Panama City’s vibrant energy isn’t confined to sandy shores. Situated along St. Andrews Bay, the calm waters beckon explorers to adventure on paddleboard and kayak in Panama City. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler carving salty trails or a curious first-timer dipping your toes, Panama City offers something for everyone, from tranquil solo paddles to dazzling nighttime glow tours.
Ready to trade sandy sunbathing for exhilarating exploration? Dive into this guide – your personal roadmap to the best places to paddleboard and kayak in Panama City, Florida. We’ll chart a course through rental options, guided tours, and bayside launch points, ensuring you find the perfect way to discover St. Andrews Bay. So grab your sunscreen and a sense of wonder to embark on an adventure unlike any other, because in Panama City, adventure awaits just a paddle stroke away.
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Where to Rent Your Paddleboard and Kayak in Panama City
Launch straight from the heart of the city in Downtown Panama City. Located next door to the Destination Panama City Visitors Center, Bayside Rentals offers paddleboards to rent. Their wide, stable paddleboards are perfect for solo or tandem adventures, allowing you to navigate the bay as soon as you step off land. You can even rent a pontoon boat. Head over to Shell Island and explore the calm waters of the bay and enjoy the sugar-white sands on the beach.
Learn the ropes or deepen your practice with stand-up paddleboarding lessons, group nature tours, and sunset yoga (boards provided!). Katie makes it easy to paddleboard and kayak in Panama City! Need a little more guidance? Katie offers a treasure trove of options. For the first-timers, you can learn the ropes in stand-up paddleboarding lessons. For those with a little experience, you can join group nature tours that unveil the wonders of St. Andrews Bay. A more relaxing option, you can unwind with sunset yoga sessions. All boards are provided, no matter the adventure you choose.
Take a day trip and delve into the crystal-clear paradise of Cypress Springs with All Inclusive Adventures. This freshwater oasis, boasting year-round 67-degree temperatures, is accessible through their group paddleboarding and kayak tours, offering a refreshing escape from the salty embrace of the bay.
Glow in the Dark Paddle: A Nighttime Experience to Paddleboard and Kayak in Panama City
Embrace the magic of luminous waters with glow-in-the-dark adventures. Imagine gliding through the calm bay, your path illuminated by vibrant LED lights dancing beneath your clear-bottom kayak. Glow Paddle and Gloat Float, as well as All Inclusive Adventures, offer these unique rentals, allowing you to explore St. Andrews Bay under the stars, marvel at wildlife, and experience the bay’s beauty in a whole new light.
Bring Your Own Vessel to Paddleboard and Kayak in Panama City
If you want to chart your own course, Panama City caters to independent paddlers too! Explore these scenic points to launch your paddleboard and kayak in Panama City:
- Destination Panama City Visitors Center: Stop in and visit the local Visitors Center. Grab free swag, local maps, and more! Located directly on the bay, embark on your adventure and enjoy the amenities, including outdoor showers and public restrooms. It’s a locals (and tourists) favorite spot to launch their paddleboard and kayak in Panama City.
- Beach Drive: Scenic Beach Drive at Asbell Park is a launch point postcard-come-to-life, with the most picturesque views. Launch your vessel for a breezy paddle in the bay. You might even be joined by playful dolphins swimming in the distance or seagulls flying overhead. And because adventure rarely exists in isolation, Asbell Park is just as inviting for a relaxing day. Soak up the sun on the colorful Adirondack swings or sprawl a blanket on the lush grassy lawn to savor a picnic with friends and family. Asbell Park welcomes more than just humans too. Bring your furry companion on this bayside escape and let them dig in the sand, chase frisbees, or simply enjoy the refreshing breeze coming off the bay.
- Oaks by the Park: More than your average launch point, at Oaks by the Bay Park you can immerse yourself in history and natural beauty. On your short walk to the water, you’ll pass by the Old Sentry, a 250-year-old heritage oak tree, chainsaw-carved sculptures by world-renowned artist, Chad Gainey, and an original Civil War salt kettle, marked with a state historical marker. The dune walkovers will lead you to the bay where you can launch for your excursion to paddleboard and kayak in Panama City, Florida paddle.
- Carl Gray Park: Relax at this spacious park with a boat launch, sandy shoreline to launch your paddle, and sheltered picnic tables for an afternoon snack. Perfect for a leisurely paddle and picnic combo. The waters stay calm, and it’s perfect for fishing too!
- St. Andrews State Park: Paddle around the lagoon, watch dolphins, collect shells, and unwind on the beach. Don’t forget your snorkel gear – around the jetties, vibrant marine life is waiting to be discovered. The charms of St. Andrews State Park extend far beyond the water’s edge. Off the beach, you’ll discover a network of nature trails filled with even more wildlife.
Florida’s Designated Paddling Trails
Florida’s paddling trails beckon adventurous souls to paddleboard and kayak in Panama City. Panama City, within the Emerald Coast Region of the Florida Paddling Trails Association, sits between the popular Econfina and Holmes Creek trails.
Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail
Commonly known as the CT, the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail is a 1,515-mile sea kayaking paradise, making it Florida’s longest and most ambitious sea kayaking trail. Northwest Florida is a part of this trail which begins at Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola, extends around the Florida peninsula and Keys, ending near the Georgia state line. Experience every Florida coastal habitat type, from barrier island dune systems to saltmarsh and mangroves while traversing 20 national parks, seashores, wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries, 37 Florida aquatic preserves, and 47 Florida state parks.
Remember: Longer trails require careful planning. Pack a GPS device, essential supplies, and research lodging availability along your route. Following proper safety regulations is crucial, so be sure to paddle responsibly and prioritize your well-being.
Start Planning Your Adventure to Paddleboard & Kayak in Panama City
With its diverse waterscapes, Panama City invites you to rent, tour, and explore on your own terms. So grab your paddle, sunscreen, your sense of wonder, and let your adventure begin as you launch off to paddleboard and kayak in Panama City!