This Saturday, July 17th, all state parks in Florida will be completely FREE, in honor of Parks and Recreation month! Panama City Beach is fortunate to have two fantastic state parks – each unique, yet both equally as spectacular. If you haven’t ever visited either St. Andrew’s State Park or Camp Helen State Park or haven’t been in a while, this weekend will be a great chance to experience their beauty without paying a cent! Here’s a rundown on each.
Camp Helen State Park
For an idyllic day at the beach, Camp Helen State Park is a breath of fresh air – literally. Situated just west of Carillon Beach, Camp Helen State Park is bordered on three sides by the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell– one of the largest coastal dune lakes in Florida. The beach itself is a sweeping expanse of soft, white sand and crystal-clear water, perfect for walking, swimming, fishing, or just relaxing. There are nature trails throughout the park and rocking chairs at the lodge – perfect for gazing out at beautiful Lake Powell. Even during the summer months Camp Helen stays quiet – visit to get away from it all and escape the crowds.
St. Andrew’s State Park
Perennially listed on America’s Top Ten Beaches, St. Andrews State Park is a beach-lover’s dream. A perfect combination of uncrowded beach and true natural settings, St. Andrews State Park allows the Panama City Beach visitor to get out of the city and get into nature. You can go to the beach and enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and canoeing. Two fishing piers, a jetty, and a boat-ramp provide ample fishing opportunities for anglers. Or you can exchange the sandals for shoes and take a trip down one of two nature trails that wind through a rich diversity of coastal plant communities.
Visit www.floridastateparks.org for more details.