Shell Island, FL

Travel Guide
Florida Panhandle featuring general coastal views and a beach

With no commercial development, this barrier island is a great spot to enjoy sand, sun and waves and see some of Florida’s marine wildlife.

Shell Island rightfully earns its name, as the narrow barrier island is covered with shells of varied species. Expect to find conch shells, sand dollars, snails and periwinkles here. As long as the shells are unoccupied, they can be removed from the site. Add exceptional specimens to your personal shell collection.

While the island is 7 miles (11 kilometers) long, it is only about 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometer) wide. Walk easily between the northern and southern shorelines to see the contrasts between St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll pass tall pine trees, sea oats and island scrub. Look for the narrow inland lake near the coast.

Note that there is no commercial development on the island. The park generally operates a concession boat in the summer offering drinks, snacks, sunscreen and other essentials. Bring a bag to take your trash with you when you leave. When you’re not beachcombing and looking for shells, spread out a towel and relax on the sugary white sands of the island.

Getting to the island is part of the fun. Rent a kayak, motorboat, sailboat or pontoon boat to cross St. Andrews Bay from Panama City or Panama City Beach. You might see ospreys or dolphins along the way. If you have a license, do some fishing as you motor along.

Once on the island, look for evidence of loggerhead and green sea turtle habitation. Nesting season is from May to October. Be careful not to disturb these endangered species. Deer and shorebirds also live on the island.

At one time Spanish explorers established fortifications here, leaving behind a good place to dock at Spanish Shanty Point. If you don’t rent your own boat, arrive here via the large year-round shuttle from Capt. Anderson’s Marina or the Shell Island Shuttle in spring and summer from the mainland half of St. Andrews State Park. Shell Island’s western end is part of the park, separated by the wide inlet to St. Andrews Bay. Pay an entry fee at the mainland part of the park.

Boardwalk Beach Hotel
Boardwalk Beach Hotel
2.5 out of 5
9600 S Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL
The price is $67 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Nestled on the beach, this Panama City Beach hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Thomas Drive, Signal Hill Country Club, and Signal Hill Golf Course. Ripley's ...
2.8/5 (1,841 reviews)
"Enjoyed my stay there."

Reviewed on Oct 14, 2021

Boardwalk Beach Hotel
Beachside Resort Panama City Beach
Beachside Resort Panama City Beach
2 out of 5
21905 Front Beach Rd, Panama City Beach, FL
The price is $89 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
Nestled on the beach, this Panama City Beach hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Powell Lake, Carillon Beach, and Camp Helen State Park. Inlet Beach and Rosemary ...
3.8/5 Good! (968 reviews)
"The view was great. The tub was a little small and the water pressure was low but over all i enjoyed my stay"

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2021

Beachside Resort Panama City Beach
Radisson Hotel Panama City Beach - Oceanfront
Radisson Hotel Panama City Beach - Oceanfront
3 out of 5
15325 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL
The price is $87 per night from Nov 10 to Nov 10
Located in Panama City Beach, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within 1 mi (2 km) of Gulf World Marine Park, Russell-Fields Pier, and ...
3.6/5 Good! (1,369 reviews)
"Located on a nice section of beach and very friendly staff. Check in wait was a bit long for off season, but not to the point of complaint. Grill at sister property needs an update and some insect control, but the food was good and nice to be that convenient. Enjoyed our short stay."

Reviewed on Oct 20, 2021

Radisson Hotel Panama City Beach - Oceanfront
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Shores of Panama Beach Resort
Shores of Panama Beach Resort
3.5 out of 5
9900 South Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, FL
The price is $99 per night from Oct 25 to Oct 25
Nestled on the beach, this Panama City Beach condo resort is within a 10-minute walk of Thomas Drive, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and WonderWorks. Signal Hill ...
3/5 (646 reviews)
"It was pretty nice. Pool area nice building needed painted in some spots. Good access to beach"

Reviewed on Oct 16, 2021

Shores of Panama Beach Resort
Home2 Suites by Hilton Panama City Beach, FL
Home2 Suites by Hilton Panama City Beach, FL
3 out of 5
7710 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL
The price is $139 per night from Oct 24 to Oct 24
Situated in Panama City Beach, this aparthotel is 1.9 mi (3 km) from WonderWorks and 1.9 mi (3 km) from Ripley's Believe It or Not. Shipwreck Island Waterpark ...
3.8/5 Good! (41 reviews)
"excellent service 👏"

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2021

Home2 Suites by Hilton Panama City Beach, FL
Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort by Resort Collection
Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort by Resort Collection
4 out of 5
11211 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL
Situated in Panama City Beach, this beach aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Edgewater Gulf Beach and Thomas Drive. Goofy Golf and M.B. Miller County Pier ...
3.6/5 Good! (2,182 reviews)
"I got the 2 bedroom oceanfront, it was very lovely where it was located. Most of the hotel was nice, a few things upset me because of how much I paid for it. Jacuzzi bath didn't work and mold in it, asked for it to be fixed he just came and looked at it and left, never got fixed. Locks to the sliding ..."

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2021

Edgewater Beach and Golf Resort by Resort Collection
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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