St. Andrews State Park

St. Andrews State Park

Located in Panama City Beach Florida, St. Andrews State Park is a stunning state park with a mile-and-a-half of pristine white sand dune beaches stretching from the Gulf Pier to the Jetty and around the bend to a calm swimming area. The 1,200 acres of this park was once a military base and is now a treasure for outdoor enthusiasts, beach lovers, nature lovers, family activities and fishermen. 

St Andrews State Park

St Andrews State Park has a higher entrance fee than many of the state parks and is well worth the cost. Activities and amenities include biking, hiking, boating, kayaking, canoeing, boat tours, shell island shuttle, camping, fishing, geo-seeking, birding, hiking, picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, 2 piers, the jetty, exploring, photo shoots, and more!

Concessions

There are three concession stores in St Andrews Park that offer snacks, souvenirs, bait, limited grocery items, and seasonal rental of chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling gear, canoes and kayaks. Some of the concessions are seasonal. No restaurants or food trucks. 

St Andrews State Park Jetty

St Andrews State Park Jetty

The jetty is one of the main attractions at St Andrews State Park. Visitors can climb on the jetty rocks, take pictures from the most picturesque spot in Panama City Beach, cast a fishing line, find a spot to sit and relax and enjoy the beauty of nature, or stay for a gorgeous sunset across the Gulf. 

Swimming, Surfing, Shelling and Water play

St Andrews sits on the Gulf with the gorgeous emerald waters along the beachfront that is perfect for swimming, surfing, shelling and just playing in the water.

Family Swimming Area

St Andrews State Park Swimming

Around the tip of the Jetty, there is another calm beach that is a family's delight with calm clear water that is perfect for those with smaller children. This shallow swimming area is a family favorite referred to as the "kiddie pool". 

Shell Island

Shell island boat tours are available in Spring and Summer from March through Labor Day. A boat shuttle takes you from the mainland to the barrier island. Like its namesake, the island is abundant with shells. 

Boating and Kayaking

Kayaks are available to rent in the summer time from the park’s camp store. Paddle out on the flat water of the Lagoon, or make the journey across the boat channel to Shell Island. 

Fishing 

St. Andrews’ sits along the Gulf of Mexico, a portion of the Grand Lagoon, and part of St. Andrew’s Bay which offers an abundance of fishing opportunities. Fish on the Gulf side from the Pier, jetties or surf-fish on the beach shore. Fish on the Bay side from the bay pier or shoreline. Or explore offshore with your own boat launched from the boat ramp or catch a deep sea fishing charter. 

A salt water fishing license is required to fish anywhere in the park. All catches must conform to regulations on size, number, method of capture and season. Some of the common catches in the park are founder, trout, cobia, red fish, mackerel, bluefish and dolphin. 

 

The Pier

Fish or take a walk out onto the 500-foot Pier and enjoy the most beautiful views in all of Panama City Beach. 

Panama City Beach St Andrews State Park Pier

St. Andrews State Park

The view to the west of the pier showcases Panama City Beach coastline. The view to the east showcases the natural dunes along the shoreline. 

St Andrews Lagoon and Bay Side

St Andrews State Park

On the bay side of the park is where nature and boating activities are abundant. 

Nature, Trails, Hiking & Biking

St Andrews State Park offers 5 distinct ecological landscapes just waiting to be explored. Salt marshes, sand pine scrub, flatwood pine forest and rolling sand dunes

A 2-mile paved bicycle trail winds around the park. Two nature trails offer explorers a rich diversity of the coastal plant communities. 

The Heron Pond Trail is a walk through the flatwood pine forest and out to Sandy Point

Heron Pond Trail and Sandy Point in St Andrews State Park

The Gator Lake Trail is a walk through the marshlands

St Andrews State Park Gator Lake

These trails offer opportunities for spotting wildlife including alligators, waterfowl, wading birds and other coastal inhabitants. Other wildlife around the park are white-tailed deer, raccoons, coyote, marsh rabbits, cottontail rabbits, gopher tortoise and water birds. Along the shoreline, shorebirds are abundant. Visitors can spot snowy egrets, great egrets, blue herons, terns and snowy plovers. 

Camping and Overnight Stays

St. Andrews State Park offers overnight stays for tent and RV campers. The camping area is located in the pinewoods near the lagoon and has all the amenities campers need. As is true of most of Florida's State Parks, the camping area fills up so make your reservations early. 

A campground for RVers and tent campers, as well as a primitive group camping area, make this park a popular overnight destination.

Pet Friendly

St Andrews State Park is pet friendly and dogs are permitted in the campgrounds, bayside and hiking and biking trails. Pets (with the exception of guide and service animals), however, are not allowed on the beach, wetlands, boardwalks, playground or any buildings. 

History

St. Andrews was formerly a military reservation during WWII where it was used as a Temporary Harbor Defense installation overlooking the pass into St. Andrews Bay to protect it from German submarines in the Gulf of Mexico. The sites was only active from 1943 to 1944 with no incidents. 

Two World War II era gun mounts can be found within the park. One of the original gun mounts is located at the jetty overlook while the other can be found on the Gulf side of the jetty beach area. Two of the original Army barracks are still standing and currently used as offices for the Department of Environmental Protection State Parks.

St Andrew's State Park is a gem among parks

If you love the beach, love the water, love fishing, boating, exploring, this park is a gem with treasures to uncover. St Andrews is a family favorite and perfect for children of all ages. Nature lovers delight in the natural habitats on both sides of the park. 

 

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