Apalachicola, Florida
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Apalachicola Vacation Information

A quiet community situated between river and bay, Apalachicola traces its history back to the 1830s, when cotton was still king in the South. Once the third largest shipping port on the Gulf Coast, Apalachicola was a way station for cotton crops, which were stored in its warehouses awaiting transport to the Northeast and Europe. Today, many of the same buildings are visitor attractions, housing a charming mix of shops, restaurants, museums, and art galleries.

Still a working port, Apalachicola has more than 900 historic homes and buildings, many of which can be easily viewed on a walking tour of its palm-shaded streets. Of special interest is the Dixie Theatre, built in 1912 and in use today as a venue for ballets, concerts, plays, and more. Nearby is Trinity Episcopal Church, a Greek Revival-style structure that was shipped in sections from White Plains, New York, and assembled onsite. Completed in 1838, the church counted among its early members such prominent local citizens as planter David Raney and botanist Alvin W. Chapman. Other points of interest include Raney’s pre-Civil War mansion, the circa 1840 Sponge Exchange warehouses, and the John Gorrie State Museum. The museum houses a replica of the ice machine Dr. Gorrie developed to cool the temperatures of his patients suffering from yellow fever. Southerners owe special thanks to Dr. Gorrie for this invention, which was the forerunner of modern air conditioning.

Away from the town but still nearby, state parks at St. George Island and Cape San Blas offer miles of uncrowded waters and white-sand beaches that are perfect for swimming, fishing, boating, sailing, and snorkeling. Both freshwater and saltwater anglers will appreciate the fishing opportunities on the Apalachicola River and Apalachicola Bay. And area outfitters offer nature tours of the marshes, cypress swamps, and bayous of the Apalachicola Estuary system, which can be easily explored by boat.

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Apalachicola Florida Restaurants

Restaurants

If you’re a seafood lover, you’re in luck – Apalachicola boasts plenty of eateries offering the catch of the day with all the trimmings. You’ll also discover that lots of local menus center around the famous Apalachicola Bay oysters – baked, broiled, fried, or served ice-cold with saltine crackers and Tabasco sauce. Other dining options range from hearty meat-and-three specials to kid-pleasing burgers and pizza. The ambiance (and dress) in most local eateries is casual, even at those with more sophisticated menus. For more about Apalachicola dining, check out our list of restaurants below.
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Apalachicola Florida Fishing

Fishing

There are plenty of charter captains in the area, offering both inshore and offshore fishing excursions. There’s something biting just about year-round in Apalachicola, and most boats go out all year long. Depending on the season, common catches may include redfish, cobia, pompano, flounder, grouper, tarpon, snapper, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, and amberjack. Some of the charter captains also offer dolphin watching and sightseeing excursions. Have your own boat? No problem. There are several marinas in the area offering a full range of services for your convenience. To learn more, check out our list of charter services and marinas below.
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Apalachicola Florida Shopping

Shopping

Even though it’s a small town, Apalachicola offers the kinds of goods you’d expect to find in a big city – but without a single big-box store in sight. The city’s small, one-of-a-kind shops offer everything from books and yarn (in the same store) to chocolate, gourmet goodies, and wine. You’ll find high-quality local crafts and artwork, wearing apparel and accessories, housewares, antiques, linens, gift items, toys, swimwear, and sporting equipment (with an emphasis on water sports, of course!).

To learn more, scroll down for our list of Apalachicola shops below.
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Apalachicola Florida Events

Events

Apalachicola hosts some events so big that you may want to plan your visit around them. The Forgotten Coast Plein Air Invitational is one. Held in early May, this annual art show features nationally acclaimed artists, painting demonstrations and workshops, art exhibitions, public receptions, and sales of work. Other spring events include an antique and classic boat show and a home and garden tour.

The area holds the Fisherman’s Choice Youth Fishing Tournament, for anglers aged 16 and under, in early June; Oktoberfest, at Bowery Station in the historic district, in October; and the Florida Seafood Festival, billed as “Florida’s Oldest Maritime Event,” in early November.

Check out our calendar events for up-to-date information on what’s going on while you’re in town.
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Things to do in Apalachicola Florida

Other Things To Do

Probably the best way to explore Apalachicola is on foot. Many of the city’s historic homes and buildings are within walking distance of each other and easily seen from the street. Other attractions worth exploring are the Apalachicola Museum of Art, which features changing temporary exhibits, and the Apalachicola Maritime Museum, founded to celebrate and preserve the city’s seagoing history.

Golfers will enjoy playing a round at St. James Bay Golf Course in nearby Carrabelle or St. Joseph’s Bay Country Club in Port St. Joe. Both courses offer 18 holes and plenty of challenges for players of all skill levels.

Nature lovers will want to explore the miles of undeveloped beaches, sand dunes, bay forests, sandy coves, and salt marshes that make up St. George Island State Park and neighboring St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Both parks offer excellent opportunities for hiking, snorkeling, swimming, and birding.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy visiting the 79-foot Cape St. George Lighthouse on nearby St. George Island. It’s open most days for tours, and the adjacent lighthouse keeper’s cottage features exhibits illustrating the history of the area.

No matter whether you’re planning a family trip with the kids or a romantic getaway for two, the Apalachicola area offers plenty of activities to make your vacation memorable and fun.
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