The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location
St. Andrews State Park was a surprise. After driving through the heart of Panama City Beach and it’s hotels and t-shirt shops we really didn’t expect this park to be much to look at. But it was just as diverse as it was beautiful!
There is a loop road that goes around the park and we decided to try that first. The parking area to the fishing pier was closed, so we drove on through the dunes to the next parking area and pavilion. This was at the end of the park where the inlet of St. Andrews Bay cuts through to the ocean. There was a jetty (row of rocks) protecting the white sand beach, which also provided a habitat for aquatic creatures that the snorkelers seemed to enjoy.
The jetty created a nice long cove and the shallow water was a pretty turquoise color, so I decided to just set-up and paint on the beach. As I painted, many fishing boats floated through the inlet and I even saw a Pirate Ship go by! Rick fished the cove, but didn’t have any luck catching the fish.
Sometimes paintings are slow and tedious, but this one seemed to create itself and in no time it was done! Then we traveled on to explore the rest of the park where more surprises awaited us.
Just around the first bend was a freshwater dune lake and a beautiful swampy area filled with spooky trees and the water was green with duckweed. A professional photographer had waded out to the middle to get some shots of an alligator – brave man he was!
Around another bend was a recreation area with a boat ramp, fishing pier, canoe and kayak rentals on the bay side of the park. Yellow Rock Rose flowers covered the hill nearby, it was really pretty spot too.
And just as we were heading out of the park, another surprise! A momma and baby deer crossed the road and munched on grass in the shade. They created a bit of traffic jam of bicycles as people enjoyed watching them.
For more information about this park, visit their website