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&Bs.
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).
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.
- 1 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 at 122 Commerce Street.
- 2 Apalachicola Maritime Museum, 103 Water Street, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM to 5PM. 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.
- 3 Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, ☏ . Tu-Sa 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.
- 4 Apalachicola National Forest, ☏ . Has 564,000 acres for birding, camping, boating, wildflower viewing, hunting, and fishing.
- Battery Park and the City Marina, ☏ . Boat launch, park with picnic tables and playground Bay Avenue 4th-6th Streets.
- 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.
- 5 Dixie Theatre, ☏ . 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 live professional theatre, and musical events as well providing an acoustically perfect rental space for other community functions.
- 6 Fort Gadsden Historic Site (Apalachicola National Forest), ☏ . A National Historic Landmark. Earthen embankments and interpretive kiosk, 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.
- 7 John Gorrie State Museum, 46 6th St, ☏ . Th-M 9AM–5PM. 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, ☏ . 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.
- 8 Orman House, 177 5th Street, ☏ . Th-M 9AM–5PM. 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 Museum, ☏ . Tu-F 1PM-4PM, Sa 9AM-5PM. 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, 3100 County Road 30A, ☏ . M-F 10AM–3PM. 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.
- 9 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.
- 1 Apalachicola Maritime Museum, 103 Water Street, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Sailing tours on the Apalachicola River and bay.
- 2 Dixie Theatre, 21 Avenue E. Restored in 1997, it hosts professional theater and music January through March.
- The Great Plein Air Paint-out: The Grand Patrons' Party, Cotton Warehouse Apalachicola, Florida, toll-free: . 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 6-10:30PM, 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, ☏ . 10AM-4PM. 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), ☏ . Many of Apalachicola's private homes and buildings can only be viewed from the exterior except for this unique day. For a $15 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.
- Apalachicola Art Walk & Wine Festival, downtown (Apalachicola), ☏ . noon - 6PM. Held in April. Art in all forms will be shown around downtown Apalachicola where artists and musicians will be showing, selling and demonstrating their talents.
- 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, ☏ . Held in March. Contestants square off in the largest Regional Chili Cookoff in the nation.
- Riverlily, 78 Commerce Street, ☏ . 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.
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), ☏ . M-Sa 11:30AM-8PM. Get the "world's largest" fried fish sandwich. Great selection of beer.
- [dead link] Crooked River Grill, 151 Laughing Gull Lane, St. James, ☏ . 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.
- 1 Old Time Soda Fountain, 93 Market Street, ☏ . M-Sa. As the name implies, this is a 1950s themed soda fountain that serves ice cream, malts, floats and soda.
- 2 The Owl Café, 15 Avenue D (at Commerce Street), ☏ . Local seafood, steak and pasta.
- Papa Joe's Oyster Bar & Grill, 301-B Market Street, ☏ , fax: . M-Th 11:30AM-9PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-10PM. Dine overlooking the Apalachicola River. Steaks and seafood along with an oyster bar.
- 3 Tamara's Café, 71 Market St, ☏ . 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, ☏ . Serves local seafood in addition to steak and pasta. Also one of the largest retail wine stores in the area.
- Night Owl, 15 Avenue D, ☏ . Now listed as the Owl's Wine Room. Large selection of wines, focus is mainly American.
- Spoonbill, 123 Water Street, ☏ , fax: .
- Tap Room, 75 Commerce Street, ☏ . Gastro-pub featuring craft beer, fine wine and a full bar
- Apalachicola River Inn, 123 Water Street, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Lodging, marina and restaurant.
- Bay City Lodge, 1000 Bay City Road, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Motel and cabins. If you're planning on fishing, the lodge sells bait and tackle and will clean your fish and your boat.
- Best Western, Apalach Inn, 249 US Highway 98 West, ☏ , toll-free: . Only chain hotel in Apalachicola.
- Bryant House Bed & Breakfast, 101 Sixth Street, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , email@example.com. Serves a full German breakfast (Frühstück).
- The Consulate, 76 Water Street, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Four suites overlooking the Apalachicola River. Rooms have a kitchen and balcony.
- Coombs House Inn, 80 6th Street, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. A Bed and Breakfast in a restored Victorian mansion. $80-225.
- Gibson Inn, 51 Avenue C, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- House of Tartts, 50 Avenue F, ☏ , email@example.com. Guesthouse in historic downtown. All rooms have a private bath.
- Witherspoon Inn, 94 5th Street, ☏ . Former residence of Captain Witherspoon. Rooms have their own bath.
- 1 Apalachicola Municipal Library, 74 6th Street, ☏ . M Tu Th F 10AM–6PM, W 10AM-noon and 1-6PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. Books, audio books, local history and genealogy section, wireless internet access.
|Routes through Apalachicola|
|Pensacola ← Port St. Joe ← ends ←||W E||→ Eastpoint → Lakeland/Tallahassee|