Panama City Beach: A Pontoon Day at Shell Island

They say the best two days in a boat owner’s life are, “the day they buy the boat, and the day they sell the boat.”

“They” are pretty clever sometimes, huh?

Trouble is, we personally found that age-old statement to be completely and utterly untrue. A few years back we had ourselves a groovy little 18-foot pontoon boat that we absolutely loved. Loved. As many of our friends and family can attest, we had more good times on that little boat than we can possibly remember. And we mean that literally. Many, many of those days are gone and lost forever in the dark, hazy, beer-soaked corners of our memories. And the day we did have to finally sell that little boat was not a good day for us. Not at all.

So you can imagine our excitement when, during our visit to Panama City Beach, we heard about this place called Shell Island. Everybody told us what an awesome place it is, which in and of itself got us pumped up to go visit. But then we discovered that one of the absolute best ways to experience Shell Island is on your own rented pontoon boat.

Say no more. Count us in.

So come with us, in our fourth and final video in our series on Panama City Beach for the good folks at Tripfilms, as we fill up the cooler, load up the pontoon, and set out to rekindle our glory days on the water and see what kind of trouble we could get into.

The Skinny on Shell Island…

Shell Island really is a gem of a place, and the only regret we have is that we didn’t get out there earlier in the day to enjoy more of it. You can definitely see why it’s one of the most popular places in the area to visit, for both tourists and locals alike. Wish we were there sippin’ on a cold one in the warm sun right now, matter of fact.

shell1So clearly we’d absolutely recommend renting a pontoon boat if you’re thinking of heading that way. The privacy, flexibility and freedom of having your own boat just can’t be beat. You can motor up and down the island, pick your own spots to park, and be as social with the rest of the boating crowd as you want to be. We’re told chances are also pretty good that you’ll see dolphins along the way, even though there wasn’t a single one to be found the day we went. But good times. Good times.

And again, that’s certainly not the only way to get over to Shell Island. There are a variety of companies that run tours to the island (including Adventures at Sea), and there’s the official Shell Island Shuttle that runs regularly from St. Andrew’s State Park. But regardless of how you get there, just remember that there are no facilities on the island at all. No bathrooms, no concession stands, no picnic tables, nada. So anything you want or need on the island you’ve gotta take with you (and bring back, of course). You can tell the folks there are proud of how natural and unspoiled the island remains, and good for ’em. From what we saw you guys are taking great care of the place.

See Y’all Next Time!

So our jaunt out to Shell Island was a fitting way to end our short but terrific visit to Panama City Beach. It’s certainly unfortunate that we didn’t get to do and see more in the few days we were there – but at least that gives us lots to look forward to when we return, which we hope will be sooner rather than later. And for those of you who live in PCB – or if you love to visit – we hope you’re enjoyed our little video/blog series. Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think, and what we oughta do and see the next time we come to town.

Thanks to everybody in PCB for making our visit so much fun! And thanks especially to the folks at the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (specifically David Demarest), who did lots of work for us at the very last minute to help us arrange our visit. We appreciate you guys! And when we come back, the first round of beers and the first dozen oysters is on us! Save us a table at Dusty’s. 馃檪

Cheers y’all!

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See the rest of our Panama Beach videos:

Two for the Road: A Visit to Panama City Beach (Overview)

Two for the Road: Flyin’ High Over Panama City Beach



  1. I’m so glad you guys had a good time. Shell Island is definitely an awesome place. Next time you’ll have to come explore when the water is prettier!

  2. nanny mc fee


  3. Cool. I shared this on my pinterest page of pcb. Glad I found ya’ll! x

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