Theodore Tollofson evidently liked what he saw when he shipwrecked on what is now St. Andrews State Park during a 1929 hurricane. He homesteaded in his derelict boat for the next 25 years. Now, state park visitors can experience what kept “Teddy the Hermit” at St. Andrews—sugar white sands, emerald green waters and a vast array of ever-changing winged creatures since the park is a popular migratory stopover for numerous bird and butterfly species.
Besides boasting a mile-and-a-half of pristine beaches for fishing and swimming, St. Andrews also offers the chance for visitors to stroll through pines, dunes and coastal plant communities, or set up camp in a shady campground or primitive group area
A popular pastime at the park is to take a leisurely ride on the park’s two-mile paved road. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under. To preserve the natural areas of the park, bicycles are limited to roadways and are not permitted on footpaths, boardwalks or the trail that leads to the beach.
The parks boat ramp consists of a double-sided concrete launch that will accommodate the smallest to the largest of water craft.
Boat Launch & Entrance Fees
$12, one person with a boat
$16, 2-8 people with a boat
Shuttle boat tours are offered to go from the mainland of the park to Shell Island in spring and summer. Visitors may wish to sun or walk along the shore of this pristine barrier island. Tickets are available at the park concession.
Boating opportunities are unlimited at St. Andrews with immediate access to the Gulf of Mexico or even Shell Island.
Two campground loops are situated in the pinewoods near Grand Lagoon. There are 176 camp sites with electricity, water, picnic tables and grills. The sites will accommodate camping units ranging in size from tents to RVs up to 40 feet in length. Dump stations are located in the campground. Five bathrooms with showers and a laundry facility are also available. Trails, beaches, a boat launch and concessions are located a short distance from the campground. Pets are welcome at campsites.
Maximum RV length = 45 ft.
Reservations: Reservations may be made up to 11 months in advance through ReserveAmerica. Book Online or call (800) 326-3521 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) or TDD (888) 433-0287.
Camping, Primitive Group
Youth camping is available for scouts, faith-based groups and other small non-profit organized groups. The campground accommodates up to 25 people and includes picnic tables, fire ring, a portable toilet and an outside shower. Call the park for reservations at (850) 708-6100.
Kayaks are available during the summer season via the parks camp store located just up from the boat ramp. Opportunities are unlimited from just paddling around Grand Lagoon or across the boat channel to Shell Island.
Fishing opportunities include deep-sea jetty and surf fishing. Two fishing piers and jetties provide excellent vantage points year-round. Catches include Spanish mackerel, red fish, flounder, sea trout, bonito, *****, dolphin and bluefish. A boat ramp is located on the Grand Lagoon near the fishing pier. A concession offers snacks, souvenirs, bait, limited grocery items and rental of chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling gear, canoes, and kayaks. All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
Geocaching is an outdoor game using hand-held global positioning systems (GPS) devices. It's effectively an inexpensive, interactive, high-tech treasure hunt that's a great way to learn geography. Participants use location coordinates to find caches. Some caches are easy to find; others are more difficult. The biggest reward is the thrill of the search and the discovery of a place where you have never been. Geocaching should have minimal impact to the environment and conscientious land use ethics should be followed.
Operation Recreation GeoTour
There are two trails in the park to choose from: Heron Pond and Gator Lake trails. The Heron Pond Trail takes you on a hike through the flatwood pine forest and past the Turpentine Still. The Gator Lake trail provides a scenic lakeside view.
There are three picnic areas in the park, Jetties use area, Gulf Pier use area, and at the boat basin.
This activity is an adventure in either swimming area. The extensive shoreline and rock jetties offer excellent opportunities to study marine life. Snorkeling equipment (masks, snorkels, fins) are available for rent at any of the concession stores on the property or bring your own.
This activity is an adventure in either swimming area. The extensive shoreline and rock jetties offer excellent opportunities to study marine life. Equipment is available for rent at any of the concession stores on the property or bring your own.
This activity is one of the most popular things to do while at St. Andrews, with over a mile and a half of beautiful white sandy beaches to swim from. The park not only offers beach access from the mainland, but also offers daily trips to Shell Island where a visitor can enjoy the beach as well. However, trips to Shell Island are limited to seasonal dates only which are from March till Labor Day weekend.
The Gator Lake Trail and Overlook provide visitors with a beautiful vantage point for spotting alligators and a variety of waterfowl, wading birds and other small animals. At Button Bush Marsh Overlook, a host of birds can be viewed. Herons and ibis feed along the fertile marsh edge as a variety of waterfowl swim and feed in the depths. Throughout the interior of the park you will see raccoon and white tail deer.
The beach consists of over one-and-a-half miles of beautiful white sand with several locations from which to swim or play. There are two different parking areas in which to access the beach areas.
Shower facilities for the use of day visitors after a long day at the beach are located at each of the day use parking areas. There are four bathhouses located in the campground area for registered campers use while they stay at the park.
There are two playgrounds within St. Andrews State Park - one at the boat basin and the other in the camping area. Both playgrounds have state-of-the-art equipment and benches for sitting.
There are eight pavilions in the park available on a first-come, first-served basis. All pavilions have picnic tables and concrete pads.
All pets must be on a 6-foot leash and well behaved at all times. Pets may not be left unattended. Pets that are noisy, vicious, dangerous, or intimidating to other persons, or damage park resources, will be asked to leave the park with their owners. Pet owners must pick up after their pets and properly dispose of all droppings in trash receptacles. You may walk your pet in the picnic areas, along the bike trails, and hiking trails. Pets are not allowed at the beach, wetlands, or playground. Guide and Service animals are excluded from the above restrictions.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day join a Ranger at the campfire circle for an informative program on park history or wildlife. Dates and times vary, please check the park for availability.
JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR