St. Andrews State Recreation Area is one of the most popular outdoor recreation
spots in Florida. Named by Travel Magazine as "The World's Best Beach,"
in 1995, St. Andrews is well known for its sugar white sands and crystal-clear
emerald green water.
This 1,260 acre park is located on a peninsula with over 1 1/2 miles of
beach on the Gulf of Mexico an the Grand Lagoon . This park offers camping,
swimming, canoeing, snorkeling, diving, hiking, picnicking. fining and boat
launching for the active park visitor.
Picnic sites are available in several locations on the Gulf beach and Grand
Lagoon. Two fishing piers, the jetties and the convenient 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. You may wish to sun or pickup shells along the 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 $9.50 for adults and $5.50 for kids
Swimming is a favorite activity in the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico
where wave action adds to the excitement. Swimming in the shallow, protected
pool behind the jetties is relaxing while snorkeling is an adventure in
either swimming area. The extensive shoreline and rock jetties offer an
excellent place to study marine life.
Fishing opportunities includes deep-sea jetty and surf fishing. Two fishing
piers and jetties provide excellent vantage points year-round. Catches include
Spanish Mackerel, red fish, flounder, sea trout, bonito, cobia, dolphin
and bluefish. A boat ramp is located on the Grand Lagoon near the fishing
pier. A concession offers snacks, souvenirs, bait, fishing licenses, limited
grocery items and rental of chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling gear, canoes and
The park's uplands are characterized by rolling white sand dunes separated
by low swales of either pine flat woods or marshes. Dunes covered with sea
oats abound. Dunes found farther inland are covered with sand pines, scrub
oaks, rosemary and other hardy plants that play an important role in preventing
erosion during intense storms and hurricanes. We encourage visitors to identify
these diverse plant communities along with our abundant wildlife by walking
the nature trails.
The Blue Heron Trail starts at the turpentine still and winds through a
number of plant communities. Pine flat woods, sand pine scrub, freshwater
and saltwater marshes are encountered as well. The Gator Lake Trail and
overlook provide visitors with a beautiful vantage point for spotting alligators
and a variety of water fowl, wading birds and other small animals.
Our diverse habitat is responsible for the variety of birds and wildlife
within the park. At Button Bush Marsh overlook a host of birds can be
viewed. Herons and Egrets feed along the fertile marsh edge as a variety
of water-fowl swim and feed in the depths. The Common Egret, Cattle Egret
and Snowy Egret are all predominately white and have established rookeries
in two areas of the park, Buttonbush Marsh and Bird Island.Watch out for
the alligators as they sun themselves and hunt their prey.
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.
Two campground loops are situated in the pinewoods near Grand Lagoon. There
are 176 family campsites with electricity, water, picnic tables and grills
or fire rings. The sites will accommodate camping units ranging in size
from tents to rigs up to 40' in length. located in the campground. Two dump
stations are provided for sewage disposal.
Five large bath houses and a laundry are conveniently
located throughout the campground. Call 1-800-326-3521 for reservations up to 11 months in advance.
One group campsite is available for organized groups such as, church groups,
scouts, and civic clubs. Tents only, no electric available. The site has
a picnic table and fire ring it accommodates up to 20 persons. Fees are
$10.00 during the winter (Oct-Feb) and $17.00 during the summer (Mar-Sept).
Call 1-800-326-3521 for reservations up to 11 months in advance
*Winter Camping Rates*
Oct 1- Feb 28
$2.00 Waterfront (bayside)
*Summer Camping Rates*
Mar1- Sept 30
$2.00 Waterfront (bayside)
This rate includes four persons or one family unit( parents and dependent
children ). There is no charge for children under 6 years of age. Maximum
occupancy is 8 persons per site.
*Senior and Disabled Florida Residents 1/2 off the base camping rate
( Applies to Florida senior citizens of 65 years and older and Florida
Residents who are 100% disabled)
OTHER APPLICABLE FEES
$2.00 per night per extra persons camping
$3.00 per night per extra vehicle
ALL FEES LISTED DO NOT INCLUDE TAX.
Reservations accepted by phone or in person call (850) 233-5140. Call
up to 11 months in advance to reserve sites for1 1-14 days.
*Be prepared when you call:
*have a credit card handy
*know your arrival and departure dates
*number of people in your party
* description of your camping unit (.tent, 35' motor home, 25' fifth -wheel
Friday evenings at 8.00 p.m.
Each week a Park Ranger will present a different slide show depicting a
special story of one of St Andrews many wild inhabitants. There is no charge.
St. Andrews State Recreation Area is located
three miles east of Panama City Beach, off S.R. 392 (Thomas Drive).
For more information, contact:
St Andrews State Recreation Area
4607 State Park Lane
Panama City FL,32408-7323
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