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.
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 are more shells.
Now, just a side note about Shell Island. I’ve seen a lot of blog posts say things to do at Shell Island and that’s just false advertising because there’s nothing on the island. You make the fun for yourself, so here are some things you can do!