Panama City Beach Jet Ski Riding 101

Panama City Beach is the perfect location to enjoy a variety of watersports. The crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide ample room to travel fast or slow. One of the best ways to travel across the water and still enjoy a close-up view of the water and its inhabitants is on a jet ski. But before you go onto the water, there are some things you should know.

First, if you were born after January 1, 1988, you’ll need a boating safety education identification card and a photo ID to operate a jet ski in Florida waters. If you need to get your boating safety ID, you can take the safety test at our marina. You’ll also need to be 16 years of age to drive one of Aquatic Adventures’ jet skis.

Jet Ski Party

Next, your jet ski isn’t foolproof. If you are going to go for a jet ski ride, you’ll need to wear a life jacket. You should also know the basics of how to keep your head above water in the event of an emergency. If you aren’t comfortable swimming or treading water, then you may want to choose a different watercraft for your Panama City Beach adventures.

You should also be aware that jet skis aren’t exempt from the laws of physics. The rule that an object in motion will stay in motion is true of these machines just as it is for land crafts. Your jet ski will keep moving even if all power is cut off. But, without power you’ll lose your ability to steer your jet ski. This means that if you lose power while in motion, you craft will keep going in whatever direction it was facing when the engine was turned off. It will take your jet ski some time and distance to come to a full stop. You’ll need to plan for this extra distance when moving toward another vessel or bringing your jet ski in for a shore or dock landing.

Speaking of cutting your jet ski’s engine, you will save yourself a lot of hassles if you always remember to use a lanyard. Your lanyard attaches to you and the jet ski’s key. If you fall off the vehicle the key comes with you, cutting off the engine. Yes, the jet ski will coast for a bit, but having the craft travel a short distance away from you before stopping is far better than having it speed a mile up the coast!

Also, we know speed is fun. Riding a jet ski can be thrilling. But while you’re enjoying your ride remember—gravity hurts. Your ability to control your jet ski ends when it leaves the surface of the water. Don’t try to jump your vehicle using the wake of boats or other devices. Once in the air, your jet ski could tip over and come down on top you or someone else. Trust us; you can have plenty of fun on your jet ski without trying any dangerous stunts.

Jet Ski in Panama City

While riding your jet ski, remember that there are a lot of other people out there. Keep an eye out for other water craft and remember you’ll need time and distance to steer clear of them. A good rule of thumb it to keep at least 100 feet between you and other vessels. Watch out for swimmers and divers, too. Hopefully, anyone who is diving will put out a buoy to warn you of their presence. But watch out for other signs that divers are nearby, just in case. Avoid riding your jet ski close to popular diving spots or diving tour boats.

Finally, be kind to our aquatic friends. Dolphins, rays, sea turtles, and other sea creatures may approach your vessel when you’re stopped or cruising slowly. Or they may be headed at cross directions with you. Try to avoid collisions—neither you nor the sea creature wants to meet by accident! Besides, if you keep a close look out, you’ll have the pleasure of seeing these amazing animals in their natural habitat. How cool is that?

see dolphins in the wild panama city beach

Riding a jet ski can be a fast, exhilarating ride across the water, but it can also be a slow cruise to some amazing places.  When you rent a jet ski and chart your own course, you can experience both jet ski adventures. Take some time to enjoy the scenery. Then, speed things up and experience the spray in your face and the wind in your hair. Either way, you’ll love it!

For your convenience, Aquatic Adventures has jet skis available for rent near most of the major resorts along the Panama City Beach gulf coast. Just choose your location and pick up your machine. Don’t forget your boater safety card and photo ID if you’ll be doing the driving. Our jet skis can hold up to 400 lbs. each so you can share the ride. Now, grab your family or friends and plan your jet ski adventure today!

pick up your jet ski on the beach panama city

Fall in Love with Panama City Beach’s Natural Attractions

Looking for a fun fall excursion? Panama City Beach has lots of exciting things to do indoors and out. We have dance clubs and live music performances, theme parks, and water sports. But Panama City Beach isn’t all about fast engines and lights and music. Did you know that the area surrounding Panama City Beach is also home to some amazing natural attractions?

Area nature preserves, rivers, and lakes offer you a chance to discover Florida’s wild side. In fact, two of the most beautiful and unusual natural habitats that Florida has to offer are within a short drive (or boat ride) of Panama City Beach. So if you’re ready to get up close and personal with nature, make plans to visit these two great natural attractions when you visit us here in Panama City Beach!


Find Florida’s Largest Coastal Dune Lake at Camp Helen State Park

Among the rarest ecosystems in Florida—and the world—are the coastal dune lakes. These freshwater lakes are found only along saltwater coastlines. It is the merger of freshwater and saltwater habitats that makes these areas so unique. One of the largest coastal dune lakes in the world is Powell Lake. This lake is part of Camp Helen State Park, located just north of Panama City Beach. Coastal dune lakes can only be found along the Florida coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and the coasts of Madagascar, Australia and New Zealand.

Along with seeing one of the only habitats of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, visitors to Camp Helen State Park can also enjoy birding, fishing, hiking, and viewing the areas unique wildlife.

Explore Shell Island Panama City Beach

See a Pristine Preserve on Shell Island

Even though it is popular with tourists, Shell Island has been left in a completely natural state.  There are no restrooms, trash containers, picnic tables, or buildings on Shell Island. So when you visit, plan to take what you need with you. You’ll also need to take everything you bring to Shell Island away with you when you leave. What Shell Island lacks in modern convenience, it makes up for in natural beauty.
Along the shores of Shell Island you can expect to see ghost crabs and shore birds. You may also see manatees and rays in the clear shallow waters offshore. Dolphins sometime play nearby as well. Shell Island is surrounded by grass beds that serve as a nursery for many marine species. Horseshoe crabs, sea stars, sand dollars, and horse conch all call this habitat their home.

There aren’t as many sea shells to be found on Shell Island as there used to be. But shelling along the beach can still be fun. Especially after a storm, you may find conch shells and sand dollars. It is important to note that collecting both the horse conch and the sand dollar live is illegal. So leave any live creatures you find in their homes. While you’re looking for shells in the shallow waters you may also find urchins and other marine surprises.


Set Sail to Make Your Own Discoveries

Camp Helen State Park and Powell Lake are north of Panama City Beach, just a quick drive up US Hwy 98W. St. Andrews State Park and Shell Island are located south of Panama City Beach. You can reach St. Andrews by land, but Shell Island can only be reached by sea. To get there, you can rent a pontoon boat. With a full day rental you’ll have plenty of time to explore the hidden jetties and inlets of St. Andrew Bay and the Grand Lagoon.

If you’d like a guide for your journey, you can book a wave runner tour or boat cruise. Freshwater and deep sea fishing excursions are available, too. Just tell the staff of Adventures at Sea where you’d like to go and let them guide you there and back safely.

Wherever you decide to explore, we know you’ll have a wonder time discovering the natural beauty around Panama City Beach.


Reel ‘Em In! Where to Find the Best Fishing in Panama City Beach

The Gulf of Mexico is a sport fisherman’s paradise. The waters of Florida’s gulf coast are teeming with different fish species. Some of the best fishing can be found in the area around Panama City Beach. Anglers near our shores regularly pull in king mackerel, blues, redfish, flounder, pompano hardtail, and cobia. Our waters have whiting, dolphin, red snapper, ladyfish, and flounder, too.

The further you go into the gulf, the more varieties you’ll find. Swordfish, tuna, and even shark may grab your line in the deep waters. Some gulf coast species may be caught without limit, but a few have daily bag limits or other restrictions. Daily catches will vary depending on your location and season.

If you’ve been dreaming of a fabulous fishing vacation, fall is a great time of year to hit the gulf. The summer crowds are gone and the coast is open for business. So pack your bag and get ready to reel ‘em in with a fishing trip at Panama City Beach!

Find the Best Fishing in Panama City Beach

To help plan your trip, here’s a guide to some of the best places to bag your catch.

County Pier Fishing Panama City BeachSitting on the docks of St. Andrews Bay

St. Andrews State Park has two fishing piers, one on the gulf and the other on the Grand Lagoon. Fishing from these piers is included in the cost of park admission. Fish that you may catch near the Grand Lagoon include gag grouper, scamp grouper, bonito, trout, flounder, blackfin tuna, vermillion and white snappers, and sheepshead.

Pier fishing in Panama City Beach

In Panama City Beach, anglers have access to three gulf side piers and one pier extending into the Grand Lagoon. Two concrete piers, referred to as the City Pier and County Pier each extend 1,500 feet from shore. These amazing piers allow anglers of all ages to reach far into the Gulf of Mexico to try their luck. A one-day fishing license can be purchased for pier fishing. Spectators pay a lower fee to watch the action. Your daily catch from the pier may include ladyfish, trout, black drum, Spanish mackerel, and redfish.


Rent a pontoon and go where the fish are biting

The shallow waters in the bay and around Shell Island are great for fishing. You can rent a pontoon from Adventures at Sea and take your gear to where the fish are biting. What you catch will depend on where you go. But you’ll be guaranteed to see lots of wonderful marine life while you’re out.

Our boats can carry up to twelve passengers and your pet is welcome aboard. Just remember, pets may not be allowed on shore where you make landing. If you rent your own boat, you’ll need a fishing license. Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission online before you visit to obtain yours.

Deep sea fishing charter Panama City Beach

Deep water fishing in the Gulf of Mexico

For an epic fishing adventure, take a charter cruise out to the deep waters of the gulf. An Adventures at Sea chartered fishing cruise offers you comfort and convenience. Each boat has an air conditioned cabin and full galley so your party has a place to relax and enjoy the cruise. Meanwhile, on deck, our boats are fully equipped to help you reel in your big catch. Each charter fishing package includes the licenses, bait, and tackle you need for a great excursion. Plus, our expert crew and captain know where to find the best fishing spots.

Our chartered fishing boats can carry up to twenty passengers. Excursions can last from four hours to twelve hours, depending on your goals. For a four to six hour tour, you’ll be fishing along the coast and in the bay. For longer trips, your captain will set sail for the gulf and into deeper waters.

As with any other fishing trip, the fish you can expect to catch will depend on where you drop your line. But seasoned anglers report bites from wahoo, marlin, dolphins, tuna, sailfish, and amberjack.

Sunset with Adventures at Sea Panama City Beach

Get Ready for Your Fabulous Fishing Trip

Want to know exactly what you can catch? Florida law regulates fishing along Florida’s gulf shore and inlets. Fishing for certain species are prohibited during some parts of the year. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission publishes this handy chart to help you keep track of when and what fish you can catch in Florida’s waters. Once you’re further out to sea, federal law sets the rules.

When you’re ready to get started, just give us a call. We’ll help you choose your date and the best tour to suit your needs. Whether you want to set out on your own pontoon or book a full deep-sea cruise, we’ll make sure you have your best fishing expedition ever!

Panama City Beach’s Bottlenose Dolphins Fascinating Facts

There are over 27 species of marine mammals that live in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Among the species that can be found in the Gulf are several different dolphins, manatees, baleen whales and toothed whales. While you may not see every one of these species during an aquatic tour of the waters near Panama City Beach, you have a very good chance of seeing bottlenose dolphins.

The Gulf of Mexico has the largest concentration of bottlenose dolphins found in U.S. waters.

There are lots of ways to seek out bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat during your visit to Panama City Beach. You can take a dolphin boat cruise or guided wave runner tour, or rent a boat and venture out on your own.

These curious creatures may even come looking for you as you snorkel or swim in the Gulf waters. However you find them, you can bet that seeing these beautiful animals in the wild will be a highlight of your vacation.

 Bottlenose Dolphin near Panama City Beach up close


Here Are Some Interesting Facts About Our Friends in the Gulf:

Porpoises and Dolphins are Different

Porpoises, dolphins, and whales are all members of the animal classification order Cetacea. (The word Cetacea is derived from a Greek word meaning “large sea creature.”) These marine mammals share similar characteristics including their flattened tails, called flukes, and their cylinder-shaped bodies. The bottlenose dolphins common in the Gulf of Mexico are sometimes called grey porpoises. But, of course, they aren’t porpoises at all. There are no porpoise species that call the Gulf of Mexico home.

Bottlenose dolphin dorsal fin

What’s the difference? Dolphins usually have a longer snout, or beak, and cone-shaped teeth. Porpoises have a more rounded face, and their teeth are flat. A dolphin’s body is usually more streamlined than a porpoise’s body. And, the dolphin’s fin is curved with a signature hook shape. A porpoise’s fin is just a rounded triangle. You might say that a porpoise is Richie, and a dolphin is the Fonz. Dolphins are just cooler.

Echolocation is all in a Dolphin’s Head

Most dolphins, including the bottlenose dolphin, have a slightly rounded, pronounced forehead. This part of their body is important for echolocation. Echolocation allows dolphins to use sound waves to locate items in the water. Dolphins operate this sonar system by emitting clicking sounds that travel through the water then bounce back after hitting an object. The dolphin’s large forehead and jaw capture these return sound waves and transmit them to the dolphin’s brain for analysis.Forehead of bottlenose dolphin echolocation

Dolphins Have Good Taste

Dolphins like to eat squid, octopus, and fish. On occasion, they may also nibble on krill or another crunchy crustacean. Dolphins often hunt in groups, called pods. They may surround a school of fish with a ring of bubbles or work as a team to herd the fish together. Dolphins have even been known to use their tails to fling fish onto the shore for easy pickings!

Dolphins Love to Have a Good Time

Bottlenose dolphins like to play and dive in the water. Often you will see a dolphin play on the surface of the water. When diving, dolphins will sometimes flip their tails—called flukes—out of the water. Dolphins like to play in the wakes created by boats and the currents created by passing whales. If you are lucky, you may even see a dolphin leap completely out of the water!

A dolphin may breach or leap out of the water for fun or while chasing fish. But if you see a dolphin leaping out of the water repeatedly and slapping the water with its tail or exhaling loudly (chuffing), it is time to leave the creature alone. These are all signs that the dolphin has had enough of your company. The wild dolphins around Panama City Beach are pretty used to us humans wandering around, but it is always good to remember—we are visiting in their home.

Let us Help You Visit the Dolphins When You Come to PCB

Here in Panama City Beach, we love our marine mammal neighbors and want to share their beauty with you when you visit. Our tour guides are trained to respect the dolphins and avoid disturbing them while still allowing you to observe them in their natural habitat.

Adventures at Sea boat fleet

Stop by one of our locations or book your tour online. We’ll make sure you have a memorable experience meeting our fascinating friends, the bottlenose dolphins.

Make Like a Pirate at Panama City Beach

Find Treasures Galore This Fall in Panama City Beach

Ahoy there, me hearties! Are ye ready to talk like a pirate? September 19, 2016 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! And there’s no better place to be on such a splendid day than Panama City Beach, the Wreck Capital of the South.

If you feel like having a pirate adventure, dig out your map and set a course for PCB.

The waters around Panama City Beach are full of sunken ships. And every good pirate knows, where there be sunken ships, there be sunken treasure! Har! What a lot of treasures Panama City Beach has both underwater and above. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned pirate smile.

The waters around Panama City Beach are full of sunken ships. And every good pirate knows, where there be sunken ships, there be sunken treasure! Har! What a lot of treasures Panama City Beach has both underwater and above. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned pirate smile.

deep sea diving

You don’t even need to wait until Talk Like a Pirate Day, Panama City Beach has treasures to discover every day.

Keep a Lookout for These Fine Treasures:

First, there’s a treasure you’ll find nowhere else in the United States—the Man in the Sea Museum. This museum preserves the history of deep water diving. On display you’ll find treasures from sunken ships, early diving suits, and a submarine waiting for you to explore.

The U.S. Navy’s first underwater habitat, the SEALAB-I, is also on display at the Man in the Sea Museum. Now, ye won’t be able to visit International Talk Like a Pirate Day because the museum is closed on Mondays. But Tuesdays through Saturdays, this treasure is open for business.

Next, there be the Underwater Archaeological Preserve. Florida has several sites that make up its Museums in the Sea. The SS Tarpon is number six. This sunken ship is a twin-screwed steam ship that sank in 1937. Advanced level divers can visit the steamer and view the wreckage in person. Divers can also pay a visit to Black Bart, an oil field supply ship lodged 75 feet beneath the surface of the gulf. This wreck was deployed as part of the Panama City Beach area’s artificial reef.


Snorkeling Panama City BeachYe snorkelers can get your chance to view the underwater treasures as well. The E.E. Simpson Tug is just 20 feet below water. This wreck can be seen from aboard your vessel or from the surface with ye snorkel gear. The E.E. Simpson Tug went down in 1929 and is now home to an abundance of sea life including rays, turtles, fish, crabs and squid!

Be ye a land lubber? Then mayhaps Shell Island has the treasure you seek. Shell Island is seven miles of pristine beach with the gulf’s trademark white quartz sands. Spend the day on the island finding shells, hermit crabs, starfish, and sand dollars. Rent a pontoon or sailboat to reach the island or charter a boat to carry you there. Bring a picnic lunch and snorkeling gear and spend the day discovering Shell Island’s hidden gems.

Are ye an admirer of the dread pirate Dominique Youx? Do you geocache? Then you can follow his trail through Panama City Beach. Just get the GPS coordinates from and then go on your own Pirates of the High Seas treasure hunt. The geocached treasures may be long gone afore ye make it, but Captain Youx’s path is still there to follow. Tis a map guaranteed to reveal the secret beauty of Panama City Beach.

boat rentals and charters

Aye Capt’n, Adventures at Sea is at Yer Service

As always your Mateys at Adventures at Sea stand at the ready to assist you. If your vessel be in dry-dock, we can rent you a sailboat or pontoon. And if your captain be indisposed, we can ferry your party to your destination be it a diving expedition or a sunset cruise. Lost your gear at the gambling tables? We can set you up with snorkeling and fishing equipment, too. Just pay us a visit online or in person and tell us what it is ye be needing to make your vacation complete.

And if ye be a thrifty pirate, be sure to check out our coupon page to see if your hotel qualifies you for a VIP (very important pirate) discount.

Labor Day Weekend in Panama City Beach—There’s a Party Going On!

Labor Day Weekend in Panama City Beach means it’s time for the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam! Three days of country music in Panama City Beach. This festival starts early. The gates open at 2 pm and the music starts at 2:30 pm. Will you be here? We’ll be ready for you.


Last Blast of Summer in Panama City Beach

Even if you aren’t here for the music, you’ll find plenty of other things to do over Labor Day Weekend at Panama City Beach. Our town will be rolling out the red carpet for all our ‘last blast of summer’ guests.Nightlife pcb

Here’s a list of some of the other Labor Day Weekend events you can catch here in PCB:

Panama City’s Friday Fest—This event takes place every Friday from March through November. Vendors, show cars, and bands take over four blocks to throw a massive street party. The activities begin at 6 pm and last until 10 pm. You can expect area restaurants to be open late, too.

Bay Area Backstage Pass—Taking place at the Marina Civic Center, the Backstage Pass concert series features local bands. On September 2, 2016, Turtlefoot will take the stage starting at 6:30 pm. General admission or table seating is available. Enjoy drinks and great music at this indoor venue.

Labor Day Weekend Red Snapper Season

Opening Day of the Fall Red Snapper Season—September 2, 2016, marks the first day of the state of Florida’s fall red snapper fishing season. Labor Day Weekend only, you can fish for red snapper for four full days. Florida’s other fall red snapper dates are limited to Friday through Sunday only. So if you want to get the most of your fishing expedition, Labor Day weekend is the time to book your tour.

Shane Johns Project—The Shane Johns will be performing Friday night at  Chillin’ Gelato Café to mark the release of his latest album, “Clear on the Water Beach.” Check out Shane’s music here.

Hogs & Dogs—Spend Labor Day weekend with your favorite things—dogs and Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson will host three days of food, drinks, and music at the Panama City Beach location. Dress up your dog for the fashion show and make a donation to your favorite pet charity while you check out the cool motorcycles on display.

5th Annual Alys Beach 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run—Taking place on September 4, 2016, this event supports the Alaqua Animal Refuge. The races begin and end at the Alys Beach Amphitheater. Alys Beach is located just north of Panama City Beach. The events begin early Sunday morning, and you’ll find activities for all ages taking place at the start/finish line. Your kids will love the giant obstacle course and bounce house. Plus, there will be music.

Of course, these are just a few of the activities and events happening in the area over Labor Day weekend. Area bars, restaurants, water and theme parks will all be open and ready to show our visitors a great time and so will Adventures at Sea.

Parasailing panama city beach

Make Your Labor Day Weekend Plans Now

If you’ve already booked your room for the weekend, now is the time to reserve your spot with Adventures at Sea. Adventures at Sea is your one-stop shop for all your rental needs while you’re here in Panama City Beach. From jet skis to beach chairs, we have what you need. Charter a fishing boat or rent a pontoon boat and spend your weekend on the water.

Use our convenient online booking system to secure your rentals before you arrive. We offer several locations for rentals and tours around Panama City Beach. You can find Adventures at Seas near many of Panama City’s most popular hotels and the County Pier. Just consult our Panama City map to find the one closest to you.


Adventures at Sea Near your hotel


If you can’t make it here for the Labor Day festivals, don’t’ worry! Anytime is a great time to visit Panama City Beach. There’s always something fantastic to do. Adventures at Sea will help you make the most of your visit—whenever you come.


Ready to See What Lives Below the Surface? Take a Snorkeling Tour at Panama City Beach

Thinking of looking beneath the surface during your vacation in Panama City Beach?

Snorkeling is an excellent way to explore this gulf coast’s beautiful underwater worlds. Snorkeling is easier to learn and takes less equipment that scuba diving, making it a great introduction to underwater viewing for adventurers of all ages. You only need a few basic pieces of equipment to get started. With just a little snorkeling practice, you will be ready to see Panama City Beach from a whole new angle!

Discover Underwater Delights with a PCB Snorkeling Tour

Because snorkeling doesn’t require you to dive deep, it is also a good choice for members of your party who want to see what lurks beneath—but not too far beneath. In fact, you don’t even have to swim the entire time you are snorkeling. You can sit on the seabed in a shallow spot and watch the sea life swim past you. When you are ready, just lift off and float along the surface of the water. Let the buoyant water do the work while you enjoy the view.
With a guided snorkeling tour, you can rest assured that you’ll find the perfect location for your underwater exploration. Just tell our tour operators what you’d like to see. Then, you can focus on the experience and leave the driving to someone else.

A Wondrous Variety of Sea Life Awaits

Panama City Beach is an ideal spot for your first snorkeling excursion. The crystal clear waters around Panama City Beach offer a wonderful view of a wide variety of sea creatures. The jetties around nearby St. Andrews State Park and Shell Island teem with sea life.  From damsel fish and blennies to redfish, needlefish and wrasses you will be delighted at the variety of fish that pass before your mask.

In addition to the many varieties of small fish, visitors to Panama City Beach report seeing sea urchins, sand dollars and amazingly big hermit crabs. These aren’t your pet shop hermit crabs, but crabs in their natural habitat underwater and able to grow.Snorkeling lets you see stingrays where they live

Snorkeling allows you to have an intimate view of the sea life of the bay. Imagine seeing a spindly shrimp or a transparent jellyfish drift by as you float atop the water looking down!

Creatures Large and Small are All Within View

In deeper waters, you can expect to see larger fish such as grouper and amberjacks. You might also encounter rays or even sharks. Between May and October, sea turtles flock to the gulf shores for nesting season. Endangered loggerheads, leatherbacks and green sea turtles can sometimes be spotted near our coast. On your snorkeling tour, you’ll want to keep your eyes open for these majestic creatures.

The waters around Panama City Beach are known for their high population of bottlenose dolphins. While humans are not allowed to interfere with the activities of these creatures, they sometimes swim close enough to touch.

An Adventure You Won’t Soon Forget

Human beings have always been drawn to the ocean. There is a certain peace and tranquility that immersing oneself in this watery otherworld brings. We can view fish and other sea creatures in films or aquariums, but there’s nothing quite like seeing a free creature in its own habitat. Your snorkeling adventure allows you to see into a world apart. A world that is unique and incredible with species that will impress and amaze.

To find out what’s beneath the surface of our beautiful waters, plan your visit and book your tour today. Explore the secret life of Florida’s sea creatures with a one of a kind snorkeling adventure.





How Panama Beach Is Ensuring It Will Stay Beautiful For Generations

If you don’t live right on the coast, you may not have realized that coastal erosion is an ongoing concern for many beachfront areas. With storms, tides, and waves, all working to reshape our land on a daily basis, over time, beaches can be completely eroded, with new beaches forming in other areas. In fact, the creation of our own Shell Island has much to do with these natural patterns.

In areas like PCB, we have the ability to nourish our gorgeous beaches, adding sand from other areas to replenish what’s washing away over time. We widen the beaches to make room for visitors and residents alike, but also to maintain natural habitats for sea turtles and other wildlife that make our beaches their homes.

The Panama City Beaches have been nourished three times since 1995, when Hurricane Opal caused significant damage and erosion on the beaches in 1998/1999, 2005/2006, and 2011. The first project added almost 10 million cubic yards of sand to the beaches, the second around 3.3 million cubic yards, and the third 1.4 million cubic yards. This summer, the Tourist Development Council in Panama City Beach approved a plan to add 840,000 cubic yards of sand to several beaches. They will specifically focus on Treasure Island, the County Pier, the City Pier, and Pinnacle Port.

The sand that’s added can’t just come from anywhere; it is dredged from approved “borrow” areas, where coastal engineering experts examine the sand that’s being harvested to make sure it’s the right size, color, and composition to blend in naturally with the sand already present on the beaches. Depending on how close the harvest area is to shore, equipment called a hopper dredge or a cutterhead pipeline dredge is used to harvest the sand. It is then transferred to the dry beach through a submerged pipeline in a water and sand slurry. Bulldozers can then manipulate the sand to make sure it matches the project template.

Both surveyors and coastal engineers monitor the beaches each year to monitor both yardage and volume lost on the beaches. As you can see by the slowly decreasing amounts of sand needed for nourishment, Panama City Beach is getting better at staying ahead of the curve and making sure that the beaches are staying healthy. Of course, any large storms can always change plans, and mean that beaches need to be nourished sooner instead of later.

This year, consultants like Lisa Armbruster said that high surf conditions and consistent southerly winds had caused several isolated areas of the Panama City Beach coastline to take a beating. Major indentations have cropped up behind Treasure Island; Carillion Beach and Pinnacle Port are among the beaches that were involved in both the 2006 and 2011 projects, and are considered areas which traditionally experience a higher level of erosion.

If you’re traveling to Panama City Beach this summer, it’s very unlikely that your vacation will be affected by the nourishment project. Engineers expect to do their work over the winter. If you’re planning a winter vacation, talk to us about your needs. We want to make sure that you see the very best the beach has to offer, and we’ll keep you up to date on any ways that the project could affect our services.

We’re glad that the TDC is taking action now to maintain the beaches for our visitors, our residents, and the wildlife that lives and loves on Panama City Beach!

The Heat Is On In Panama City Beach

There’s no question; summer has arrived in Panama City Beach. After seeing huge crowds for Independence Day, lifeguards are reporting that they’ve had a few instances of heat-related emergencies on the beach already. We talked about this before, quickly, but given that temperatures are high, let’s talk about how to stay cool and safe, even as the temperature increases.

Stay hydrated

Your primary protection against heat stroke or heat exhaustion is to drink plenty of fluids. Water is ideal, but if you don’t like the taste of plain water, drinks with some sugar and electrolytes are good alternatives. The important thing is to get those fluids. Alcohol in particular is not a good idea whenever you’re trying to avoid dehydration; it takes so much water to process alcohol out of your body that you end up with a net fluid loss.

Eat light foods

It’s a good idea to make sure you eat well if you’re going to be out in the sun. Light foods like cut up vegetables, a handful of healthy chips, or a light salad are good ideas if you’re not feeling well. Fruits in particular tend to have a lot of water content, so they can help you stay well hydrated. Typical barbecue fare may be too heavy if you’re already feeling unwell, but is probably fine if you feel good. Relaxing for a little while in the shade can help you digest well and avoid feeling sick.

Take breaks out of the sun

We know how much fun it is to play in the sun, but your body needs breaks to cool down. If you’re looking to keep the fun happening, talk to us about different adventures that can keep you cool, like snorkeling, parasailing, or going for a WaveRunner ride.

If you’re looking to kick back and relax for a little while, consider renting one of our lounge chairs, and asking us to set it up so that you can get some shade. We know that cooling off is important, and we want you to feel well so you can get back to having fun.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke

Of course, one of the crucial pieces here is knowing what’s going on. If you feel overheated, but have stopped sweating, are nauseated and vomiting, have a painful headache, or are shivering despite feeling warm to the touch, you may have crossed from heat exhaustion into heat stroke. Heat stroke is a very serious condition, and you should get medical attention in order to stay safe.

If you’re on the beach and start experiencing these symptoms, let a lifeguard know; they’re trained to help you, just like they have helped other visitors stay healthy this summer.

Cool your body down with water, ice, or air conditioning

If you are too warm, obviously, one of the keys is to cool your body down. Getting into the ocean water can be helpful, but depending on how you’re feeling, it may not be enough. Another option is to place cool items, such as ice packs, cool wash cloths, or cold drink bottles, at your pulse points – on your belly, at your ankles, wrists, and the back of your neck. Since these are places where your blood runs close to your skin, they cool your body down efficiently.

Get medical help if needed

If you are concerned that you might need medical help to treat your heat exhaustion, do not hesitate. A person with heat stroke can very quickly go from tired but okay to disoriented and very, very sick. If you are with someone who has been in the heat, and they begin to seem disoriented, the safest thing is to assume heat stroke and get help.

It just might save their life.

Beach vacations are a tremendous amount of fun, but part of the fun is making sure to stay safe. By keeping hydrated, taking breaks to let your body cool off, and acting quickly if you or someone you’re with becomes ill from the sun will keep your vacation a great memory and not a terrible tragedy.

Celebrate Independence Day On Panama City Beach

If you’re visiting Panama City Beach for the Fourth of July holiday, you’re in for a treat. We go all out for the celebration, with events all over town. Of course we’d love for you to get in touch and schedule a sunset cruise, a fishing trip, or a dolphin sighting, but there’s plenty more to do. Our favorite events that we think you should check out:

July 3

Light Up The Gulf

Many of the local resorts enjoy setting of fireworks for their guests, but the Beach Bash & Light Up the Gulf show at Board Walk Beach Resort is one of the best known. Always an impressive show, definitely check it out if you’re on that side of town. If you’re booking a room with the hotel, they often have special deals available for their guests, so check their website.

Grand Lagoon Freedom Rocks

The Grand Lagoon is called the Gateway to the Gulf. It’s a popular local spot for relaxing by the water, with added fun from shopping and dining at local restaurants. You can bring a chair or blanket and kick back on the grass outside the Treasure Island Marina to watch the fireworks displays. Many of the local restaurants offer discounts, special menu items, and exclusive drinks. Bring a friend, enjoy yourself, and watch the show!

July 4

Panama City Marina – Salute To Freedom

If you’re in town with your family on the Fourth of July itself, make sure to drop by Panama City Marina for live music, free food, and a ton of fun. The festivities begin at 2pm, and kids will also get to spend some time building a special project, hosted by Home Depot. The night ends with a stunning fireworks display at 9pm that is sure to get you into the patriotic mood. The fireworks will be simulcast on Magic Broadcast stations.

Mexico Beach – Best Blast On The Beach

If you don’t mind driving a little ways away from Panama City Beach, the festivities on Mexico Beach are extra fun for runners. As part of their Independence Day celebration, Mexico Beach hosts the Sandy Shoes 5k. The course is appropriate for any level of experience, and runners get a chipped bib to see their time, as well as a free t-shirt for participating. The run happens at 7am, so it would be easy to get back to Panama City in time for the fireworks here, or you could catch the show at Mexico Beach, which starts at 8:30.

Groovin’ On The Green

If you want your fireworks with a side of live band, check out Sonic Boom at the Groovin’ on the Green concert series on the village green. Food and drink vendors will be on site, so you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the show.

If you’ve never seen fireworks on the water, it’s a very different experience than seeing them from land. If you’ll be in the area, get in touch with us to find out more about chartered boat trips around the time of one of the fireworks displays to see what’s happening.

In Panama City Beach, we love every part of the fourth of July; the patriotic celebration, the gorgeous explosions of color and light, and the sense of community as locals and visitors come together to enjoy the show. We hope you’ll be a part of our Independence Day Celebration this year.