Hello everyone! Thanks for coming to Out of the Wilderness. I know you’re curious about St. Andrews State Park in the Panama City Beach area of Florida, and I was, too, just a few weeks ago. I’ve been camping around Florida since early January and writing about it, along with pictures from the parks where I camp. After checking out Juniper Springs (a mini tour with pictures) and Alexander Springs (my favorite photos), I was eager to book another stay at a park in the sunshine state.
A quick backstory is that St. Andrews State Park suffered quite a bit of damage from Hurricane Michael back in 2018. Now, though, what was damaged– trees that fell, docks and piers busted up– has been repaired and things are looking great. The transformation is kind of like the work on Michael Jackson’s face, except the opposite.
The campsites, specifically, are coming back strong. Click here to check out all the park has to offer visitors. Work is still being done to get more camping sites ready for us, and I was told it should be in the next few months that a whole bunch of new sites will be available for reservation.
The sites currently available are great. Even if you’re in the second row (where I was), St. Andrews Bay is just a short walk away. I should say this, too: there’s a back loop where sites are further off the ocean, but still not far.
Ok, now let’s get to what camper’s care about: level sites, privacy, convenience.
Level sites. I want to write a long statement but when all the sites are level, what else is there to say, you know? I didn’t inspect each one, of course, but I also didn’t see any leveling blocks at any site whatsoever. When I arrived to my spot, it was as easy as pulling in (I had a pull-through site so the back-in types will be a little more to manage), shifting to park, and boom I was done. Front to back was level once I adjusted the jack, and left to right was spot on. I was pretty amazed, actually, at how level it was. Like I said, I can’t confirm every site was like this, but as new as the campground area is, I’d bet money they’re all nearly perfect. Ok, this turned into a long statement, sorry! 🙂
Privacy. The sites are pretty spacious. I’d guess there’s around 100 feet between sites on the same side of the street, but there are folks just across the street so you’re not totally isolated. In the lower portion of the campground, there aren’t any trees between sites. I’m sure it’s because this whole area has just gotten that Hurricane Michael makeover. There seems to be a plan, though, because new shrubs have been planted along the roadway. The back loop is more of what you’d expect with a state park in regards to a forest-type experience. Lots more trees providing more privacy between sites.
Convenience. Each site has water, electric, and sewer. What more could you ask for in a state park? I was very happy to have these conveniences for the duration of my stay at St. Andrews. Along with those site-specific features, there are multiple bathhouses, all easy to get to from any of the sites. The restroom area (at least on the men’s side of one bathhouse) was tidy and clean. The showers were fantastic- hot water that stays on until you turn the knob off. I say that because when I camped at a couple of other state parks (Juniper Springs/Alexander Springs), it had that push-type knob for the shower where every 20 to 30 seconds you have to push it in again to keep the water going. Oh, that reminds me, those push knob showers didn’t have a way to adjust the water temperature. They were between warm and hot, but whatever it was, that’s what you get. The showers at St. Andrews can be adjusted to the level of heat you enjoy. Glory be!
If I had to include something not quite up to par yet, I’d say the roads need some attention. This is probably part of their long term plan. In fact, the road branching off towards the campground has been paved recently. But all the other roads include lots of potholes, bumps, and overall they’re just rough. Drive slowly in vehicles, ride carefully on bicycles, and any kind of skateboard or roller blades… don’t. Just don’t.
Final Thoughts. The park is incredible. Miles of road for biking or walking, easy access to the bay side of the ocean, as well as the gulf side, a beautiful pier (that doesn’t cost money to enjoy, once you’re in the park), and hundreds of yards of beautiful, soft sand make this park a beautiful and fun place to camp. This month (February) the wildlife was mostly birds and deer (as opposed to creatures you might see more often in the warmer months *ahem* alligators and *ahem* snakes). In fact, don’t be surprised to see an eagle flying over the campground, an osprey perched in a tree, pelicans gliding over the water, or a deer trotting down the road. I’ll leave you with a few more favorite photos from my camping experience at St. Andrews State Park…
Thanks for stopping by! Let me know in the comments if you’ve recently been to this state park and what your experience was.
-Out of the Wilderness