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Get Your Summer Fun On in Panama City Beach, Florida

Royal Dolphin Swim in Panama City Beach FL

Panama City Beach, Florida is a little slice of paradise. With white sand beaches that hug turquoise waters, it’s no wonder people from all over the world flock here. But what some don’t know is that Panama City Beach is a destination where you can “get your fun on!” Whether you’re interested in fantastic family attractions, top-notch dining, luxury shopping choices, water sports or a raucous nightlife, this little slice of Heaven has it all. In fact when you visit, you may find it hard to choose from all of the fun things to do.

Royal Dolphin Swim in Panama City Beach FL

To help you out, here are some of our recommendations.

Home Away from Home

Legacy by the Sea is a beachfront resort offers One-bedroom suites rooms with beds and full kitchen facilities and great views of the Gulf Waters. This hotel is located a half-mile from the swim with the dolphins park, 1 mile from Pier Park, and three miles from Shipwreck Island Water Park.
Private beach access, an outdoor pool, and complimentary Continental breakfast are offered at this Panama City Beach hotel.

Get Up Close with Wild Things!

Head to Gulf World Marine Park to get a Royal Dolphin swim where get to dorsal fin ride and the famous foot push too. This dolphin experience is NEW, so you can be the first to try it. Also, you can see spectacular shows featuring dolphins, sea lions, tropical birds and even reptiles. There are also fun exhibits where you can learn all about penguins, alligators, sharks, flamingos and many more animals that live in the region. And, there’s also a stingray petting pool, regular dolphin swims and encounter(non-swims), and a tropical garden theater that features music and magic.

Book Your Panama City Beach Dolphin Programs >>

What’s with That Upside Down House?

That’s what you’ll probably ask yourselves when you first lay eyes on WonderWorks, the outside of which actually looks like a house just fell out of the sky and landed on its roof. But then when you step inside you’ll see it’s an absolute magical place where you and your family can let your imaginations run wild. Inside there are dozens of hands-on experiments that allow kids to learn while having the time of their life.

Wonder Works Panama City Beach
Wonder Works Panama City Beach

Water, Water, Everywhere

Shipwreck Island Waterpark is where to go to cool off and have some fun! The wavepool has 500,000 gallons of water with 4 ft. waves, and there are professionally trained lifeguards on staff at all times. For the smaller swimmers in your group, there’s the Tadpole Hole where little ones can splash around. You can take a leisurely and relaxing ride down the Lazy River, or if you want more thrills, try the Tree Top Drop or Racing Slide which offer 65 foot falls that can get you up to speeds of 35 miles an hour. As if those weren’t enough, there’s the Rapid River Run that offers a white water experience, and the Zoom Flume waterslide where parents can go down with their children. And these aren’t even all of the attractions. You just have to see Shipwreck Island to believe all the fun you can have.

Hmmm, That’s Odd…

Have a blast exploring Robert Ripley’s one-of-a-kind Odditorium where you can see over 400 amazing exhibits, weird and unusual art and genuine artifacts from around the entire world. There’s also a 4D Moving Theater that offers a simulated roller coaster ride that gives you the stomach-flipping thrills without actually going upside down. Sure, all of that would be more than enough to entertain your family for the entire day, but there’s even more. Spend some time in the Impossible Laser Room and test your laser-dodging skills, or check out the shooting gallery for a chance to get a bullseye!

camp helen state park
Camp Helen State Park

Connect with Nature

Camp Helen State Park is a beautiful place to spend the day communing with the natural world around you. Bordered on three sides by water, the gulf to the south and Lake Powell to the north and east, Camp Helen is an ideal location for exploration. The park consists of 183 acres and offers swimming, beachcombing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and both fresh and salt water fishing. Plus, there are fun events that happen at the park all throughout the year.

A vacation in Panama City Beach will put a smile on everyone’s faces and leave you planning your next trip.

Insider Secrets

We would enjoy to hear any of our reader’s insider secrets, if any of you have traveled to Panama City Beach Florida and want to share some of your travel experiences there. For example, Where did you stay and how did you like it? Did you find any interesting restaurants or attractions that you enjoyed and want to write about? How did the locals treat you? Please share your experiences below in the comment section. Our community of avid travelers and dolphin lovers would like to hear what you did and your travel advice.

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Meet and Greet the Marine life with Ron Hardy

Learn About Dolphins in Panama City Beach

Ron Hardy is a retired high school band director. For 15 years he spent his time teaching students how to bring the gift of music to the world and when he started getting close to retiring, he decided to try to find a way to give back to his community. He decided to start working at Gulf World and spends his days ensuring the you and your family have the best visit you could possibly have and walk away from Gulf World wanting to come back again soon.

The facility offers first and foremost an environment that not only pleases you as the visitor and ensures you have a good time but the employees as well. Ron Hardy does believe that if the employees are happy, the visitors are happy and therefore tries to do his part in making everyone’s day a little better. The goal that he likes to have is to make sure that everyone he encounters on his day is having a good time.

Meet Ron Hardy in this Video

Educational Fun: Understand the Animals

At the facility you can have a fun and learning experience. It is important to enjoy your vacation but if you do not take anything away from what you have seen and interacted with, the memory is not complete, in the eyes of Ron Hardy. Along with all the entertainment – the tricks the animals perform and the games you get to play with them – there is always some sort of educational insert so that you as the visitor can better understand and connect with that beautiful dolphin or sea lion you are playing with. When you understand something better, you can connect with it on a much deeper and profound level.

Many Different Animals to Discover in Panama City Beach
Many Different Animals to Discover in Panama City Beach

Too Much to Enjoy!

The facility offers a wide variety of attractions for the entire family to enjoy. There is going to be something that you like no matter what. There are performances with sea lions and dolphins, as well as sting rays. You get to feed the animals and really come to see them with a fresh look and better understand their role in the environment.  They also offer a very large selection of birds – from parrots to penguins and flamingos! You get to see them up close and they perform tricks as well for the bird lover in you! And just to be sure they have all the bases covered, they also have more reptilian attractions with crocodiles and sea turtles also making an appearance! It really is unique in that they really want to give you as much of a snapshot of the ocean as possible.

Large Bird Exhibit in Panama City Beach
Large Bird Exhibit in Panama City Beach

Mission Statement

The purpose of Gulf World is to ensure that you and your family have a good time. From the unique animal life they present to you to the performances and entertainment they provide, Ron and his staff want that when you leave the facility, every single memory you have is wonderful. They want you to remember that dolphin you bonded with and sea turtle you pet. They want you to come back and relive that very special moment because a bond between you and a dolphin is something that can never be undone or forgotten.

Book Your Panama City Beach Animal Programs >>
Animal Education for the Whole Family in Panama City Beach
Animal Education for the Whole Family in Panama City Beach
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Enjoy Family-Friendly Gulf World at Panama City Beach FL

dolphin and trainer panama city beach

You know when you take those moments during the day to go to your happy place and your happy place has turquoise blue water that shimmers in the sun and sugary white sand beaches that caress your bare feet as you stroll along at sunset? Well, you may not have known this, but your happy place is Panama City Beach, Florida; a destination with over 27 miles of unparalleled beauty that runs along the Gulf of Mexico. There are so many wonderful attractions in the area but our personal recommendation is to check out the family-friendly shows at Gulf World in Panama City Beach.

A Video Tour of Gulf World, Panama City Beach, FL

Book Your Dolphin Programs in Panama City Beach Online Now >>>

So Many Fun Things to Do in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is a truly great destination for families or any large groups. There are a plethora of outdoor activities including playing some rounds of golf on one of the many fantastic 18-hole courses, getting in a game of tennis on one of the many fantastic tennis courts, parasailing, snorkeling, jet skiing, windsurfing or diving.

And if you really want to experience a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, then head to Gulf World Marine Park for a chance to swim with dolphins. You will giggle like a little kid once you get into the water with these playful mammals. You’ll experience them swimming and dancing all around you and flipping over your head. Give them hugs and kisses, then prepare to squeal with delight as you experience a dorsal fin pull.

Enjoy Even More Activities in Panama City Beach

Dolphin Show Panama City Beach
Dolphin Show Panama City Beach

There are so many more things you can do and enjoy at Gulf World in Panama City Beach. For instance, there is a wonderful interactive program where you have the opportunity to hang out with California sea lions during a training session.

You can also watch as the Gulf World staff feed the sharks and sea turtles and learn all about their behavior and natural habitat.

There’s also the “Feathers & Furry Friends Show” where you can listen to steel drums play as you enjoy the antics of colorful, tropical birds that have a wonderful sense of humor.

But that’s not all – maybe you and the family want to take in the reptile show. Some people find reptiles scaly and creepy, but Gulf World happens to think they are pretty great and wants to share some facts about these very misunderstood creatures. The reptile show features snakes, alligators and lizards!

Often the most enjoyable vacations are those that have a little magic. Well, Gulf World has that as well with the Noah Wells presents “Maximum Magic Show.” A master illusionist who has delighted hundreds of thousands of audience members over the years, Noah combines comedy, mentalism, grand illusions and audience participation in his nightly shows. Your family is guaranteed to love it.

And finally for the music lovers who are visiting Panama City Beach, Gulf World is proud to offer the music of Straight Arrow Music Group Recording Artist Todd Allen Herendeen. This artist is an award-winning entertainer that performs hits from Elvis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and many others. Mr. Herendeen has been the #1 music show in Panama City Beach for the past 5 years.

Panama City Beach has so much to offer visitors and Gulf World Marine Park has even more. This combo is sure to give you a vacation you’ll remember for many years to come.

Why Watch? Interact and Get Hands on with the Marine Life…

Again, You can do more than just watch the shows at Gulf World. You can pay a little extra and swim with the dolphins in Panama City Beach or get a sea lion interaction. Both these programs gives you a hands on opportunity with these amazing marine animal which also include all the shows. Its a great value and lot of fun too!!