Romantic Things to do in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach - Romantic Things

There is no lack of Romantic things to do in Panama City Beach Florida. From dining to outdoor activities, there is something for couples to do every day of the year.

Also, (because of the angle of the beach) in Panama City Beach, the sun sets on the Gulf of Mexico 365 days a year. So, there are many romantic sunset activities to enjoy.

Romantic Dining in Panama City Beach

One thing you need to know about Panama City Beach is that every place is casual. So if you are looking for a place that requires a jacket, tie and has a wine sommelier, you might want to go 30 minutes west to the 30A area.

Top Upscale Romantic Places to Eat

Two of the most upscale romantic restaurants in Panama City Beach are The Grand Marlin and Firefly.

I find it hard to rank one higher than the other because they are both outstanding. But, Firefly is more intimate and romantic, while The Grand Marlin has a better view. But the food at both is equally good. Good? I mean Great!

The Grand Marlin
The Grand Marlin | Photo: Travel Hop Photographer

The Grand Marlin
5323 N Lagoon Dr.
Panama City Beach, FL 32408
(850) 249-1500

535 N Richard Jackson Blvd.
Panama City Beach, FL 32407
(850) 249-3359

If You Can’t Get a Reservation…

You may have a problem getting a table on-season when the crowd levels are higher.  If you can’t get in at either Firefly or The Grand Marlin, you can drive across the Hathaway Bridge which connects Panama City Beach to Panama City (proper).

In Panama City, you can eat at G. Foley’s and have a romantic fine dining experience. Because it’s away from the tourist areas, you can many times get a reservation at G. Foley’s while every place else is booked. You can check or book a reservation at G. Foley’s using the OpenTable app.

You can also book Firefly and The Grand Marlin at OpenTable. Many restaurants in PCB are NOT on the reservation app and it’s first-come-first-served. Fortunately, these three are open to advanced booking.

Eating Out with the Kids

So, you’re on a family vacation and can’t ditch the children on a babysitter.  There’s a place in Panama City Beach that is family-friendly while still on the romantic side. I’m talking about Captain Anderson’s.

At Captain Anderson’s you can get a romantic marina view in a family setting. It’s very kid-friendly but the menu’s impressive. And their wine cellar is unmatched in PCB. If you come earlier in the evening, you can watch the local fisherman unload their catch.

Best Casual Dining for Couples in PCB

If you aren’t into fine dining and just want something fun — try Pineapple Willie’s or Margaritaville. Be sure to go at sunset.

Pineapple Willie’s has an outdoor dining pier overlooking the beach. Meanwhile, Margaritaville has an upper deck that offers a perfect view of Panama City Beach’s famous sunsets.

At either of these establishments, you can kick off your shoes and take a walk on the beach afterward. Both are right by the sugar sands and glittering emerald waters of the Gulf.

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Try a Wine Tasting for Romance

Panama City Beach Winery offers complimentary wine tastings from 10 am – 4:30 pm daily. It’s not at a vineyard — but is located between Grand Lagoon and the beach.

Many wines at PCB Winery are made from blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, guava, and other fruits. Plus, don’t miss their unique wine slush.

It’s a short drive to Miramar Beach to enjoy an upscale experience at the wine tasting room of Emerald Coast Wine Cellars. Be sure to try their Chocolate Wine.

Emerald Coast Wine Cellars is known for muscadine wines, but offer a wide array of seasonal and specialty wines. Tasting hours are 9 am to 4 pm.

You can hit one of these tastings before dinner and still have time to enjoy the sunset.

Sunset & Dolphin Catamaran Cruise

One of the most romantic things in Panama City Beach is a boat outing. There are a ton of companies offering sunset outings. You can book a dedicated charter for just the two of you.

Or if you’re with several couples, many captains take out parties of six to eight on smaller boats for a more intimate experience. There are also more affordable options of group sailings on larger boats and catamarans.

Most PCB sunset and dolphin cruises featured cocktail service on the ship. So, you can enjoy wine, beer, or a drunk while you watch the sun go down.

Some cruises are strictly in Saint Andrew Bay. Some venture through the bay and near Shell Island. Others cross The Pass and into the Gulf of Mexico to watch the sunset.

Cruises range from $40 a person up to several hundred dollars for a chartered experience. Dolphin cruises are offered during the day.

And sunset cruise captains also point out local wildlife and dolphins. A cruise that skirts shell island might treat you to a view of local deer at the shore too. Very romantic!

One of the favorite cruises among the locals is the Sea Screamer Sunset Dolphin Cruise located at Treasure Island Marina.

Sea Screamer
3605 Thomas Dr.
Panama City, FL 32408
(850) 233-9107

Romantic Activities at Pier Park

Grab some ice cream at Panama City Beach’s Pier Park for a romantic evening. There is nothing better than getting cold ice cream on a warm night in Florida.

In Pier Park, there is no shortage of places to get a scoop of ice cream. You can visit The Yard Milkshake Bar, Marble Slab Creamery, or go to Kilwins Ice Cream & Fudge.

After you get some ice cream, you can walk North up Pier Park Dr. and take a ride on the Panama City Beach SkyWheel. From the top point of the wheel, you can glimpse the glittering Gulf.

Or, you can walk South and cross over Front Beach Rd to the ocean front. You will be at Russell-Fields Pier.

You will have to buy a ticket to go onto this city-owned pier, but it’s worth the price. Plus it’s long, so you will walk off some of your calories from the ice cream.

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It’s over 1,500 feet, which makes it one of the longest piers in Florida. The pier is a perfect place to watch the sun go down. Or you can skip the pier and put your toes into the sand.

Take a Stroll on any Bay County Pier

In addition to the pier at Pier Park, there are two more close by. Bay County is the only county in Florida with 3 Piers.

Russel-Fields Pier at Pier Park – The beach beside the pier is dog-friendly. It’s a 400 foot stretch of beach and is the only beach in the area where you can legally take your pooch.

But, you can park right by the pier (very limited parking), or park across the street in the Pier Park parking lot which is huge.

Location: 16201 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32413

M.B. Miller County Pier – This pier is centrally located and is also open 24-hours. It cost $3 to access. The nice thing about M.B. Miller Pier is the large public parking lot beside it.

Location: 12213 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL 32407

The Pier at St. Andrews State Park – This pier is a lot shorter than either Russel-Fields pier or M.B. Miller pier. But, because it’s in a gated state park, the surrounding beach is generally less crowded.

While the other piers cost $3 per person to access, Saint Andrews Park is $8 per car load. If you walk or bike in, the rate is $2.

Location: 4421 Thomas Dr, Panama City, FL 32408

Take a Barefoot Walk Along the Beach

Have you ever wondered why so many romantic films are set on the beach? One reason may be the romantic atmosphere of the ocean. It’s a place where couples can walk hand-in-hand as the waves crash over their bare feet.

To enhance the romance, hit the beach just before sunset. Panama City Beach is in the Central Time Zone. So, check your weather app, and get to the beach 20 minutes before official sunset.

If you are not staying at a hotel or condo by the beach, Panama City Beach has plenty of places to park. Look for the entrances with foot-washing stations so you can wash the sand off your feet before putting your shoes back on.

The best places to park and walk along the beach are the 3 pier parking lots mentioned above. The other nice place to park is at Rick Seltzer Park. It has free parking and beach access.

Rick Seltzer Park
7419 Thomas Dr.
Panama City Beach, FL 32408

You can usually kick off your sandals at the beach entrance and feel confident they’ll be there when you return. It’s a safe option if you don’t want to hold your shoes. That way you can pick up seashells on your stroll!

Get a Couples Massage

Tranquility by the Sea Spa – They offer couples massages. They’re at the Village of Grand Panama off Middle Beach Rd (Hutchison Blvd).

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Tranquility By The Sea
601 Grand Panama Blvd., Panama City Beach, FL 32407
(850) 276-3719

Serenity Spa – check their top-rated couples massage. They’re at the Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort.

Serenity Spa at the Sheraton Resort
Jan Cooley Dr.
Panama City, FL 32408
(850) 236-6028

Hand and Stone Spa – Relax in a dedicated couples massage room and they’re quick to get to at Pier Park North. It’s in the section right across from the main Pier Park across Hwy 98 (Back Beach).

Hand and Stone Spa
15600 Panama City Beach Parkway, Ste 800
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
(850) 764-0617

Swim with the Dolphins at Gulf World

Gulf World – This popular spot offers many romantic adventures you can share together. You can interact directly with dolphins in the Dolphin Cove or Dolphin Odyssey exhibits.

These dolphin programs offer unique opportunities such as feeding and touching the dolphins during their training sessions.

Another romantic adventure offered at Gulf World is the Sea Lion Splash program where you can touch and even kiss sea lions. You will be amazed at how cute and cuddly their sea lions are.

Gulf World has been in business for over 55 years and during that time they have rescued many dolphins, turtles, and other animals.

Gulf World
15412 Front Beach Road
Panama City Beach, FL 32413
(850) 234-5271

Take to the Skies – Helicopter, Small Plane, or ParaSailing

Another romantic activity is to take to the skies above Panama City Beach.

Fun PCB – You can enjoy a tandem parasail here. They take you on a one-mile ride over the Gulf of Mexico and the pristine sands of Panama City Beach.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins or sea turtles. You can choose your height from 600-1200 ft of rope for the more extreme experience.

Location: Grand Harbor Marina, 5325 N. Lagoon Drive, Panama City, FL, 32408

Panhandle Helicopter – Choose from of a 5-36 mile outing so you can see the Gulf from a whole new view. Book their last flight of the day to get a sunset view.

Choose from a short ride up to the longest ride which covers the Miracle Strip, Shell Island at The Pass, Grand Lagoon, Navy Base, Port of Panama City, and Hathaway Bridge.

Location: 15726 Front Beach Rd., Panama City Beach, FL 32413

Trip Shock – Climb aboard a Piper Warrior or Cessna 172 to get an unmatched view of the emerald waters of the Gulf and incredible beaches.

This is very romantic – it’s just you two and the pilot as you cruise for 30 minutes above the waters as they show you points of interest from heights you’ve never imagined.

Location: 3469 Airport Drive, Panama City, FL 32405