Shell Island – Florida
Shell Island is an incredible uninhabited island near Panama City Beach, Florida. Spending a day out here is so much fun.
Next time you are in Panama City Beach rent a boat and take a trip out to Shell Island. Shell Island is a little undeveloped 700-acre barrier island just out a ways in the Gulf and easily accessible from Panama City Beach, Florida. I promise you it will be an awesome day.
How to get to Shell Island
You can rent a boat like we did or catch a shuttle from St. Andrews State Park. The official Shell Island shuttle carries passengers between St. Andrews State Park and Shell Island 1/2 hour during the high season, 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shuttle tickets cost $19.95 Adults – $10.95 Children (12 and under) Infants free!(12 months and under)
The Sheraton Bay Point Resort also offers a shuttle out there for $10 per person which is quite a bit cheaper. This resort is across the bay from St. Andrews State Park, so it takes about the same time to go back and forth.
There are several places that rent boats around the area, including Tyndall AFB if you happen to be military. Keep in mind it’s a long boat ride from Tyndall out there.
On a nice day there will be a lot of boats out there. The water on the side that faces toward Panama City Beach, FL is quite calm. You can walk over the other side that faces into the open Gulf of Mexico and the waves are much larger and there’s more shells.
This is the side with larger waves. You can see the difference.
We mostly stuck to the calm side where the kids could run, play, and swim.
There is nothing out here so you will need to take everything you need for the day with you. Here is a list of suggested things to take with you.
- Life jackets
- Bronzing lotion
- Towel (optional)
- Beach Blanket
- Snorkel set
- Waterproof Camera
- Bathing suits
- Bathing suit cover up
- Sun shirt with built in SPF
- Flip flops
- Wide brimmed hats
- Water shoes
- Skim board
- Boogie Board
- Blow-up float
Just for fun, here’s a few pictures of my kids having fun on the boat! We let Noah drive!
Shell Island is an approximately 7-mile long undeveloped barrier island running east to west between the Gulf of Mexico and the St. Andrew Bay.Here you’ll find natural Florida, where sand dunes, coastal scrub forest, pine hammocks, and an inland lake provides the perfect home for deer, nesting shorebirds, and all manner of coastal creatures, including ghost crabs and endangered species such as Choctawhatchee Beach Mice, piping plovers, snowy plovers, and loggerhead and green sea turtles.
Skimboarding at Shell Island