St. Andrews State Park has all the “S”s covered: it’s the perfect place to swim, snorkel, scuba, shell, sunbathe, and scout for good fishing spots. Okay, that last one is a bit of a stretch, but you get what we’re trying to say—bring a towel and plenty of sunscreen, cause you’re going to be at St. Andrews for a while. Although, for the ultimate beach adventure, you might want to hop on a concessioner-led boat to nearby Shell Island, a barrier island whose surrounding shallow emerald waters are perfect for swimming. The Shell Island boats only run in the spring and summer, but no worries if you can’t catch one—St. Andrews has one and a half miles of sugar white beach of its own. If you came to the park but don’t want to engage in the seemingly endless water activities, first of all, what’s wrong with you? The sparkling blue-green water looks soo inviting. Second of all, you’re in luck—there’s plenty else to do here on drier land. Don a bike helmet and leisurely pedal the day away on the park’s paved roads. Or explore one of the park’s two hiking trails; the Heron Pond trail winds through a pine flatwood forest, while the Gator Lake trail takes you past a lake that you probably shouldn’t go swimming in. Who knows? With all this activity under the hot Florida sun, you might find yourself dying for a dip in the ocean after all. Go for it!
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History of St. Andrews State Park
Named by Dr. Beach (Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman) as America’s Best Beach in 1995, St. Andrews is well known for its sugar white sand and crystal- clear emerald green water. This 1,260-acre park is located on a peninsula with over 1.5 miles of beach on the Gulf of Mexico and Grand Lagoon.