When you think “family vacation” you immediately think of the Florida panhandle. Fun, friendly beach towns like Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City welcome millions of visitors each year.
From the sandy boardwalks to the aquatic events – there’s something to do for all ages along the panhandle. With so much to see and do as a group, how can you possibly choose? What stands out above the rest?
We’re here to share our expert opinion on our favorite family attractions along the Florida panhandle. You can’t go wrong visiting any of these tours, attractions, and events in a classic Florida locale.
And once you’re inspired, book your family’s vacation rental on FloridaRentals.com where we have thousands of options all along the panhandle that can suit your needs.
Hit the Beach (Multiple)
A family day at the beach is a must-do in northern Florida. There’s sugar white sand, miles of coastline, and warm gulf waters perfect for body surfing. Some of the best in the area are:
- Panama City Beach
- St. Andrew’s State Park
- Pensacola Beach
- Henderson Beach State Park
- Navarre Beach
- Santa Rosa Beach
This cool, interactive attraction is the perfect place to head inside during a (surprising) rainy day or if sunburns are out of control. Kids can explore and play amidst scientific displays and interactive games in a four-story fun lab housed in an “upside-down” building.
Climb up 177 steps and earn yourselves a beautiful view of the Gulf Coast. The top of the tower offers stunning views of Pensacola Pass (where Pensacola Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico), three historic forts, the Pensacola skyline, and the historic Navy Yard.
Harborwalk Village is your home base in Destin for EVERYTHING in family entertainment. Along the walk you’ll find restaurants, water excursions, water sports, weekly fireworks, free outdoor concerts, and much more. You can spend all day and night here without any complaints of boredom.
View seabirds, marine life, and yes plenty of friendly dolphins from the deck of a Southern Star Cruise ship. Guests depart from Harborwalk Marina on the 80-foot glass bottom boat where they’re lead on an adventure by experienced captains. Kids can even steer the ship and feel like a captain themselves!
Open in the summertime, Big Kahuna’s is an awesome experience for the whole family. Featuring over 40 attractions including water slides, lazy rivers, and splash pools for toddlers – it’s a perfect way to cool off and avoid the sand.
Have fun on the open seas like the pirates of yore alongside 150 of your closest friends. The ship leaves from Harborwalk Village in Destin, and takes passengers on a journey led by trained scallywags and scoundrels. Treasure hunts, singing, dancing, and general merriment are standard on board.
Come snorkel with stingrays and sharks, feed penguins and watch otters play at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. Featuring dolphin and sea lion shows, the marine park is also a place where kids can receive VIP training from staff on proper animal care.
If a 16,000 foot indoor arcade doesn’t fire your family up, how about two mini golf courses or laser tag? There’s also a 4D movie theater where dinosaurs “attack” up close and personal, as well as a Ptero Jump bungee adventure. Fuel up at the on-site restaurants after a long day of fun.
You’ll feel like you’re vacationing above the clouds at Sky Zone where endless trampolines provide hours of fun at this indoor park. Play mini games together like dodgeball, basketball, and joust while continuously jumping to new heights.
Another all-in-one family attraction, Race City in Panama City Beach has a thrilling go kart track, indoor black light mini-golf, and the loopy “Spin Zone”. Take in a beautiful Panhandle sunset together aboard the Ferris Wheel.
At the National Naval Aviation Museum over 4000 artifacts and 150 aircraft await your arrival. The Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines are represented here and daily tours are led by retired military volunteers. Flight simulators and IMAX films give guests a chance to experience military flight without leaving the ground.
Minor league baseball at a major league facility, the Blue Wahoos Ballpark is the beautiful home field for the Cincinnati Reds AA affiliate team. The multi-use facility was also designed to host a wide range of events besides baseball, including football, as well as concerts and many other possibilities. The stadium also provides one of the best views in sports, with the scenic Pensacola Bay beyond the outfield walls, creating a unique backdrop.