For those who enjoy coastal getaways, St. Andrews State Park provides you with everything you need.
Tucked in between St Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, this gorgeous Florida State Park is the perfect place to soak up the sun.
Incorporating 1,200 acres, the park is renowned for its 2.5 miles of pristine coastline. This makes it a popular destination for sunbathing, beach walking and shelling. Whilst its shimmering, emerald green waters are a haven for those who love swimming, surfing, kayaking, fishing and snorkeling.
Away from the beach, the park is home to a diverse landscape that includes dunes, pines and coastal plant communities. All of which provide temporary refuge for migratory butterflies and birds that are best explored via its hiking trails.
Located three miles from Panama City Beach, the park is a very popular day trip destination. However, for those who need overnight accommodation it also has a fabulous modern campground in which to stay.
For visitors, the park offers several ways to enjoy and immerse themselves within its beautiful scenery.
Outlined below is a brief overview of some of the many activities you can do during your time there.
Kayaking at St. Andrews State Park
If you are into kayaking the park provides you with plenty of chances to explore the waterway.
This includes everything from paddling around the area of the Grand Lagoon to venturing out across the boat channel towards picturesque Shell Island.
To launch onto the water, the park has a massive, boat ramp. Made of double-sided concrete, it is big enough to accommodate various water vessels of differing shapes and sizes.
For those who did not bring a watercraft with them to the park, you can hire them throughout the summer season at the camp store. You will find this just to the north of where the boat ramp is situated.
Swimming at St. Andrews State Park
Swimming is a very popular activity at the park, particularly in the summer when it provides a fantastic way to cool off from the heat.
Along the beach there are several spots you can choose to swim at. One of which is the ‘kiddie pool’ which is a much favored destination on account of it not being too deep.
For those who want even more opportunities to swim, the park provides guests with the option of taking a trip over to Shell Island.
These tours are run between March and the Labor Day weekend and will give you the chance to swim at another fabulous beach.
Snorkeling at St. Andrews State Park
In addition to swimming, snorkeling is another pastime that many people partake in at the park when the water is warm enough to do so.
You can choose to do this at any of the main, designated swimming sections, as well as around the rock jetties and the shoreline.
Like with kayaks, if you don’t have any snorkeling gear of your own, they can be hired at the concession stores located within the park.
Fishing at St. Andrews State Park
If you are a fan of fishing then you will be made up with the huge potential to do so at St. Andrew State Park.
Throughout the park there are multiple fishing opportunities for you to enjoy including surf fishing and deep-sea jetty.
There are also two piers to fish on which provide year round access to this leisurely pursuit.
Depending on when you fish here you should be able to catch cobia, bluefish, bonito, sea trout, flounder, red fish and Spanish mackerel.
You may need a license in order to do so. Which is why it is a good idea to contact the park’s office for confirmation first prior to casting a line.
Should you require bait or other fishing supplies, you will be able to pick these up from the concession store. Rods and reels can also be rented from there too.
Hiking at St. Andrews State Park
For those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land, the park also affords several opportunities to venture into its diverse landscape.
Within St Andrew’s State Park there are two trails you can choose to explore. Both of which provide fabulous up close and personal views of the park’s various flora and fauna.
Probably the better of the two trails to observe this on is the Heron Pond Trail. This guides you through a lush forest of flatwood pines and onward past the scenic Turpentine Still.
The Gator Lake trail on the other hand showcases a gorgeous lakeside view which you will want to take plenty of photos of.
Pets at St. Andrews State Park
Dogs are allowed to join you on your visit to St. Andrews State Park Campground.
However, they must be well behaved at all times and kept restrained on a handheld leash of no more than 6 feet. They also must not be left unattended for more than 30 minutes.
Some other restrictions on their presence may also apply. So it is worth contacting the park’s main office for further clarification.
Camping at St. Andrews State Park
Those requiring overnight camping accommodation at St. Andrews State Park will not be disappointed by what is available there.
Contained within two distinct loops, the campground is nestled within the pinewoods by Grand Lagoon. Overall there are 123 sites available for RVs and trailers. Most of these come with hookups for water and either 30-amp or 50-amp electricity.
Each of these sites also comes with their own grills and picnic tables. Other amenities include five modern bathrooms with hot showers, a playground, sanitary dump station and a concession store.
During your time in the park you should also be able to receive a good cell phone reception on all major network providers.
St. Andrews State Park
4607 State Park Ln
Panama City, FL 32408
Here is a short YouTube video with some aerial footage of St. Andrews State Park: