Located just north of Panama City in west Florida’s Bay County, Lynn Haven had a population of slightly more than 18,000 residents at the time of the last census.
Lynn Haven is south of Interstate 10 between Tallahassee to the east and Pensacola to the west, and is near enough to the neighboring state of Alabama to make day trips an option.
Lynn Haven was incorporated as a town in 1914 but was officially recognized as a city in 1927. Though there are a number of cultural and historical attractions in the area, most visitors come for the beaches.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Lynn Haven, Florida.
1. Simply Seafood and Oyster Bar
Located on Ohio Avenue in Lynn Haven, Simply Seafood and Oyster Bar is the perfect first-stop for those looking to get their fill of tasty gulf seafood.
Popular with both locals and tourists, the restaurant is well-known for its comfortable, family-friendly environment, ample portion sizes, and reasonable prices.
Simply Seafood’s menu features, fish, shrimp, lobster, clams, and oysters when they’re in season. For those who’d rather stick to landlubber fare, the menu includes a variety of non-seafood items as well.
They’re closed on Mondays and can really draw the crowds during dinner hours, so if you’d like to avoid the masses, plan on a late lunch or early dinner.
2. Wild Root Zen Bar and Apothecary
Located in a cozy building that was built more than a century ago, Wild Root Zen Bar and Apothecary is one of Lynn Haven’s most unique businesses, and one that deserves a visit.
For visitors who’ve tired of the state’s more commercial attractions, Wild Root will be a true gem. Its tranquil garden setting is full of shaded seating, and as the name suggests, it’s part natural pharmacy, part restaurant, and part yoga center.
Their menu features a variety of food and drink options, including locally grown organic fruits and vegetables and award-winning coffee.
They’re located on Florida Avenue in Lynn Haven.
3. Apalachicola National Forest
At nearly 600,000 acres, Apalachicola National Forest includes several habitats, like pine forests, swamps, and Florida prairies. It’s a popular destination for outdoor-minded travelers.
Hiking, biking, fishing, and camping are popular recreation activities. Due to its rugged and undeveloped nature, it tends to be less crowded than many of the area’s more developed attractions.
A variety of campsites are available, some are more rugged, and others include water and electricity.
The park is typically wet, swampy, and buggy, so it’s wise to bring insect repellant – especially if you’ll be spending a night or two.
4. St. Andrews State Park
St. Andrews State Park is located at the end of a long peninsula that juts out into the water between the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay.
The park’s land includes nearly 1,200 acres and is easily accessible from U.S. Route 98.
St. Andrews State Park is popular with anglers, snorkelers, and all-around outdoor enthusiasts. Though many opt to head home in the afternoon, many guests stick around for a night of camping under the stars.
The park’s campsites often fill quickly, so it’s wise to make reservations in advance. At low tide, some tidal pools form near the jetty, which are great exploration areas for kids.
5. Signal Hill Golf Course
Panama City’s Signal Hill Golf Course is known for its well-maintained greens and fairways, and its scenic layout that’s challenging but not overly so.
The 18-hole course plays slightly longer than 5,600 yards, making it shorter than many other nearby courses; it’s the perfect place for golfers who’d rather not dedicate the better part of a day to a round.
The par-71 course has been open to the public since 1962 and offers reasonable greens fees, a fully stocked pro-shop, and a restaurant with a full menu and bar.
Tee times disappear quickly on the weekends, so plan accordingly.
6. PoFolks Restaurant
Florida is known for its down-home country restaurants that specialize in traditional comfort food. Though they’re usually not the healthiest places to eat, they don’t skimp in the flavor department.
Located on Ohio Avenue in Lynn Haven, PoFolks Restaurant is another area favorite that keeps customers coming back with its mix of hot food, friendly service, and reasonable prices.
Much of what you’ll find is fried seafood, like shrimp, fish, and oysters, but they also offer crab cakes and steamed clams that are perennial favorites.
The restaurant is conveniently located near the airport and other area attractions, making it a convenient lunch and dinner option for those with busy schedules.
7. Panama City Beach Winery
Though Florida isn’t exactly known as big wine country, like many areas of the country, it has undergone a wine renaissance in recent years. Now, it is home to several award-winning wineries.
Located on Thomas Drive in nearby Panama City Beach, the Panama City Beach Winery is a family-owned and run retail facility that only sells wine made in the Sunshine State.
Most of their wines were made with Florida-grown fruit like citrus, berries, and peaches, making them amazingly vibrant and refreshing.
Their key lime and coconut are among their most popular; they’re relatively inexpensive and make great gifts.
8. Panama City Beaches
Located just south of Lynn Haven on the gulf coast, Panama City is known for its long stretches of scenic beaches.
Beach lovers visiting the area have a wide array of choices; for those who love serenity and seclusion, Shell Island would be a great option.
Accessible only by boat, it features undulating dunes, abundant seashells, and a more relaxed atmosphere than many mainland beaches.
For those who’d rather stick close to town, Rick Seltzer beach features designated swim areas with lifeguards and a nearby boardwalk with many shopping and dining options.
9. The Museum of Man in the Sea
Whether space, distant continents, or the ocean, it’s in man’s nature to push the limits of exploration.
Located on Panama City Beach Parkway, the Museum of Man in the Sea was founded by former Navy divers and marine scientists. It’s a truly one-of-a-kind attraction dedicated to preserving the fascinating history of man’s interaction with the sea.
The museum’s exhibits include a submarine and a number of clunky underwater apparatus from decades past that look like they’re out of an old sci-fi movie.
Most visitors watch the introductory movie before showing themselves around, and generally, guests stay about an hour to see everything.
10. The Science and Discovery Center of Northwest Florida
Though Florida has more than its fair share of sunny days and perfect weather, it’s also known for its ferocious storms. In the summer, the heat can be downright oppressive, making indoor activity options a necessity.
Located on Airport Road in Panama City, the Science and Discovery Center of Northwest Florida is full of hands-on activities touching on science and the natural world, aviation, history, and technology.
The center has been known to keep visitors of all ages engaged for hours. In addition to their permanent exhibits, the staff offer many special events, like guided activity tours and summer camps.
11. Russell-Fields City Pier
Stretching more than 1,500 feet out into the Gulf of Mexico, Russell-Fields City Pier is a favorite walking, fishing, and sunset viewing area that’s conveniently located along Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach.
Due to the gulf’s relative clarity and calmness, it’s possible to see a variety of marine life, like turtles, fish, and stingrays in the water below.
The pier is open around the clock, and it’s not uncommon to see anglers pull up a variety of fish, some of which can be quite large.
The pier is adjacent to City Beach, which is a popular destination with visitors for its convenient location, beach volleyball courts, and lifeguards that are present from May until October.
12. The Martin Theatre
The historic building that now houses The Martin Theatre was built in the early ‘30s. Though it was a local movie house for years, it fell into disuse for many decades and wasn’t renovated and reopened until the ‘90s.
Now, The Martin Theatre is one of the region’s premier entertainment venues and features dramatic plays, live music, and vintage movie classics.
Many guests choose to make an evening of it and buy tickets to the dinner theatre that includes a meal in addition to the show.
The best way to keep abreast of what’s on the schedule is by checking their website periodically.
13. Race City
Adrenaline junkies need look no further than Race City when visiting the Lynn Haven and Panama City Beach areas.
Race City is part amusement park, part go-cart track, and part mini-golf course; it’s another one of those places that tends to occupy more of guests’ time than they’d originally intended.
The bumper boats, Ferris wheel, and video games are always big hits. There are food kiosks onsite as well for those who’d rather not leave all the action just to fill their stomachs.
Though admission isn’t cheap, most guests consider it good value based on all there is to do.
14. Island Time Sailing
For those with stout sea legs and a pocketful of Dramamine, there’s no better way to see the Florida coast than by boat.
Operating a majestic 50-foot catamaran that can hold nearly 80 passengers, Island Time Sailing’s cruises are both fun and relaxing, giving guests access to stunning views that those stuck on land will never get to see.
They’ve been operating safely out of Panama City Beach for nearly two decades, and most guests find the cost relatively inexpensive.
Private charters for large groups are available and are perfect for birthday and wedding parties, corporate outings and family reunions.
15. Shipwreck Island Waterpark
Since 1983, Shipwreck Island Waterpark has been a popular water-centered activity destination for those who need a break from the beach.
Featuring a 500,000-gallon wave pool, a lazy tubing area that stretches more than 600 feet, and a variety of slides, it’s not the kind of place that promotes boredom.
Not surprisingly, the waterpark can turn into a bit of a madhouse during peak times; if that’s a scene you and your travel companions would like to avoid, consider a morning or weekday visit.
Previous guests have noted that while admission wasn’t cheap, the facility was well-maintained and the staff helpful and friendly.