Things To Do in Panama City Beach
Looking for things to do in Panama City Beach Florida? St. Andrews State Park and beautiful Shell Island are must-see attractions. Take our Shuttle to Shell Island, rent water sports gear & pontoon boats, or meet bottlenose dolphins on a Dolphin Tour.
St. Andrews State Park & The Shell Island Shuttle
Among the many things to do in Panama City Beach Florida, there is one standout that should not be missed. At the far south end of the long stretch of resort hotels and condominiums lining the white sands of Panama City Beach, St. Andrews State Park offers a surprisingly pristine slice of Florida coastline to beach lovers and outdoor adventurers.
The Park is situated along miles of sugar-sand coastline that is consistently rated as America’s best beach. St. Andrews State Park covers 1200 acres and offers boating, camping, swimming and watersports, fishing, hiking, and bird/wildlife watching. It is also headquarters of the Shell Island Shuttle, the official water transport service to one of the star attractions in Panama City Beach: Shell Island.
The Shell Island Shuttle is the safest, quickest, and easiest way to reach Shell Island. The Shuttle is also your connection to snorkel gear rentals and Shell Island Snorkel Tours, kayak rental and Shuttle ticket packages, Panama City Beach dolphin tours, and more.
Shell Island Day Trips
Shell Island is an undeveloped 7-mile long barrier island and beach that makes up the southern reach of St. Andrews State Park. Accessed via private boat or the official Shell Island Shuttle, the island is a local must-see location for visitors who want the pristine beach experience. Swimming and snorkeling are great. Hiking inland on the island offers the opportunity to explore rare Florida coastal plant, bird, and wildlife communities in their natural condition.
Panama City Beach Snorkeling
Snorkeling is good around the St. Andrews State Park jetty, and excellent out on Shell Island. Habitats range from sand bottom, to shallow grass flats, to the rocky faces of the jetties. Expect to see tropical fish, crabs, rays, and if you are lucky, a sea turtle or some of the resident bottle nose dolphins. If you don’t have your own gear, snorkel equipment is available for rent at the Jetty Store, or get it as part of a complete package along with Shuttle tickets on a Shell Island Snorkel Tour.
Shell Island Kayaking
The waters around St. Andrews State Park are nice for both beginning and experienced kayakers. There is plenty of interesting shoreline to explore as well as good swimming and snorkeling spots. Experienced paddlers may want to make the crossing to Shell Island or even paddle out the pass for some sea kayaking. The easiest and safest way to try kayaking on Shell Island is to arrange a rental package that includes a ride on the Shell Island Shuttle and kayaks available on Shell Island.
Panama City Beach Pontoon Boat Rentals
Renting your own pontoon boat is a great way to enjoy a Shell Island beach day. Safe, stable, spacious, and easy to operate, a pontoon boat is ideal for a family or a group of friends looking for adventure on the water and the perfect way to visit Shell Island. You can cruise the clear blue waters of St. Andrew Bay and play on the sugar-white sands of Shell Island with your own private pleasure craft.
Biking & Hiking in St. Andrews State Park
Beach bike rentals are available at the St. Andrews State Park Campground Camp Store. Ride around the campground loops and park roads as well as on the 2-mile paved bike trail that wanders through the park. It’s a great way to see deer and other park wildlife. The Park also features two short and easy hiking trails that give walkers a close look at native pine forest and coastal scrub habitats.
Enjoy Great Panama City Beach Recreation
This is just a brief overview of some of the many recreational opportunities available at one of the most popular attractions in Panama City Beach: St. Andrews State Park/Shell Island. For more detailed information and plenty of pictures, explore our website. Or join us on the Shell Island Web Cam and preview the beauty of the park while you plan your trip. You can also give us a call at (850) 233-0504 or drop by the office just inside the Park entrance at 4607 State Park Lane Panama City Beach, FL 32408.