State Parks Near Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach is bordered on both sides by State Parks:
St. Andrews and Camp Helen. St. Andrews State Park has been named the #2 Beach in America by Trip Advisor. The 1,260 acre park has forests, sand dunes covered with sea oats, fresh and saltwater marshes, a lagoon swimming area, fishing jetties, hiking trails, 1.5 miles of beach and two campgrounds. Opened in 1951, St. Andrews was once the site of a World War II Military Reservation and has won the World’s Best Beach Award.
Camp Helen is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico on three sides, and by Lake Powell, one of the largest coastal dune lakes in Florida. Prehistoric middens and mounds indicate that humans inhabited the area more than 4,000 years ago. From 1945 until 1987 Camp Helen was a company resort for the employees of an Alabama textile mill. Some of those buildings have now been restored. The 180-acre park is for day use only. Activities include swimming, beachcombing, nature study, hiking and both freshwater and saltwater fishing.