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Franklin County, Florida

Visitor Guide ALLIGATOR POINT APALACHICOLA CARRABELLE EASTPOINT ST. GEORGE ISLAND


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:HOFRPH In Franklin County you’ll find a unique coastal culture with a fascinating history and the freshest seafood on the Gulf Coast!

Franklin County

Welcome to Franklin County and the coastal communities of Alligator Point, Apalachicola, Carrabelle, Eastpoint and St. George Island. With more than 250 miles of award-winning petfriendly beaches, world famous seafood and maritime history and culture, we’re your salty alternative to the traditional Florida vacation! SaltyFlorida.com


ALLIGATOR POINT . APALACHICOLA . CARRABELLE . EASTPOINT . ST. GEORGE ISLAND

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Franklin County offers a variety of lodging options set amidst an authentic, Old Florida landscape. From a quaint beach cottage to a luxurious beachfront villa, accommodations providers on St. George Island and Alligator Point offer a full selection in a wide range of prices. Scan your smartphone to see current specials and discounts or visit SaltyFlorida.com.

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13 Salty burlap bags full of Apalachicola Bay oysters are a Franklin County icon. Earthy, unpretentious, yet strong and resilient, burlap symbolizes much of what Franklin County embodies in its people, places and culture. Photography: John B. Spohrer, Royce Rolstad, Richard Bickel, Lane Autrey, Brett Martina, Stephanie Parker, Rusty Amos, Tim Harbison, Pat Canova, Joe Taylor, Debbie Hooper, Mandi Singer, Jeff Wolfram, Lou Kellenberger, Dan Anderson, Heather Rash, Sheila Hauser, Ed Tiley, Palmer Philyaw, David Adlerstein, Apalachicola Maritime Museum, Resort Vacation Properties and Collins Vacation Rentals. Design/Production: Bay Media Editorial/Research: 2KWebgroup, Judi Stokowski, Lesley Cox, Lois Swoboda, Nancy Petrucka. Produced by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council, P.O. Box 819, Apalachicola, FL 32329, 866-914-2068 SaltyFlorida.com info@SaltyFlorida.com

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4 Alligator Point 6 Apalachicola 8 Carrabelle Area 10 Eastpoint 12 St. George Island

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25 GolďŹ ng 26 Beaches 30 Fishing 36 Adventure 38 Birding 43 Parks and Scenic Areas 46 Arts and Culture 48 Restaurants 57 Shopping 58 Weddings 59 Events & Festivals

+HULWDJH &XOWXUH 14 History and Museums 20 Seafood 22 Lighthouses


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About The Area

$OOLJDWRU3RLQW Sea oat-covered sand dunes, marsh habitats and pine forests make Alligator Point perfect for birding and wildlife observation.

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lligator Point is a sparsely populated coastal jewel located at the easternmost end of Franklin County. This narrow beach peninsula boasts eight miles of quiet shoreline and unparalled fishing. The “Point,” as it is referred to by locals, is nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Alligator Harbor, a pristine estuary known for its clam harvesting. This cozy coastal community is a snapshot of vintage coastal Florida. Alligator Point features a range of vacation rental options on the gulf and bay. The area features a full service marina with fishing charters. There are several public access areas along the beach and two boat ramps on the bay side.

A Wildlife Paradise Sea oat-covered sand dunes, marsh and pond habitats and pine forests make Alligator Point perfect for birding and wildlife observation. The Point is flanked on one end by the Bald Point State Park, a 5,000 acre protected wildlife area nationally acclaimed as a bi-annual stopover for migrating birds and butterflies. The park features beaches, bicycling, birding, canoeing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, swimming and wildlife viewing. The nearby St. Marks Wildlife Refuge is also a popular visit for wildlife enthusiasts. The St. Marks Wildlife Refuge is actually the oldest refuge in the state, established in 1931 to provide wintering habitat for migratory birds.


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Alligator Harbor Clam Harvesting Alligator Harbor is a shallow estuary enclosed by the Alligator Point sand spit. Alligator Harbor is unique because it’s one of the few harbors in Florida that’s not fed directly by a river, which means the salt content of the water is almost the same as the Gulf of Mexico. The salinity levels allow for the successful clam harvesting industry within the harbor.

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Places to Stay See Page 48 for

Places to Eat See Page 59 for

Activities

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About The Area

Apalachicola offers maritime history and a still-working waterfront plus plenty of restaurants serving the freshest seafood on the coast, each in its unique way. Tour the award-winning historic district and shop in one-of-a-kind boutiques.

ou’ll feel history when you breathe the salty air of Apalachicola Bay and walk the canopy-shaded sidewalks of Apalachicola’s distinguished Historic District replete with the regal homes of

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once filled with steamboats and schooners, railroads and lumber mills. There are more than 900 historic homes, buildings and sites in the city’s Historic District. Apalachicola is considered a “distinctive destination” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation based on its unique character, charm and dedication to historic preservation.

Maritime Culture

Castnetting off the pier in Apalach

past sea captains, river pilots and sponge divers. Apalachicola's diverse and colorful past remains visible today as you stroll along the wide tree-lined streets where picturesque Victorian homes display the charm of years gone by. Once the third largest port on the Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola echoes with memories of an era

Apalachicola’s maritime culture is best reflected along its working waterfront. There you’ll see bustling seafood houses, weather-worn shrimp boats and stately brick buildings that once served as 19th century chandleries, net factories and warehouses. Eclectic boutiques, galleries and restaurants are tucked into nooks and crannies throughout the historic downtown commercial district. The town features meticulously restored hotels and B&Bs as well as luxury waterfront

accommodations. Looking for a treasure to take home? Spend time browsing through unique galleries, stores and antique shops.

Bountiful Resources Apalachicola’s history and maritime culture are matched only by the area’s bountiful natural resources. The Apalachicola River and Apalachicola Bay provide great fishing opportunities for both fresh and salt water fishing buffs. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the endless bays and waterways by kayak, canoe, riverboat or sailboat while in Apalachicola.

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Places to Stay Page 48

Places to Eat Page 59

Activities


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$SDODFKLFROD You’ll find history, seafood and maritime heritage on every corner.

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About The Area

&DUUDEHOOH This picturesque coastal community is known as the Panhandle’s Gateway to the Gulf.

Carrabelle features great fishing, golfing and a maritime history worth visiting.


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With a natural deep-water harbor and easy access to three rivers, Carrabelle is a salty attraction to sailors, kayakers and boaters of all ages. A renowned golf resort nearby makes this the perfect outdoor getaway.

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onsidered the Gateway to the Gulf for its easy access to offshore fishing and boating, Carrabelle is a naturalist’s paradise. Uncrowded, white-sand beaches are perfect for family vacations and the fishing is unsurpassed. Unpretentious and friendly, Carrabelle is the place to experience small town nostalgia. You’ll feel the pride of a patriot when you visit the Camp Gordon Johnston Museum that tells the story of how our troops trained on the salty beach of Franklin County for the D-Day Invasion of Normandy in World War II. The nearby Crooked River Lighthouse reminds you of the town’s maritime importance.

Fishing and Boating People come to Carrabelle not only for fabulous fishing but also to sail, snorkel, scuba dive, scallop, play on the beaches or to just steal away from the real world for a while. Wildlife is plenti-

ful here in Carrabelle. It is not unusual to spot a deer, fox, blue heron, pelican or even a family of black bears at play. If luck is really with you, you may be entertained by local dolphins when walking the beach or riding in a boat while visiting Carrabelle. Here you can truly unwind and enjoy the beauty of our white-sand beaches and river marshes while you take in the sound of softly lapping waves and the rustle of palms swaying in the gentle breezes.

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Places to Stay See Page 48 for

Places to Eat See Page 59 for

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Carrabelle claims the World’s Smallest Police Station. Tucked inside a phone booth, this landmark has been a Carrabelle icon since 1963.


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About The Area

(DVWSRLQW An authentic fishing community with a heart as big as the bay.

In Eastpoint you can buy fresh local seafood from family-owned markets and eat a fresh seafood meal from restaurants operated by families four generations deep.

astpoint is the seafood central hub of Franklin County. This narrow sliver of coastline just across the bay from Apalachicola and St. George Island is lined with rustic seafood houses. Here oystermen bring their heavy burlap bags of freshly harvested Apalachicola Bay oysters to be washed, shucked, packed and transported across the country. Eastpoint’s commercial seafood district stretches nearly a mile along Hwy 98 overlooking St. George Sound and hugging the narrow coastline behind

E Above: The Eastpoint Breakwater provides safe harbor for the oyster fleet and is a scenic backdrop along the coastal highway.

a protective breakwater. That breakwater shields the coast and the fleet of weathered wooden oyster skiffs moored just offshore. Eastpoint is an authentic fishing town with a heart as big as the bay. Here you can buy fresh local seafood from family-owned markets and eat a fresh seafood meal from restaurants operated by families four generations deep.

Gateway to St. George Eastpoint is considered the Gateway to St. George Island. The area features a popular fishing bridge that parallels the

bridge to St. George Island. To the north, Eastpoint is a gateway to the Apalachicola National Forest and Tate’s Hell State Forest through scenic Highwy 65 - part of the Big Bend Scenic Byway. Eastpoint is also home to the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) and Visitor Center. Considered one of the state’s premier research and education facilities, the ANERR facility features a visitor center complete with fish tanks, interactive displays and ongoing public education programs and activities.


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Oystermen are

Farmers of

the Bay

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Places to Stay See Page 48 for

Places to Eat See Page 59 for

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Oystermen harvest oysters in Franklin County from more than 7,000 acres of public oyster "bars" and 600 acres of private leased bars in Apalachicola Bay. Public bars are divided into "winter" bars, which are harvested from October through June and "summer" bars which are harvested from July through September. There are more than 1,000 people employed by the oyster industry in Franklin County. Oystermen harvest the oysters today in the same manner they have for a century. From small wooden boats 20-23 feet long, using tongs that look like two rakes attached scissor-style, the oystermen heft the oysters to the surface. Oysters are brought aboard and sorted on a culling board where they are separated by size. On shore the seafood houses sort the oysters and package them for sale either in bags or boxes. They may also be shucked, washed and sold in pints or gallons.

Eastpoint is the seafood central hub of Franklin County.


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About The Area

6W*HRUJH,VODQG St. George Island is the premier beach destination for those seeking natural beauty without the big crowds.


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t. George Island is a 22mile barrier island that hosts some of Florida’s most beautiful and serene beaches. With no high rises anywhere, SGI is an unspoiled island with a laidback attitude. There are twenty miles of beach on the gulfside and miles of marsh, inlets and oyster bars on the bayside. The uncrowded beaches are perfect for sunning and shelling, the clear gulf waters invite swimming and fishing, and the pristine bay marshes feature extraordinary wildlife and sunset viewing. Rent a kayak, boat, bicycle or scooter. Accommodations, which range from quaint beach cottages to luxurious beach homes, can be reserved with any of the island’s vacation rental companies. Or stay at the hotel or inn.

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Pet Friendly St. George Island is one of the few beaches that allows pets, and many of the vacation homes are pet-friendly. Some of the restaurants permit you to dine outside with your pet.

George Island as a stopover on their way south or north. We have even had rare appearances by a flamingo and a snowy owl!

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St. George Island State Park

Places to Stay

The St. George Island State Park occupies the far eastern end of St. George Island. There you will find nine miles of undeveloped shoreline, majestic dunes, a bay forest and salt marshes. The park has a series of hiking trails, boardwalks and observation platforms. In 2011, the St. George Island State Park ranked among the Top 10 Beaches of America. Birding is a popular activity on St. George Island. You might encounter one of the many migratory birds that use St.

Places to Eat

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Activities

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Beginning early summer, loggerhead sea turtles come ashore to dig their nests and lay eggs along the beach. The hatchlings emerge at night and crawl to the gulf guided by light of the seaward horizon. Sometimes hatchlings are IRROHGE\DUWLÀFLDO light from beach homes. You can help by turning off outdoor lights and by removing your belongings from the beach each evening. Beach chairs, coolers, canopies DQGÁRDWVRIWHQ become barriers to crawling turtles. The babies thank you!


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History and Heritage

+LVWRU\ Franklin County’s rich history and maritime culture are interwoven with the area’s bountiful resources.


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The history of Franklin County is a panorama of contending influences. Blessed with abundant natural resources, society has flourished here for thousands of years. Apalachicola Apalachicola enjoys a history rich in maritime culture and natural resources. Apalachicola is an Indian word for “land beyond” or “those people residing on the other side” or “friendly people over there.” There were once more than 40,000 Indians in this region. The first Apalachicola Indians were members of the Mississippian Culture. Later tribes included the Seminoles and Creeks. The first non-natives were the Franciscan friars who arrived from Spain in the 1700s. Early trade between the Spanish and Creek Indians was in produce and fur. Apalachicola was established in 1831 and grew quickly as a

HISTORY

HIKES SELF-GUIDED WALKING TOUR You can take a self-guided tour of Apalachicola’s historic district and learn about more than 35 private homes and public sites. Map available at the Apalachicola Visitor Center or online at apalachicolabay.org MUSEUM TRAIL This self guided tour features museums, parks and historic sites. Map available at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art, the Apalachicola Visitor Center or download at HistoricApalachicola.com. ANNUAL HISTORIC HOME TOUR 7KLVHYHQWKHOGWKHÀUVW weekend in May, showcases Apalachicola’s historic homes. Details available online at apalachicolahistorichometour. org

cotton shipping port town. By the mid 1800s, Apalachicola’s waterfront was lined with brick warehouses and broad streets to handle the loading and unloading of cotton. At one point, Apalachicola was heralded as the third largest port on the gulf. Steamboats laden with cotton came down the river and were unloaded on the docks. From there, the cotton was reloaded onto shallow-draft schooners that shuttled the cargo to ships waiting offshore. The invention of refrigeration in 1851 by Dr. John Gorrie proved revolutionary not only to Apalachicola but to the Continued on page 16

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Apalachicola’s Historic Dixie Theatre has been a cultural landmark for almost 100 years. The Dixie Theatre opened in 1913 and featured a front marquee that glowed with more than 100 electric lights, a WLFNHWRIÀFHDQGD sunken pit for the orchestra. In 1929 The Dixie opened its doors to the WRZQ·VÀUVWWDONLQJ picture. A major renovation by the Partington family brought this cultural icon back to life in 1998. Today, the theatre hosts annual season theatre and music performances. DixieTheatre.com


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History and Heritage

History, from page 15

entire nation. Gorrie invented refrigeration and a form of air conditioning while attempting to treat yellow fever victims. Another Apalachicola resident, Dr. Alvin Chapman, was a mid 1800s botanist and author who also received international notoriety for his study of southern plants. A museum dedicated to his work exists today in Apalachicola. By the eve of the Civil War in 1861, Apalachicola was the sixth largest town in Florida with 1,906 residents. Around that same time, Apalachicola had a racetrack, the Mansion House, which offered balls, socials and gambling, an opera house and a newspaper. By the late 1800s, railroads had expanded throughout the U.S. carrying cargo farther and faster. As a result, the steamboats slowly disappeared from

the Apalachicola River and the timber industry boomed, fueled by seemingly endless miles of rich forestland. Lumber mills were established and lumber magnates built many of the historic homes that line the town’s streets today. Late in the 19th century and on into the 20th, both Apalachicola and Carrabelle produced large quantities of lumber and turpentine.

Carrabelle The history of Carrabelle is a story of Indians, shipping, bootlegging, logging and even war. Rio Carrabella, or “beautiful river” was the early name of Carrabelle. Early settlers in the area, both Indians and early Europeans, hunted game for food and furs, which were then shipped out of St. Marks. Carrabelle became a city in 1893. Carrabelle’s boom time,

however, actually happened prior to that. The Carrabelle area flourished after the Civil War when lumber and naval stores were the most important commodities. In 1875 the first lumber mill was established. Schooners would come through the pass and drop anchor behind Dog Island in Ballast Cove, so named because the ships would drop their ballast before sailing into Carrabelle to pick up their cargo. The town’s proximity to the coast made it particularly susceptible to hurricanes. A series of hurricanes hit the area during the late 1800s. One that struck in 1900 destroyed much of the community. Following the hurricane, the town was rebuilt and the downtown relocated more inland to its present location. In 1895 a lighthouse was erected just west of Carrabelle about a quarter of a mile from St. George Sound. It was known as the Crooked River Lighthouse. The historic lighthouse still stands today. The Crooked River Lighthouse Park and Keeper’s


SaltyFlorida.com House Museum features an authentic period room from the first keeper, exhibits, a gift shop and pirate ship playground. By 1941 Carrabelle had become an important oil shipping port. Oil was shipped to Carrabelle, sent by pipeline to Jacksonville where it was loaded on ships for delivery to Europe.

Dog Island Dog Island’s place in Franklin County history has been that of a protective barrier for the mainland. The island is reported to have once had three lighthouses – all of which were destroyed by storms. The barrier island was also the quarantine area for incoming ships with a resident doctor. After World War II Jeff Lewis, a Florida businessman, saw Dog Island’s potential as a vacation area. He purchased the island and then sold a portion of it to the Nature Conservancy. For a time, a ferry ran between Carrabelle and the island.

Lanark Village Lanark Village, located on the gulf about four miles east of Carrabelle, began as part of a promotion plan carried out by the Georgia, Florida and Alabama Railroad. It became a fashionable resort for people in nearby counties. The Lanark Springs Resort included a two-story hotel. A swimming area was fenced near shore where tourists could swim in a large freshwater spring emerging into the salt water of the bay.

During WWII Camp Gordon Johnston was built at Lanark Beach for use as an amphibious training facility. More than 25,000 trainees passed through the camp with about 10,000 housed there at a time. For many it was the last stopover before going to the Pacific or European theaters. Many of the officers’ quarters still exist today in the Lanark Village retirement community.

St. George Island The history of St. George Island is colored with pirates, Indians and shipwrecks. The Creek Indians first inhabited the island as early as the 1600s. The Indians were aggressive traders and commerce flourished from the St. Marks River around and up the Apalachicola River. The arrival of the Europeans to the island was followed by intensive struggles for control of the area. Pirate Captain William Augustus Bowles led the Creek Indians in their defense against the Spanish and French in the late 1700s. Legend has it that before Bowles died he buried a treasure somewhere on the island. After the Forbes Purchase in 1803, commercial sailing traffic increased and a lighthouse was built on the west end of the island, which is now Little St. George Island. Following years of coastal erosion the Cape St. George Light toppled into the gulf in 2005. It has been rebuilt by lighthouse enthusiasts in its present location in the center of Continued on page 18

Lighthouses and beacons such as this one from St. George Sound helped mariners navigate.

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History and Heritage History, from page 17

the St. George Island business district. It is the centerpiece of the island’s Lighthouse Park along with the Keeper’s Museum.

Eastpoint

Apalachicola enjoyed a thriving sponge industry in the mid 1800s. For a time Apalachicola was the third largest sponge producing area in the state. By 1895 Apalachicola had two sponge warehouses; one of the warehouses still exists today in the downtown district.

Eastpoint was founded by a communal religious group. Prominent among the early settlers was the Brown family. The Browns, along with five other families, traveled down the Chattahoochee River from Georgia. The families established a group called the Co-Workers’ Fraternity which farmed the land, harvested seafood, worked the lumber industry and shared the profits. Rebecca Wood Brown served as Eastpoint postmistress from 1898 to 1938. Eastpoint’s first post office was located in the Brown home. Descendents of the Brown family still live in Eastpoint.

St. Vincent was part of the 1803 Forbes Purchase. In 1907 the land was sold to Dr. Valentine Mott Pierce, a patent medicine millionaire, who kept the island as a summer resort. Exotic animals were imported to the island and, for awhile, the island was run as a game preserve. Of all the exotics imported to the island only the Sambar deer remain today. In 1968 St. Vincent was purchased by the Federal Government for use as the St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Alligator Point Alligator Point and Bald Point were inhabited 3,000 years before the Spanish arrived. In the mid-1800s and early 1900s, fishermen established seineyards at Bald Point. Evidence of the early turpentine industry is evidenced by pine trees that feature “cat face” scars. Bald Point was the site of military maneuvers during the WWII era.

St. Vincent Island St. Vincent Island was named by Franciscan friars who, around 1625, were moving westward through the Apalachee territory establishing missions. The steamboat, Crescent City, was once the only form of transportation between Apalachicola and Eastpoint. During WWII, Camp Gordon Johnston was built at Lanark Beach for use as an amphibious training camp.


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History & Heritage Sites Apalachicola Chestnut Street Cemetery Avenue E One of the most significant cemeteries on the Florida Gulf Coast. Established in 1831, the headstones tell the history of Apalachicola. The Chapman House Museum 82 Sixth Street This Greek Revival-style home was built in the 1840s by Dr. Alvan W. Chapman (1809-1899), a physician, scientist, botanist, and author. The home features displays and exhibits.

Apalachicola Maritime Museum 103 Water Street 850-653-2500 DPPÁRUJ Maritime heritage exhibits featuring boat building and restoration, as well as educational programs. Orman House Museum 177 Fifth Street 850-653-1209 ÁRULGDVWDWHSDUNVRUJ One of the oldest historic homes in Apalachicola with period decor and exhibits.

Holy Family Cultural Center 203 Dr. Frederick Humphries St. A former Catholic church, this historic building now serves as a senior center and cultural venue. Houses an African-American History Exhibit.

Raney House Museum 128 Market Street 850-653-1700 apalachicolahistoricalsociety. org - This Greek Revival mansion was built in 1836 for cotton merchant David Greenway. Features 19th century furnishings, decorations, artifacts and documents.

John Gorrie Museum State Park 46 Sixth Street 850-653- 9347 ÁRULGDVWDWHSDUNVRUJ A replica of Dr. John Gorrie’s ice-making machine is on display as well as exhibits chronicling the history of Apalachicola.

Veterans Memorial Plaza Featuring the Three Servicemen Statue South, Detail 230 Market Street 850-653-1318 threeservicemenstatuesouth. org - Park consists of the Circle of Freedom walkway and the

Three Servicemen Statue Detail, a bronze sculpture depicting Vietnam servicemen.

Carrabelle Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum 1001 Gray Avenue 850-697-8575 campgordonjohnston. com The museum preserves the heritage of Camp Gordon Johnston, a WWII amphibious training camp. Features extensive histories as well as photographic displays of the area and life as it existed at the camp. Crooked River Lighthouse Park and Keeper’s House Museum 1975 West Highway 98, 850-697-2732 crookedriverlighthouse.org Displays of local treasures, events, commerce and heritage featuring the Steamship Tarpon and archeology exhibits.

Visitors can learn ÀUVWKDQGDERXW the life of a lighthouse keeper at the Cape St. George Lighthouse Keeper’s Museum.

Carrabelle History Museum 106 Avenue B South East 850-697-2141 carrabellehistorymuseum.org Four rooms of historic displays of the area, commerce and heritage.

St. George Island Cape St. George Lighthouse Park 2 East Gulf Beach Drive 850-927-7745 seestgeorgeisland.com Historic lighthouse with lighthouse keeper’s museum located next door. Features lighthouse artifacts and a gift shop.

Scan here to learn more about Franklin County museums or visit SaltyFlorida.com


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History and Heritage

6HDIRRG Apalachicola Bay is one of the most productive estuarine systems in the world.

A Franklin County harvests more than 90 percent of Florida’s oysters and 10 percent of the nationwide supply.

palachicola Bay is one of the most productive estuarine systems in the world. The nutrient-rich Apalachicola-ChattahoocheeFlint river system initiates the complex network of food chains in our bay. The environmental conditions present make it the perfect feeding, breeding and nursery ground for an abundance of our world famous seafood. First and foremost are Apalachicola Bay oysters. Florida’s gulf coast oyster industry is based on the highly preferred “American” or “Eastern” oyster, also known by its scientific name Crassostrea virginica. This species is the principle oyster harvested commercially along the Gulf of Mexico.

Second, but equally important, is the shrimping industry. There are three major types of shrimp harvested from the waters in and around Apalachicola Bay: white, brown and pink shrimp. Apalachicola Bay shrimpers average more than a million pounds per year, nearly 20% of the state’s shrimp supply. Inshore shrimp fishermen generally use a small bay boat, less than 38 feet long. Shrimpers fish by day or night depending on the time of year and the habits of the species sought. Offshore shrimpers use larger boats, 72-90 feet long. Because the larger boats generally stay out for 10 days or longer, the shrimp caught are flash frozen on board the vessel to maximize freshness.

An active blue crab industry also exists in Apalachicola Bay. Franklin County produces nearly 10 percent of the hard-shell blue crabs landed in Florida. Blue crabs, both hard-shell and softshell or “peelers” are typically harvested inshore in the estuary. Crabs are harvested daily; the legal crabs (5 inches from point to point on the carapace) are measured visually or with a grading frame. Live crabs are sold whole or in cooked form as lump or “special” crab meat which is from the body of the crab. Cocktail or claw meat is sold in one and five pound containers. Commercial fish species harvested in the bay include mullet, flounder and pompano.


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Seafood Markets

Local markets feature wholesome and nutritious seafood from area waters. Whether you’re looking for oysters, shrimp or fish, you’ll find a delicious selection. Millender’s Seafood Market Lynn's Quality Oysters Barber's Seafood Island View Seafood 13 Mile Seafood Market Doug’s Seafood Dail’s Seafood

607 SE Highway 98 402 Highway 98 510 Highway 98 326 Patton Drive 227 Water Street Chili Boulevard

Carrabelle Eastpoint Eastpoint Eastpoint Apalachicola SGI

E. Gulf Beach Drive SGI

Scan here to learn more about Franklin &RXQW\VHDIRRGRUYLVLW6DOW\ÁRULGDFRP

850-697-3301 850-670-8885 850-670-8830 850-670-8555 850-653-1399 850-899-6205

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History and Heritage

*XLGLQJ%HDFRQV The Cape St. George Lighthouse and the Crooked River Lighthouse reflect the area’s maritime history and commitment to preserving a unique coastal heritage.

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ranklin County lighthouses are beacons to mariners and history buffs. Franklin County boasts two restored lighthouses. The first is located on St. George Island. The second is located at Carrabelle Beach. Each tells a tale of coastal living in Franklin County more than 100 years ago and each is worth visiting.

Cape St. George Light The Cape St. George Light, which stands at the center of St. George Island, is the fourth reconstruction of the historic lighthouse that was originally built on what is now Little St. George Island. The first lighthouse was erected in 1833 near West Pass but was difficult for maritime traffic approaching from the east to see. After suffering storm damage it was ultimately dismantled and its bricks were used in the construction of a new tower, completed in 1848 at Cape St. George. The second lighthouse fell during a hurricane in 1851. The third lighthouse was completed in 1852, again using materials from its predecessor, but positioned further inland from the water’s edge. For 153 years the Cape St. George Light valiantly served mariners well, but beach erosion ultimately caused its collapse on October 21, 2005. In a dramatic


SaltyFlorida.com team effort involving private contractors, local volunteers, and government funding, the pieces of the Light were salvaged and moved to a storage site on the mainland. The St. George Lighthouse Association acquired the 1852 plans from the National Archives and led the effort to reconstruct the lighthouse on St. George Island. Volunteers cleaned old mortar off the salvaged bricks, and more than 22,000 original bricks were used in the rebuilding effort. OrigiFranklin County offers two nal lightgranite door jambs houses for your viewing pleasure, and window lintels were the Cape St. George Light on St. in the reconre-installed George Island and the Crooked structed lighthouse. The River Lighthouse in Carrabelle. iron lantern room, twisted fort involvBoth lighthouses boast rich histobeyond hope in the fall, ries of guiding mariners through was reforged using the Franklin County waters. original pieces as patterns. With extensive commuCape St. George nity support and public The Cape St. George Light andwhich private funding, the stands at the center of St.Cape George St. George Light was Island, is the fourth reconstrucsuccessfully rebuilt and tion of the historic lighthouse opened to the public on that was originally built on what 1, 2008. December is now Little St. George Island. A replica of the original Lighthouse In 1831 Congress appropriated Keeper’s House, built next to the lighthouse, $11,400 for the construction of a museum and gift shop. Museum exfeatures a lighthouse to guide ships into hibits include the lighthouse history and arthe thriving port of Apalachicola. tifacts. An audio-visual “interactive archive” The first lighthouse was erected provides visitors access to videos, photogaphs in 1833 near West Pass, but and was documents relating to the lighthouse. difficult to see for maritime traffi c at stgeorgelight.org Learn more approaching from the east. After suffering storm damage, it was ultimately dismantled and its bricks were used in the construction of Original granite door jambs and a new tower, completed in 1848 For nearly 100 years the Crooked River at Cape St. George. TheLighthouse second stood as a guiding light for ships, lighthouse fell during a hurricane and fishermen navigating the treacherous in 1851. pass between Dog and St. George Islands. The third lighthouse was comToday the lighthouse and keeper’s house pleted in 1852, again using matemuseum stand on the mainland where the rials from its predecessor,light but posiwas originally built in 1895, replacing tioned this time 500 yards inland the three short-lived beacons destroyed by from the water’s edge. For 153 hurricanes on Dog Island. The 103 foot iron years the Cape St. George Light Continued on page 24

Crooked River Lighthouse

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The Crooked River Lighthouse features a unique pirate ship playground and keeper’s house museum.


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History and Heritage

For 116 years the Crooked River Lighthouse has guided ships through the treacherous pass between Dog and St. George Island. Built in 1895, this iron and steel structure replaced the lighthouse on Dog Island which was destroyed by hurricane in 1873.

Lighthouses, from page 23

Lighthouses Offer Full Moon Climbs

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Both the St. George Lighthouse and Crooked River Lighthouse host special climbs each month on full moon evenings.Visitors are able to climb the 92 stairs of the Cape St. George Light to see breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, Apalachicola Bay, and St. George Sound. The Crooked River Lighthouse features a similar full moon climb and often features free movies at the lighthouse park.

and steel structure was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1995 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Carrabelle Lighthouse Association and the City of Carrabelle obtained ownership of the landmark just weeks before being auctioned and created a public park surrounding it. Public and private financial support enabled the restoration of the structure to be completed in 2007. Nestled in a north Florida forest habitat the lighthouse beams nightly, with its acrylic replica of its original 4th order Fresnel lens. The park picnic area features a 70 foot wooden pirate ship providing hours of fun and fantasy for children. Grant funding also helped the CLA to construct a replica of the Crooked River Lighthouse Keeper’s House which was patterned after the original

1895 plans. Completed in 2009, the Keeper’s House serves as a museum, gift shop and headquarters for the CLA. Exhibits include an historical setting of the early 1900s, examples of beacons and the methods of constructing a skeletal tower lighthouse. Everyday life objects in the Keeper’s Room include original clocks, a barometer, a glass fire grenade, pages from the keeper’s watch book, currency and much more. Visitors can look through replica Sears’ catalogues for a perspective on cost of living during the past century. Group educational tours are welcomed and new science-based programs are being developed. Learn more about the Crooked River Ligthouse Park and Keeper’s House Museum at crookedriverlighthouse.org.


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*ROŤQJ

St. James Bay Golf Resort is an 18 hole championship golf course designed in coordination with the Audobon Society. It blends nature and lifestyle into a unique coastal golf experience.

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he St. James Bay Golf Resort is located six miles east of Carrabelle and is Franklin County’s premier coastal golf experience. Designed by renowned course designer, Robert Walker, in coordination with the Audobon Society, this 18 hole, par 72 championship course is surrounded by 90 acres

of unspoiled beauty. Wetlands and water hazards are present at every hole, and the course winds through a pristine wetlands environment. The practice facility includes a full driving range and two putting greens. Amenities include a pro shop with snack bar, golf apparel and rental clubs, as well as the Crooked River Grill

restaurant. A PGA golf pro is there for professional instruction. Course-front Amenities St. James Bay Golf Resort offers two lodging options ranging from clubhouse villas to luxury condominiums. Both golf and non-golf accommodation packages are available.

Scan here to learn more about golf or visit SaltyFlorida.com


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Things To Do

%HDFKHV elcome to the beaches of Franklin County, Florida. Now that's a big welcome because we have over 250 miles of white-sand beaches here. Gulf beaches with miles of gently rolling surf, bay beaches with nature and privacy, beaches that are perfect for families, beaches that are great for fishing, beaches you can drive to and beaches you'll need a boat to enjoy. Every one of our beaches is beautiful but each one is different. Have a look and find your beach.

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Tahiti Beach Tahiti Beach got its name because its remarkable beauty is reminiscent of a South Seas paradise. Located on the easternmost end of St. Vincent Island, this lovely hide-a-way requires a boat for access. Due to sometimes strong currents in West Pass, this is not recommended for swim-

ming. But the beach is perfect for shelling, sun worshiping and, for the more adventurous, a good base from which to explore more of the island’s varied wildlife. Visit Tahiti Beach on St. Vincent Island for dazzling beauty and natural adventure.

St. George Island Public Beach The public beach on St. George Island is easy to find. From Island Drive, the only access to the island, go over the five-mile long BryantPatton Bridge with a gorgeous view of Apalachicola Bay. When you get to the island stop sign, turn right and then left into convenient island parking. The public beach is not only easy to find but there are bath house facilities, covered pavilions

for picnics, a playground and ball court for the younger generations. The Cape St. George Lighthouse and Lighthouse Keeper's House are also located in nearby Lighthouse Park. Like most beaches in Franklin County this beach gently slopes and, although there are no lifeguards on duty, the surf requires only normal caution to be fun for the whole family. Naturally you should use caution on any beach during rough weather, but difficult swimming conditions are a rarity here. And, if it's people watching you want with your salty sand and water, just pick any holiday and join the fun. The public beach on St. George Island is for people.

Unit Four Beach Unit Four Beach on St. George Island is on the bay side of the island at East 6th Street


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There are more than 250 miles of beaches stretching from Alligator Point to Apalachicola. This is our list of the ten best.

and an entertaining walk for nature lovers. The only facility is a picnic table and the parking is minimal, but that's how most folks like this hidden gem.

the shallows most times of the year with regular appearances by jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel and whiting. You'll want to wear foot coverings during your walk here, and insect repellant may be handy during the warm months. Bring your binoculars and enjoy the natural inhabitants of St. George Island.

St. George Island State Park This is an outstanding venue for birding that covers several types of habitat. The fresh-water pools may provide secretive rails and diving kingfishers. A stroll down the beaches lined with shallow oyster bars may yield willet, plovers, herons, diving osprey and marauding eagles. This is a great place to walk your dog but be sure to keep your pet on a leash and pick up after them. This beach connects to some of the most productive shallow-water oyster bars in a bay famous for them and that makes for great fishing in close. Redfish and trout prowl

St. George Island State Park beach, located at the far east end on St. George Island, was ranked in the Top 10 by Dr. Beach. At nine miles in length, this is the longest beach front state park in Florida. And you have a lot of choices how to enjoy it. There are two large beach use areas with ample parking, picnic pavilions, beach house facilities, grills and boardwalks. This beach is renowned for its soft, white sand, gentle surf and softly-sloping bottom that makes for easy beach enjoyment for the whole family. If you would like more privacy there's plenty of

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beach that is easy to get to. A number of small pull-off parking areas provide boardwalk access all along the length of the beach. Fishing is a common activity with spring bringing locally famous runs of pompano and Spanish mackerel, while the fall months bring redfish and speckled trout. Pets are allowed on leashes in parking lots but not on the beaches. Alcohol is not allowed in the park. There is an entrance fee and please observe the speed limit rules as they are enforced. When you bring the family to St. George Island State Park you'll find Florida beaches the way they used to be.

East End Fishing Beach St. George Island State Park, East End fishing beach. This special use area of the state park is located through a locked gate that requires a special permit (issued at the main gate) and an extra fee. There is a five mile drive to the east end of the island and a parking area. The East End beach is for fishing only. This is one of the most popular fishing areas on the Forgotten Coast and it is as beautiful as it is productive. The deep currents that run through East Pass, which separates St. George Island from Dog Island, bring bait and bait eaters in great schools. Continued on page 28

Scan here to learn more Franklin County’s beaches or visit SaltyFlorida.com


28

Things To Do Beaches, from page 27

Supplies Rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards, bicycles, scooters, golf carts, beach chairs and umbrellas Island Adventures 105 E. Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island 850-927-3655 Island Outfitters 235 E. Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island 850-927-2604 VJLRXW¿WWHUVFRP Island Emporium 160 E. Pine Street, St. George Island 850-927-2569 Jolly Roger Beach Shop 139-A W. Gorrie Drive, St. George Island 850-927-2999 Journey’s of St. George 240 E. Third Street, St. George Island 850-927-3259 VJLVODQGMRXUQH\VFRP St. George Island Trading Post 101 Franklin Boulevard, St. George Island 850-927-2252 Party Rental Company 35 Island Drive, Eastpoint 850-670-8686 SDUW\UHQWDOFRPSDQ\FRP Josh’s Rentals & Tours 235 W. Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island 850-728-4664 IDFHERRNFRPMRVKVUHQWDOVDQGWRXUV St. George Island Beach Service Call for delivery. 850-670-4536 VJLEHDFKFKDLUVFRP St. George Island State Park 1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive 850-927-2111

In spring and early summer this hot spot is the first and best place to catch pompano. Either fresh shrimp fished on the bottom or silver-headed jigs tipped with sand fleas are the preferred rigs. Early and late with moving water is a sure time for success. Fish your jig very slowly on the bottom

and watch your line as the fish will often pick up the lure heading toward you. Large redfish roam the passes and sand flats of the point during spring and fall months. Trout can be found in all but the coldest months. Jack crevalle, bluefish and ladyfish regularly patrol these waters in large schools. There are no facilities other than parking and pets are not allowed. The east end is just for fishing - and famous for it!

beach near the bath houses can get crowded on holidays, this is a long, curving beach with plenty of space to find your own sand and solitude. The beach borders on St. George Sound and the water is clear and inviting. This is a great beach for nature-watching, too. Dolphin hunt mullet up close in the surf in a sometimes spectacular display. Many shore birds can be sighted and it is a hot spot for birders during spring and fall migrations. Red knots, short-billed dowitchers and ruddy turnstones stop off to feed and rest on their yearly journeys of thousands of miles. Be sure to keep all pets on leashes and respect the birds' need to rest and not be disturbed. So bring your binoculars and your beach chair when you visit Carrabelle Beach and enjoy the best of sun, sea and nature.

Old Carrabelle Beach This magnificent stretch of soft sand is one of the best-kept secrets in Franklin County.

Carrabelle Beach This easily-accessed, curving, white-sand beach is located just west of the City of Carrabelle on U. S. Highway 98. There is plenty of convenient parking, outdoor showers, bathroom facilities and covered picnic tables. This is a very popular beach with a gently sloping bottom and calm surf. Since the beach is protected by Dog Island from heavy winds and seas, it is often the most suitable of all our major beaches for families with young children. While the center of the

Access is just west of the Carrabelle Bridge on Gulf Beach Road. There is no formal parking area and no facilities. Close to acres of grass beds, this beach offers superb fishing especially in the summer and fall months. But most folks like this lovely stretch of sand for its beauty and tranquility. This romantic beach is locally


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famous for its sunrises and sunsets. Visit Old Carrabelle Beach. And

29

Best Beach Locations

bring someone special.

Dog Island Beach This beach requires boat access and then a hike. Your efforts are rewarded with a unique beach that is high energy, low density and absolutely sparkling. There are no public facilities or stores on Dog Island. If you want it, bring it with you.

This beach is locally renowned for fishing with spring, summer and fall bringing trout, redfish, pompano and even runs of tarpon. There are no public facilities and public access is limited to a few areas with minimal parking. If you want a long beach with soft sand and nature to view, try discovering Alligator Point Beach.

Bald Point State Park This is a beach for the adventurous. It takes an effort but it is a very rewarding effort. Visit Dog Island for a timeless beach experience.

Alligator Point Beach This beach is on the far eastern end of Franklin County. Turn off U.S. Highway 98 onto Alligator Point Road and follow it, curving around to the right. This is a long white-sand beach that many locals would probably just as soon stay undiscovered. But it's too pretty to stay hidden.

Accessed off U.S. Highway 98 onto Alligator Point Road, you then follow the signage. This state park beach is perfect for nature lovers. There is an entrance fee and there are facilities and easy parking. Because of the flow of nutrientrich waters down the Ochlockonee River, this beach has an individual personality. Depending on flow and up-river rains, the water can look muddy but it supports a great deal of life. Shallow water oyster beds are

magnets for fish and birds. Birders in particular will enjoy the range of shore birds and wading birds. Herons, egrets, marbled godwit, American oystercatcher and sandpipers of all persuasions feed on the shore and exposed bars. Royal terns, Caspian terns, least terns and sandwich terns dive after forage fish in the rich waters. Osprey dive for larger fish and eagles patrol the exposed oyster bars. You’ll probably want to have some hard-soled footwear for walking off the sand beaches on sharp oyster shells. Bring your binoculars and feast on the view of nature at Bald Point beach.

A. Tahiti Beach B. St. George Island Public Beach C. Unit Four Beach D. St. George Island State Park E. East End Fishing Beach F. Carrabelle Beach G. Old Carrabelle Beach H. Dog Island Beach I. Alligator Point Beach J. Bald Point State Park


30

Things To Do

)LVKLQJ A year-long look at the ďŹ shing scene from Alligator Point to Apalachicola.


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Franklin County features some of the finest fishing in the country all year long. Here’s a month-by-month look at what’s biting. o matter when you visit Franklin County there's always something biting. The big question is: “Where?” Naturally the best way to have fishing success is to hire a local guide who will know not only "Where?" but also "When?" and "On What?" Plus they will know the local waters which can be tricky. If you go on your own be sure to use a good chart and GO SLOW. Oyster bars teach harsh lessons. But if you can find an oyster bar on purpose then you have found a fish magnet and a great ingredient for success when fishing shallow waters (that is, not offshore). Oyster bars are one of what we call the Five Fish Magnets: oyster bars, beaches, grass beds, deep water and rivers/ creeks. We'll highlight these potential hot spots as we move through the shallow-water fishing year here on the Forgotten Coast. (A note about offshore fishing: Franklin County features a superb offshore fishery. Hiring a guide is the best way to safely enjoy this high-energy fishing experience, and there are many good guides in Franklin County. Experienced deep-water anglers know that

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marinas are eager to share current information.)

January The cold start of the year finds resident fish in deep water such as Bob Sikes Cut at the far west end of St. George Island and the passes between islands.

Redfish will be the most common target - sometimes huge redfish. They are found on the bottom, most likely at a tide change or shortly thereafter. A large number of resident fish seek shelter in the rivers and creeks and, again, they are usually attracted to deeper spots like turns in the river bed and points where creeks/rivers meet. Redfish are likely to be in this number but also expect trout, whiting, and

flounder. The further up the rivers you go the more likely you are to find striped bass in the deeper holes (like around the railroad trestles up the Apalachicola River.)

February The colder this month is, the more like January it is. But things have been getting warmer earlier here lately and some time this month fish will start venturing out of rivers and creeks and the first place they will be found is around the closest shallow-water oyster bars. Shallow oyster bars and deep tidal currents make fishing on the east end of St. Vincent Island, called Dry Bar and St. Vincent Bar, a good bet that will only get better as the surface water continues to warm. This is the time of year to catch monster speckled trout on top of oyster bars very early in the Continued on page 32

Franklin County has a superb offshore fishery. Hiring a guide is the best way to safely enjoy this highenergy fishing experience.

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Things To Do Fishing, from page 31

Bait&

Tackle $SDODFK2XWÀWWHUV 29 Ave. E, Apalachicola 850-653-3474 DSDODFKRXW¿WWHUVFRP Red’s Family Store 243 Hwy 98, Apalachicola 850-653-1763 Bay City 1000 Bay City Rd, Apalachicola 850-653-9294 Ace Hardware 409 Hwy 98, Apalachicola 850- 653-1400 Fisherman’s Choice 330 Hwy 98, Eastpoint 850-670-8088 ¿VKHUPDQVFKRLFHQHW Island Adventures 105 E. Gulf Beach Dr. St. George Island 850-927-3655 ,VODQG2XWÀWWHUV 235 E Gulf Beach Dr. St. George Island 850-927-2604 VJLRXW¿WWHUVFRP Fisherman’s Headquarters 40 W. Bayshore Dr, St. George Island 850-927-9817 ¿VKKHDGVVJLFRP Survivor’s Island Bait & Tackle 28 W. Pine Ave, St. George Island 850-927-3113 VXUYLYRUVEDLWDQGWDFNOHFRP Jolly Roger Beach Shop 139A W. Gorrie Dr. St. George Island 850-927-2999 Journey’s of St. George 240 E. Third St. St. George Island 850-927-3259 VJLVODQGMRXUQH\VFRP Hometown BP 6W-DPHV$YH Carrabelle 850- 697-5111 KRPHWRZQESFRP Frank’s Bait & Tackle 6W-DPHV$YH Carrabelle 850-697-9232 Lanark Market 2340 Hwy 98 Carrabelle 850-697-2211

Kayak &Boat

Rentals

Apalachicola Boat Rentals by Wefing’s Marine 131 Hwy 98, Eastpoint 850-670-8100 DSDODFKLFRODERDWUHQWDOVFRP Apalachicola Maritime Museum 103 Water St. Apalachicola 850-653-2500 DPPÀRUJ Island Outfitters 235 E Gulf Beach Dr. St. George Island 850-927-2604 VJLRXW¿WWHUVFRP Journey’s of St. George Island 240 E Third St. St. George Island 850-927-3259 VJLVODQGMRXUQH\VFRP Jolly Roger Beach Shop 139A W. Gorrie Dr. St. George Island 850-927-2999 MROO\URJHUEHDFKVKRS#JPDLOFRP St. George Island Beach Service 850-670-4536 Call for delivery VJLEHDFKFKDLUVFRP

morning using top-water plugs. In fact, the big ďŹ sh get so shallow that many seasoned anglers get out of their beloved boats and wade the shallow bars at ďŹ rst light. Catch and (careful) release is important when you do hook up with one of these big girls because she's carrying the future of our ďŹ shing. Traditionally this is not a good month for beach ďŹ shing and the ďŹ sh have spread out somewhat from deep holes and the grass ats haven't started growing. However, if the surf temperature gets over 65 degrees there can be whiting caught from the gulf beaches and possible early scouts of Spanish mackerel and the prized pompano.

March It has always been thought that March was one of the most difďŹ cult months to ďŹ sh. First and foremost there is going to be wind, lots of wind most of the time. In addition there is the great anticipation that ďŹ shing will "break loose" after the winter. But generally this is a month of steady warming and improving action

along the beaches, especially St. George Island and the east end of St. George Island State Park. As is the case for most of the ďŹ shing year the best action will always be in the ďŹ rst third of a tide change and, generally, when the tidal current is fastest. Most of the beach action will be Spanish mackerel and ladyďŹ sh on top-water plugs and spoons; pompano, mackerel and ounder on silver-headed jigs and trout and mackerel on slow-sinking twitch baits like the MirrOlure ™. Whiting and ounder will be caught up very close on the beaches just behind breaking waves; sliverheaded jigs work well here, too.

April While the winds will still be annoying, this is a month that ďŹ shing does indeed cut loose as the surf temperatures get into the 70's. This will possibly be the peak month of the pompano run with the large schools cruising down the beaches looking for mole crabs (sand eas) that are populating the shallow surf in growing numbers. Continued on page 34


Fishing Charters & Tour Guides SaltyFlorida.com

33

Here is a list of fishing charter boat guides in Franklin County that provide tours of our river, bay and gulf as well as fishing charters, oyster harvesting demonstrations and shelling excursions. Green highlighting indicates Captain also offers eco-tour adventures. The publishing of this list does not imply endorsement by the FCTDC.

FISHING GUIDES

Affordable Fishing & Oystering 850-524-5985 GRXJMR\QHU#\DKRRFRP Apalachicola Bay Serenity Charters 850-323-0091 VJ,VODQG$YHQWXUHVFRP Aquadog Charters 850-653-7967 DTXDGRJFKDUWHUVFRP Backwater Guide Service 850-899-0063 EDFNZDWHUJXLGHVHUYLFHFRP Bay City Guides 850-653-9294 Big Fish SGI 850-370-6631 WHDPELJ¿VKVJLFRP Big ‘Un Charters 850-653-7704 ELJXQFKDUWHUVFRP Bone Head Charters 850-508-2179 ERQHKHDGFKDUWHUVFRP Book Me A Charter 850-653-2622 ERRNPHDFKDUWHUFRP Boss Charters 850-653-5537 ERVVFKDUWHUVFRP Bout Time Charters 850-370-0403 Captain Adam Hudson 850-566-5599 ¿VKLQJEXP#PDFFRP Captain Anthony Stone 850-528-8868 FDSWDQWKRQ\VWRQH#\DKRRFRP Captain Brownie's Guide Service 850-653-5529 DSDODFKLFRODJXLGHFRP Captain Charles Charters 850-653-6482 FDSWFKDUOHVFKDUWHUVFRP Captain Coy Shiver 850-670-8497

Captain Darrell Ward 850-653-8159 Captain Dave Lear Charters 850-320-2001 FDSWDLQGDYHOHDUFRP Captain Grayson Shepard 850-653-6718 JUD\VKHS#\DKRRFRP Captain Jason Rucker 850-370-6863 UXFNHUMDVRQ#JPDLOFRP Captain Jack’s Guide Service 850-247-8134 &DSWDLQMDFN#KRWPDLOFRP Captain John Sapp 850-323-0947 Captain Ken Finch 850-323-0301 Captain Nathan Donahoe 850-323-0659 WDUSRQ#KRWPDLOFRP Captain Rex Phipps Fishing Guide Service 850-653-5825 FDSWUH[SKLSSVFRP Captain Ron Harper 850-899-5464 FDSWURQ#JPDLOFRP Captain Tony Phillips 850-653-6900 SOD\QKRRN\FRP Caught Up Charters 850-653-5208 FDXJKWXSFKDUWHUVFRP Charlie’s Charter 850-899-3651 &KDUOHV/RJXH#KRWPDLOFRP Eagle Ray Charters 850-499-8650 HDJOHUD\FKDUWHUVFRP Forgotten Coast Charters 850-528-1701 IRUJRWWHQFRDVWFKDUWHUVFRP Fred’s Apalachicola Fishing Experience 850-653-5057 ,VODQG2XWÀWWHUV 850-927-2604 VJLRXW¿WWHUVFRP

Island View Adventures Guide Service 850-323-0528 Jolly Roger Beach Shop 850-927-2999 Josh’s Rentals & Tours 850-728-4664 Journeys of SGI, Inc. 850-927-3259 VJLVODQGMRXUQH\VFRP My Fishing Adventure 850-509-1376 P\¿VKLQJDGYHQWXUHFRP Natural World Charters 850-228-9060 QDWXUDOZRUOGFKDUWHUVFRP Peregrine Charters 850-653-2204 DSDODFKLFRODFKLS#JPDLOFRP Pirate Tours 850-228-6234 GDYLGDYDQWFRP Reel Memories 850-899-1281 UHHOPHPRULHV¿VKLQJ#\DKRRFRP Reel Time Charters 850-899-3020 UHHOWLPHFKDUWHUVÀFRP Renegade Fishing Charters 850-251-0784 UHQHJDGH¿VKLQJFKDUWHUVFRP River to Gulf Adventures 850-323-0222 ¿VKULYHUWRJXOIFRP Robinson Brothers Guide Service 850-653-8896 ÀRULGDUHG¿VKFRP Scarabin Guide Service 850-653-6634 SGI Charters 850-370-6400 VJLFKDUWHUVFRP Salt Line Tours 850-323-1162 Salty Native 850-570-6424 VDOW\QDWLYHFKDUWHUVFRP

Sea Breeze Fishing 305-731-4987 VHDEUHH]H¿VKLQJFRP Tideline Charters 850-653-5735 WLGHOLQHFKDUWHUVFRP Woodduck's Guide Service 850-653-5755 apalachicolaguideservice. FRP Z-Horse Charters 850-228-6091 ]KRUVHFRP

Carrabelle

St. George Island

ECO TOURS

Apalachicola Historic Tours 329 Water Street 850-653-8801 Apalachicola Maritime Museum 103 Water Street, Apalachicola 850-653-2500 DPPÀRUJ Apalachicola Airboat Adventures 850-653-5746 ZKHHOKRXVHWRXUVFRP Captain Don Davis, Oyster Chrtr 850-566-4177 WUDSSHUGRQGDYLV#JPDLOFRP Captain Gill’s River Cruises 850-370-0075 FDSJLOOFRP Captain Jessica Avant 850-228-6234 GDYLGDYDQWFRP Eco Explorer Cruises 850-653-1666 (FR([SORUHU&UXLVHVFRP Island Ease Charters 850-570-5184 LVODQGHDVHFKDUWHUVFRP St. James Bay Golf Resort Adventures 850-697-9507 VWMDPHVED\FRP Wind Catcher Sailing Charters 850-653-8881

Boat Ramps Alligator Point Leonard’s Landing East Highway 98, St. Teresa Ochlockonee Boat Ramp Southwest end of the Ochlockonee Bay Bridge Alligator Drive Beach Boat Ramp Alligator Drive, Alligator Point Sun N Sand Boat Ramp Sun N Sand Boulevard

Rio Vista Boat Ramp Rio Vista Drive, St. Teresa

Apalachicola Abercrombie Boat Ramp Pine Log Road Seafood Landing Park 628 West Highway 98 Mill Pond on Scipio Creek Market Street Battery Park Marina Bay Avenue

Hwy 98 Boat Ramp Highway 98 Carrabelle Riverwalk & Wharf Marine Street Timber Island 7LPEHU,VODQG5G

Eastpoint Indian Creek 93 North Bayshore Drive Patton Drive 340 Patton Dr.

St. George Island Boat Ramp 1000 Franklin Blvd. St. George Island State Park

Sightseeing charters are a great way to see Apalachicola Bay.

Scan here to learn more about Franklin County ERDWLQJDQGÀVK ing or visit SaltyFlorida.com


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Things To Do Fishing, from page 32 Oyster bars, both shallow and deep, especially the Dry Bar area, are attracting redfish, trout, large sail catfish, ladyfish, bluefish and, around the sandy edges of the bars, flounder.

May If it can be caught here, it's biting in May. The sandy beaches of the barrier islands and Carrabelle become hot spots for very close-in Spanish mackerel, trout, redfish, pompano, flounder and large, sometimes VERY large, jack crevalle, bluefish and big ladyfish. The deep-water bars start showing regular patterns of early activity and fast-moving currents for meandering schools of redfish and trout and fast-moving schools of the other predators. Silver or gold spoons, retrieved slowly, bounced off the bottom if possible, are deadly. Now the grass beds come into play with the deeper beds producing better this month. Find the deeper beds with a good chart behind the barrier islands, especially the east end of Dog Island, behind the Lanark Reef, and from the bridge east behind St. George Island. All the beaches should be hopping with activity especially on fast-moving tides, especially early and late. The East End of St. George Island State Park will be a hot ticket as only twenty vehicles at a time are allowed down to this revered hot spot. The prize is always pompano but there's no lacking of hungry predators ready to pounce on a helpless bottomcrawling jig or a glittering spoon gracefully falling to the sand bottom.

June, July, August These months are pretty much sardines in a can fishingwise. And that's a good thing. By now the grass beds are high and ready to provide the best top-water action of the year. Especially famous are the grass flats around Marsh Island at the eastern end on St. George Island on the bay side. Start early and use slowly retrieved top-water plugs for trout and a faster retrieve for redfish, mackerel, bluefish and other

toothy visitors. Now is the time for tarpon. Tarpon are fished in any number of ways but by far the most relished is casting large topwater lures or fly fishing. Most action will be found outside river mouths, especially in East Bay, during outgoing tides. The clear water, grass beds and predictable paths following the length of the reef makes Lanark Reef, offshore of Lanark Village on Highway 98, the premier location for fly fishing for tarpon. The beaches have probably developed their summer pattern of producing edible fish like redfish, trout, mackerel and flounder either very early or very

late. During the bright hours of the day most of the catch will be hardhead catfish, stingrays and ladyfish.

September By now an important event has begun to take place, the shrimp migration. Uncounted numbers of young shrimp begin moving out from the estuary waters to the deeper bay, while large, mature shrimp are migrating out the passes to the open gulf where they will spawn. The shrimp move on an outgoing tide and the darker the better for the shrimp. From September through November these shoals of delicious prey will attract vast numbers of redfish, trout and other predators. There are many opportunities, especially at the mouths of rivers and creeks, to find redfish and trout chasing schools of shrimp into very shallow water in a feeding frenzy. As usual, follow the birds. Grass flats are still producing well this month with early and late still the ticket for best action, especially top-water. Big trout, ladyfish and jack crevalle are the usual bandits but don't be too surprised to hook into a tarpon. All oyster bars are doing their jobs of attracting fish by being outstanding habitat for crabs, shrimp, small fish and other hearty foods.

October-November This is traditionally considered to be the best season for speckled trout. Dry Bar and all the maze of bars behind St. Vincent Island are bustling with trout looking for MirrOlures ™ or a


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live shrimp fished two feet under a popping cork. Fish the same MirrOlures ™ off the barrier island beaches very early during slack tide, especially slack high tide, for excellent trout action. A good choice would be the red and white one; clip off the middle treble hooks and bend the barbs down. Don't jerk to set the hook when the trout takes the lure (which may be very softly) but raise your rod tip and keep a tight line. Redfish can also be found on the beach now and often very close feeding just behind breaking waves and in the first wave trough. They will be attracted to any deeper areas or holes in the surf. But mainly they can be found at Bob Sikes Cut and other passes; tide changes are the most productive times. The grass flats are beginning to die off but there is plenty of action as schools of menhaden and other white bait are at their largest concentrations of the year.

December Water temperatures will be the main determinant this month. If the surf temperature stays over 65 degrees then the beaches and shallow-water oyster bars will remain hot spots. But, as the water temperature drops more and more, fish will either leave to go south or will go up into the rivers and creeks where the January pattern prevails.

Marinas Apalachicola

Scipio Creek Marina 301 Market Street 850-653-8030 scipiocreekmarina.com Dry boat storage, pump-out station, ship store, lighted wet slips, shower facilities. Water Street Hotel & Marina 329 Water Street 850-653-3700 waterstreethotel.com Marine supplies & ice, boat cleaning, dedicated showers & bathrooms, pool access, on-site parking. Apalachicola Marina, Inc. 119 Water Street 850-653-9521 The docks at Apalachicola Marina can accommodate large vessels and features a ship store, ice, non-ethanol fuel and diesel. Apalachicola Boat Slips and Ramp 317 Water Street 850-653-6279 apalachicolaboatslips.com Accommodates vessels up to 45 feet, pump-out station, boat launch ramp, showers, laundry facility. Battery Park Marina 1 Bay Avenue 850-653-9319 cityofapalachicola.com Features multiple concrete launch ramps with wooden docks, wet slips, fishing pier.

Carrabelle

Dockside Marina 292 Graham Drive 850-697-3337 Features full service marina with 60 ton travel lift, wet slips, dry storage, ship store, working yard, and mechanic on duty. The Moorings Marina 1000 Highway 98 850-697-2800 mooringsatcarrabelle.com Hotel, condo and marina resort. Features boat trailer storage and wet slips.

C-Quarters Marina 501 Highway 98 850-697-8400 c-quartersmarina.com Features 67 boat slips, fuel, free WiFi, pump-out facilities, laundromat, showers, ship store, bait, tackle, ice, hunting supplies. Carrabelle River Marina 275 Timber Island Road 850-720-1029 carrabellerivermarina.com Features non-ethanol fuel, bait and ice. Waterfront Restaurant-Lounge-Oyster Bar Carrabelle Boat Club 1570 West Highway 98 850-697-5500 carrabelleboatclub.com Features fuel, boat rinse and engine flush services, ample wet and dry staging, repair services, clubhouse. Carrabelle Marina 803 NW Avenue A, Highway 98 850-697-3351 carrabellemarina.com Features deep water access, dry boat storage, wet slips, transient dockage. Lanark by the Sea Boat Club 2364 East Highway 98 850-510-4671 lanarkboatclub.com Features wet slips, a floating dock, concrete boat launch ramp, covered picnic tables and fishing pier.

Alligator Point

Alligator Point Yacht Basin 1648 Alligator Drive 850-349-2511 alligatorptyacht.com Full service marina features wet slips, dry storage, ships’ store, tiki bar.

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Things To Do

$GYHQWXUH Hiking, Paddling and Camping opportunities are everywhere!

elcome to an ecoadventure in Franklin County. Eighty-one percent of Franklin County is publically owned, giving us a huge back yard to share with you. And that’s not even counting our front yard, St. George Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. If your adventure involves camping, hiking and paddling, you have come to the right place. Don’t forget your camera and if you adventure in the summer you’ll need bug spray.

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Paddling

Tate’s Hell State Forest provides many hiking, camping and paddling opportunities.

The Apalachicola River Paddling Trail System was designated as a national paddle trail in 2008. Paddlers at all levels of ability enjoy scenic waterways on 11 canoeing and kayaking trails - nearly 100 miles through the swamps of the Apalachicola River. Distances range from short, easy trips to multi-day river trips flowing into open bays of the Gulf of Mexico. For maps and information, visit myfwc.com. Tate’s Hell State Forest, covering over 200,000 acres of public land, is bordered on the west by the Apalachicola River and on the east by the Ochlockonee River. The forest offers numerous creeks and rivers for paddling opportunities. Beginning in the Mud Swamp Wilderness Area of the Apalachicola National Forest, the New River runs through the middle of Franklin County. It then merges with the


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Camping Carrabelle

Crooked River to form the Carrabelle River, which flows into St. George Sound.

Camping More than a dozen primitive campsites, several with soft launches, offer a wilderness experience paddle on the New River. The Crooked River, a much larger river with more dependable flow, has four campsites with launches. Like the Apalachicola River, the headwaters of the Ochlockonee River begin in Georgia, and many miles later empty into the Gulf of Mexico. There are two campsites with launches in Tate’s Hell State Forest on the Ochlockonee River. Be prepared to see alligators and lots of birds, maybe even a Florida black bear on any of these rivers. For more information, you may visit floridaforestservice.com

RV Camping Franklin County features several campgrounds that accommodate large RV campers. The facilities in Carrabelle (see list at right) handle RVs and feature full amenities. Utility hookups are available

at the Eastpoint campground. Florida State park campgrounds generally make room for both traditional tent camping and RVs.

Hiking If you prefer to enjoy your adventure on land, you may want to consider a hike on the Coastal High Bluff Trail on Highway 98, west of Carrabelle, in Tate’s Hell State Forest. There is an East Trailhead and a West Trailhead so you can leave a vehicle at one end if you want to hike all six miles. It is an easy hike through coastal scrub habitat along an ancient dune system that climbs to an elevation offering views of St. George Sound. In April there are masses of Lady Lupine less than one mile in from the West Trailhead. Another colorful flower is the bright orange/ yellow of the Bog Bachelor Buttons. After rains you can find Sundew, tiny carnivorous plants in the wet areas of the trail. In October, the Large Leaf Jointweed is flowering along the trial in the white coastal sands. Tall terrestrial Plume Orchids can be found

along the dirt roads of Tate’s Hell during the summer. The hydrology of Tate’s Hell State Forest is being restored by constructing water crossings in some of the roads that allow surface water to flow toward Apalachicola Bay. The resulting wet areas, called savannas, are where you will find the carnivorous Pitcher Plants. As for birding, Wild Turkeys, Red Shouldered Hawks, American Bald Eagles, Swallow-tailed and Mississippi Kites are a few of the birds you might see. Raccoons are often seen during the day and white-tailed deer are abundant. You may even glimpse a bobcat or a black bear. The trails and natural areas are rough and uneven. Insects, irritating plants and other hazards may be present. Wear boots and use caution. Take water, sunscreen, and bug spray and don’t hike alone. Franklin County is happy to share our bountiful natural resources. These public areas have been set aside for your use and enjoyment. We ask that you “take only pictures and leave only footprints.”

Carrabelle Beach RV Resort 1843 W Hwy 98 850-697-2638 carrabellebeach.rvcoutdoors. com Sunset Isle RV & Yacht Club Resort 260 Timber Island Rd. 850-370-6223 sunsetislervandyachtclubresort.com Ho-Hum RV Park 2132 E. Hwy 98 850-697-3926 hohumrvpark.com

Eastpoint Gulfview Campground 897 Hwy 98 850-670-8970

St. George Island St. George Island State Park 1900 E. Gulf Beach Dr. 850-927-2111 floridastateparks.org

Forest Camp Sites Tate's Hell State Forest 850-697-3734 850-643-2282 floridaforestservice.com Apalachicola National Forest 850-643-2282 fs.usda.gov/apalachicola


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Things To Do

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Above: Forster’s tern with menhaden In order from left: Black-crowned Night Heron, Osprey, Scarlet Tanager, Bald Eagle


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Break out your binoculars and enjoy Franklin County’s wonderful outdoor world of birds. Here are some tips and locations to make the best of your birding experience. ranklin County offers outstanding birding opportunities year round. In the spring this is first land for the trans-gulf migrants and the different species of shore birds. Warblers and song birds are found in a dizzying array on our beaches and barrier islands. During the summer Franklin County is home to many nesting species as our diversity of habitat provides for species ranging from rails in the salt marsh to osprey and eagles in the highest trees. The fall brings the migration from the north as the cool weather pushes masses of birds to the south followed by a worldrenowned gathering of raptors preying on them. Franklin County is the winter home of many species including ducks, loons and other water birds that find our relatively warm waters to their liking. Plus the cooler weather has brought such exotic guests as the Buff-bellied Hummingbird and Tropical Kingbird.

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Whenever you're in Franklin County it's a good time to break out your binoculars and enjoy the wonderful outdoor world of birds. Here are the top ten spots to enjoy. 1. St. George Island State Park. Located on the east end of St. George Island. There are over 300 species listed on the St. George Island State Park birding list and there are interesting birds there at all times of the year. During the spring nesting shore birds include the American Oystercatcher and the endangered Snowy Plover. During spring, summer and fall Royal Terns, Caspian Terns, Least Terns and Forster's Terns can be observed diving in the surf. The hot times of September 1 - October 15, and April 1- May 10, are famous in birding communities for the neotropical migrants found especially in the migrant trap at the Youth Camp area of the park. Ornithologists from sevContinued on page 40

Scan your smartphone here or visit online at SaltyFlorida.com to watch birding videos and enjoy a slideshow of award-winning bird photography.


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Things To Do Birding, from page 39 eral universities make the yearly trek to view Indigo Buntings, Orchard Orioles, Painted Buntings, Scarlet Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Prairie Warblers and Summer Tanagers to name a few. 2. Wright's Lake Recreational Area, Apalachicola National Forest. Located on Highway 65 twenty miles north of Highway 98. This vast national forest is home to countless birds and is one of the crown jewels of Franklin County. One of the best places in this forest to add some uncommon species to your list is the area around Brickyard Road and Wright's Lake. Signage on Highway 65 directs you to the Wright's Lake Recreational area. Here the hot time of May 1 - July 15 is peak for the longleaf pine specialists like Bachman's Sparrow and the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Throughout the year you may also spot the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, PileFrom left: ated Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Great crested Sapsucker, Red-tailed Hawk and Flycatcher, Red-shouldered Hawk. American Oystercatcher

3. Bald Point State Park. Located on the far eastern side of Franklin County at 146 Box Cut Road, Alligator Point. Bordering on the Ochlockonee River to the north and the Gulf of Mexico on the east this park offers a large array of habitats: Freshwater Swamp, Freshwater Marsh/ Wetlands, Pines, Lake/Pond/Impoundment, Scrub, Hardwoods/ Mixed Forest, Marine/Bay, Salt Marsh, Beach/Dune. Some of the best times are September 1 October 15 and April1 - May 10. Spot neotropical migrants like the American Redstart, Bobolink, Black-and-white Warbler and Yellow-throated Vireo. Wintering species may include the Hooded Merganser, Bonaparte's Gull and Common Loon. 4. Millender Site, Eastpoint. Located on St. George Sound at Patton Drive and Millender Street adjacent to the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. This compact site offers bay, salt marsh and oak canopy habitats. Spring and fall migrants include the neotropical migrants. This spot is dependable for Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Greatcrested Flycatcher, Least Fly-

catcher, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Rose-breasted Grosbeak especially in the spring when the oaks are in bloom. The shoreline and ats feature Solitary Sandpipers (during fall/spring migration), Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons most times of the year. Water birds, like the Red-breasted Merganser and Bufehead, are common in the winter months. 5. City of Apalachicola. Almost the entire City of Apalachicola is a birder's paradise. Here the old-growth pines and oaks have been preserved and it is an oasis for birds in the desert of slash pine monoculture. In addition many residents maintain feeders and watering stations and plant native vegetation that nourish the birds. A walk under the majestic oaks in the historic district during April 1 - May 30 may reward you with a Yellow-throated Warbler, a Tufted Titmouse, Red-eyed Vireo and Baltimore Oriole. Walk the same scenic streets in the fall for nesting Bald Eagles, Red-shouldered Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks and Barred Owls. The waterfront, especially Scipio Creek City Marina at the


SaltyFlorida.com north end of town, is home to a wide variety of species including the Swamp Sparrow, Fish Crow, Spotted Sandpiper, Blackcrowned Night Heron, YellowCrowned Night Heron, Virginia Rail and Gray Kingbird. Apalachicola also attracts more than its share of rare visitors. Here, during winter, I've photographed Buff-bellied Hummingbirds, Western Kingbirds and Tropical Kingbirds. 6. Sand Beach Road Observation Tower. Located in the Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area, at the end of Sand Beach Road, at Highway 65, about five miles north of Highway 98. Signage on Highway 65 directs you to the tower and boardwalk. Habitats include freshwater swamp, pines, hardwoods/mixed forest, marine/bay, salt marsh and mudflats. This site will offer you beautiful views as well as good birding. The tower and boardwalk are at the junction of East Bay and Blount's Bay in the heart of the estuary environment. Along the shore line you may spot Clapper Rails, although you will probably hear them more easily. Spotted

Sandpiper and Willet feed in the shallows. Bald Eagles nest here and Osprey can be seen diving for fish from March through November. Migrating waterfowl

including the Blue-winged Teal and Lesser Scaup, pass through Blount’s Bay. A common treat here in spring and summer is the majestic Swallow-tailed Kite. In late fall great numbers of Tree Swallows can be seen feeding over the rich bay as they gather strength for their migration.

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7. Old Carrabelle Beach. Gulf Beach Road, just west of the City of Carrabelle. This is a large, beautiful birding site favored among local birders and beach walkers. A stroll down the beach to the east leads you to an area of shallow oyster beds and fertile birding. Spring through fall is good for Black Skimmers, Ruddy Turnstones, Sanderlings, Shortbilled Dowitchers and Marbled Godwits.

8. Dwarf Cypress Boardwalk, Tate's Hell State Forest. Located about five miles north of Highway 98 on State Highway 65. Signage will direct you to the boardwalk. This is another birding site that offers a great view. Cooper's Hawks, Broad-wing Hawks and Merlin soar over the dwarf cypress forest. Spring and fall species may include Redbellied Woodpeckers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Pine Warblers, Blackpoll Warblers, Hooded Warblers and Little Blue Herons. 9. St. George Island & Eastpoint Fishing Piers. Located parallel to the St. George Island Continued on page 42

From left: Least Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting, Great Egret


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Things To Do Birding, from page 41 Bridge these old bridge terminals jut sixtenths of a mile into the Apalachicola Bay. A walk down either of these structures will put you square in the middle of the bay habitat of an extraordinary number of species. Caspian Terns, Sandwich Terns, Forster's Terns, Royal Terns, Least Terns and Gull-billed Terns nest on the old causeway between the two piers. Late spring and early summer they can be seen diving and bringing food to their growing offspring. This is one of the most important nesting areas on the Forgotten Coast. In the waters around the piers you may spot over-wintering waterfowl including Common Loons, Red-breasted Mergansers, Buffleheads and Canvasbacks. 10. St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge. Located off the western-most shore of Franklin County, this large barrier island is a wonderful birder's adventure, but probably best explored with a guide. There are five fresh-water lakes, managed for waterfowl, in the interior of the island which are best explored by kayak. A tremendous number of species can be found there including the Wood Duck, American Wigeon, Pidebilled Grebes, Northern Shoveler, Hooded Merganser, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Green Heron, White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Sora and Wood Stork. Shore birds include the Black-bellied Plover, Snowy Plover, (which also nest on the west end of the island), Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Black-necked Stilt, Lesser Yellowleg, Spotted Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, Least Sandpiper, Short-billed Dowitcher and American Woodcock. The interior mixed forest may shelter Yellow Warblers, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Northern Flickers, Eastern Phoebes, White-eyed Vireos, Blue-headed Vireos, Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Summer and Scarlet Tanagers and American Goldfinch. Wading birds including the Tricolored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, occasionally the related Great White Heron and Reddish Egret can be observed. There are many active Bald Eagle and Osprey nests.

1DWXUHŐV&ODVVURRP

The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve features a world-class nature center.

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ucked along the shores of St. George Sound in Eastpoint, you’ll find one of the country’s most prestigious research labs, complete with a world-class visitor center. If you’ve ever wondered how nature works, this place is for you! The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature Center features group programs, state-ofthe-art exhibits and a great collection of local cultural artifacts. The nature center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. eastern time. Here, you can tour exhibits that take you on a journey from deep in the river swamps along the Apalachicola River, across Apalachicola Bay, over one of the local barrier islands and out to the Gulf of Mexico. The center also contains several large aquaria that feature local fish and turtles from the fresh, brackish and salt water habitats. Be sure to spend extra time in the Bay Discovery Room where you can actually touch the bones, shells, microscopes and a vast collection of interesting items.

About the Reserve At the heart of the nature center, it’s all about the science. Core programs at the Reserve

focus on research, resource management, education and training. The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve was established in 1979 as part of a system of reserves around America to protect estuaries. The Reserve encompasses nearly 247,000 acres of public lands and waters in the Florida Panhandle. The Reserve is part of a watershed that is nearly 20,000 square miles in size, that stretches from the Gulf Coast of Florida to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in North Georgia. Watery habitats within the Reserve include the lower 52 miles of the Apalachicola River and the portion of Apalachicola Bay from Indian Pass eastward through St. George Sound. Extensive bottomland hardwoods, pine flatwoods and coastal barrier islands are just a few of the natural communities that make the Reserve a true gem of natural diversity. This one estuary provides people with shrimp, crabs, fish and approximately 90% of Florida’s oyster harvest. Learn more by visiting dep.state.fl.us/ coastal/sites/Apalachicola. Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve 108 Island Dr, Eastpoint 850-670-7700


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where lumber was floated from up river and milled. It is currently a commercial fishing marina and park.

3DUNV  6FHQLF$UHDV Alligator Point Bald Point State Park 146 Box Cut Road 850-349-9146 ÁRULGDVWDWHSDUNVRUJ Some of the most picturesque areas along north Florida’s Gulf Coast are found within the park which supports 4,065 upland acres. Located on Alligator Point, where Ochlockonee Bay meets Apalachee Bay, Bald Point offers a multitude of land and water activities. Coastal marshes, pine flatwoods, and oak thickets foster a diversity of biological communities that make the park a popular destination for birding and wildlife viewing. Each fall bald eagles and other migrating raptors, along with monarch butterflies, are commonly seen heading south for the winter. Bald Point offers access to two Apalachee Bay beaches for swimming, sunbathing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing. Facilities include a fishing dock and picnic pavilions. Hours: Daily,

8 AM until sundown. Admission: $4.00 per vehicle

Apalachicola Chapman Botanical Gardens 177 Fifth Street 850-653-1209 ÁRULGDVWDWHSDUNVRUJ The Botanical Gardens honor Dr. Alvin Chapman. Enjoy the butterfly garden, other botanical features, walkways and open spaces. Riverfront Park Water Street Set on the Apalachicola River where fishing boats dock, this park provides the setting for many community events including the annual arrival of Santa Claus on a shrimp boat, summer concerts and benefits. Scipio Creek Boat Basin 479 Market Street Locally known as the Mill Pond, it is the site of a former saw mill

St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center 479 Market Street 850-653-8808 fws.gov/saintvincent.org The St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center features interpretive displays and information about St. Vincent Island. Lafayette Park Avenue B Established in 1832, the park was named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette. Renovated in 1992, it is now the site of open-air concerts and weddings and has interpretive signage, picnic tables, children’s playground and fishing pier. Battery Park Marina Bay Avenue Battery Park is located at the foot of the John Gorrie Memorial Bridge on Bay Avenue, between 4th and 6th Streets, in downtown Apalachicola. The public park offers boat launch ramps, fishing piers and children’s playground. Seafood Landing Park 628 West Highway 98, The Franklin County Seafood Landing is located near the westerly entrance into Apalachicola on US Highway 98. This park features a concrete boat launch ramp, covered picnic tables, grills and a nature observation dock. Continued on page 44

Lafayette Park features a gazebo and waterfront setting perfect for picnics and weddings.

See history museums and sites on page 19 and art museums on page 46


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Things To Do

Parks, from page 43

Carrabelle

Carrabelle’s Riverwalk is a scenic coastal area.

World’s Smallest Police Station 105 St. James Avenue carrabelle.org In the early 1960’s, Carrabelle’s police phone was located in a call box that was bolted to a building at the corner of Hwy. 98 and Tallahassee Street. It has been featured on the television shows “Real People,” “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” and the “Today Show.” We invite you to stop by and take your picture in front of the original World’s Smallest Police Station! Carrabelle Riverwalk & Wharf Marine Street The Carrabelle Riverwalk & Wharf features informational kiosks outlining Carrabelle’s waterfront history, a cement boat launch ramp, handicap accessible fishing piers, fish cleaning stations and pavilion with picnic tables.

Carrabelle Veteran’s Park St. James Avenue Located on Highway 98 in the center of Carrabelle. Come and pay your respects to the veterans of Carrabelle. John David Patton Wildlife Park Highway 67 Amenities include nature trails, educational signage, picnic facilities and restrooms. This park offers birders and nature enthusiasts a perfect place to relax. Sands Memorial Park St. James Avenue Located on the east side of Carrabelle on Highway 98. Amenities include children’s play area, pavilion and restrooms. Tillie Miller Park 102 Northwest Avenue F Amenities include children’s play area, tennis courts, basketball courts, picnic pavilion and restrooms.

Will Kendrick Sports Complex 1601 Ken Cope Avenue State-of-the-art sports facility located east of Carrabelle off Highway 98. Includes ball fields, walking trail, playground and basketball court.

Eastpoint Fort Gadsden Apalachicola National Forest 850-643-2282 fs.usda.gov/attmain/apalachicola/specialplaces Located on the east bank of the Apalachicola River, approximately 45 minutes north of Eastpoint, accessed by State Highway 65. This site played an important role in early US history. Earthen embankments and detailed interpretive kiosks remain today. The site interprets the role of Native and African Americans during the early 1800s. The area also features detailed information about the site and its history, along with trails, river access, and a picnic area.


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Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) 108 Island Drive 850-670-7700 The ANERR Visitor Center is located off Island Drive in Eastpoint, near the bridge to St. George Island. Encompassing over 246,000 acres in Apalachicola Bay, the reserve is the second largest estuarine research reserve system in the nation. Educational center features exhibits on the flora and fauna of the area, giant live fish tanks, video, and a ½ scale model oyster boat. Ralph G. Kendrick Dwarf Cypress Boardwalk Tate’s Hell State Forest 850-697-3734 ÁRULGDIRUHVWVHUYLFHFRP This one-of-a-kind oddity is a bowl-shaped depression in the forest covering dozens of acres. From Eastpoint head east on U.S. Highway 98. Turn left on John Allen Road and left on Dry Bridge Road.

The area features dwarf cypress that never grew more than about 15’ tall. These trees are documented to be over 150 years old but only reached a stunted mature height, hence the name “dwarf cypress”. They are also referred to as “miniature” or “hat-rack” cypress. The Ralph G. Kendrick Boardwalk offers an observation tower overlooking one of the most prolific areas, with interpretive panels and picnic tables. Indian Creek Park 93 North Bayshore Drive Indian Creek Park is located on five-acres on Indian Creek that leads to Apalachicola Bay East. Features a boat launch ramp, children’s playground and covered picnic tables. Marion Millender Park Millender Street Located on St. George Sound at Patton Drive and Millender Street adjacent to the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research

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Reserve. This park features lush oak canopies, covered picnic tables and grills.

St. George Island Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park 1900 East Gulf Beach Drive 850-927-2111 ÁRULGDVWDWHSDUNVRUJ stgeorgeisland In 2011, Dr. Beach voted St. George Island State Park beach the #6 best beach in the nation! Nine miles of undeveloped beaches on this barrier island provide the perfect setting for nature lovers. This park offers ample recreation opportunities, including birding, fishing and swimming. The park has several large picnic shelters equipped with grills, tables and nearby restrooms.

Franklin County is part of the Big Bend Scenic Byway. Visit online floridabigbendscenicbyway.com to learn more.


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Arts and Culture

$UWVDQG&XOWXUH Franklin County is awash in art. Whether it’s theatre, music or fine art you’re sure to find something to suit your interests.

HISTO


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Art Galleries Boutiques Apalachicola Museum of Art 96 Fifth Avenue, Apalachicola 850-653-9692 apalachicolamuseumofart.org Features scheduled visual art exhibits. 79 Palmetto 49 Avenue G, Apalachicola 850-323-1600 49palmetto.com Features contemporary art with an emphasis on local and southern Folk Art. Bowery Art Gallery 149 Commerce Street Apalachicola 850-653-2425 boweryartgallery.com Features ďŹ ne arts and ďŹ ne crafts by local and regional artists. Gallery 75 317 Water Street, Apalachicola 850-653-6279 gallery-75.com The gallery showcases the work of renowned painter Charles S. Chapin and his son, sculptor Samuel Chapin.

HISTORIC DIXIE THEATRE dixietheatre.com

Katie McFarland Pottery 118 Commerce Street Apalachicola (407) 421-1604 krazy15k@hotmail.com Handmade pottery that is made locally. Katie also makes unique clay morals and sculptures. Robert Lindsley Studio Gallery 15 Avenue E, Apalachicola 714-660-7166 Featuring images of the Forgotten Coast and the American Southwest; original paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture and interesting artifacts.

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Richard Bickel Photography 81 Market Street, Apalachicola 850-653-2828 richardbickelphotography.com Richard Bickel's photography crosses 70 countries and has been published throughout the world. The Green Door 32 Avenue D, Apalachicola 850-653-1424 amysgreendoor.com The creative outlet of artist Amy Friedman, her studio, gallery and store. Artemis Gallery 127 Commerce Street Apalachicola 850-653-2030 artemisgalleryonline.com Artemis Gallery carries the work of a wide range of artists and artisans, with a focus on local or regional artists and original art. Sea Oats Art Gallery 128 East Pine Street St. George Island 850-927-2303 forgottencoastart.com Original oils & watercolors, paper collage, Sumi-e, stained glass, turned wood, painted silk, collectible prints and unique gifts. Moore Treasures 1795 West Highway 98 Carrabelle 850-697-4491 Art Gallery & Gifts

Art Venues Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art 86 Water Street, Apalachicola 855-272-5224 apalachicolaschoolofart.com Dixie Theatre 21 Avenue E, Apalachicola 850-653-3200 dixietheatre.com Visit SaltyFlorida.com for a complete list of unique boutiques.

Theatre takes center stage each year as the Historic Dixie Theatre hosts a performance season that runs from January through March with special performances throughout the year. dixietheatre.com

The Panhandle Players, a community theatre organization, produces several performances throughout the county each year. panhandleplayers.com

There are a number of active artist associations in the county and cultural events that run throughout the year. Visit SaltyFlorida.com to learn more.


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Dining

With fresh seafood so readily available, visitors can experience a myriad of culinary delights from more than 30 area eateries. From casual open-air cafes to upscale restaurants featuring culinary masterpieces, Franklin County’s eateries offer something for everyone.

Apalachicola AJ’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar 120 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. 850-653-2571 ajsapa.com Fried chicken, seafood, burgers, salads, wings, bar-b-q, homemade desserts. Lunch buffet and salad bar. Apalachicola Seafood Grill 100 Market St. 850-653-9510 World’s largest fish sandwich, family-friendly. Full bar. Bay City Lodge Restaurant 1000 Bay City Rd. 850-653-9294 Fresh local seafood, Greek specialties. Bay Subway 47 Avenue E, Apalachicola 850-653-1414 Sandwiches, wraps, and subs.

Boss Oyster 125 Water St. 850-653-9364 apalachicolariverinn.com Oyster specialties and fresh seafood overlooking Apalachicola River. Dine inside or outside. Burger King 421 Hwy 98 850-653-3045 Café con Leche’ 234 Water St. 850-653-2233 Specialty coffees, sandwiches, salads and pastries. Caroline’s Dining on the River 123 Water St. 850-653-8139 apalachicolariverinn.com Fresh seafood, appetizers, salads, pasta, seafood and steak entrees overlooking Apalachicola River.

Dolores’ Sweet Shoppe 48 Ave. D 850-653-9081 Breakfast and daily lunch specials. Homemade cakes, pies & cookies. Golfo de Mexico 146 Ave. E 850-653-2288 Authentic Mexican fare. Hole in the Wall 23 Ave. D 850-653-3222 Fresh local seafood, oysters, shrimp, homemade soups, casseroles and daily specials. Hong Kong Bistro 133 Hwy 98 850-653-8888 Modern Asian cuisine. Olde Time Soda Fountain 93 Market St. 850-653-2606 Ice cream, malts, sodas & floats served in an original 1950s decor. Continued on page 50


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Dining Restaurants, from page 48 Owl Café 15 Ave. D 850-653-9888 owlcafeflorida.com Fresh local seafood, steaks, pastas, homemade desserts, and breads. Riverview dining. Reservations encouraged. The Tap Room at the Owl 75 Commerce St. 850-653-1910 owlcafeflorida.com Unique appetizers, extensive beer selection, full bar. Papa Joe’s Oyster Bar & Grill 301 Market St. 850-653-1189 papajoesoysterbar.com Waterfront view, oysters, seafood, salads, sandwiches, pasta, and steaks. Red Top Café 238 W. Hwy 98 850-653-8612 redtopcafe.com Family-style dining with steaks, seafood, sandwiches & chicken. Kids menu. Stage Left Pizza 17 Ave. E 850-653-1237 stageleftpizza.com Gargantuan Pizza, gourmet sandwiches and salads. Beer and wine available. Tamara’s Café 71 Market St. 850-653-4111 tamarascafe.com Florida flavor with South American flair. Fish is purchased daily from local fishermen. That’s A Moray 25 Ave. D 850-653-1111 Offering morning muffins, pastry, and coffee. Also salads, quiches, sandwiches, cakes and pies.

Up The Creek Raw Bar 313 Water St. 850-653-2525 upthecreekrawbar.com Raw bar & restaurant overlooking Apalachicola River. Pet friendly. Draft beer & full bar. Veranda’s Bistro 76 Market St. 850-653-3210 verandasbistro.com Lunch menu includes appetizers, soups & salads, entrees and sandwiches. Dinner entrees of steak, fish or pasta. Desserts.

Carrabelle Crooked River Grill 151 Laughing Gull Lane 850-697-5050 stjamesbay.com Located in the St. James Bay Golf Resort. Seafood, steaks, daily specials, Sunday brunch and Friday night fish frys. The Fisherman’s Wife 111 St. James Ave. 850-697-4533 Local seafood. Great for carry-out to the beach or boat. Marker “30” Restaurant 109 St. James Ave. 850-697-5111 Fresh seafood and more. Hog Wild Bar BQ 1595 Hwy 98 850-697-2776 hogwildbarbq.net Hickory smoked BBQ, steaks and seafood and Hobo’s ice cream. Weekend breakfasts. The Pic-Nic Basket 406 SE Ave. B (Hwy 98) 850-697-9015 Deli meats, salads, gyros, sandwiches.

Fish Camp Restaurant & Lounge 275 Timber Island Rd. 850-720-1029 carrabellerivermarina.com Waterfront Dining on the Carrabelle River. Oyster bar, full service bar, local seafood and steaks. Carrabelle Junction 88 Tallahassee St. 850-697-9550 Coffee, espresso and cappuccino, continental fare including “loaded bagels.” Made to order salads, soups and sandwiches at lunch. Fathoms Steam and Raw Bar 201 St. James Ave. 850-697-9712 Riverfront dining and open air deck dining, local steamed seafood. 2 Al’s at the Beach 1 Gulf Beach Dr. 850-697-4576 Featuring “exploded biscuits” and “sea monster” sandwiches. Subway 116 St. James Ave. 850-697-2190 Fresh sandwiches, wraps, and subs. Home Town BP 109 St. James Ave. 850-697-5111 Hometownbp.com Fresh seafood.

Eastpoint Captain Snook’s Seafood Restaurant 500 East Hwy 98 850-670-1515 captainsnooks.com Seafood, steaks, homemade desserts, overlooking Apalachicola Bay.


SaltyFlorida.com

El Jalisco 105 Hwy 98 850-670-5900 Authentic Mexican fare. Beer, wine, margaritas. The Hut 315 Hwy 98 850-670-8024 Seafood, steaks, chicken and pasta. Salad bar. Red Pirate Family Grill and Oyster Bar 236 Hwy 98 850-670-1090 redpirategrill.com Oysters, chicken & seafood baskets, sandwiches, salads, and kid’s menu.

St. George Island Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream 147 E. Gulf Beach Dr. 850-927-3229 auntebbysicecream.com Serving hamburgers, hotdogs, and more. Bluebell and HaagenDazs ice cream. B. J.’s Pizza & More 105 W. Gulf Beach Dr. 850-927-2805 sgipizza.com Appetizers, salads, pizza and sandwiches. Beer & wine. Game room, pool tables & TVs. Dine in or take out. Blue Parrot Oceanfront Café 68 W. Gorrie Dr. 850-927-2987 blueparrotcafe.net Fresh local seafood and steaks in a casual family-friendly beachfront atmosphere. Eddy Teach’s Raw Bar 37 E. Pine St. 850-927-5050 eddyteachs.com Oysters, peel & eat shrimp and snow crab legs. Soups, gumbo, and appetizers. Beer and wine.

The Beach Pit 49 W. Pine Ave. 850-799-1020 thebeachpit.net Texas style BBQ and fresh seafood. Breakfast daily. Harry A’s Restaurant 28 W. Bayshore Dr. 850-927-3400 HarryAsRestaurant.com Appetizers, oysters and fresh local seafood, sandwiches, steaks and salads. Oyster Bay Bar & Grill 200 E. 2nd & Pine St. 850-927-3700 Fresh seafood and nightly specials. Subway Sandwich Shop 163 E. Gulf Beach Dr. 850-927-4781 Fresh sandwiches, wraps, and subs Sometimes It’s Hotter Seasoning Company 112 E. Gulf Beach Dr. 850-927-5039 sometimesitshotter.com Homemade baked goods and coffee. Bikinis & Weenies 850-596-9155 bikinisandweenies.biz Hot dog vendor.

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Prize-winning Recipe! from the 2012 Apalachicola Oyster Cookoff Jeff Ilardi poses with his winning entry

OystersTupelo Oysters Quantity for a dozen raw oysters 1/2 cup kumquat jam Add 1 tablespoon of tupelo honey 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar Half a teaspoon of chopped jalapeno peppers Mix together and taste for balance of flavors. Top raw oyster on the half shell with mixture. Garnish with a slice of kumquat and finely chopped shallots. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Serve cold.


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Accommodations

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Alligator Point Harbor Point Vacation Rentals 127 Harbor Circle Toll Free 877-774-8671 Local 850-349-2696 harborpointrentals.com info@harborpointrentals.com We have vacation rentals to suit every budget in the Alligator Point, Bald Point, St Teresa and St James Bay areas. Some pet friendly. Ochlockonee Bay Realty 146 Coastal Highway PO Box 556, Panacea, FL 32346 850-984-0001 alligatorpointbeachrentals.com jodie@obrealty.com Ochlockonee Bay Realty is pleased to offer a wide variety of Alligator Point vacation rentals.

The Point 6 Bass Street 850-745-0471 pointstoview.com info@pointstoview.com Located between Bald Point State Park and the Gulf Coast with incredible views. Pet friendly, fully equipped kitchens.

Bay City Lodge 1000 Bay City Road Apalachicola 850-653-9294 baycitylodge.com baycity@gtcom.net Fully furnished cabins and motel units. Onsite restaurant, bait & tackle store, boat launch, charter ďŹ shing guides and more.

Apalachicola Apalachicola River Inn 123 Water Street 850-653-8139 apalachicolariverinn.com serenityriverinn@fairpoint.net All 26 rooms feature views of the Apalachicola River. Offering two waterfront restaurants and lounge. The River Cottage, a two-bedroom suite facing the river, is also available.

Best Western Apalach Inn 249 U. S. Highway 98 Toll Free 800-528-1234 Local 850-653-9131 bwapalachinn.com 10270@hotel.bestwestern.com Complimentary full hot breakfast, an outdoor swimming pool and exterior corridors. Free parking available for RVs or boats. Senior, AAA, AARP discounts.


SaltyFlorida.com Bryant House Bed & Breakfast 101 6th Street Toll Free 888-554-4376 Local 850-653-3270 bryanthouse.com Brigitte@bryanthouse.com Traditional German style breakfast in historic setting with modern amenities. Pet-friendly family cottage also available.

High Cotton Luxury Suites 230-A Water Street 850-653-8990 apalachicolarealtyinc.com info@apalachicolarealtyinc.com Overlooking the Apalachicola River. Four luxury 2B/2B suites, each one with a private elevator, Jacuzzi in the master bath, full kitchen and washer/dryer.

Coombs House Inn 80 6th Street Toll Free 888-244-8320 Local 850-653-9199 coombshouseinn.com info@coombshouseinn.com Located in three elegant Victorian Mansions. Features authentic turn-of-the-century dĂŠcor and 23 guest suites. Enjoy complimentary breakfast, weekend wine receptions.

House of Tartts Guest House 50 Avenue F 850-653-4687 houseoftartts.com info@houseoftartts.com Self catering bed and breakfast features three guest rooms, each with a private bath, plus a carriage house cottage. Short walk to downtown. Sorry, no pets.

Gibson Inn 51 Avenue C 850-653-2191 gibsoninn.com info@gibsoninn.com A Victorian Inn listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places. Thirty guest rooms feature authentic antique furnishings. Full-service restaurant and bar.

Rancho Inn 240 U. S. Highway 98 850-653-9435 ranchoinn.com info@ranchoinn.com Features pool and picnic area. Inroom refrigerator and/or a microwave. Upgrades available. Ample boat parking. Pet friendly.

Raney Guest Cottage 46 Avenue F 850-653-9749 apalachicola-vacation.com info@apalachicola-vacation. com Circa 1835 Historic guest cottage with 2B/2BA, a dining room, fully-equipped kitchen, two gas ďŹ replaces, screened back porch. Historic charm in downtown Apalachicola. The Apartments at 17 Avenue E. 17 Avenue E 850-653-8801 Downtown next door to the Dixie Theate. One bedroom apartments in an historic setting with balconies overlooking downtown. Short and long-term rentals. The Consulate 76 Water Street Toll Free 877-239-1159 Local 850-653-1515 consulatesuites.com reservations@consulatesuites. com Four luxury vacation suites overlooking Apalachicola River. All of the suites have fully equipped designer kitchens, laundry facilities and balconies. Continued on page 54

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Accommodations Accommodations, from page 53 The Flat at 49 Palmetto 49 Avenue G 850-323-1600 49palmetto.com Anna-Maria@49Palmetto.com A private 2B/1B vacation rental within a tastefully renovated historic property in a quiet residential neighborhood. Close to historic downtown district. Water Street Hotel & Marina 329 Water Street Toll Free 888-211-9239 Local 850-653-3700 waterstreethotel.com info@waterstreethotel.com A unique 30 suite hotel and 20 slip marina. All rooms offer bay views, private screened verandas, two bathrooms, spacious living and dining areas. Hotel is pet friendly and non-smoking. Witherspoon Inn 94 5th Street 850-653-9186 witherspooninn.com Once Captain Witherspoon’s 19th century residence, this historic restoration is now a tastefully furnished inn. Single and two room suites available.

Carrabelle & Dog Island Carrabelle Beach, an RVC Outdoor Destination 1843 U.S. Highway 98 850-697-2638 carrabellebeach.rvcoutdoors. com carrabellebeach@rvcoutdoors. com Beach access, 69 concrete sites with full hook-ups, 50 amp service, cable, Wi-Fi, game room and ďŹ tness center, swimming pool, children's playground, rentals, resort cottages, charters and more. Franklin Inn 1589 U. S. Highway 98 West Carrabelle 850-697-4000 franklininncarrabelle.com franklininnatcarrabelle@yahoo. com A 30 room inn featuring Wi-Fi and in-room coffee and continental breakfast. Free boat launch just down the street, dockage available to guests. Pet friendly.

Hilton Vacation Properties Carrabelle 850-274-8603 hiltonvacationproperties@hotmail.com Inside the St. James Bay Golf Course community, enjoy a 6B/4.5B vacation house or a 3B/2B river front cottage with a private boat dock. Ho-Hum RV Park 2132 U. S. Highway 98 850-697-3926 hohumrvpark.com mhughes47@gmail.com All sites within 250 feet of the gulf. We cater to adults and seniors in a relaxed atmosphere. Daily, weekly and monthly rates. Jasmine By The Sea 2285 U.S. Highway 98 West Carrabelle Beach 850-697-8593 jasminebythesea.com This guest house is a 3BR/2B villa overlooking the Gulf of Mexico with private beach access, a full eat-in kitchen, dining room, living area, W/D, and a jasmine-covered outdoor pavilion. Pelican Inn Dog Island Toll Free 800-451-5294 thepelicaninn.com greentrails@innevi.com On Dog Island, accessible by boat, plane or water taxi service in Carrabelle. Features 8 apartments with 1 queen bed, queen size futons/sofa bed and complete kitchens.


SaltyFlorida.com Pickett’s Landing Rentals 1302 Pickett’s Landing Court 850-566-6761 pickettslanding.com dan@thelandgroup.us Featuring 3 & 4 bedroom units with private elevators and deepwater boat slips situated in a gated community. Many amenities including pool and clubhouse, children’s play area, full marina with boathouse. Sand Castle 1859 U. S. Highway 98 Carrabelle Beach 850-545-6693 vrbo.com/380516 sandcastle@carrabellebeach. net All three levels of this vacation home have wrap-around porches with unobstructed views of the gulf and beautiful barrier islands. This 4B/4B (Sleeps 8-10) is fully equipped with many extras. Sandy Beach Properties 101 Marine Street 850-697-5300 mysandybeach.com paula@mysandybeach.com We offer over 30 affordable vacation rentals ranging from one bedroom condos to three bedroom townhomes. Sea Crest Realty 108 SE Avenue A 850-697-9604 seacrestre.com/Carrabelle_FL_ listings/Vacation_Rentals_listings.shtml janalyn@seacrestre.com All of our vacation rentals are centrally located near golfing, antique shopping, and fine dining. Some offer deep-water boat slips.

St. James Bay Golf Resort 160 Laughing Gull Lane 850-697-9606 stjamesbay.com Connie@harborpointrealty.com Clubhouse Villas are available for nightly rentals to weeklong stays, with and without golf packages. Residence Condominiums on the course with a private pool also available. Sunset Isle RV & Yacht Club Resort 260 Timber Island Road 850-370-6223 sunsetislervandyachtclubresort. com Sunset Isle has RV sites with paved roads, 44 deep boat wet slips, a 2300 sq. ft. swimming pool, restrooms with showers and cottages for rent. Close to a full service marina and restaurant & bar. The Moorings at Carrabelle Hotel & Marina 1000 U. S. Highway 98 Toll Free 866-821-2248 Local 850-697-2800 mooringsatcarrabelle.com info@mooringsatcarrabelle.com

All hotel rooms offer a view of the marina. Condo units have full-size kitchens. Complimentary boat slip with hotel room or condo unit. Pets are welcome with a small deposit. The Old Carrabelle Hotel 201 Tallahassee Street 850-697-9010 oldcarrabellehotel.com info@oldcarrabellehotel.com A Circa 1900 Historic Inn has five differently-themed rooms, each with a private bath. Relax outdoors in the Key West courtyard and cabana deck or wraparound verandas.

Eastpoint Sportsman's Lodge 99 North Bayshore Drive 850-670-8423 sportsmanslodge.tripod.com In a quiet wooded setting overlooking Apalachicola’s East Bay, the Lodge offers several types of rooms, some with bay views or bay frontage, some with kitchenettes, and larger family units. Continued on page 56

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Accommodations Accommodations, from page 55

St. George Island Buccaneer Inn 160 West Gorrie Drive Toll Free 800-847-2091 Local 850-927-2585 buccinn.com info@buccinn.com Motel and conference center is located directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Open year round with pool and sun deck overlooking the beach. Gulf front suites and kitchenettes available. Collins Vacation Rentals 60 East Gulf Beach Drive Toll Free 877-882-4315 Local 850-927-2900 collinsvacationrentals.com vacation@collinsvacationrentals.com Welcoming guests since 1973. We offer more than 250 privately owned rental properties - and many are pet friendly! Accommodations range from “old Florida cottages” to luxurious beach homes.

See also Campgrounds on page 37

Fickling & Company 112 Franklin Boulevard Toll Free 877-927-2218 Local 850-927-2218 ficklingvacationrentals.com vacations@fickling.com Offers vacation rentals of all types. Visit the website for property listings and availabilities or call our rental staff to help you plan your dream vacation.

Resort Vacation Properties 61 West Gulf Beach Drive Toll Free 866-976-6126 Local 850-927-2322 resortvacationproperties.com vacationplans@resortvacationproperties.com Beach front, bay front and inbetween, we offer the largest selection of homes from which to choose. Many feature private pools, hot tubs and are pet friendly. St. George Inn 135 Franklin Boulevard 850-927-2903 stgeorgeinn.com info@stgeorgeinn.com Quaint old southern-style inn features open wrap-around porches, two-room suites with either a view of the gulf or the bay from a private balcony. Pet friendly St. George Island State Park 1900 East Gulf Beach Drive floridastateparks.org/ stgeorgeisland The campground features 60 full-facility campsites with water, electric, a central dump station and 2 bathhouses. Camping reservations may be made by visiting ReserveAmerica.com or by calling ReserveAmerica at (800) 3263521, TDD (888) 433-0287.

St. George Island Vacation Properties 235 West Gulf Beach Drive Toll Free 866-927-4750 stgeorgeislandvacationproperties.com info@stgeorgeislandvacationproperties Featuring vacation rental properties to suit your needs, from beachfront condos to luxury homes. Accommodations are available for six to twenty persons. Many are pet friendly. Still Waters 965 West Gorrie Drive 850-510-6053 vrbo.com/84023 glenn@riverblufflanding.com Lavish 5B/5.5B vacation home features open living/dining/ kitchen area with one of two cozy gas fireplaces. Pool with private fenced-in yard and Jacuzzi. Beautiful panoramic view of the gulf. Suncoast Vacation Rentals of St. George Island 224 Franklin Boulevard Toll Free 800-341-2021 Local 850-927-2282 uncommonflorida.com samuelgilbert@yahoo.com Featuring a wide selection of vacation rentals, from one to eight bedrooms with many amenities. Competitive rates, many units are pet friendly.


SaltyFlorida.com Green Door 32 Avenue D 850-653-1424 amysgreendoor.com Petunia 14 Avenue D 850-653-9144 petuniapet@hotmail. com Rose's Botanicals & Soap Factory 76 Market Street 850-653-2020 rosesbotanicals.com

6KRSSLQJ Apalachicola Grady Market 76 Water Street 850-653-4099 gradymarket.com Charming Comforts 87 Market Street 850-653-2777 charmingcomforts.com Junk to Treasures 252 Water Street, Ste. B 850-653-2040 dcrum@gtcom.net Tamara's Boutique in Cafe con Leche 234 Water Street 850-653-2233 tamara@yahoo.com Riverlily 78 Commerce Street 850-653-2600 riverlily@usa.net All That Jazz 84 Market Street 850-653-4800 Retsyo Inc. 82 Market Street 850-323-0599 retsyo1@hotmail.com

Two Gulls Too 54 A Market Street 850-653-2727 twogulls@yahoo.com Oystercatcher 79 Market Street 850-653-1616 theoystercatcher.net Forgotten Coast Outfitters 94 Market Street 850-653-9669 Apalach Outfitters 29 Avenue E 850-653-3474 apalachoutfitters.com Apalachicola Sponge Company & Smokehouse Antiques 31 Avenue E 850-653-5564 apalachspongecompany. com Downtown Books & Purl 67 Commerce Street 850-653-1290 downtownbooks@fairpoint.net

Stuffed Owl 15 Avenue D 850-653-8960 owlcafeflorida.com Local Color Emporium 86 Commerce Street 850-387-5982 The Frame Shop 76 Market Street 850-653-1919 myframeshop@gmail. com Wombat Sound 29 Avenue E 850-653-3871 wombat@fairpoint.net Peddler’s Alley Market Street Gainey’s Antiques 85 Market Street 850-227-8669 Olde Time Soda Fountain 93 Market Street 850-653-2606 Gardens 268 Water Street 850-653-1777 gardensinc.net Tin Shed Nauticals & Antiques 170 Water Street 850-653-3635 tinshednautical.com

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Reel Memories 10 Avenue D 850-653-1626 Honey Hole Liquors 252 Water Street 850-653-2899 honeyholeliquors.com Market Street Antiques 115 Avenue B 850-653-1006 Apalachicola Chocolate Company 15 Avenue E 850-370-6937 Natural Medicine Store 56 Market Street 850-653-4886 naturalms@gtcom.net

Carrabelle Seahorse Antiques 2308 Highway 98 850-697-3751 Two Gulls 201 S. Sixth Street 850-697-2392 Beach Trader 1781 Highway 98 West 850-653-7628 beachtraderpam.com Moore Treasures 1795 Highway 98 West 850-697-4491 Carrabelle Medical Pharmacy 206 Marine Street, #206 850-697-2766 karenthepharmacist@ yahoo.com

See Art Galleries on page 47

Eastpoint Two Gulls by the Seashore 240 U.S. Highway 98 850-670-5055 Tiffin Interiors 117 Highway 98 850-670-8811

Continued on page 58

Visit SaltyFlorida. com for an up to date list of all commercial galleries, boutiques, antiques and gift stores.


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Shopping Shopping, from page 57 A Country Place 994 C.C. Land Road 850-670-1073 sack@fairpoint.net

St. George Island Two Gulls Two 136 East Pine Street 850-927-2044 twogulls@yahoo.com Two Gulls Mermaids 135 East Pine Street 850-927-3600 twogulls@yahoo.com Island Adventures 105 E. Gulf Beach Drive 850-927-3655 sgislandadventures.com Island Emporium 160 E. Pine Street 850-927-2569 St. George Island Trading Post 101 Franklin Boulevard 850-927-2252 Sometimes It’s Hotter Seasoning Co. 112 E. Gulf Beach Drive 850- 927-5039 sometimesitshotter.com Island Outfitters 235 E Gulf Beach Drive 850-927-2604 sgioutfitters.com Journey’s of St. George Island Visit SaltyFlorida. 240 E Third Street com to learn more sgislandjourneys.com

about wedding venues and to link to all Franklin County restaurants, many of which offer reception services.

Jolly Roger Beach Shop 139A W. Gorrie Drive 850-927-2999 jollyrogerbeachshop@ gmail.com

:HGGLQJV Many Franklin County businesses provide valuable wedding or special event services. Visit SaltyFlorida.com for a complete list. Planners Photographers Krista Miller Florists Videographers Photography 850-653-5005 St. George Island Beach Weddings 865-307-0600 stgeorgeislandbeachweddings.com At Your Service Concierge 850-559-1900 atyourserviceconciergeforgottencoast. com Bayside Weddings & Events 850-653-1828 stgeorgeislandweddings.com A Country Place 850-670-1073 sack@fairpoint.net

Equipment Rentals Party Rental Company 888-670-8686 partyrentalcompany. com

Rolstad Photography 850-653-5586 roycerolstadphotography.com Joe A. Witt Photography 850-653-2608 joeawitt.com Lane & Company 850-653-9770 laneautrey.com Mandi Singer Photography 850-899-3263 mandisinger.com St. George Island Wedding Videos 850-247-8495 stgeorgeislandweddingvideos.com

Andrea Amison Photography 850-370-0327 andreaamisonphotography.com

krista-miller.com A-1 Beach Photography 850-653-7634 A1BeachPhotograph. com

See a complete list of restaurants and catering busineses on page 48.


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Visit SaltyFlorida.com for a complete list of events and activities all year long.


Franklin County

Franklin County is located along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s northwest panhandle, 80 miles southwest of Tallahassee and 70 miles southeast of Panama City. MILEAGE FROM SELECTED CITIES: Atlanta, GA 351 Memphis, TN 574 Birmingham, AL 334 Miami, FL 561 Chicago, IL 933 Montgomery, AL 244 Columbia, SC 532 Nashville, TN 525 Dallas, TX 884 New Orleans, LA 388

Detroit, MI 1055 Orlando, FL 334 Houston, TX 712 Pensacola, FL 162 Indianapolis, IN 811 St. Louis, MO 831 Jackson, MS 436 Tallahassee, FL 80 Little Rock, AR 707 Tampa, FL 298

Tourist Development Council

TRANSPORTATION: Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport 850-763-6751 Approximately one hour and 30 minutes, by car, from Franklin County. Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH) 850-891-7800 Approximately one hour and thirty minutes by car to Franklin County.

Apalachicola Municipal Airport (AAF) 850-653-8861 Located two miles northwest of downtown Apalachicola. Carrabelle-Thompson Airport (X13) 850-697-2727 Located three miles west of Carrabelle. St. George Plantation Owners’ Airport 850-927-2362 Located on St. George Island in the St. George Plantation development.

facebook.com/franklintdc twitter@franklintdc

Produced by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council P.O. Box 819, Apalachicola, FL 32329, 866-914-2068 SaltyFlorida.com info@SaltyFlorida.com


Franklin County, Florida Visitor Guide