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Apalachicola

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Apalachicola is a city on the Forgotten Coast of the Florida Panhandle, on the Apalachicola River and Bay.

Understand[edit]

Miles of uncrowded pristine beaches, an endless supply of protected shallow bays, excellent fishing and acres of national and state forests to explore. Fine oysters and other seafood. Apalachicola or "Apalach", was established in 1831. It was once the third largest port on the Gulf of Mexico. Wide, tree lined streets are still graced by picturesque homes from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries show the wealth and craftsmanship of its early days. Apalachicola has over 900 historic homes and buildings listed in its extensive National Register District and it was selected as one of the nation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 2008 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Apalachicola basin encompasses what is considered one of the least polluted, most undeveloped, ecologically diverse systems left in the United States. The Apalachicola Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) oversees the health of this vast system. The ANERR is the second largest in the nation with over 246,000 acres under its protection. Apalachicola's vibrant history and rich maritime culture can still be seen on its working waterfront. Buildings that once served as 19th century ship's chandleries, old net factories and a sponge warehouse now house a mix of eclectic and trendy shops, restaurants, galleries and meticulously restored hotels and B & B's.

These locally owned and operated businesses create a quaint and friendly atmosphere for visitors as well as local residents. A grand theater lies in the center of town (see "Do" below).

Get in[edit]

Map of Apalachicola

Unless you have a plane, in which case you could arrive at Apalachicola Regional Airport (AAF IATA), you will need to arrive by car. Apalachicola lies on US-98/US-319. You can pick up US-319 through the national forest straight from Tallahassee (1.5 hours), and US-98 will lead in along the coast from Panama City (1 hour).

Get around[edit]

Apalachicola is small and easily seen on foot. It is laid back and very easy to navigate. Locals are glad to direct you wherever you need to go. Also there are boat and fishing tours available in the area.

See[edit]

Downtown section of the Apalachicola Historic District
  • Apalachicola Historic District. Over 900 homes and buildings are listed in this National Register Historic District, some dating as far back as the 1830s. A scenic walking tour of the town acquaints visitors with sites such as cotton warehouses, which housed the City's once prosperous cotton export during the 1800s, a sponge exchange and Victorian homes nestled amid the moss-draped live oak trees. A map is available at the Chamber office and Visitors Center located at 122 Commerce Street.
  • Apalachicola Municipal Library, 74 6th Street, +1 850 653-8436. 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Wednesdays 10:00-12:00 and 1:00-6:00pm. Saturday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.. Books, audio books, local history and genealogy section, wireless internet access.
  • Apalachicola Museum of Art, 96 5th Ave, +1 850 653-2090. The Greek Revival style Fry-Conter House, built in 1845 by Daniel Fry an illustrious riverboat captain, has been meticulously restored and now serves as the Apalachicola Museum of Art where temporary visual art exhibits can be viewed.
  • 1 Apalachicola Maritime Museum, 103 Water Street, +1 850 653-2500. 10AM to 5PM Monday through Saturday. The Maritime Museum was founded to celebrate and preserve the maritime history of Apalachicola in a hands-on learning environment with active sailing program and adventure programs, boat-building, restoration and educational programs. Collectively, the activities of the AMM will provide a glimpse into the rich and diverse history of the three rivers that come together to form the largest river in Florida, the Apalachicola, and the maritime history of Apalachicola. Apalachicola Maritime Museum on Wikipedia Apalachicola Maritime Museum (Q16160548) on Wikidata
  • Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, +1 850 670-7700. Tuesday-Saturday 9AM–5PM. Encompassing over 246,000 acres in Apalachicola Bay, it is the 2nd largest Estuarine Research Reserve system in the nation. Nature Center is located at 108 Island Drive, Eastpoint east side of the St. George Island Bridge. Attractions include exhibits on the flora and fauna of the area and aquaria facility featuring a variety of local fish and turtles.
  • Apalachicola National Forest, +1 850 643-2282. Has 564,000 acres for birding, camping, boating, wildflower viewing, hunting, and fishing.
  • Battery Park and the City Marina, +1 850 653-9319. Boat launch, park with picnic tables and playground Bay Avenue 4th-6th Streets.
Chestnut Street Cemetery
  • Chestnut Street Cemetery, US Highway 98 between 6th and 8th Streets. One of the most significant cemeteries on the Gulf Coast. Established in 1831, the stones tell the history of Apalachicola. Funerary art reflects the ethnic diversity of the community.
  • Dixie Theatre, +1 850 653-3200. Originally built in 1912, the Dixie Theatre became the entertainment center of Franklin County. Closed in 1967, it was rebuilt and opened once again in 1998. The Dixie now produces the best in live professional theatre, and musical events as well providing an acoustically perfect rental space for other community functions.
  • Dog Park, Avenue L and 17th Street (Behind the old Apalachicola High School). A city park divided into 3 sections: a large dog area, a small dog area, and a "special" section. Each section has a double port gate and seating so people can "sit and stay" for a while. Water and trash cans are located in each area and the large and small dog sections share a big shade structure.
  • 2 Fort Gadsden Historic Site, +1 850 643-2282. A National HIstoric Landmark. Earthen embankments and interpretive kiosk, located on the east bank of the Apalachicola River, approximately 45 minutes north of Eastpoint, accessed by Highway 65. The site interprets the role of Native and African Americans during the early 1800s. Fort Gadsden on Wikipedia Fort Gadsden (Q3077880) on Wikidata
  • John Gorrie State Museum, 46 6th St, +1 850 653-9347. 9AM–5PM Thursday-Monday. Contains a replica of the first ice machine (predecessor to A/C) created by Dr John Gorrie in an attempt to cool his yellow fever patients. His invention later became the basis for the ice industry and air conditioning. $2.
  • Lafayette Park, +1 850 653-9319. Block long open park overlooking Apalachicola Bay with a large gazebo in the center, plus a long broad wooden pier, interpretive signs, picnic tables and playground Avenue B between 13th and 15th.
  • Orman House, 177 5th Street, +1 850 653-1209. 9AM–5PM Thursday-Monday. Built in 1838 by Thomas Orman, the wood for this two-story home was cut to measure near Syracuse, New York and shipped to Apalachicola by sailing vessel around the Florida Keys, then assembled on the bluff overlooking the broad estuary and bay of the Apalachicola River. Today the house still resonates with a genteel aura and warmth of the past.
Raney House
  • Raney House Museum, +1 850 653-1700. 1PM to 4PM Tuesday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM Saturdays. Owned by the city of Apalachicola and on the National Register of Historic Places, provides a glimpse of the life of cotton commission merchant and community leader David Greenway Raney. The Apalachicola Area Historical Society has furnished the 1838 home and gives tours to the public. Donations or welcome, but not required. Historic museum is located on Market Street at the corner of Avenue F.
  • St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Center, 3100 County Road 30A, +1 850 653-8808. 10AM–3PM Monday-Friday. St. Vincent Island is an unspoiled barrier island at the west end of Apalachicola Bay. The refuge is open during daylight hours. It is only accessible by boat and there are no facilities available. Open Visitor's Center is located on the north end of Market Street in Apalachicola.
  • Three Servicemen Statue Detail & Veterans Memorial Plaza. Veterans Memorial Plaza was created in 2008 to honor veterans for their service to our country. The block-long park consists of the Circle of Freedom walkway and the striking Three Servicemen Statue Detail, a bronze sculpture by Fredrick Hart that depicts a realistic image of Vietnam servicemen.
  • Trinity Episcopal Church. This Greek-Revival church, built in 1838, was prefabricated in White Plains New York and shipped in section by schooner to Apalachicola. Early church founders included Dr John Gorrie and botanist Dr Alvin Chapman.

Do[edit]

  • the Great Plein Air Paint-out: The Grand Patrons' Party, Cotton Warehouse Apalachicola, Florida, toll-free: +1-800-378-8419. Artists have been asked to reserve their very best work to present to local and visiting art patrons at a Wetroom party in the Cotton Warehouse. This tribute to "the best of the best", from 6:60-10:30pm, will include live music, delicious food, and the opportunity to purchase the premium art from the paint-out. Tickets are $75 per couple, $40 each, limited to 200 guests. $75 couple $40 each.
  • Apalachicola Antique & Classic Boat Show, downtown on Water Street, +1 850 653-9419. 10-4. Held on the 3rd Saturday in April. Antique boats, examples of classic and traditional vessels, workboats, and fiberglass and aluminum classics will all be on display throughout the day. This festival emphasizes the maritime history of Apalachicola. Special highlights include authentic oyster boats, workboats, and home-built boats by skilled craftsmen, antique outboard engines, plus antique automobiles and art booths. Free.
  • Historic Apalachicola Home & Garden Tour (Apalachicola, Florida), +1 850 653-9550. Many of Apalachicola's private homes and buildings can only be viewed from the exterior except for this unique day. For a $15.00 donation you can take a guided tour through architecturally and historically significant homes, churches and commercial buildings. All donations benefit the Trinity Episcopal Restoration Fund.
  • Restored in 1997, the Dixie Theatre hosts professional theater and music January through March.

Buy[edit]

  • Apalachicola Sponge Company. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. Handmade olive oil and goats milk soap sponges.
  • Forgotten Coast Outfitters. Outdoor clothing and fly fishing equipment.
  • The Grady Market. Several antique shops, artist galleries, and clothing boutiques.
  • Oystercatcher. Womens, girls and baby apparel and accessories.
  • River City Trading Company, 82 Commerce Street. Men and women's clothing accessories.
  • Sirens Boutique, Avenue D and Market Street. Women's clothing and accessories.
  • Two Gulls. Daily 10AM-5PM. Gifts and souvenirs.
  • 1 St. George Island Chili Cook-off, St. George Island, Florida, +1 850 653-6740. Held in March. Contestants square off in the largest Regional Chili Cookoff in the nation.
  • Riverlily, 78 Commerce Street, +1 850 653-2600. Bath and beauty collections from all over the world including vintage earrings made with hard to find vintage beads and findings scarves, fabulous socks, hats, fragrant candles, greeting card selection.

Eat[edit]

This city is noted for having some of the finest oysters, its bay oysters having a pure, mild, briny flavor that has been recognized by top chefs throughout the country. Apalachicola harvests over 90% of the oysters sold in Florida and 10% of the nationwide supply. Smaller open bay boats, moored or trailered each day, tong for oysters in the many shallow areas of Apalachicola Bay. Fishing vessels displaying proud patinas of years of service line the waterfront and regularly net fresh local shrimp and fish. So not surprisingly, a diverse selection of acclaimed restaurants feature fresh, local, daily harvested seafood.

  • Apalachicola Seafood Grill, 100 Market Street (by the traffic signal), +1 850 653-9510. M-Sa 11:30AM-8PM. Get the "world's largest" fried fish sandwich. Great selection of beer.
  • Boss Oyster, 123 Water Street, +1 850 653-9364, fax: +1 850 653-2018. Lunch & dinner 7 days a week.. Waterfront location. If you're an oyster fan, they offer more that 15 styles of Apalachicola Bay oysters.
  • Caroline's Dining on the River, 123 Water Street, +1 850 653-8139, fax: +1 850 653-2018. Fine dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Crooked River Grill, 151 Laughing Gull Lane, St. James, +1 850 697-5050. Part of the St. James Bay Golf Resort. Serves breakfast, lunch, or steak and seafood dinners. The Grill features full banquet facilities and a gazebo.
  • Old Time Soda Fountain, 93 Market Street, +1 850 653-2606. M-Sa. As the name implies, this is an 50's themed soda fountain that serves ice cream, malts, floats and soda.
  • The Owl Café, 15 Avenue D (at Commerce Street), +1 850 653-9888. Local seafood, steak and pasta.
  • Papa Joe's Oyster Bar & Grill, 301-B Market Street, +1 850 653-1189, fax: +1 850 653-3458. M-Th 11:30AM-9PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-10PM. Dine overlooking the Apalachicola River. Steaks and seafood along with an oyster bar.
  • Red Top Café, 238 US Highway 98, +1 850 653-8612. Open 7 days a week.. This family style restaurant serves up steaks, seafood, sandwiches and chicken.
  • Tamara's Café Floridita, 17 Avenue E (one block east of flashing light), +1 850 653-4111. 10:30AM-10PM. Caribbean/South American style meals, including seafood and homemade desserts.
  • Verandas Wine Bar Bottle Shop and Bistro, Avenue D and Market Street, +1 850 653-3210. Serves local seafood in addition to steak and pasta. Also one of the largest retail wine stores in the area.
  • Viscardi's at Night, 100 Market Street, +1 850 653-9510. Now defunct.

Drink[edit]

Most restaurants have a full bar and there are numerous liquor stores in the area. Check out the nightlife in Saint George and Eastpoint.

  • Night Owl, 15 Avenue D, +1 850 653-9888. Now listed as the Owl's Wine Room. Large selection of wines, focus is mainly American.
  • Spoonbill, 123 Water Street, +1 850 653-8139, fax: +1 850 653-2018.
  • Tap Room, 75 Commerce Street, +1 850 653-1910. Gastro-pub featuring craft beer, fine wine and a full bar

Sleep[edit]

  • Bay City Lodge, 1000 Bay City Road, +1 850 653-9294, e-mail: . Motel and cabins. If you're planning on fishing, the lodge sells bait and tackle and will clean your fish and your boat.
  • The Consulate, 76 Water Street, +1 850 653-1515, e-mail: . Four suites overlooking the Apalachicola River. Rooms have a kitchen and balcony.
Gibson Inn
  • Gibson Inn, 51 Avenue C, +1 850 653-2191, e-mail: . 30 rooms in a turn-of-the-century Victorian home. Rooms have a full bath, phone, TV and wi-fi. The inn also has a restaurant and bar.
  • Witherspoon Inn, 94 5th Street, +1 850 653-9186. Former residence of Captain Witherspoon. Rooms have their own bath.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Apalachicola
PensacolaPort St. JoeUS 319.svg ends ←  W US 98.svgUS 319.svg E  EastpointLakeland/Tallahassee



This city travel guide to Apalachicola is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.