Franklin County is Vintage Florida at its Finest
If vintage Florida is what you’re looking for you’ll find it tucked away along Florida’s North Gulf Coast in the quiet coastal communities of Apalachicola, St. George Island, Carrabelle, Eastpoint and Alligator Point. The pleasures are simple here and nature provides most of the entertainment.
The string of coastal communities that stretch along the coast are the last vestige of Old Florida - no high rise hotels, only one traffic light and a place where people still wave as they pass on the street.
Franklin County, the heart of Florida’s Forgotten Coast, is located an hour south of Tallahassee on Florida’s Northern Gulf Coast. The county is nearly 90% national and state forest - a protected oasis with quiet beaches, wooded trails and scenic paddling sloughs. The environment is the economy here and folks enjoy nature’s salty bounty in the form of fishing, kayaking, swimming, hiking, discovering heritage sites and, of course, eating fresh Apalachicola Bay oysters.
What to Do Here
Water Rules You can rent a kayak or bring your own to explore the many river sloughs, sandy coves and salt marshes and bay shallows of the area. Or, take a relaxing sunset tour of Apalachicola’s historic waterfront aboard one of several eco-tour boats. Have your own boat? There are several marinas to accommodate.
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Wildlife abounds The area is part of a seasonal fly-over for several migrating birds and butterflies. The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve and Visitor Center in Eastpoint features a wooded boardwalk trail and touch tanks and displays for children to get up close and personal to marine life. Of all the wildlife in Franklin County, some of the most notable are the protected sea turtles that visit area beaches annually to lay their eggs.
Beach lovers will appreciate that the St. George Island State Park Beach has ranked among the top in the country by Dr. Stephen Leatherman (a.k.a Dr. Beach). The park features nine miles of undeveloped shoreline and has some of the region’s finest birdwatching opportunities and camping facilities.
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Eat and Play Harvested fresh from the bay daily, Apalachicola Bay oysters are salty delicacies highly prized in restaurants from New York City to Key West. You can enjoy fresh local seafood at more than 30 area restaurants and seafood markets.
The towns of Apalachicola and Carrabelle feature unique boutiques and fine restaurants. The area’s beauty has inspired a thriving artist community and a blossoming of art galleries. The area hosts several art events as well as culinary events including the annual Florida Seafood Festival, an Oyster Cook-off and Chili Cookoff on St. George Island.
The area also features its own brewery - the Oyster City Brewing Company. The brewery is located in the heart of Apalachicola’s historic downtown district and features local ingredients as part of its lineup of award-winning brews, including locally-harvested Tupelo Honey - a key ingredient in the brewery’s Hooter Brown Tupelo Honey Ale.
A Growing Community of Music Venues
Apalachicola, Carrabelle and St. George Island are growing in popularity for their unique music venues. In Apalachicola, the Bowery Station features the region’s up and coming musicians in a casual setting. Rio Carrabelle features seasonal jazz concerts as part of a local cultural group effort. On St. George Island, a nonprofit music organization hosts two annual rock concerts featuring regional and national bands.
Accommodations range from quaint beach cottages, luxurious gulf-front villas, historic inns, riverfront suites and more.
Franklin County is the essence of vintage Florida. Learn more about Franklin County’s amenities, vacation getaway deals and restaurants, shopping and lodging at FloridasForgottenCoast.com