St. Andrews State Park Beaches

St. George Island | St. Andrews State Park | St. Andrews Pier | Mexico Beach | Grayton Beach State Park

St. Andrews Park is located on the east end of Panama City Beach. From Highway 98, take Thomas Drive and follow the signs. The real beauty of this park is the water. Crystal clear and green/blue, it is truly dazzling. I arrived on a Thursday morning just before noon and there was a slow, but steady stream of cars pulling into the parking lot at the park's main beach access. It was a pleasure to finally arrive at the park after the ho-hum drive through the traffic of the unremarkable town of Panama City. I easily found a parking spot and stepped out into the incredible heat. It was easily 100 degrees behind the dunes and it felt more like 115. I saw lots of surfboards, boogie boards, masks and swim fins, and fishing gear being hauled out to the beach. There was a small crowd on the beach, as you can see from the photos below. I did manage to shoot some nice video (see above) from the jetty. You can look east across the pass and see Shell Island, or look west and see the tall beach front resorts of Panama City Beach. I thought Clearwater Beach development was bad, but Panama City Beach makes Clearwater Beach look like a one-horse town. The waves break nicely in front of the jetty, and snorkeling is really popular close to the rocks. If you are up for it, you can take the ferry from the park to Shell Island across the pass. It is a lot more remote than St. Andrews. Shell Island is part of St. Andrews and is at the west end of a long deserted stretch of beach which is part of Tyndall Air Force Base.

Above: Nice dunes, white sand, clear water. What more do you need?

Above: West jetty. Great for snorkeling,surfing and fishing.

Above: Father and son enjoying the crystal clear water.

Above: Looking west toward the pier and Panama City Beach resorts.

Above: Is this perfect or what?

Above: Fishing on west jetty. Shell Island visible across the pass.

Surfing at St. Andrews State Park jetty.

Above: Looking across the pass from St. Andrews State Park to Shell Island. You can take the ferry from the park to uninhabited Shell Island for shelling, fishing, snorkeling, etc. The dunes on the island are really high.

Text and images Copyright 2007 David McRee,