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Snorkeling St. Andrews State Park Jetty - Panama City Beach, Florida

The rock jetty at St. Andrews State Park near Panama City Beach is one of the easiest places to snorkel in Florida. The water is clear and emerald green, and the sand is pure white quartz. Since this is a state park, the parking, restroom and concession facilities are excellent. Wooden crossovers lead from the parking area to the Gulf beach. It's a short walk to the jetty on the west side of the pass. The jetty is also popular with fishermen, so be careful in that regard.

There is another jetty on the east side of the pass which is also great for snorkeling. It is on Shell Island, which you can visit on the Shell Island Shuttle, which offers snorkeling packages along with its regular shuttle trips to Shell Island.

Again, since the jetty is located at an inlet, it is best to snorkel at slack tide because currents can get quite strong. The part of the jetty to the west of the beach is more sheltered from the currents and would be more suitable for children. I've snorkeled here and saw lots of young children snorkeling with their parents just off the beach by the jetty.

You MUST use a dive flag. There is a kiddie pool area at the north end of the jetty.

Helpful links for more in-depth research on this location:

ScubaBoard forum post with maps and diagrams of St. Andrews Jetty

If you read the St. Andrews State Park reviews at TripAdvisor, you'll find that the clarity of the water and the amount and types of fish and marine life vary from day to day. Most people with reasonable expectations really love this state park. I always tell people, the Gulf of Mexico is not a swimming pool, it changes daily, your mileage may vary.


View Snorkeling St. Andrews Jetty in a larger map

St. Andrews State Park beach access

 A wooden boardwalk crosses the dunes to the pure white quartz beach at St. Andrews State Park.

St. Andrews State Park  rock jetty.

The rock jetty is a short walk up the beach.

Clear emerald green water at St. Andrews State Park, near Panama City Beach.

Crystal clear water greets snorkelers and divers on this hot summer day at the St. Andrews jetty.

Snorkeling at the rock jetty at St. Andrews State Park.
Halfway to the end of the jetty you can see a family snorkeling in the water. A school of baitfish is breaking the surface in the upper right of the photo, and several fishermen are casting their lines off the end of the jetty.
 

Snorkeling in the Florida Panhandle

Fort Pickens Jetties & Pensacola Beach

Destin Inlet Jetty (East Jetty)

St. Andrews Jetties

Snorkeling in Southwest Florida

Egmont Key

Sugar Barge (Regina), Bradenton Beach

Point-of-Rocks, Siesta Key

Venice Beach

Southeast Florida Snorkeling

Sebastian Inlet State Park

Bathtub Reef Park, Stuart

Red Reef Park, Boca Raton

Datura Avenue Shipwreck Snorkel Trail, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

John U. Lloyd Beach State Park, Dania

Dania Beach

Peanut Island

Biscayne National Park

 

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