A salt breeze fills the air as you watch the red-winged blackbirds swoop and call in the tangled shrubbery of Buttonbush Marsh. Less than a mile from the strumming waves of the Gulf of Mexico, this freshwater marsh provides an important habitat for wildlife at the end of this barrier island.
Location: Panama City Beach
Lat-Lon: 30.13258, -85.73453
Fees: $5-8 per vehicle.
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
Only a few cars can fit in the small parking area at Buttonbush Marsh.
Cradled by relict dunes topped with coastal scrub, Buttonbush Marsh is the first natural feature you can stop and visit when you enter St. Andrews State Park. Look for the small parking area on the right just a few minutes down the main park road. A boardwalk leads to an observation deck where you can watch the birds flit between the shrubs, or peer into the dark waters to try and find an alligator.