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“Beautiful white sand-ocean too rough for snorkel & sting rays!”
Review of Shell Island

Shell Island
Book In Advance
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$145.00*
and up
1.5 Hour Dolphin and Shell Island Jet Ski Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed August 30, 2013

We took a 10 minute or less boat ride from St Andrews State Park to Shell Island. There has been a lot of rain this year and the color of the water in the bay is brown and nasty looking....did not want to swim in it. We seen a dolphin on the way over to the island. There is no bathrooms or food on Shell Island so be prepared. The boat lets you off at a landing area and you have to walk in the deep sand around the jetties to get to the ocean side. It looked like there had once been a boardwalk but it was no set up for us to use. There was a cute crab on the beach we enjoyed watching. The water was really rough and we seen several sting rays in the water close to the beach so we did not feel safe getting in the ocean. There is a lot of shells but they are broken. We walked about 1 1/2 miles down the shoreline and still did not find any whole shells. It cost us about $17 each for the boat ride. I was disappointed that we had better swimming and shells right in front of our condo then we did out here. I just didn't think it was worth it. If I had to do over, I would spend my time in the St Andres State Park and skip the Shell Island.

2  Thank Tyme4relaxing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,254 - 1,258 of 1,679 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2013

Probably the best part of this trip was the boat ride over. Started out debating to either rent a pontoon or just take the Shell Island Shutte. We decided on the shuttle. Made it to the park entrance which was a breeze. Cost is $8 per car load of people to enter the State Park. Made out way to the "Camp Store" to purchase out tickets for the ride over. Adults were around $16...shocker. Both our 3 and 4 year old had to have a ticket. These tickets were $9 a piece. Kind of a rip off. Anyway, we bored the boat and headed over to the island. Staff on the shuttle were very nice and helpful. Gave a "few" tips on where to head for shelling. So we got off the boat...

Just a warning...for anyone who is traveling with older folks or handicapped individuals...the walk from the boat ramp to the Gulf Side of Shell Island is brutal for those folks. Loose sand, no paths really, and a total distance of about a half mile is pretty unforgiving on these folks. Once we made it over to the gulf side we tried "shelling". We were told the further down the island you go, the better it would be. Well I made it about half way around the island...in the water....and returned to my family 4 hours later with a single net full of shells. Very disappointing. I recommend saving your money and just stay on the beach where ever you are staying. No shade, no restrooms, and the water was extremely dirty. Shelling was horrible. Only bright side was that we got to see dolphin as we were making our way out.

2  Thank Bclaybern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We spent an hour on the island in search of shells when we took a boat trip there. Overall it's just deserted and untouched island except for small boardwalk that connects docking to the beach. There are absolutely no kind of facilities on the island and no place to change.I did not find too many shells either. I would not waste my time (1 hour) by boat to get there.There are better beaches in Panama City.

2  Thank Angy0928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013

We saw sharks, sting-rays, caught over 15 blue crab, saw families of dolphins who put on a show for us and the birds... on the way back someone in our group was eating chips and threw one... immediately one bird showed up. Before we knew it there were 20 or more flying behind us. They would swoop down and catch the chips and never miss a beat. Super cool adventure. Ma cried "this made my whole vacation amazing." :)

1  Thank Charee M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

We rented a boat so we were able to take our time and enjoy the ride over and back. We were lucky and saw dolphins on our way back. The beach on the Gulf side were absolutely beautiful. One word of caution…don't run your boat up to close to the beach as when you come back you'll find that your boat is sitting more out of the water because the tide went out….anchor and wade in!

2  Thank kjaoyama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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