There is an endless supply of fun things to do in the water in Panama City Beach. Visitors come from all over the country for a slice of life in the Florida Panhandle, and part of the draw is remote Shell Island.
Shell Island is a small island off the coast of northwestern Florida – a short day trip from Panama City Beach vacation rentals. Isolated from the city, this island haven is home to tons of wildlife that soar above, swim in, and graze alongside some of Florida’s most intricate waterways.
Saint Andrew Bay and the Gulf of Mexico surround the island, offering a series of beautiful bays, inlets, and fingers of land.
The best way to experience the hidden beauty is to dive – literally – into its waters with the help of a local tour guide. There are many opportunities near Shell Island that allow visitors to snorkeling, enjoy the sunset, and watch for playful dolphins that call Shell Island’s coast home.
What to Expect on a Tour with Aquatic Adventures
The Shell Island Dolphin and Snorkel Excursion by Aquatic Adventures (often referred to as FUNPCB) offers the unique opportunity to swim with dolphins and experience some of the more remote parts of the Florida coast.
This may be one of your best options for viewing marine life up close in the water. The tour involves snorkeling, shelling, and dolphin cruising activities in this all-in-one adventure.
You begin at the Lighthouse Marina (5325 N. Lagoon Dr., Panama City Beach) and head out to the Saint Andrew Bay by way of the Grand Lagoon. Passing through an inlet, you will be able to see the two strips of land that make up the eastern tip of Panama City Beach, which includes St. Andrews State Park (4607 State Park Ln., Panama City Beach), Bay Point, and the small peninsular tip of Alligator Point.
The ultimate destination is, of course, Shell Island. Here, everyone gets out of the boat and snorkels the quiet waterways along the island. Guests are provided all necessary Shell Island snorkeling gear, including instructions and safety tips to keep everyone safe. In these quiet waters away from the crowds, you’re sure to witness some spectacular exhibits of wildlife, including seahorses and starfish.
The final leg of the tour finds you cruising on the open water in Saint Andrew Bay on the lookout for frolicking dolphins, known to hop and play in the boat’s wake. Sometimes they’ll follow you all the way back to the marina.
Tour Details and Further Information
The adventure encompasses all the best things to do on Shell Island. Dolphin tours are available for groups of two to six people, with some special accommodations available upon request.
Guests select one of the available excursion times. Typically, there are four tours a day, beginning at around 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m., with some exceptions. Arrive roughly 20 minutes prior to launch time for check-in and orientation.
For the safety of all guests and guides, trips are weather permitting. Guests who have a trip canceled will be able to receive a refund or to select an alternative date. The captain reserves the right to cancel a tour at any time.
For more information or to book a tour, contact at Aquatic Adventures at 850-235-8051. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the week. It is located at 5325 N. Lagoon Dr., Panama City Beach, FL.
If you love adventure, plan to embark on a Shell Island snorkeling tour during your next vacation. Stay at one of our available Panama City Beach vacation rentals to see the dolphins and the water right around the corner from your home away from home.
Call us at 800-874-2412 for more information on availability, booking, and the many activities you can enjoy while visiting Panama Beach City.