Shell Island - Paddling
Shell Island is a great place to escape the crowds of Panama City Beach. Spend a day paddling in the calm waters of the bay, watching dolphins and relaxing on the beach.
Destination Distance From Downtown
Paddling around the island on a calm day is easy and enjoyable for paddlers of all levels. However, if you plan to paddle from St. Andrews State Park to Shell Island, it can be much more difficult, especially if the water is rough or the boat traffic is heavy. You should be experienced if you plan to paddle across yourself. You can rent a kayak and take a shuttle across before starting your paddling adventure.
Time To Complete
A trip to Shell Island can be a full day experience. You can paddle, swim, snorkel, go for a walk, look for shells, or just relax on the beach.
Spring, Summer, and Fall
It can be very cold in the winter with the wind on the water, but the rest of the year Shell Island is a great place to spend a day.
Most of the shuttles to the island do not allow dogs, and they are not allowed on the beach on the sections of the island owned by the state park and the Air Force Base. There is a section in the middle of the island where dogs are permitted.
The fee depends on how you choose to reach Shell Island. Paddling from St. Andrews State Park or taking the shuttle over from the park will require paying the entrance fee to the park and purchasing a shuttle ticket. The Eastern section of Shell Island is owned by Tyndall Air Force Base and access requires a special recreational permit, with a cost of $11, in addition to a background check. This is only required to access the land in this part of the island. The water can be accessed without it.