Shipwreck Island among nation's top water parks

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - TripAdvisor's 2016 "Traveler's Choice Awards" are out and Panama City Beach made the list a couple times.

These white sandy beaches came in at number ten for the top 25 beaches in America, but they weren't the only local attraction to gain national attention this year.

For the first time ever, Shipwreck Island Water Park made the list of top 25 water parks in America, coming in at number 18, according to TripAdvisor.

"Oh it was really exciting," said Buddy Wilkes, the General Manager of Shipwreck Island. "We're on the list with some really good companies, we've been involved in this industry for about 40 years so we know a lot of people a lot of the owners and managers of different facilities. We're on a list with some really quality folks and it's very exciting."

Faye Kelly is visiting with her family from Georgia. She's been coming to Shipwreck ever since it opened in 1983. She says a trip to Panama City Beach isn't complete without visiting the water park.

"I don't ever remember not coming to Shipwreck," said Kelly. "We come to Panama City every year, whether it's for a week or a weekend. This is the place that we have to visit. Once a year at least we come to Shipwreck Island."

TripAdvisor bases its rankings for the annual "Traveler's Choice Awards" off of millions and millions of customer reviews.

Shipwreck was the fourth highest ranked park in the state of Florida. The top three were all in Orlando.