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shell island worth it?

Texas
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shell island worth it?

Coming to pcb in 1 week. would like a day trip for teenagers. What does it cost to ride the boat to the island and the pontoon boat rental? Is it just another beach or is there more fish etc to see in the water? Is it really worth the drive from pcb? Thanks for any information.

Lagoon Pontoons
Boat Tours, Boat Hire, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Waterskiing & Jetskiing
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Shell Island Blue Dolphin Tours
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Sunshine Watersports of PC
Equipment Hire, Waterskiing & Jetskiing, Swim with Dolphins, Parasailing & Paragliding, Boat Hire
GA
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469 posts
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1. Re: shell island worth it?

My 8 year old enjoyed the boat ride over from St andrews park. We all went to the park and they had a little store where you pay for the things you need and to go, then you wait out in the hot sun for a bus to come and take you to the bay area pier then get on it. We all just took a drink because we didn't know we could take a cooler. I suggest taking an umbrella to stick in the sand as it is HOT and they have no restrooms once you get there. My son snorkled and found several sand dollars and shells out in the water. The jetties are very pretty also. I really don't care to go back because I don't like being stranded without food and water and no bathroom facilities but if you can handle that then its well worth it! You may want to check online with whoever you are paying to go, whichever place takes you to make sure they allow coolers on the boat, and be sure and take one with plenty of water. I think the cost for me my husband and son in 05 was like 80.00. Not sure if that included the snorkel gear as I didn't pay for it my hubby did. Hope this helps.

NW Indiana
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289 posts
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2. Re: shell island worth it?

kid - We do the Shell Island thing every time we go down to PCB. However, we have never taken the island ferry. Instead we rent a pontoon boat for the day from Scotty's (we paid about $160 including the snorkeling gear because we had a free coupon for the gear). On the pontoon you can cruise around the bay catching some sun, fish and beach the boat on shell island. (You cannot take the boat out of the bay into the gulf side of Shell Island) After we anchor and beach the boat we take the hike (kind of a long hike) to the gulf side of Shell Island. There you can snorkel, swim, etc. This is also where you will most likely see dolphins as the dolphin tours stop there. You probably won't find much by the way of shells on the actual beach as most are broken, however, if you venture out into the water with your snorkeling gear you can find large, nice shells, and sand dollars.

TIPS: It is a completely naturistic island so that means no bathroom facilities, food, etc. I suggest packing a cooler of refreshments, snacks & lunch. If you absolutely require shade, bring an umbrella. Oh, and don't forget the sunscreen!

Hope this helps, have a great time and if you have any questions feel free to ask away!

NW Indiana
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289 posts
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3. Re: shell island worth it?

Just wanted to post the information of ScottyBoat Rentals where we rent our pontoon boat each time we are in PCB. They don't have a website but here's their phone number and location.

850-872-1714

5611 W. Hwy. 98, Behind the Ashley Gorman, Shell Island Cruise.

It's just an itty bitty building, doens't look like much but their prices are the cheapest we've found for pontoon rentals and their boats are in great shape. We've had 2 of their pontoon models and both worked just fine with the exception of one having a bigger motor than the other but I'm sure they can accomodate you if you have a speed preference. They also rent waverunners and do the waverunner dolphin tours.

GA
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469 posts
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4. Re: shell island worth it?

PS my sister told me we didn't even go to shell island! She said the part where the boat drops you off isn't even the place where we needed to be!!!! so if this is true, then, excuse my advice to you on it.

The place where we were at didn't have waves, it was just like bay water, and we found a lot of sand dollars and my son snorkled in the water. He went out about 100 yards I guess and it was very shallow. Right by the jetties over in that area. You could see the last condo on Thomas drive where we were situated. Can someone tell me if I was at shell island? I know we were on the Island but were we in the right place to find the unique shells? We didn't walk to the other side of it we stayed in the area where they dropped us off.

Kentucky
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5. Re: shell island worth it?

You have to go to St. Andrews Bay from land to get to Shell Island. Right there at St. Andrews State Park you can snorkel in the shallow pool on the bay side which has jetties. We just came back from PCB and loved it.....We did go to Shell Island one day, and we took the Shell Isand Shuttle that you take from St. Andrews Park. We packed a cooler and rented snorkel gear from the Island Shuttle within the park. My 17 year old loved it!!!!!

We then went back another day just to snorkel at the bay side within the state park and rented the equipment from the store there where they rent it. We loved both days.

We had a fantastic vacation and we have lots of great memories!!!!!

Oklahoma City, OK
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6. Re: shell island worth it?

We were in PCB the week of June 17. We took the shuttle from St. Andrews State Park, I don't remember it costing very much. Maybe $5 or so per person. There is an admission fee to the park (I think that was $5 also). Make sure you take an ice chest an umbrella. There is no shade, we were so glad we took one. The water is crystal clear and we enjoyed snorkeling there. We didn't find much shells but we still had a good time. We also had teenagers and they like it. You can rent snorkeling gear at St. Andrews Park.

Quincy
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7. Re: shell island worth it?

Yes Yes Yes the beaches out there are even more incredible than the ones in town, which is hard to believe. We have four teenagers and they loved the pontoon rental. We rented for the whole day from shell island rentals for 240.00. It was so worth it. we went to the farthest beach out on the gulf side and had the whole beach to ourselves fro as far as the eye could see. The boat itself was very nice and well maintained and the staff at the hut were very friendly and informative. I highly highly recomment doing this, but be sure to call for a reservation! Also make sure you take at least a 45 spf sunscreen we are all very tan and still got sunburned because we just couldn't bring ourselves to leave the beach.

Knoxville, TN
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8. Re: shell island worth it?

Yes, I agree, DO IT!!

We rented from Scotty's for 1/2 day, wish we had did whole day. He will tell you the place to go to that is the thinnest part of the island and walking to the ocean side only takes a few minutes. It is truly amazing. Its the whitest sand you will ever see with dunes and areas with huge broken shells, I wish i had seen some intact shells of this size but the waves were too big. Nonetheless, a totally natural state. I would return to PCB in a moment just to take a boat out again and explore the island.

Like everyone says, no facilities, but it is just beautiful. We saw stingrays, sea anenomes, huge crabs, sand dollars, fish, and tons of dolphins that we were able to swim within 10 ft of. It was a great experience.

Evansville, IN
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9. Re: shell island worth it?

We just went to Shell Island last month and we will always make time for it when we come back to PCB! We walked further than everyone else did and it was like being on our own island. The water was beautiful! Wish I would've known at the time that the way to find sand dollars and whole shells was in the water. We did find some, but on the shore there were mostly (huge!) broken shells. Shell Island is awesome!

It cost $12 for the shuttle over for adults, not sure how much kids are. They have snorkeling gear, snacks, etc. in the gift shop. Not much of a wait if you make it for the first shuttles. They leave every half hour, so you can stay as long as you want. Hit the bathrooms before you leave the shop. They do have a pontoon boat on the island where you can buy drinks & snacks. Or you can take your own cooler.

My only suggestion is to be sure to take sunscreen, because there isn't any shade.

You might want to check into Ashley Gorman cruise. It was awesome!! I had a few posts on here about it. Let me know if you have any more questions!

North Pole, Alaska
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10. Re: shell island worth it?

Hi Carmen!

Glad to hear you enjoyed the pontoon and Shell Is. As you probably already know, we're planning on renting a pontoon from Scottys too for a whole day. A couple Q's: What landmark on the bay side of the island was there where the island was the narrowest (closest to the gulf)? Are there docks there or did you beach anchor? How many miles from the pass would you say it is? Is there a boardwalk there or is the boardwalk closer to the pass? And where did you see the dolphins? That sounds so cool to be able to be in the water that close to the dolphins! Did you ever go under the water and try to hear them? Also, where did you see the biggest abundance of sand dollars?

Thanks! :)