St. Andrews State Park
Along the beach at St. Andrews State Park
About three miles east of Panama City Beach you'll find the 1,200-acre St. Andrews State Park. The park offers 2.5 miles of white sand beach with bicycling, boating, birding, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling and wildlife viewing. There's also a campground with full hookups. This is a popular place so you might want to call ahead and make reservations in the summer. The park also has a visitor center with concessions and interpretive exhibits.
This is a former military reservation and the boat ramp, jetty and two fishing piers are leftovers from those days (although they have been kept up by Florida State Parks). There are also two nature trails winding around through the coastal plant communities that offer some excellent opportunities for bird watching.
Day use is from 8 am to sundown, 365 days a year. To get there, go 3 miles east of Panama City Beach on US Highway 98, then go south on Thomas Drive (Highway 3031). Follow that to Highway 392, then go left to the park entrance.
Fishermen on one of the piers
Upper photo of St. Andrews Beach courtesy of Wikipedia userid Ebyabe, CCA-by-SA 3.0 License
Photo of fishermen on the pier courtesy of Keith Jurgensen, Florida State Parks
Map of St. Andrews State Park courtesy of Florida State Parks
Area map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!