On the south-eastern end of Panama City Beach Florida, the natural reserve of St. Andrews State Park includes the 7-mile long barrier island known as Shell Island. This undeveloped stretch of white sand beach, coastal scrubland, and pine hammocks separate St. Andrews Bay from the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Shell Island is a haven for wildlife, marine animals, and beach lovers looking for a day in a pristine natural setting away from the resorts and condominiums that line the beach to the north.
Shell Island is a local must-see location for Panama City Beach visitors looking for the unspoiled white-sand beach experience. The island offers plenty of beach space and peaceful inshore waters where swimming and snorkeling are great. Colorful tropical fish, dolphins, and sea turtles are common in the waters around the island. On land, hiking the interior of Shell Island is an opportunity to explore rare coastal plants, bird, and wildlife communities.
Shell Island can only be accessed by boat, and the Shell Island Ferry is the easiest, safest, and quickest way for visitors to reach Shell Island. As the official Shell Island Ferry service of St. Andrews State Park, the Shell Island Ferry has been ferrying guests between the St. Andrews State Park Marina and Shell Island for many years.