If you think the name “Apalachicola” rolls nicely off the tongue then you’re in for a real treat when you actually lay eyes on this sleepy town, nestled in along Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Recently a recipient of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s notation as a Distinctive Destination, this quaint port town reached its heyday during the peak of the cotton industry thanks to steamboat travel, now known more for its fresh seafood and appealing ambiance than maritime traffic.
In addition to boasting offshore water’s that are America’s cleanest, this is also the spot to sample oysters harvested a stone’s throw from downtown. But before settling in to a lengthy seafood lunch, take the time to enjoy a walking tour around Apalachicola’s historic buildings, including grand old estates like Raney House or the Gorrie House Museum. Those with an affinity for arts and crafts souvenirs won’t want to skip town with out a detour through Grady Market, though for natural scenery to inspire your own inner artist consider a guided wildlife spotting side-trip, or a boat trip out to St. Vincent Island, which shelters in its dunes sea turtles, bald eagles, fox and falcon.
To the east and accessible by first the John Gorrie Memorial Bridge to Eastport and then the Bryant Patton Bridge is St. George Island, which has miles of sandy beach and dunes (as well as campsites) part of St. George Island State Park. It’s possible to rent kayaks locally to do some independent paddling, or take a turn along the parks short nature trail before calling it a day.
Apalachicola is 60 miles south east of Panama City.