The best snorkeling in Panama City Beach Florida is at Shell Island in St. Andrews State Park. The Shell Island Shuttle offers snorkel gear rentals and daily all-inclusive snorkel tours to the waters around Shell Island.
If you want to try snorkeling in Panama City Beach, the waters around Shell Island in St. Andrews State Park are some of the best. The Shell Island Shuttle gives you access to this 7-mile long, 700-acre undeveloped barrier island where the land and water are in a natural and unspoiled condition that allows marine life to flourish.
The northwestern end of Shell Island is included within boundaries of St. Andrews State Park, so the best way to gain access is by visiting the park and arranging transport to the Island on the Shell Island Shuttle. As the official State Park water transport provider, the Shuttle is the safest and quickest way to reach Shell Island. The Shuttle is also your connection to snorkel gear rentals and all-inclusive snorkel tour packages that are fun for all ages and experience levels.
The Shuttle will drop you off at the “children’s pool” as the calm, sheltered waters behind the Shell Island Jetty are called. This is the perfect spot for beginners to get the feel of snorkeling and it is also a great place to start a snorkel safari.
Exploring along the jetty and out toward the entrance to the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico will offer the chance to spot tropical fish, crabs, rays, and other small marine animals. You may get lucky enough to encounter some of our resident bottlenose dolphins or a sea turtle. Swimming along the inland side of Shell Island into St. Andrew Bay will take you over shallow sea grass flats and into a completely different marine biosystem.
When it’s time to relax, come ashore and enjoy the sugar-sand beach along Shell Island’s Gulf Shore. Relax on the sand, walk the beach to collect shells, or hike along the island to spot wildlife. See why visiting Shell Island is one of the most popular things to do in Panama City Beach. Get in touch with us at (850) 233-0504 or visit St. Andrews State Park and walk into our Jetty Store to arrange your Shell Island snorkeling adventure now!
There is no better way to get up close and personal with the marine life than actually swimming with them and exploring their natural habitat. Here at St. Andrews State Park we offer Snorkeling Packages for the whole family.
What is snorkeling?
Snorkeling is swimming along the surface of the water with a dive mask, snorkel, and fins. The mask lets you see clearly underwater, while the snorkel is a tube that rises above the water to allow you to breathe with your face in the water. Because you are floating face-down and relaxing with no struggle to breathe, snorkeling is considerably easier than swimming. All snorkel equipment is included in a Shell Island Shuttle snorkel tour.
Is snorkeling safe?
Snorkeling is safe and easy for people of all ages. One of the best things about Shell Island is that the calm shallow water behind the jetty is the perfect place for first-time snorkelers to try the sport.
Can I wear contact lenses while snorkeling?
You can wear contact lenses but you should be aware that you may lose your contacts if your mask floods. If that happens, it will be just like swimming with your lenses in. Purchasing a prescription lens dive mask is a good alternative to wearing contacts underwater.