panama-city-beachThere is something magical about the beaches and the weather on the Gulf Coast during the month of March.  While many are still shoveling snow off of their sidewalks, the Gulf Coast is enjoying those few weeks right after the cold snap and just before the humidity sets in.

The sun seems a bit brighter and the afternoon rainstorms have not made their appearance yet.   When you think of Panama City Beach, Florida, you may picture scantily clad college students cluttering the beaches on spring break but it is also a fabulous spring break destination for families.  Avoid the popular beaches and explore these activities. 

St. Andrew’s State Park – Visiting the beach in Panama City is a must, but we like to avoid the popular beach crowds and visit St. Andrew’s State Park.  Swim, kayak, or fish off of the pier.  During the spring and summer, you can take a boat tour to Shell Island and see dolphins along the way.

Oaks by the Bay – The kids will love to run through the moss covered trees to the boardwalk where they can walk out to the water.  Search for sea life in the muddy pools when the tide is low.  You might find hermit and horseshoe crabs.    The four-headed palm tree will make everyone in the family laugh!

beachJunior Museum of Bay County – This children’s museum is over 40 years old!  It has a fully stocked pretend grocery store, hands-on science exhibits, a reptile room and a nature boardwalk.  There are small cottages from 1893 and 1900 set up to represent pioneer life.  When we visited, there was a local middle school robotics club having a meeting and we were invited to stick around and see their robots in action.

Eden State Gardens – March is the perfect month to visit Eden State Gardens when the Camellias are in peak bloom.  Wander through the nature trail and tour the Wesley House, a beautiful two story home complete with huge white columns and a wrap-around porch that is going to make you want to grab your sweet tea and a rocking chair.

Friday Fest – Beginning in March, Downtown Panama City is full of live music and food.  See the vintage cars, grab something to eat from a street vendor, and listen to a live band.