St. Andrews State Park is a pristine getaway on this coast that you won’t want to miss.
It is one of two state parks that give you a natural place to enjoy the beach, bookending the long strip of hotels and condos along the beachfront of Panama City Beach.
Location: Panama City Beach
Fees: $4-8 per vehicle.
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily
About the Park
Encompassing 1,200 acres of undisturbed forests and sand dunes, the park has miles of beaches.
You can swim and snorkel in the protected pool behind the jetty, or cast a line off one of two fishing piers.
This is Surfer Central, too. Catch big waves near the jetty.
Two campgrounds under the pines have sea breezes as a bonus, plus a camp store on site.
Two hiking trails introduce you to the splendor of one of Florida’s most threatened habitats, the coastal scrub.
A historic turpentine distillery is the only one of its kind in the state, echoing a past when the tall pines were tapped for naval stores.
Explore the park
- Buttonbush Marsh Overlook - Less than a mile from the strumming waves of the Gulf of Mexico, Buttonbush Marsh provides an important habitat for wildlife at the end of the barrier island at Panama City Beach.
- Gator Lake Trail - At St. Andrews State Park, the Gator Lake Trail is only a half-mile but hits the park's high point with panoramic views in the scrub forest and great birding along an established rookery.
- Heron Pond Trail - At St. Andrews State Park, the interpretive Heron Pond Trail is a walk through coastal history, starting with a mockup turpentine distillery at the trailhead.
- Jetty Beach - One of Florida's most popular beach destinations, Jetty Beach at St. Andrews State Park offers both wild and mellow surf on either side of the jetty.
- Sandy Point - One of the secrets of St. Andrews State Park is its gentle, sweeping beach along Sandy Point, a natural extension of the barrier island that divides Grand Lagoon from St. Andrews Bay.