Day Trip from Port St. Joe to Apalachicola and St. George Island

Any visitor who spends a week or more in the Port St Joe area and who doesn’t visit the nearby town of Apalachicola, is foregoing a unique opportunity to see a slice of unspoiled, charming and old-time Florida at its finest. The small city of fewer than 2500 residents is less than 25 miles to the east of PSJ and is well worth the effort for a half-day (or longer) outing.

It is a place that is rich in history, is proud of its present and is uniquely situated on the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the river which bears its name. That seaside location had made “Apalach” home to a very large fishing fleet and also has resulted in the place being referred to as the “Oyster Capital of the World”. The marina to the north of town will dazzle you with a vast collection of shrimp, oyster and deep-sea fishing boats, each one seemingly more colorful and diverse as the other.

 

The town boasts of several interesting museums (the Orman House, the Gorie Museum and the Raney House among them), many fine restaurants (don’t miss the Owl Café, Caroline’s River Dining or the Seafood Grill), quite a few parks (including Chapman Botanical Gardens, Lafayette and Battery Parks) and a collection of eclectic shops, stores, markets and, well, bric-a-brac merchants. Downtown historical buildings include the Gibson Inn, dating to 1907, and the Dixie Theater which was built in 1912. Most of the above are within relative walking distance to each other in the handy-sized downtown area. And, like other Panhandle seaside towns, pelicans and other sea birds often dominate the local scenes.

If you’ve time, we would also recommend visiting nearby St. George Island, just 11 miles away. Most of those miles will be spent traversing Apalachicola Bay, at first via the causeway connecting the town to East Point, and then by the new bridge which extends from Eastpoint to St. George itself. The barrier island itself is about 28 miles long and is divided into 3 distinct sections.

 

As you enter the island, you’ll be in the heart of the center of those three regions and this contains a selection of shops, businesses, small parks, homes, a public beach and the St George Lighthouse. The northeastern-most 9 miles of the landmass consists of The St. George Island State Park, a haven for campers, hikers, fisher-people, bird watchers and water lovers. Finally, the southwestern section is a private, gated, highly exclusive housing community with its own airstrip and includes some of the most expensive multimillion-dollar beach homes along the Gulf of Mexico. It’s known as the St. George Plantation.

 

Taken together, these two interesting venues provide the Port St Joe visitor with a fascinating way to spend a day. And the best part is that Apalach is only a half-hour away from PSJ, with St. George only 15 minutes beyond that. Both places are highly recommended, especially the former.