At the southeastern tip of Panama City Beach, the hotels and condos and traffic stop, and there suddenly appears a pristine 1,260-acre park that offers a peek at what the entire beach area looked like before developers sank their claws into it. Here are beaches, pinewoods, and marshes with places to swim, pier-fish, and hike on clearly marked nature trails. A rock jetty creates a calm, shallow play area that is perfect for young children. There are also camping facilities
and a snack bar. Board a ferry to Shell Island—a 700-acre barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico with some of the best shelling between here and southwest Florida's Sanibel Island.