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How to Get to Shell Island

Drone shot of shell island

Discover the Untouched Beauty of Shell Island with Paradise Adventures

Panama City’s Top Spot for Snorkeling and Beach Exploration

Shell Island, a hidden jewel in the Gulf Coast, beckons to those seeking an unparalleled connection with nature. Offering around 7 miles of immaculate, untouched shoreline, Shell Island is not just another beach but an extraordinary getaway. A haven cherished by locals, it remains one of the last untouched islands of its kind, making it a must-see destination for both natives and visitors.

Where is Shell Island?

Shell Island may sound like a mythical destination straight out of a tropical fairy tale, but it’s located in reality right between the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the serene expanse of St. Andrews Bay. Free from the hustle and bustle of hotels and condos, it’s here that you’ll find a true sanctuary, a place where nature holds sway and adventures abound.

Shell Island Tours and Boat Rentals

At Paradise Adventures, we pride ourselves on providing a variety of Shell Island boat rentals, pontoon rentals, and tour options that transport you to this unique locale. From Shell Island snorkeling adventures to Panama City Beach boat rides, we offer you an eclectic mix of activities that make your journey to Shell Island just as fun as exploring it.

large group playing on water inflatables at shell island

Shell Island Adventure Tour Aboard 52′ SV Privateer

Experience all that Shell Island has to offer with something for the entire family to enjoy! This is not just a beach trip; it’s a passport to unlimited fun and exploration, right off the shores of Shell Island. Whether you’re looking to cruise around on our kayaks and paddleboards, jump into the thrill on our waterslides and inflatables or delve into the aquatic life with our snorkeling gear, everything you need for an exciting adventure is included. If relaxation is your preference, our two sunning nets, refreshments and the calming white sands of Shell Island are awaiting your arrival. Our adventure package presents the quintessential Shell Island experience with no additional charge, promising lasting memories for the whole family.

SY Ohana sailing in Grand Lagoon

Shell Island Private Cruises

Our Shell Island private cruises provide a magical backdrop for any celebration. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, wedding, corporate party or simply a day out with friends, this Shell Island cruise takes you on an enchanting journey. More than just a boat ride, our private cruises let you explore the serene beauty of Shell Island from the comfort of our catamaran. Select from a tranquil sunset sail, a dolphin sightseeing tour or an action-packed excursion to our private playground of inflatable fun. No matter the occasion, a Shell Island private cruise promises an unforgettable celebration amidst the stunning vistas of Panama City Beach.

a group of people in the gulf of mexico on a pontoon boat

Shell Island Pontoon Boat Rentals

For those who prefer to carve their own path, our Shell Island Pontoon Boat Rentals are your self-guided ferry to adventure. Imagine cruising the waters at your own pace, basking in the radiant sun, snorkeling at your leisure or docking on Shell Island for a beach picnic. With options for half or full-day rentals, our top-notch Shell Island pontoons are your personal vessels for exploration and relaxation. Break away from guided tours and set sail on your own Shell Island adventure – because nothing creates lasting memories like an escapade on your own time.

VIP Shell Island Pontoon Boat Rentals

For the discerning adventurer seeking a touch of luxury and no shortage of fun, our VIP Shell Island Pontoon Rentals offer an unparalleled island experience. With our “No Worries” VIP package, you’ll sail to the heart of Shell Island Panama City Beach with the expert guidance of one of our seasoned sea captains. Capable of accommodating up to 11 passengers, this shell island pontoon rental experience is designed with pure relaxation in mind. Whether you’re keen to uncover the secrets of sea shell island Florida or eager to spot playful dolphins dancing in the waves, our guides know just where to steer!

a little girl sitting at a beach

Shell Island Snorkeling Trips

Explore the vibrant underwaters of Shell Island with our Snorkeling Trip. This isn’t your average snorkel expedition – we’re talking about immersing yourself in a wildlife hotspot off the scenic Shell Island coast. Dive into the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico from our 40′ SV Footloose Catamaran, MV Hanai center console boat or 50′ SY Ohana sailboat, and marvel at the abundant marine life that Shell Island is famed for. Our trip not only extended snorkeling time but also includes a relaxed sail in search of Shell Island’s resident dolphins. Here’s your chance to discover the unseen, underwater side of Panama City Beach with a snorkeling experience you won’t forget.


What to Do on Shell Island

Shell Island is more than just a beach; it’s a paradise for both serene relaxation and exciting watersport adventures. Whether you are a wildlife enthusiast, a beachcomber or an adrenaline junkie, Shell Island has got you covered.

A Paradise for Wildlife and Beachcombing

When it comes to serene activities, Shell Island, Panama City Beach, is second to none. Known as “sea shell island Florida” for a good reason, it boasts an abundant collection of beautiful seashells waiting to be discovered. It’s an ideal spot for beachcombing enthusiasts who love the thrill of finding unique sea treasures on the pristine, white sandy beaches.

In addition, Shell Island offers an opportunity to witness diverse wildlife in their natural habitat. It’s not uncommon to spot bottle-nosed dolphins frolicking in the waves, curious sea turtles surfacing for air or diverse bird species soaring overhead. The serene views are a treat to the senses, offering tranquility amidst the breathtaking beauty of nature.

Watersports Adventures on Shell Island

For those who love to engage in more active pursuits, Shell Island offers a variety of thrilling watersport adventures. Our Shell Island snorkeling trips take you beneath the surface of the emerald waters that surround the island, opening up a vibrant world of marine life. The calm waters provide the perfect conditions for snorkeling in the summer, and with an abundance of colorful fish, curious dolphins and intriguing underwater plant life, it’s an underwater paradise for snorkelers.

Our adventure tour packages also include stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and kayaking – perfect ways to explore Shell Island’s surrounding waters at your own pace. Paddle along the coastline and get up close and personal with the island’s aquatic residents or push your adrenaline levels with a fast-paced kayaking adventure.

Whether it’s Panama City Beach snorkeling, SUP, or kayaking, Shell Island offers endless opportunities for water-based thrills. So grab your gear and dive into the adventures waiting for you at Shell Island!

Dolphins Love Shell Island: Spotting the Ocean’s Friendliest Creatures

Are there dolphins around Shell Island? Absolutely! These magnificent creatures are drawn to the waters surrounding the unblemished Shell Island, making our Shell Island dolphin tours an absolute must for wildlife enthusiasts.

Experience the Unforgettable: Paradise Adventures and Shell Island Await

Shell Island, Panama City Beach is an unparalleled gem on Florida’s Emerald Coast, offering unforgettable experiences. With Paradise Adventures, we present a myriad of ways to immerse yourself in Shell Island’s stunning beauty and varied activities. From adrenaline-pumping watersports, personalized adventures with our pontoon rentals, to unforgettable dolphin encounters, we cater to your unique preferences. Our expert-guided Shell Island tours, renowned snorkeling trips and dedicated team promise an experience unlike any other. A visit to Panama City Beach is incomplete without a trip to Shell Island, and no one delivers a more authentic and memorable encounter than Paradise Adventures. Embark on a timeless journey with us, and let Shell Island’s magic captivate your heart and soul. Your unforgettable adventure awaits.


How much does it cost to go to Shell Island?

While Shell Island itself doesn’t charge an admission fee, the cost to visit primarily depends on the type of transport and experience you choose with Paradise Adventures. Our various offerings, including Shell Island pontoon rentals, Shell Island snorkeling trips, and Shell Island dolphin tours, differ in price but are all designed to provide exceptional value, elevating your visit to Shell Island beyond a mere boat ride to a truly special experience. We invite you to explore our booking links for information on available dates, specific tours, and detailed pricing.

How long does it take to get to Shell Island?

The journey to Shell Island typically takes about 15-20 minutes from our departure location in Panama City Beach via one of our boat rides.

What to do on Shell Island, Florida?

There’s a multitude of activities to do on Shell Island. You can explore the serene environment and wildlife, indulge in seashell beachcombing, or partake in watersports adventures like snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding. For an unforgettable experience, you can also opt for a Shell Island Adventure Tour, which includes all of the above!

When does Shell Island open?

Shell Island, being an uninhabited nature preserve, is technically always open. However, the boat shuttle service to Shell Island, and our Shell Island tours, typically operate during daylight hours. Always check our website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

What to bring to Shell Island?

We recommend you bring sun protection (sunscreen, hats, sunglasses), beach towels, snacks, and water. If you plan on snorkeling, snorkel gear is included in our Shell Island snorkeling tours, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer

Why is Shell Island called Shell Island?

Shell Island earned its name due to its abundance of seashells. The island’s shores are adorned with a variety of beautiful shells, making it a haven for beachcombers. From sand dollars and conch shells to periwinkles and more, there are numerous treasures you can find on the shores of Shell Island. Keep in mind that you may need to look for areas off the beaten path to find the best shells, as many other visitors have been enjoying the search for Shell Island seashells, too! Some more highly trafficked areas can get a little picked over, but the waves do bring more shells every day.

How do you get to Shell Island on your own?

The best way to reach Shell Island on your own is through our Shell Island pontoon rentals. You can charter your own course, exploring the areas that interest you most at your own pace. If you prefer a more luxurious and effortless experience, you can opt for our VIP “No Worries” package for an additional fee. This includes one of our experienced guides who will cater to a group of up to 11 people. With this package, the guide handles all the work, allowing you to simply sit back, relax, and soak in the fun under the sun. They will take you to all the local hot spots, and you might even spot some dolphins along the way.

Can you keep shells from Shell Island, Florida?

Yes, you can collect and keep shells from Shell Island. However, we encourage all visitors to respect the natural environment and only take what they will cherish as a memento.

Can you drive to Shell Island, Florida?

You cannot drive to Shell Island as it is an undeveloped barrier island without roads or bridges. The best way to get to Shell Island is either by one of our many Shell Island cruises or through our Shell Island pontoon rentals.

June 4th 2023
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From $40

Panama City Beach’s only inflatable water park on Shell Island! Your 3-hour trip on our 52-foot catamaran Privateer will include a scenic trip through Grand Lagoon to Shell Island. Enjoy the tropical scenery and music as you look for dolphins along the way. There will be lots of inflatable fun waiting for you when you arrive at Shell Island, Panama City Beach. After your Shell Island adventure, we will continue sightseeing and dolphin watching as we make our way back to the marina.

From $199

Enjoy a full or half day on one of our beautiful pontoon boats, with room for up to 10 or 12 guests, and explore some of the top spots in Panama City Beach. Whether it’s snorkeling at Shell Island with family and friends, seeing dolphins on your cruise or just enjoying the gorgeous waters Panama City Beach is known for, you will be creating memories that will last a lifetime!