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Bay County Parks include St. Andrews State Park and Camp Helen State Park. The parks offer twenty-seven miles of sugar-white beaches made of white quartz along the sunny Gulf of Mexico. Temperatures average around 78 degrees F and water temperatures rest at 72 degrees F. Both parks are less than 300 miles from Atlanta, 125 miles from Tallahassee, 470 miles from Nashville, and 280 miles from Birmingham.

St. Andrews State Park was a former military reservation once and is now well known for its sugar white sands and emerald green waters. A pass between St. Andrew Bay and the Gulf splits the park in two: one accessible by car and the other accessible by boat. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and canoeing. Two fishing piers, a jetty, and a boat ramp provide ample fishing opportunities for anglers. Two nature trails wind through a rich diversity of coastal plant communities. The nature trails allow views of many different species of birds and even alligators. Full-facility campsites are available as well as primitive youth group camping. The campground facilities include good paved roads, 176 tent sites, 10 20x 50 pull throughs, 20 x 40 back-ins, restrooms and showers, dump stations, public phones, security, laundry, RV supplies and groceries, and playgrounds.

Contact information and driving directions:
St. Andrews State Park,
4607 State Park Lane,
Panama City, Florida 32408.
Phone: 850 233 5140.

Driving Directions:From Hwy 98 turn South on to Hwy 3031 (Thomas Drive) and follow it straight to Hwy 392 and turn left to enter into the gates of St. Andrews State Park. St. Andrews State Park is located approximately 3 miles east of Hwy 392.

Camp Helen State Park is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Powell, and Phillips Inlet. This park has one of the largest coastal dune lakes in Florida. From 1945 until 1987, Camp Helen was a company resort for employees of an Alabama textile mill and some of the buildings are now being restored. Natural areas range from coastal dunes and salt marshes along the Gulf to freshwater wetlands and sand pine scrub along the lake. Activities include swimming, beachcombing, nature study, hiking, and both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Contact information and driving directions:
Camp Helen State Park,
23937 Panama City Beach Parkway,
Panama City Beach, Florida 32413.
Phone: 8502335059.
Fax: 8502363204.

Driving Directions:3937 Panama City Beach Parkway,Panama City Beach, FL, just west of the Phillips Inlet bridge on the Bay County and Walton county line. The entrance is South of U.S. Hwy 98 and approximately 6 miles west of State road 79.


 

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