St. Andrews Beach, St. Andrews State Park
Along the beach at St. Andrews State Park

About three miles east of Panama City Beach you'll find the 1,200-acre St. Andrews State Park. The park offers 2.5 miles of white sand beach with bicycling, boating, birding, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling and wildlife viewing. There's also a campground with full hookups. This is a popular place so you might want to call ahead and make reservations in the summer. The park also has a visitor center with concessions and interpretive exhibits.

This is a former military reservation and the boat ramp, jetty and two fishing piers are leftovers from those days (although they have been kept up by Florida State Parks). There are also two nature trails winding around through the coastal plant communities that offer some excellent opportunities for bird watching.

Day use is from 8 am to sundown, 365 days a year. To get there, go 3 miles east of Panama City Beach on US Highway 98, then go south on Thomas Drive (Highway 3031). Follow that to Highway 392, then go left to the park entrance.

Admission fees: $4 per single occupant vehicle, $8 per vehicle with 2-8 occupants, $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists and extra passengers. Camping fee: $28 per night (plus tax), includes water and electric.