Exploring Apalachicola and Beyond

Find out where to shop, eat, and visit on your next jaunt to Florida’s Forgotten Coast.

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Blue beach + home

Laura Rubenstein

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SHOP…
For Upscale Interior Decor: BLUE beach + home
The husband-and-wife owners offer a unique mix of beachy style. Jeanette Taylor prefers clean-line modern furniture, offering sleek glass lamps in the shop, while Joe favors antiques, such as the fine mahogany pieces.
• 31 Ave. E, Apalachicola; 850/653-8778

For Eclectic Decorations: Chez Funk
The hodgepodge of garden art, wall hangings, and humorous signs are all one-of-a-kind and handmade. Creations are earth-friendly, composed of recycled materials.
• 88 Market Street, Apalachicola; 850/653-3885 or chezfunkarts.net

For Beach Reads: Downtown Books & Purl
Owner Dale Julian loves to talk books and has suggestions for even the most discerning bookworms. Selections include titles by Floridian authors, best sellers, and local favorites.
• 67 Commerce Street, Apalachicola; 850/653-1290

For Culinary Goods: The Stuffed Owl
Adjacent to local fave The Owl Café, this store overflows with kitchen gadgets, picnic supplies, and specialty Owl Café spices. Shop for everything from unique imported oils and local pottery to brand-name items by Tervis and All-Clad.
• 75 Commerce Street, Apalachicola; 850/653-8960 or owlcafeflorida.com

For Fine Wines: Verandas Bistro & Wine Shop
Winning a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the past three years, this shop stocks more than 2,000 bottles from around the globe. Sample your purchase with dinner at the adjoining restaurant.
• 76 Market Street, Suite G, Apalachicola; 850/653-3210 or verandasbistro.com

For Trendy Women’s Clothing: Oystercatcher
Need some nautical TOMS shoes or an Ella Moss dress for dinner? Look no further. Oystercatcher’s contemporary apparel features high-end denim, swimsuits, dresses, and accessories. Meander to the back of the shop for a selection of clothing for babies and little girls.
• 79 Market Street, Apalachicola; 850/653-1616 or theoystercatcher.net

For All Ages Women’s Clothing: Siren Boutique
A little bit of everything from Roxy to Vaneli fills this store. Patrons from Tallahassee won’t pass through Apalachicola without stopping here.
• 76 Market Street, Suite A, Apalachicola; 850/653-3191

For Fishing Gear: Half Hitch Tackle
Stock up on Penn reels and Yo-Zuri lures while catching the latest scoop on local fishing spots from employees. The wide selection of Columbia shirts and Costa Del Mar sunglasses will outfit your next adventure.
• 212 A Hwy. 98, Port St. Joe; 850/227-7100 or halfhitch.com

Eat…
Oysters: Indian Pass Raw Bar
After a hard hit from Hurricane Dennis, this locals’ joint renovated its interior with a University of Florida logo–emblazed floor and flat-screen televisions. Not to worry though, the food is still as authentic―and basic―as ever. Apalachicola Bay oysters, raw, baked, or steamed are the staple, but the short menu also offers seafood gumbo, crab legs, and a couple of non-seafood items.
• 8391 Indian Pass Road, Port St. Joe; 850/227-1670

Local Seafood: Boss Oyster
First choose from more than 10 different oyster preparations, and then, for your main dish, order a seafood basket of grouper, shrimp, scallops, oysters, or crab. The waterfront seating has access to docks filled with charter and commercial boats.
• 123 Water Street, Apalachicola; 850/653-9364 or apalachicolariverinn.com

Gourmet Grub: Sunset Coastal Grill
Overlooking St. Joseph Bay, this restaurant serves dishes with inventive twists like hot crab-and-artichoke dip, panko-crusted Gulf shrimp, and lobster ravioli in an herbed cream sauce. The menu’s “landlubbers” section includes steak.
• 602 Monument Ave., Port St. Joe; 850/227-7900 or sunsetcoastalgrill.com

Sweet Treats: Old Time Soda Fountain
Sit at the 1950s counter to watch your malt or float being made to order. Kids enjoy rummaging through the baskets of seashells and plastic toys for sale while waiting for generous scoops of ice cream.
• 93 Market Street, Apalachicola; 850/653-2606

Visit …
A Historical Site: Apalachicola Historic District

More than 900 structures listed in the National Register Historic District remind visitors of the town’s cotton-port roots, dating to the early 1800s. Take a walking tour past stately Victorian homes, original cotton warehouses, and trade buildings. Get a map from the Chamber of Commerce.
• 122 Commerce Street, Apalachicola; 850/653-9419 or apalachicolabay.org

A State Park: St. George Island State Park
With fishing, kayaking, birding, and swimming, this state park can please the whole family. Spend a day or a weekend exploring the 9 miles of undeveloped beach, where pristine dunes and salt marshes abound. Access St. George Island by bridge from Eastpoint, Florida.
• 1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive, St. George Island; 850/927-2111 or floridastateparks.org

A Natural Aquatic Play Place: St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Whether you like to fish, scallop, or simply boat, St. Joseph Bay provides ample space to enjoy. If you don’t own a watercraft, rent one from Presnell’s Bayside Marina or Happy Ours Kayak & Canoe Outpost in Port St. Joe.
• Port St. Joe; 850/227-1327 or floridastateparks.org

 

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