Built in 1838 for cotton commission merchant David Greenway Raney, this Greek Revival mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. The museum contains furniture, documents and artifacts of the 19th century. It is open to the public 1:00 pm–4:00 pm Sunday – Friday; and 10:00 am–4:00 pm on Saturdays. Admission is free.
Florida’s Forgotten Coast is back in business, and we offer some of most breathtaking and uncrowded beaches in the Sunshine State! If you’re on the hunt for a laidback beach destination with plenty of elbow room and tons of outdoor activities, St. George Island (SGI) is the place to be.
Ranked time and again as one of the best beaches in the country, this beautiful 22-mile barrier island is home to the most pristine coastline in the Florida panhandle. You won’t find high rises or noisy crowds of tourists here. Just sugar white sand, fresh air and the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. And here’s some news that will really get tails wagging: Most of St. George Island’s beaches are pet-friendly, which means your furry friends can tag along for the trip!
To top it off, St. George Island offers a wide range of outdoor adventures the whole family can enjoy. Here are a few of our favorites:
Calling all cyclists! Home to miles of paved bike paths, St. George Island is a dream-come-true for bike enthusiasts. In addition to the paved paths, there are heaps of back roads and sandy trails where you can coast along the Gulf and bay side of the island. Whether you bring your own bike or rent one from a local shop, you’re certain to get a great workout and plenty of fresh air.
Even better, St. George Island offers an extremely safe biking environment for riders of all ages. The St. George Island Bike Path is a public paved recreational path that runs six miles paralleling Gulf Beach Drive, the island’s main road. This path is a great way to get around the island and visit shops, restaurants and other local businesses. Explore the island via the path and ride all the way to St. George Island State Park. There, you can park your bike and pick up the hiking trails. Which brings us to our next outdoor activity…
Ready to hit the trails? You’re in luck! There are loads of hiking opportunities across Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Here on the island, St. George Island State Park spans nine miles of undeveloped beaches and high dunes, surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay. Inside the state park, hikers can hit the two-mile marked trail along the bayside. There is also a series of trails and boardwalks throughout the park, which offer exceptional wildlife sighting opportunities. Be sure to bring your binos and a camera! During your trek, you may spot raccoons, ghost crabs, loggerhead turtles, eagles and a variety of other birds.
Whether you prefer SUP, canoeing or kayaking, St. George Island is every type of paddler’s paradise. No matter what floats your boat, you’re certain to have an memorable paddling adventure here.
Grab your paddles and hit the Gulf or Apalachicola Bay for peace and quiet, spectacular sights and a great workout. During your journey, keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of cool critters—from dolphins and manatees to rare sea birds and turtles. If you don’t have your own paddleboard or kayak, no worries! There are a number of shops on the island offering kayaks, canoes and paddle board rentals.
Whether you’re a first-time fisher or an experienced angler, you’ll get hooked on St. George Island in no time. There are so many productive inshore and offshore fishing spots here. Plus, the island is home to several bait and tackle shops as well as two public boat ramps.
Whether you cast a rod from the beach, a pier, a kayak or motor boat, you’re certain to be rewarded with an incredible catch. Want a whole boatload of fish? Book a charter fishing excursion with one of our experienced local guides for a truly unforgettable adventure.
St. George Island is bursting with awesome outdoor activities for the whole family!
Year after year, St. George Island ranks as one of the greatest destinations for families—and of course 2020 is no different! In a recent article called, “12 Best Vacations for Families,” TripstoDiscover.com included St. George Island near the top of the list.
“If you and your family are looking to immerse yourself in some of Florida’s most tranquil landscapes visit St. George Island,” suggests writer Charity De Souza. “Escape the crowds at this Northwest Florida gem nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, where the entire family will enjoy climbing the 92 steps up Cape Saint George Lighthouse for beautiful views of the island, taking a scenic bike ride along the 17 miles of paved bike paths and can enjoy a peaceful picnic at the undeveloped beaches on St. George Island State Park.”
Want to try your hand at some inshore Apalachicola fishing? Wade, paddle or motor out into one of our many bays, where you’ll have a chance to hook into redfish, speckled trout, flounder, tripletail, black drum, pompano, Spanish mackerel and more.
When you’re ready to catch some saltwater species, it’s time for some Carrabelle fishing, St. George Island fishing or Alligator Point angling. If you’re looking to land the big one (or a whole cooler full of them), take an offshore charter off the coast of Franklin County. The high-volume Gulf waters around the Forgotten Coast are teeming with grouper, mackerel, snapper, hogfish, tripletail, amberjack, jack crevalle, cobia, mahi mahi, blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, wahoo and more!
Ready to reel in a majorly massive monster? One of our area’s experienced fishing captains can take you 10 to 55 miles offshore to fish the Gulf’s dynamic federal waters, where you could score an epic marlin or sailfish.
Climb to the top of the lighthouse to see spectacular views of the sunset and full moon, and light refreshments are served. Contact Gift Shop for reservations.
The December full moon is called the Cold Moon for obvious reasons: winter is about to arrive and temperatures are dropping. It’s getting cold! Full Moon names are attributable to Native American tribes, most notably t
he Algonquin, who named the moons to mark the changing seasons.
With Turkey Day just around the corner, you may be itching to get a head-start on your holiday shopping. Look no further than ! Franklin County is home to an array of charming boutiques, antique stores and art galleries brimming with rare treasures, handmade goodies and one-of-a-kind gifts.
Don’t plan to dive into holiday shopping until after Thanksgiving? We’ve got you covered. On Saturday, November 30, Franklin County shops will be participating in the Small Business Saturday campaign. This is the perfect time to come on down to the Forgotten Coast for a seasonal shopping spree.
All across our communities, from Carrabelle and Eastpoint to St. George Island and Apalachicola, you’ll discover great deals on everything from art and jewelry to food and apparel to home décor and fishing gear. Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list without fighting crowds at the mall—all while supporting small, locally owned businesses.
December 5 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Celebrate the season at St. George Island’s Lighthouse Park on Thursday, December 5 and enjoy the festive display of holiday lights on the Cape St. George Lighthouse, Visitor Center, and along Franklin Boulevard. There will be a games for kids, face painting, carolers, hotdogs & cookies, visits with Santa plus lighting of the palms around dusk.
Do you know what an estuary is and why it is so vital our economy and way of life? Join the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve this Fall as we explore the estuary we depend on. Participants will learn about the habitats and creatures that make up our estuary and how the river and bay are intricately connected. We will see these habitats up close aboard the Reserve’s research vessel the Henry Lee.
The class cost is free to attend but you must get tickets before class on our eventbrite page, as spaces fill up fast. Please be sure to bring weather appropriate clothing, and eat lunch in advance.
Fall is finally here, and y’all know what that means: The world-famous Florida Seafood Festival is right around the corner! The 56th annual festival will be held on November 1-2, 2019 in Apalachicola’s beautiful waterfront Battery Park. Featuring fresh local seafood, arts and crafts exhibits, live entertainment and tons of family-friendly activities, this year’s event is certain to be absolutely unforgettable.
Save the Date
2019 Florida Seafood Festival
Friday & Saturday, November 1 & 2, 2019
Battery Park in downtown Apalachicola
(At the foot of the John Gorrie Memorial Bridge on Bay Avenue)
The oldest maritime event in the Sunshine State, this 56-year-old festival draws thousands of visitors to the hip and historic port town of Apalachicola every year. Here are just a few of the fun-filled events, sights and activities in store for this year’s festival.
Blessing of the Fleet
Head down to Battery Park Friday afternoon to witness one of the Florida Seafood Festival’s most important traditions: The Blessing of the Fleet. Several clergymen bless the parade of passing fishing, shrimping and oystering vessels as well as recreational vessels from across the country.
King Retsyo and Miss Florida Seafood are also present for this blessing ceremony. King Retsyo (oyster spelled backwards), son of Neptune, is the guardian of inland waters, bays and estuaries, and he protects our local seafood industry. Each year, the Florida Seafood Festival board selects a new king.
The Florida Seafood Festival Parade
This delightful parade kicks off on Saturday, November 2nd at 10 am EST. Featuring bands, floats and dignitaries from throughout the region, the lively procession winds eastward down U.S. Highway 98 to the Apalachicola River. This event is a treat for visitors of all ages, particularly the little ones!
The 2019 Florida Seafood Festival will showcase a variety of memorable musical acts. The tunes crank up around noon on Friday, and it keeps on rocking until the park closes. There will be more live acts all day Saturday, leading up to the main musical event that night.
This year’s music headliner will be Parmalee, the quintessential American Country band from North Carolina. This talented band’s 2013 breakout single, “Carolina,” rose to a Platinum-certified #1 hit, and their debut album landed in the Top 10.
If you’re hankering for fresh Florida seafood, swing by Food Row. This is seafood lover’s paradise, where vendors serve up delicious delicacies from fresh oysters on the half shell to smoked mullet and everything in between. If it’s caught in our local waters, you’ll find it here—along with tons of tasty non-seafood dishes.
At the south end of the festival grounds, discover a delightful world of kid-friendly fun! This colorful carnival features a variety of thrilling rides and games to keep you and the whole family busy for hours.
Arts and Crafts Exhibits
The Florida Seafood Festival features up to 90 arts and crafts booths, where you can purchase hand-made gifts and unique local items. These booths are lined up across beautiful Battery Park throughout the festival.
Red Fish Run 5K
Ready to race? Don’t miss the annual Red Fish Run on Saturday, November 2nd. The historic Gibson Inn in downtown Apalachicola is the starting line for this scenic 5K. Racers then wind their way through the streets of the charming historic district and along the banks of the Apalachicola River and Bay. Registration starts at 7 am on Saturday, and the race begins at 8 am.
Blue Crab Races
During this crab-tastic event, kids get to race their very own clawed competitors! Up to 20 children can participate at a time. We provide the blue crabs and the fun. This event is free for children under the age of 12, and everyone who participates receives a prize. Be sure to sign up early because slots fill up fast.
Oyster Shucking Contest
If you decide to stop by and watch this fast-paced contest, don’t blink! With their oyster knife in hand, each gloved contestant stands over a tray of 18 world-famous Apalachicola Bay Oysters. Usually within two short minutes, one competitor thrusts his or her hands into the air, signaling completion. But the fastest shucker isn’t necessarily the champion. When all the contestants have finished, the judges inspect their work, and competitors are penalized or even disqualified for shoddy shucking. The winner goes on to compete in national oyster shucking championships.
Oyster Eating Contest
During this must-see contest, contestants guzzle as many oysters as possible in a 15-minute span. The big, juicy oysters are shucked in advance, counted and placed in paper cups so the competitors can quickly shovel them down. The catch is that they have to keep them down—a rule that many participants end up breaking.
The Oyster Eating Contest will be held on Saturday around mid-day. A dozen or more men and women usually compete in the contest, which draws thousands of cheering spectators. Some of the top eaters consume more than 250 to 300 oysters during the competition!