Aaron Bessant Park

Aaron Bessant Park — Top Spot for Peaceful Walks and Fun Events in Panama City
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

After a full day of shopping at Pier Park, you can land at Aaron Bessant Park to kick back, relax, and take in the gorgeous sights all around. Leisurely strolls, concert performances, and year-round events are the name of the game at this green space. Even better, you are just steps away from Lullwater Beach once you are ready to enjoy a bit more fun and excitement along the waterfront.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

When you tire of shopping at Pier Park, you do not have to go far to find a quiet place to relax and restore your energy. You just have to head next door to Aaron Bessant Park and search out a serene spot to chill. With its 70 acres of green grass, mature trees, and ponds galore, this greenspace has no shortage of quiet retreats for everyone to enjoy.

If you prefer to walk it out, you can skip relaxing on the lawn in favor of meandering down the three walking trails. These looping walkways will lead you around the open grassy areas and ponds, allowing you to take in the beautiful sights at your leisure. When you want to kick it up a notch, you can even traverse these walkways at a brisk jog or even a full run. With Lullwater Beach along the southern edge, a brisk Gulf breeze is always on tap to keep you cool.

Beyond providing the community with an excellent spot to relax, this park serves as a prime venue for year-round events, such as concerts, car shows, and food festivals. For each event, coordinators can set up right on the open fields or take advantage of the awesome outdoor amphitheater.

Popular activities to enjoy in this park are:

Spring Jazz Festivals
Each year, the park opens its fields to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival to delight visitors with over 30 phenomenal performances. The musicians play from the outdoor amphitheater, filling the entire park with the brilliant sounds of their instruments.

Summer Concert Series
Every Thursday night through the summer, you can come down to enjoy the summer concert series without paying a dime. This free event brings musicians to play their hearts out on stage at the outdoor amphitheater. All genres are well-represented from funk to classic rock, making it well worth a listen no matter your music preferences.

Automotive Shows
Antique car shows, import meets, and everything in between regularly land on the open fields at this park. The looping walking paths make it easy to check out all the vehicles that show up and even meet new friends along the way. Food vendors often set up shop around the outskirts of the show to keep everyone’s bellies full and energy levels up.

Winter Holiday Celebrations
Through the winter, the park hosts many different holiday celebrations for the community to enjoy. You can listen to beautiful carols, snack on smores, and much more as you travel around the park. Most of the events even bring musicians to the stage to keep the music flowing through the air.

At the end of your trip, you can swing around to the Veteran’s Memorial to pay your respects. The memorial honors service members from all branches of the military. Many find it a peaceful place for a quiet moment of reflection and an excellent way to end their visit on the right note.

Insider Tips:
– The park is always dog friendly. Just make sure to keep your pup on a leash and clean up after them wherever you go.
– If you want to see the magic of community pickup games, bring a frisbee along for the ride and challenge passersby to a quick throw or two. More often than not, your fellow park visitors will join in on the fun, brightening your day with their enthusiasm.
– Although the park is perfect for picnics, you can skip putting in the effort and simply grab a bite to eat at Pier Park.