If you’re looking for something just a little off the beaten path in Panama City Beach, we have a great list of hidden gems, secret retreats, and unusually fun things to do around the area. Although you probably don’t get tired of the beach and the sun, you might want to check out some of these other unique adventures.

Panama City Beach is known as the “Wreck Capital of the South”. This means that we have some of the best historic shipwrecks and artificial reefs anywhere in the Gulf Coast. Because of this, we draw scuba divers from around the world to explore these unique opportunities and you can snorkel while chasing manta rays and colorful fish as well.

Visit Seaside, the original location of the movie “The Truman Show”. This movie received three Oscar nominations and 29 wins and various award categories in 1998. In this picture-perfect community was the perfect backdrop for the movie with their pastel homes and white picket fences. Truman’s own home is actually owned by Florida Senate president Don Gaetz and his wife. While visiting Seaside, you can enjoy some of the local businesses such as the great Southern CafĂ©, fantastic beaches, and unique shops.

Visit Shell Island. Shell Island is one of St. Andrew’s state parks most hidden gems. This is an oasis of pristine wilderness occupying a 7 mile stretch between the waters of St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The sugary white sand and the richness of the emerald green waters gives way to a wonderful day of sunbathing, snorkeling, beachcombing and exploring the area. This is a protective natural preserve in part of the St. Andrews State Park. It is uninhabited and undeveloped. The only way to get there is by boat so charter one of the boats in town or Book a Tour.

Find Santa Rosa Beach. Located between Pensacola and Panama City, this beach is the ideal get away from some of the more crowded and popular vacation hotspots. This is a vacationers dream. Rent a cottage or cabin right on the beach and enjoy the quiet, tranquil piece that you’ll find as Santa Rosa Beach.

Have other gems we can add here? Let us know!

Images by Jerry Bedwell & Jenni Sweat