Beach Access

Panama City’s proximity to the water and its subtropical climate encourages year-round outdoor living with a wide variety of recreational beach activities. St. Andrews Bay offers a wealth of opportunities, from sailing or kayaking to a casual day snorkeling or beachcombing for seashells, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Spend a day watching the dolphins, relaxing in the calm waters, embracing the cool breeze, and taking in one of our signature sunsets. 

Accessing Panama City beaches is convenient and free, with ample parking at several locations around St. Andrews Bay.

Right on the doorstep of our very own Destination Panama City, the Downtown Panama City Kayak Launch at 101 West Beach Drive boasts a lovely pet-friendly grassy area with plenty of sunshine, shade from towering palm trees, a sandy kayak launch, and amenities such as public restrooms, a pet waste station, and our state-of-the-art Visitor Center. Enjoy this beautiful bay access from dawn until dusk, and don’t forget to stop in and experience the hospitality of Destination Panama City.

Nestled between our Florida State University and Gulf Coast State College campuses, Carl Gray Park on West 22nd Street and Moody Ave provides ample picnic space with access to a boat launch and a fabulous view of North Bay. Open from dawn to dusk, enjoy shaded picnic tables during a lunch break, an afternoon fishing adventure with the family, or a picturesque sun setting over the Hathaway Bridge.

Looking for a beach experience with something for everyone? Open 8am until sundown, located at 4607 State Park Lane, St. Andrew’s State Park is full of outdoor adventuring opportunities with a variety of wildlife throughout the park, access to boat ramps and fishing piers, walking trails, jetties, snorkeling, and historic exhibits. Book a boat tour on-site for a trip to Shell Island, Panama City’s main destination for finding and gathering shells. The convenience of large picnic pavilions on the beach, restrooms, concessions, campground sites, and a camp store with beach days necessities completes this beach experience. For a minimal entrance fee, there is so much to explore at this well-loved beach location!

Away from the hustle and bustle of busier beaches, Earl Gilbert Park at 6511 Oak Shore Drive offers a relaxed beach day at the foot of the Dupont Bridge near Tyndall AFB. Ample parking and a sizable boat ramp make accessing East Bay a breeze for boaters, kayakers, and fishing enthusiasts. Several pavilions and a shallow shoreline makes this spot a great place for families with young children to splash and play. Enjoy this beach from dawn to dusk.

Oaks by the Bay Park is a unique beach experience in the heart of Historic St. Andrews neighborhood. Adjacent to charming shops and a flavorful variety of dining, this pet-friendly park offers places to sit or stroll, grassy areas for picnics under the shade of large oaks, a selfie spot in the charming gazebo, and a boardwalk to the beach area. Oaks By the Bay is also home to two stunning tree sculptures, one sculpted by chainsaw sculptor Chad Gainey. A visit here between dawn to dusk can be part of an all-inclusive day taking advantage of all that Historic St. Andrews has to offer.

West Beach Drive is not just a popular route between Historic Downtown Panama City and Historic St. Andrews. It is also home to one of the most beautiful views of St. Andrews Bay. Perfect for photos, tall grass sways along the shore as gentle waves lap against the sand. Just across the street, sprawling historic homes overlook the water. Make your way to 1699 W Beach Drive, find a bench, and take in this outdoor retreat from dawn to dusk.

Just over the Hathaway Bridge, a little west of Panama City, our Panama City Beach neighbors are host to over 90 public beach access points. Sprinkled throughout Panama City Beach’s long stretch of lodging, dining, and natural beachscape, these beach access points are visibly numbered and free to access. Parking and restrooms are available at some locations. Visit (this link) for more info.

Grab your flip flops and towel, pack that beach bag with sunscreen and plenty of water, and sink your toes into the soft sand of our beautiful shores!