Snorkeling in Panama City Beach

Beyond the sandy shore and calm waves of Panama City Beach lies an underwater world waiting for you to discover. Snorkeling is an activity the whole family can do together. Grab your snorkel gear or rent equipment at a local outfitter and prepare for a picture-worthy swim in a bay, along an artificial reef, or in the Gulf of Mexico. Snorkel solo or with a professional guide, and add a dolphin tour to your excursion. Here is everything you need to know about snorkeling in the PCB.

Sign Up for a Snorkeling Tour

Learn more about the local marine life and find some of the best snorkeling spots in the Gulf on a guided boat tour.

Sign up for a public or private dolphin tour with Shell Island Boat Rentals and Tours. Enjoy dolphin sightseeing and snorkeling around Shell Island and St. Andrews Bay. An experienced captain operates the boat that can usually hold six to 15 people. Choose between a two-hour public or private tour; the latter can run as long as four hours if requested. 

A three-hour excursion filled with dolphins and snorkeling, Dolphin and Snorkel Tours offers guests a tour of Shell Island and St. Andrews Bay and plenty of time to snorkel. Private tours are available.

Most tour companies, like Paradise Adventures, include equipment rental with their tour packages. 

Where to Rent Gear

There's no need to pack snorkeling gear when you've got plenty of equipment rental options on our shores. Local outfitters include Panama City Dive Center or the Diver’s Den, offering masks, snorkels, fins, and diving equipment. 

If you plan to visit Shell Island during your trip, you can rent snorkeling gear with the Shell Island Shuttle, which transports you to and from the destination.

Snorkeling Hot Spots

Now that you know where to book your tour and rent equipment, here are some of the top snorkeling spots in Panama City Beach. 

Off the coast of the unspoiled Shell Island, you’ll find a variety of colorful wildlife, including bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles, and clear, calm waters, perfect for snorkelers of all experience levels, around the rock jetties. Head to the sugary-white sand beach after your snorkeling excursion.

Another popular snorkeling spot is the rock jetty and artificial reef on the Gulf shores of St. Andrews State Park, with access to St. Andrews Bay. The park’s rock jetties serve as a wildlife habitat, allowing snorkelers to see rays, dolphins, octopus, and a variety of sponges and coral. Experienced and beginner snorkelers are welcomed. You can bring your own gear or rent gear at the park concession. Besides snorkeling, you can enjoy diving, surfing, paddling, and more at St. Andrews.

Plan a snorkeling trip today and find out what awaits you under the surface.