Exploring Northwest Florida
Exploring Northwest Florida
When you've had enough sand and surf, Northwest Florida attractions will entertain and delight you. Let's see, there are zoos, water parks, marine parks, mini golf, family entertainment centers, art shows and art galleries, live theater performances, wineries - the list is endless.
In fact, there's so much to do here, it's hard to fit it all in, whether for a visit or a lifetime, so it's best to just jump right into the action.
There are two major marine parks in Northwest Florida, Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach and Florida's Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach. You can enjoy a full day of family fun with dolphin shows, sea lion shows, a shark tank, alligators, high divers, and more. These parks also double as sea animal rescue operations. Their mission is to entertain, educate and inspire people to learn more about the marine world.
Why would anyone want to go to a water park when there are hundreds of miles of the Gulf of Mexico on your doorstep? Because water parks are fun! Whether you like to float around on a huge innertube, or go screaming down a giant water slide, you'll enjoy splashing around at Big Kahuna's in Destin, Sam's Surf City in Pensacola, and Shipwreck Island in Panama City Beach. Most parks are open seasonally, so check online for times and dates of opening.
There are a number of putt putt golf courses in the region, including Goofy Golf in Fort Walton Beach, the original miniature golf course from the 1950's. In Panama City Beach there's Coconut Creek Family Fun Park, Pirates Island Adventure Golf, and Emerald Falls Family Rec Center. In Destin you'll find mini links at the Track Family Recreation Center and Big Kahuna's.
There are several zoos in the region including the Gulf Breeze Zoo that features a 30-acre open veldt, and the Panhandle Butterfly House in Navarre where you can learn about butterflies, what they eat and how they live. Other zoos are Zoo World in Panama City Beach, Sasquatch Zoo in Crestview, and the Tallahassee Museum that features a boardwalk through a natural habitat.
Did you ever think of climbing to the top of a lighthouse? There are five lighthouses in Northwest Florida, at least one of which is said to be haunted.
Northwest Florida attractions can also include museums. They are a great way to entertain and educate, especially when you visit living history museums like Mission San Luis in Tallahassee or action places like the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. See the Northwest Florida Museums page for more ideas.
Theme attractions include Ripley's Believe it or Not, Wonderworks, and the Miracle Strip @Pier Park amusement park, all located in Panama City Beach.
The Track Family Recreation Center in Destin features bumper cars and other rides as does Sam's Fun City in Pensacola. A Zip Line, a Ropes Course and a climbing wall can be found in the Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, and the Destin Commons shopping center has a fountain with water jets where children can enjoy hours of watery fun.