A Day At Shell Point Beach · Florida Panhandle

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We spent the month of May 2020 on a small farm in Southwest Georgia about 30 minutes north of Tallahassee, Florida. Once we knew we would be relatively close to the beach we made plans to find a beach. The timing was right as the beaches were finally open after the Covid shutdown.

We researched the area using Google Maps and found Shell Point Beach. It is a small beach directly south of Tallahassee near St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The beach is near a few vacation homes and a small boat harbor. The parking lot is next to the beach and is free.

It was exactly what we needed.

The sky was blue and beautiful and the water was inviting. We found a spot on the sand and set up our area. We try not to overpack for days like this, but we want to make sure we have everything we’ll need in order to be comfortable and have a good time. Check my list of must-haves for the beach at the end of the article.

When we arrived at the beach, there were no waves. The water was fairly calm. We had a shallow area near our shade tent that was great for the younger kids. We spent so much time swimming in the water and it felt amazing. The Gulf water is nice and warm. A little later, the wind picked up and the waves began rolling in.

The kids caught hermit crabs and built a crab village in the sand near the edge of the water. They gave each of the crabs a name and an individual home in the village.

It must be a great place for the locals to go fishing. There were several men fishing and catching large fish right off of the coast, in between the two beach swimming areas. We even saw a guy catch a small sting ray and release it back into the water.

We have never liked a crowded beach. “All to ourselves” is what we strive for. So, we were worried that everyone would flock to the beach once Florida opened them back up to the public after the Covid lock downs were lifted. But we couldn’t have asked for a better beach – not crowded at all. There were a few other families, but plenty of space for everyone to have their own area of the beach. The restrooms were open and there were also showers for cleaning off all of the sand.

A day at the beach was just what we needed. We relaxed, enjoyed the salty water and had a great day together.

Our must-haves for a day at the beach:

  • Shade Tent
    We bought our shade tent years ago and we love it! It pops up quickly (when we remember how to do it) and gives us a good amount of shade. We love the windows on the side that we can open to let the wind flow through or close for more privacy.

    One thing we love about this one is that it has exterior pockets to fill with sand that act as an anchor. Just a nice feature.

  • Turkish Towels
    These really are the best! They dry quickly, are large enough to wrap yourself up in and the sand falls right off the towels.
  • Folding Camp Chairs
    Matt and I use these chairs all the time. They are lightweight, fold up very small – which is great for when you life in an RV and need to save space, set up somewhat quickly and have a high back. Plus, they are very comfortable! The only drawback is that they don’t fold away as quickly as the traditional camp chair. It’s worth it to trade ease of setup for a combination of comfort and small storage.
  • Lightweight cooler
    We pack an easy meal and quick snacks for beach days. Our staple is cucumber cream cheese sandwiches on sourdough bread. Plenty of fruit and veggies to grab and go play.
  • Sun hats
    I love my sun hat. The wide brim keeps the sun out of my eyes and protects my face and neck.
  • Swim shirt (mens) / Swim shirt (womens)
    We all have rashguard/swim shirts that we prefer to were instead of having to worry about sunscreen as much.
  • Sand toys
    On beach day, all our kids really care about is having a few good shovels and a good bucket or two.
  • Sunscreen
    We applied sunscreen, but not enough on this day. We all ended up a little toasty. Next time we will be a bit more generous with application.
  • - Tabitha

    Walking to the beach, ready for fun!

    Walking to the beach, ready for fun!

    Woman with sunglasses and sun hat at beach with children.

    Great day at the beach!

    Children at beach filling small toy red bucket with hermit crabs.

    That red bucket has held a lot of hermit crabs in its time.

    Shade tent on beach

    Our beach site.

    Dad and sons in shallow water on beach.

    A beach with small waves is great for small children.

    Older sister and toddler brother playing in sand on beach.

    The oldest playing with the youngest.

    Boy laying in water on beach

    This boy loves to lay in the water.

    children playing in sand on beach while looking for hermit crabs.

    Everyone playing and looking for hermit crabs.

    Sunshade on beach with Gulf of Mexico in background.

    It was a great site.

    Father playing in Gulf of Mexico with children.

    Water was shallow for a while making it great for playing.

    Young boy holding hermit crab on beach.

    They love finding hermit crabs!

    Boy shaking an orange towel.

    These are the towels we love! They are great.

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