Shell Point, Florida
Shell Point is located on the northern edge of Apalachee Bay, approximately 30 miles south of Tallahassee. Most notable for its family oriented beach, Shell Point Beach was previously privately owned. After a petition by local groups to the state of Florida in 1995, the beach is funded by grants from the state and managed by the Wakulla County Department of Parks and Recreation. services.
The community has around 200 buildings and many have waterfront with private canal dockage. Most are owned by residents of the Tallahassee area and south Georgia, though there are about fifty full-time residents. The area's historic marina, boat ramp, restaurant, ships store, and motel were leveled by a private developer (now defunct). The developer constructed a shallow-grade boat ramp which is chained off and not available for public use. There are currently no plans to rebuild any of these facilities and such a prospect appears highly unlikely in the foreseeable future.
The only commercial enterprise at Shell Point is Marsh Harbor Marina operated from the adjacent real estate office. There are no supplies or fuel at this marina but showers and 30 amp power are available. Transient dockage is available though the traveling mariner will find far better prospects in Carrabelle. The entrance to the marina can be very misleading and should not be attempted without local knowledge.
A convenience store with gas and diesel is located 5.5 miles away on US 98. Most supplies can be had at Crawfordville, a fifteen mile drive. The closest motel accommodations are in Medart about 9 miles away. There is a restaurant with limited hours in Spring Creek 3 miles away. There is no public transportation or cab service.
The shallow beach at the head of Apalachee Bay is an ideal family get-away, and favored by windsurfers. Parking is usually free although Wakulla County intermittently tries to charge for parking near the restroom area. The beach and adjacent water bottom is shell, grass, and mud. An appropriation of over $800,000 has been made for "beach nourishment" though where the material is to come from has not been decided. Holding ground in the empty former boat basin is notoriously poor and is not suitable for overnight or any wind condition higher than a light breeze. Controlling depth into the channel at Shell Point at mean low tide is reported as four feet or less because of shoaling. Two spots are reported to carry only three feet at mean low water.
Shell Point is home of Apalachee Bay Yacht Club with club house and pool on the northern-most canal adjacent to Marsh Harbor Marina. ABYC maintains its own website with maps, photos, and weather links. abyconline.org
Important annual events include the Steven C. Smith Regatta held the last weekend of April, 4 July fireworks display, and Memorial Day golf cart parade. Shell Point is a golf cart community and maintains a speed limit of 15 miles per hour on all streets.
Shell Point is located approximately 30 miles south of Tallahassee. It is 2 miles east of Spring Creek, with its famous sea food restaurant.