What is Shell Island?
Shell Island Panama City Beach is a Unique Natural Experience
Shell Island Panama City Beach is an undeveloped 7-mile long barrier island and beach located in St. Andrews State Park. Shell Island is accessed only via private boat or the official Shell Island Shuttle. The island is a unique local must-see location for visitors who want to have a pristine beach experience. Swimming, snorkeling and seashelling are great. Hiking inland on the island offers you the chance to explore rare Florida coastal plant, bird, and wildlife communities in their natural condition.
When planning fun things to do in Panama City Beach, consider if an excursion to Shell Island would be a good fit. There are zero amenities on the island, so you have to plan and bring everything you need. Read on to learn more about taking a trip to Shell Island.
How much does it cost to go to Shell Island?
There is no cost for the island and there is nothing to spend money for on the island....no restrooms, no facilities. It technically costs nothing to enter or to walk around Shell island, however, the cost is the transportation to get there.
How do you get to Shell Island?
Many different boat rentals and tour boats take passengers to Shell Island, including the official Shell Island Shuttle that runs between mainland St. Andrews State Park and the island. During the peak summer season, shuttles run 7 days a week. Off season schedules can vary, so be sure to call ahead and check.
There are also many private boat rentals, tours and experiences for visiting Shell Island:
Check out some Shell Island excursions below and also see the Shell Island options available via TripShock.
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What is there to do on Shell Island Panama City Beach?
- Sea Shelling
- Day Trips
- Beach Snorkeling
- Pontoon Boat Rentals (great for fishing)
- Dolphin Tours
Is Shell Island worth the trip?
Yes, if you are ok with no facilities and/or want to experience a pristine natural Florida beach outdoor experience. If you are looking for planned activities/attractions and things to buy, this isn't for you.
Shell Island is a unique experience of truly natural Florida beach, but it may not be a good fit for everyone depending on how you get there. Check out these reviews of Shell Island to get a better idea of the experience to decide if the trip to Shell Island is worth it.
Does Shell Island have shells?
According to some visitors, Shell Island actually doesn't have many shells. This really depends on which part of the island you visit, what time of year and time day, etc. Some popular areas of the island may have slim pickings, especially later in the day. Regardless, a day at Shell Island is a great place to go to spend a laid-back day exploring a nature preserve, and you will certainly enjoy finding sea shells in this part of Panama City Beach.
Can you fish from Shell Island?
Yes, the shallow waters in the bay and around Shell Island are great for fishing. You can rent your own pontoon boat, be your own captain, and take your fishing gear to where the fish are biting.
Can you swim at Shell Island?
Yes, Shell Island in Panama City Beach offers plenty of beach space and peaceful inshore waters where swimming and snorkeling are great Shell Island is a haven for wildlife, marine animals, and beach lovers looking for a day in a pristine natural beach setting.
What should you bring to Shell Island?
Take everything you need, and plan on taking it all back with you as well! There are no restroom facilities, concession stands, trash receptacles, picnic tables or shade pavilions on Shell Island.
To stay true to the natural beauty of Shell Island (also a part of St. Andrews park), there is nothing “man-made” that would interfere with the untouched beauty of the white sands and crystal clear water. So before you take your family on a day trip to Shell Island, please read this helpful guide that will ensure that you and your loved ones have the time of your lives while you enjoy the most beautiful scenery imaginable.
Is camping allowed on Shell Island?
No...There is no camping on Shell Island. St. Andrews State Park has camping facilities, though.
Shell Island is located on the East End of Panama City Beach, but as one of Panama City Beaches most unique experiences, it definitely deserves a callout from here on the West End. 🙂