Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

Pets are not allowed in camping areas, on bathing beaches, in concession areas and may be restricted in other designated areas of the park. Where pets are allowed, they must be kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and well-behaved at all times. Service dogs are welcome in all areas of the parks.

State Park Guide
To discover and experience all of the Real Florida at Florida's 145 state parks, ask a Park Ranger where you can pick up a copy of the Florida State Park Guide, or call 850/488-9872.

FRIENDS is a group of volunteers and supporters from all walks of life. The one common thread binding them together is a love for the park and recognition of its recreational, environmental and economic value to the community.

FRIENDS works with the Florida Parks Service to preserve and protect our park s natural and cultural resources and to provide recreational opportunities to visitors. We are the official Citizen Support Organization of St Andrews State Recreation Area.

Time: Volunteer your time to work at the park. Help is needed for people with a wide variety of interest and expertise. Money: Donations received and funds raised by our organization are used to directly benefit St Andrews. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

* Receive our monthly newsletter, The Hermitt.

*Explore the park and discover areas often unseen by the casual visitor.

*Make new friends and professional contacts. *Share in the satisfaction of helping to preserve a significant part of the "Real Florida."

Reservations for
Florida State
Parks are now
made through
Reserve America,

toll free, at


The World's Most Beautiful Beach

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 1-12.


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 kayaks.


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
$8.00 Camping
$2.00 Electric
$2.00 Waterfront (bayside)
*Summer Camping Rates*
Mar1- Sept 30
$15.00 Camping
$2.00 Electric
$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)

$2.00 per night per extra persons camping
$3.00 per night per extra vehicle


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 etc).

Campfire Programs
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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