Day Trip from Port St Joe to Carrabelle

Lying only 45 miles to the east of Port St. Joe is the small but enchanting town of Carrabelle. It is typically one in which an eastbound traveler would ignore and quickly motor through on their way to a larger and more active destination. However, when one does set aside a bit of time to see what makes Carrabelle tick, several interesting things remain to be discovered. 

 

Lying only 45 miles to the east of Port St. Joe is the small but enchanting town of Carrabelle. It is typically one in which an eastbound traveler would ignore and quickly motor through on their way to a larger and more active destination. However, when one does set aside a bit of time to see what makes Carrabelle tick, several interesting things remain to be discovered. 

First, some geography and demographics. While Carrabelle lies those 45 miles from Port St Joe, it’s only about 20 miles east of Apalachicola. Going in the other direction, it’s situated 55 miles west of Florida’s capital, Tallahassee. There’s approximately 2750 full time residents here, making it about three-quarters of the size of PSJ.

There’s no question that the main activity, the predominant economic driver and the center of the Carrabelle world is boating, be it pleasure, sport or commercial. The Carrabelle River as it loops immediately south of the village is as active a thoroughfare as is US Hwy 98 which passes landward through the town. The port provides both shelter from, and access to, the Gulf of Mexico via St. George Sound immediately south of the village. Carrabelle's waterfront combines the authenticity of a working waterfront with the fun of recreational fishing and boating. Charter fishing is readily available.

One of Carrabelle’s unique items of interest is what the city fathers boast as the worlds smallest police stations. A photo is included here. It’s really nothing more than a phone booth, but said booth has an unusual and interesting history dating back over 50 years. It’s too lengthy to include here, but just visit Carrabelle and ask one of the locals about it. You could very well be mesmerized.

If you’ve time, you can hop a scheduled ferry to the remote and lonely Dog Island, about 3.5 miles from Carrabelle. The barrier island, about six miles in length, is best known for its pristine beaches, good shelling, birding, crabbing and shore fishing. There’s no vehicular traffic here but the island does have about 40 full-time residents plus several more holiday homes. Talk about getting away from it all.

One final item….just 3 miles west of Carrabelle stands the Crooked River Lighthouse which was built in 1895 and eventually replaced three lights situated on Dog Island. It’s open to the public. 

When one combines the elements of our recently published “Day Trips to Apalachicola” with a further extension down those 20 miles to Carrabelle, you would certainly have the makings of an extraordinary day exploring the Panhandle….. and all within 50 miles of Port St. Joe. Happy travels.