we just returned from a week at st joe beach (in between mexico beach and port st joe). we rented "peach beach" home from pristine properties, and we LOVED every second of it. this home had EVERYTHING we could have ever wanted. the bay area right outside our door was PERFECT for us. the waves there are very small, perfect for our kids. it's only about 4 ft deep for a long way out. we walked out and saw hundreds and hundreds of sand dollars, small rays, and tons of dolphin! i have to highly recommend "killer seafood" and "dockside cafe". killer looked a bit shady from the outside at first, but i'm so glad we went in. the people were so friendly and the food was really good. highly recommend it. dockside was our favorite. eating right on the water at the marina was so much fun. every night, the boats pull up and unload their catches from charters. . . . very fun!
st joe beach is very quiet. NOTHING like panama city. we were the only people on the beach for most of our stay. for us, it was perfect!