For those who want to get away from it all and experience the pristine nature of Panama City Beach on a family vacation, St. Andrews Park is the place to go.
Open year-round from 8 a.m. to sundown, this 1,200 acre protected area is a perfect nearby place to see the local wildlife in their natural habitat and enjoy outdoor activities.
Below is a guide to what you can expect to see and do at St. Andrews State Park while staying at our vacation rentals on Panama City Beach.
Things to Do at the Park
St. Andrews State Park is an ideal destination for anyone who loves the outdoors and coastal attractions of Florida. Fishing, hiking, scuba diving, picnicking, boating, and cycling are just a few of them. There’s so much to do there that you’ll likely want to make multiple visits as many others do.
The park includes two accessible piers for some leisurely afternoon fishing. Anglers can fish right off the pier or access the water with the on-site boat ramp.
Or take a swim along two and a half miles of white-sand beaches. The park offers two main hiking trails that circle its perimeter. Keep your eyes peeled for a large migratory bird population that stops to rest every year during the fall and early spring.
The Gator Lake Trail, a short, less than half-mile loop around a small lake, is a great place to spot alligators – especially in the early morning when they’re most active. Other wildlife you can spot include deer and a wide range of bird species on the park’s two trails.
You can find a small store with snacks for sale as well, a picnic pavilion, and restrooms for your convenience.
The park is also a main launch site for Shell Island Boat Tours. The tours will take you across the bay to Shell Island or out into the Gulf waters in pursuit of the famous bottlenose dolphins on snorkeling tours.
Events at St. Andrews State Park
Almost every month, park rangers host a number of educational and mostly free Panama City Beach events right in the park. On January 1st, a guide will take guests along the Heron Pond Trail and point out budding vegetation and wildlife in the area.
Guided hike participants receive free park entry for the day. Visitors should come prepared with hats, bug spray, sunscreen, and a lot of water.
Park Entry Fees
Fees vary based on the vehicle and length of stay. A day pass is $8 per vehicle (up to eight people), and $2 for walk-in pedestrians or cyclists.
Additional fees apply to those camping overnight, launching boats, or visiting with large tours or groups. Boat launches cost approx. $12 for an individual or $16 for a group (up to 8).
Discounts are available for seniors and some Florida residents who meet the requirements. You can request further details with the attendant upon entering the park.
Location and Contact Information
St. Andrews State Park is located at 4607 State Park Ln., Panama City Beach, FL, on the eastern end of Panama City Beach and just a few minutes from our vacation rentals.
While the main part of the park is easily accessible by vehicle, a large portion of the park is an inaccessible aquatic preserve, with acres of protected marshland.
You can contact the rangers responsible for the park at (850) 708-6100. They can cover any details regarding hours, applicable fees, and park restrictions.
A Top Outdoor Attraction on Panama City Beach
St. Andrews State Park is one of the most popular protected areas on Florida’s panhandle. It is a window into the nature and wildlife of the area – and you can experience it all on your next family vacation here.
With plenty of Panama City Beach events and other things to do in the area, you’ll have a lot to fill your schedule with. Now is the perfect time to schedule your getaway and see why St. Andrews State Park is so popular among visitors to our area.
The park is just a few minutes away from our comfortable vacation rentals, allowing you to explore it to your heart’s content and then retire after a long day of fun, with every amenity you could want and more.