How To Have the Best Day Trip To Historic St. Andrews, Florida

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The tiny community of Historic St. Andrews, Florida is going to charm you with its quaint vibe. Their slogan is “stay salty” which I 100% am here for and once you visit you’ll see why so many people fall in love with St Andrews. 

St Andrews Stay Salty mural on side of building.

This community was established in the mid-1800s by a son of Michigan (which makes it more near and dear to my heart). I’d be lying if I didn’t say I loved the connection between my state and St. Andrews. 

The plan was for St Andrews to become a major shipping port; however, that idea was never realized and instead became famous for its healthy sea baths and fishing industry.

Today, it’s an adorable historic district that is part of Panama City and is definitely worth taking a day of your vacation to explore. 

Oaks by the Bay Park.

Disclaimer: Be sure to check each business for their current hours as times and days open change.

What To Do in St. Andrews

Outdoor Farmers Market

I love going to farmer markets. Strolling around and finding fresh produce and local artisan products is one of my favorite things to do in new places.

If you happen to be here on a Saturday be sure to stop by the market between 8a and 1p.

publishing museum st andrews fl

Self-Guided Historic Walking Tour

This audio guided, via your cell phone, historic walking trail (scroll to St. Andrews) has ten stops, and shares the stories of yesterday. The trail is just over ½ mile long and can be completed at your leisure.

Stops include: 
Oaks by the Bay Park
Historic St. Andrews Church
Bank and Asbell Buildings
Panama City Publishing Company Museum
Drug Store and Mattie’s Motel
Villa Gateway
Uncle Ernie’s
Governor Stone
St. Andrews Marina
Ware Mercantile and the SS Tarpon

My favorite stops along the tour are Oaks by the Bay Park and Panama City Publishing Company Museum.

view of the bay from Oaks by the bay park

The park offers gorgeous views of the bay, carved trees that died in Hurricane Michael, bird identification signs for my birding friends and a really cool ground mural around a tree. 

The museum shares the history of how St Andrews got it start which is a really good story.

Panama City Publishing Company

Be sure to plan your tour around the opening hours of the museum. That really will be a highlight of your experience.

Mural, Mural, On The Wall

During your walking tour keep an eye out for murals that bring pops of color to town. We found a number of murals along Beck Rd (the main street through town) and on the little side streets. If you love finding murals be sure to check out the Panama City Mural Trail

Don’t just look for the big murals, Historic St. Andrews has a number of mini murals scattered around that are simply adorable!

Boutique Shopping

You’re going to want to explore the boutiques in St. Andrews neighborhood. It offers such an eclectic mix of options.

Here are some of my favorites.

Sunjammers outdoor store st andrews fl.

Sunjammers – This store is for my outdoor adventure friends. It has everything you need for your next adventure with a focus on water sports and kayaking.

Floriopolis St Andrews FL.

Floriopolis. It’s a tiny art and culture storefront but worth a visit. This is an arts cooperative that works with lots of local artists, independently and as a group, to beautifying the town? 

They have a number of hands-on classes available and you can drop in when they are open to see what is going on. 

Their website will say they are only open on Wednesday but there’s often someone in the building. If you want to make sure they are open during your visit give them a call or check their Facebook page.

Gypsy Beach artisan store, st andrews fl.

Gypsy Beach – A showcase for 30+ artists and vintage vendors. This is the place to find a unique treasure for you or for a gift. Also important to note that they are a great rainy day stop as they have a number of make and take art classes available.

Gypsy WIllow Storefront, st andrews, fl

Gypsy Willow – A unique, antiques boutique that has something for everyone. The store carries everything from incense and rock T-shirts to new and vintage apparel, and candles.

Folklore Store front in st andrews fl

Folklore – This is the stop for all my witchy, metaphysical friends. The store offers crystals, herbs, essential oils, candles, and, of course, some magical items. 

If you’re visiting St Andrews around Halloween, be sure to check out our How to Celebrate Halloween In Panama City, Florida article.

Little Indigo Spa St Andrews FL

Little Indigo Spa – If you desire a bit of R&R during your visit be sure to schedule a massage at Little Indigo. If time doesn’t permit for a little spa indulgence, you can stop in and browse their apothecary and shop.

Salty Dog Days in St Andrews flyer

Attend Salty Dog Day

Any place that has a festival called the Salty Dog Day where they celebrate all things dogs is a must in my opinion.

During Salty Dog Day visit the market with dog merchandise vendors, veterinarians, groomers, a shot clinic, a microchip booth, treat stations, dog play area, food, music, shopping, and entertainment, as well as a blessing of the dogs, adoptions, a Pup Crawl throughout St. Andrews, a silent auction, raffles, and so much fun for dogs and their humans.

In 2023 the event was held in May. Be sure to follow Panama City Publishing Company museum Facebook for updates on the next event.

Be On The Lookout For

While strolling around St. Andrews be on the lookout for Little Libraries and this Butterfly Garden that is part of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail.

Little Village St Andrews

Where to Eat and Drink in St Andrews

The first two restaurants are a nice blend of shopping and dining in one area!

St Andrews Bodega logo.

St Andrews Bodega

Brand new to St. Andrews and first on the list because wait until you see all this bodega has to offer. You’ll find artisanal cheeses and bread, a butcher and wine shop, PLUS a cafe with a gorgeous brunch menu. 

I can’t speak for anyone else, but a really late brunch is my favorite kind of meal. Not in the mood for brunch? They offer a lovely main menu worth trying.

Little Village Stores

Lunch and Shop at Little Village

Little Village is a whole shopping and dining vibe. You’ll find items from around the world, much of it fair trade, and from local artists.  

Additionally, you can grab a bite to eat from Finn’s Island Style Grub and then find a seat on the covered patio or in the sun, the choice is yours. This is a great place to have a leisurely lunch after all the walking. 

Stop by the Taproom for a Pint

Located across from the Oaks by the Bay park the Taproom offers up beers on tap both indoors and at their outdoor patio.

The outdoor bar has 33 taps vs the 21 taps inside and does not disappoint with its location, selection, and ambiance.

You’ll often find live music or trivia at the Taproom. This is a great gathering spot to meet with friends or to cool off with a cold brew.

opened oyster from ghost fleet oyster co

Fresh Oysters at Hunt’s Oyster Bar

If you’re looking for some of the best and freshest oysters and seafood in the region, be sure to check out Hunt’s Oyster Bar. They are serving up ice cold oysters and seafood daily from Tarpon Dock Seafood Market.

bayou joes

Grab Breakfast at Bayou Joe’s

Ok, this isn’t technically in St. Andrews, it’s just down the road a bit, but I wanted to give a great option for breakfast and where to start your adventure and Bayou Joe’s is it.

Bayou Joe’s is a casual, laid-back restaurant on Massalina Bayou offering up scratch-made, mouth-watering, Southern breakfasts.

Because everything is made from scratch, you’re going to wait a little longer for your order, but it’s going to be worth it.

You’ll find limited seating on the deck and even fewer seats inside but you’re going to have to trust me when I say you’re going to want to dine here.

bayou joes

Enjoy your breakfast with a view of the drawbridge and marina. If you’re lucky (I was not, but heard stories), dolphins might even splash around in the bayou while you dine.

I’m just saying that if I lived locally, I would be drinking my morning coffee a couple of times a week on the deck of Bayou Joes.

Hotel Indigo Panama City Marina.
(c)Hotel Indigo Panama City Marina

Where to Stay 

There are no flagged hotels in St. Andrews, but there are a number of vacation rentals. I haven’t personally stayed at these, but I’m considering them for my next visit.

These are all a short walk to historic St. Andrews and very affordable.

  • Keeping it Salty in St Andrews Panama City Florida
  • The Historic Haight & Zediker House c. 1904 in St Andrews
  • Townhome in St Andrews
  • Keeping it Salty in St Andrews
  • The Salty View , Historic St. Andrews

Two others vacation rentals that have been recommended to me include:

  • B Side – a darling two bedroom bungalow duplex that is walking distance to town.
  • The Pearl – A bit further out of downtown but this luxury four bedroom/ 3 1/2 bath home with heated pool and private dock make it a great place for a girlfriend getaway.

If you’d prefer a hotel instead I can’t say enough good things about Hotel Indigo Panama City Marina. The hotel is located in Panama City and is a short drive to Historic St. Andrews. Recently opened, it’s the only waterfront hotel in Panama City.

It’s the only waterfront hotel in Panama City and recently opened in June 2023. 

There is a rooftop bar/restaurant that is absolutely worth visiting to enjoy a pre/post dinner cocktail. Incredible bay views with  plentiful outdoor seating. The hotel also offers dining in the bar/lobby area which is another good choices.

However, if you’d like leave the hotel but don’t want to go far, take a short stroll  across the parking lot to Harrison’s Restaurant, complete with waterfront dining options.

I enjoyed a corner room at the hotel and the views were spectacular. The room was incredibly comfortable with plush bedding and amenities. 

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