Cold weather up north means it’s time to head south for the winter. Florida is a popular spot for vacationers looking to trade in their snow coats for swimsuits. But you don’t need to go all the way down to the Keys and Everglades, there is plenty to do in the panhandle along Florida’s Forgotten Coast.
The Forgotten Coast contains a number of coastal communities like Apalachicola, East Point and Alligator Point. It is also home to some of the last untouched beaches in Florida, that’s right, no high rises or strip malls. There is plenty to do for everyone with activities for nature lovers, sport-lovers, shoppers, and those just looking to relax on vacation.
Those coastal towns provide unique places to shop and discover. Apalachicola is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are 652 historic buildings in the town and many of them have been standing since the 1830s. The Maritime Museum offers tours and activities perfect for families and teaches guests about how the sea impacted the history of the area. For those with a sweet tooth, head to the Apalachicola Chocolate and Coffee company. They are serving up homemade treats like ice cream, pastries, chocolate, coffee, and sandwiches.
If you cross over the Bryant Patton Bridge to St. George Island you can go to the island’s state park. This park has nine miles of beach access, picnic areas, beach houses and plenty of parking. Dogs are allowed on leash in the parking lot but not on the beach. This beach is also home to local wildlife like loggerhead sea turtles and ghost crabs.
Alligator Point Beach is the perfect spot for people looking for a good fishing spot or just a place to relax. This is a limited access beach with few amenities but the tides bring flows of trout, redfish, pompano and tarpon, and there is plenty of white-sand to bury your toes in.
Since this is the coast, there are plenty of marinas and docks to launch from if you have your own boat and rental companies if you do not. The surrounding national forests are full of waterways that are available for canoeing and kayaking. Apalachicola National Forest has 3,000 acres of water and much of that is available only to non-motorized boats. Along the way are about 20 camping spots perfect for people who want to make a long trek into the wilderness.
Florida provides more than just your typical beach vacation and the Forgotten Coast is a unique place to relax and explore. To keep these beaches pristine, make sure that you pack in everything you bring with you. Some of these beaches are home to endangered turtles and other wildlife and should be protected so that others can enjoy them.