1st Time Guide to the Panama City Beach Pier

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Panama City Beach (PCB) is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear water. But beyond the natural beauty of the Florida Panhandle, PCB offers a variety of tourist attractions for the whole family to enjoy. In the heart of PCB lies Russell-Fields City Pier, which offers a panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico. Located in downtown PCB’s Pier Park, the Russell-Field’s City Pier is the energetic epicenter of this beach town.

It's not all about the view and fishing at this pier; you’ll also find delicious seafood restaurants, popular shops, and even a movie theatre nearby, making it a necessary addition to your PCB vacation itinerary! This is our guide to the Russel-Fields City Pier as well as a few bonus piers nearby.


About the Russell-Fields City Pier

Photo Credit: Fotoluminate LLC

  • Location: 16201 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
  • Fee: $4 for spectators and $7 for those fishing. Children can get on the pier for free.

Panama City Beach is home to multiple piers, but Russell-Fields City Pier is the most well-known. Adjacent to PCB's most popular shopping and dining destination, this iconic 1,500-foot pier is one of the longest along the Gulf Coast.

The Russell-Fields City Pier is one of Panama City Beach's most iconic structures, drawing tourists and locals alike year-round. The pier is also home to numerous amenities, including a bait and tackle shop, a gift shop, and a concession stand offering simple snacks and refreshments.


Tips for Visiting

These are some things to know before you go!

  • The Best Time to Visit: The pier can get pretty crowded in the evening since it is adjacent to popular tourist attractions. We recommend visiting in the early morning if you prefer less crowds.
  • Parking: The pier lot offers free parking, and there is additional parking along Front Beach Road if the lot is full.
  • Pets: The pier is not pet-friendly, however, there is a Dog Beach at Pier Park just adjacent if you don’t want your pet to miss out on the fun!


Activities on the Russell-Fields City Pier

Go Fishing on the Pier

Photo Credit: MRomanPhotography

The pier offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the area, with anglers often reeling in red snapper, tarpon, and king mackerel. On any given day, fishermen will set up their rods along the pier, hoping for a lucky catch.

Visitors can purchase a fishing license and pay the $7 entry fee to fish on the pier upon arrival. Fishing equipment is also available for rent at the entrance of the pier.


Enjoy Wildlife Viewing

Photo Credit: Paulphin Photography

Russell-Fields City Pier is ideal for spotting Gulf Coast wildlife. With dolphins regularly sighted swimming near the pier, you’ll get a front-row seat to a dolphin show. You might also catch a glimpse of sea turtles and stingrays too! Multiple bird species also inhabit the area, making the pier a great bird-watching spot.

There are also plenty of benches along the pier to sit back, relax, and enjoy wildlife viewing. Bring binoculars for the best chance for a magical wildlife sighting!


Hang Out at the Beach

Photo Credit: AJ Caruso

If you get a thrill from simply being in a beautiful setting, the pier is perfect for you. With every turn, you will experience panoramic views of the white sandy beaches, clear Emerald Coast water, and incredible sunset opportunities.

Just beside the pier is Public Beach Access 58, which offers a perfect sandy expanse to throw out a blanket and picnic between fishing sessions on the pier!


Visiting Other PCB Piers

While Russell-Fields City Pier is the most popular PCB pier, there are other beautiful pier destinations to discover nearby.

M.B. Miller County Pier

Photo Credit: Jon Bilous

M.B. Miller County Pier is three miles south of the Russell-Fields City Pier. This is another well-known area to fish and sightsee. The pier stretches 1500 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, offering visitors a great view of the Gulf and equally impressive fishing opportunities. The fee is $3.00 for those who wish to walk the pier and $6.00 for those who want to fish.


St. Andrews State Park Pier

Photo Credit: Terry Kelly

St. Andrews State Park Pier is 10 miles south of Russell-Fields and makes a great spot if you're you’re looking for something more rustic and off-the-beaten path. Set along the Grand Lagoon, this pier is in a more secluded state park setting. It is the best spot if you prefer fishing and wildlife viewing away from the hustle and bustle of tourist attractions.


Activities Near Panama City Beach Pier

Take a Ride on the Skywheel Ferris Wheel

Photo Credit: Fotoluminate LLC

  • Address: 15700 L C Hilton Jr Dr, Panama City Beach, FL
  • Website: skywheelpcb.com

Offering a breathtaking view of the coast and PCB, the Skywheel Ferris Wheel spans a full 200 feet over Pier Park. The Ferris wheel boasts a glass gondola that fits up to six people, making it the perfect family or group activity.

The Ferris wheel is especially popular during sunset, where riders will get a full view of the sunset as they rotate four times around. We can’t think of a better sunset-watching spot than this!

The Skywheel is open daily from 11 am-11 pm.


Catch a Show at The Grand Imax Theater

Photo Credit: Pavel L Photo and Video

Located right in the center of Pier Park, the Grand Imax Theater is the perfect rainy day or nighttime activity. Boasted as the biggest theatre on the Emerald Coast, the IMAX features wall-to-wall screens, 3D viewings, surround sound, and even motion seats that fully immerse you in the movie.


Play Your Favorite Games at Dave & Busters

Photo Credit: Michael Vi

Dave & Busters is the perfect activity for the whole family to enjoy. Think arcade, sports bar, and restaurant all in one, and you’ve got Dave & Busters. With hundreds of games to play, visitors can choose whatever they enjoy the most, from air hockey, arcade games, ping pong, and more.

Meals include delicious American classics and beers on tap. Make a reservation, as they tend to fill up quickly, especially on a rainy day!


Go Shopping in Pier Park

Photo Credit: Fotoluminate LLC

As a premiere shopping destination, Pier Park offers over 120 retailers within its outdoor shopping complex along the coast.

Visitors will find popular stores such as Old Navy, Columbia, Aerie, and more. Well-known department stores like Dillards and JCPenney are also part of the shopping center. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll be tempted to shop til you drop at Pier Park!


Eat at One of the Many Pier Park Restaurants

After all of these fun-filled activities, you are sure to be ready for some grub. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or sit-down dinner, plenty of PCB’s excellent restaurants are within walking distance of the pier. No matter what you decide, your taste buds will thank you on this culinary journey in Pier Park.

  • Margaritaville: Located right along Front Beach Road this classic PCB destination offers classic American dishes and specialty cocktails in a lively, festive atmosphere. I
  • Tootsie’s Orchid: If live music is your thing, head to this infamous country music lounge for evening entertainment.
  • The Yard Milkshake Bar: The perfect spot for a cool dessert after a hot day!


Enjoy the Panama City Beach Pier

PCB piers are the epicenter of beach life. They combine all of what locals and visitors love in this bustling Emerald Coast city. Book a PCB vacation home while you pier hop your way through the perfect holiday!