What to do in St. Andrews State Recreation Area

The park opened in 1951 and now consists of more than 1,260 acres. During World War II, it was part of St. Andrews Military Reservation. Circular cannon platforms are still in place on the beach near the jetties. One of them is a favorite observation point for guests as they enjoy the beautiful sunsets and watch the boats pass by.

An authentically reconstructed "Cracker" Turpentine still and turn of the century saw mill are located in the park near Grand Lagoon. Charts and diagrams interpret the use and mechanisms of the still. Living history demonstrations are offered quarterly.

Nearly two miles of beach with tall sand dunes attract thousands to this park along the Gulf of Mexico and the Grand Lagoon.

St. Andrews State Recreation Area is a very crowded park due to its fabulous scenery, convenient location, and recreation opportunities. Two fishing piers, the jetties and a boat ramp provide many fishing opportunities. Nature trails lead through a number of plant communities where visitors may encounter wading birds, alligators and many small animals. An observation deck affords panoramic views of Buttonwood Marsh, which is covered with beautiful yellow pond lilies. Tourists enjoy beachcombing along the sugar-white shores of Shell Island, a pristine barrier island just across the ship's channel from the mainland. This 700-acre parcel of St. Andrews remains for the most part, undeveloped. Shuttle boats run to the island spring and summer. Tickets are available at the park concession $7.50 per adult $5.50 per child (1 - 12 years).

Starting Memorial Day Weekend and running through Labor Day Weekend every Friday evening at 8 P.M. a park ranger presents slide shows depicting St. Andrews' wildlife. These programs are free of change to registered campers.

This park offers camping, swimming, canoeing, snorkeling, diving, hiking, picnicking, fishing and a boat launch. Tour boats, paddleboat rental, a shady gazebo, boardwalks, food and gear concessions,and plenty of parking are more reasons why this park is one of Florida's top destinations.

St. Andrews State Park is located three miles east of Panama City Beach, off State Route 392 (Thomas Drive).

The panhandle area of Florida experiences mild, comfortable winters and warm to hot, humid summers. The average summer temperatures reach well above 83 degrees Fahrenheit (above 29 Celsius). Winters are mild with temperatures averaging below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (below 11 Celsius). The average precipitation for the panhandle area is more than 60 inches per year. August and September are peak months of the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.

4607 State Park Lane
Panama City, FL 32408-7323

Phone: 850-233-5140

  • St. Andrews State Recreation Area Travel Q&A