeding the ‘gators, pet a sloth, hold a lemur, and feed a giraffe! This is a great way to spend the day for animal lovers!
And there you have it! All of the main attractions for the Upper Grand Lagoon of Panama City Beach in these categories! If you’re still unsure of what to put into your plan, be sure to check out our directories and events calendar to get a wider idea of what’s going on and hopefully answer any questions you have! We’ll see you out by the shore!