Apalachicola Florida is named after the river that built this town into an ever changing bed of pearls. Famous for it’s scrumptious oysters and seafood festivals of today and hanging on to it’s plush cotton history. The town runs as high and dry as the river it lives on.
Apalachicola has seen the glory days of the big river steam boats to a navy of shrimp boats. The river has always been a huge flow factor in the progression of survival for the town. Logging lumber on the river was another huge boom for the river when the railroad was completed and took over the risky upper river steam boats were out of work. Time and new machines always seem to replace the ever changing Apalachicola river way jobs.
Seafood has always been the key success in this river meets the Gulf of Mexico town. You can dine on local oysters at Boss Oyster Restaurant where they have their own crew of Oyster-Men. These oyster-men go out on the oyster boat “Boss Oyster” and harvest the oysters into the chill cooler on board for you to enjoy upon their return. Now that is fresh from the boat to oyster shucking bar to table as you can get. The sign out front as you enter says it all “ Welcome to Oyster Town, Your Oyster is Our World.”
Exciting to know that Boss has a third generation oyster harvester who is certified by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Commission, making sure you get quality oysters right out of the Apalachicola river. The view of shrimp boats heading out into the sunset is the perfect back drop for a beautiful evening on dock with platters of oysters.
Boss serves up a variety of oyster dishes like Oyster Jalapeño (original), The Crumbly Bacon Oyster (The Crumbly‘s,Md), Oyster St. Jacob (Michael K. Taylor, Ga.) and famous oak smoked oysters. Oyster lovers from locals to travelers from all over can bring in their “Oyster Recipe” to Boss for a try and if it is a success get their recipe and name added to the oyster menu. The popular way to savior a Boss Oyster is raw naked or the traditional way using lemons, horseradish and hot sauce served on a saltine cracker.
Another interesting find downtown is a nice brew house called Oyster City Brewing Company serving up a variety of special IPAs and Ales. Great named beers for their local flavor: Apalach IPA, Hooter Brown Tupelo Honey Ale and Mill Pond Dirty Blonde Ale.
Three out of the four owners here are also the owners of another great restaurant Apalachicola’s Owl Café & Tap Room. This is not your average Café & Tap Room here at the Owl. There is casual dining, a wine room and roof top views of the river surroundings. The Tap Room attached is a step up from the old show “Cheers” with it’s unique brews and oyster servings on the special Tap menu. Walking the streets in downtown leads everyone here for a pleasurable evening enjoying conversations and a wide variety of flavors.
Dog owners enjoying their cocktails on the sidewalks café-style with the dogs lapping up their treats. They shared the name of the store with us that is famous for their dog and cat treats Oyster Bones. Oyster Bones had just closed when we were strolling up town. I sure would’ve loved to get some for my gal pal pups. Oyster Bones are suppose to be the pups meow they say.
Apalachicola has another historical surviving business and it is famed for being in your shower. Apalachicola Sponge Company has been around since 1995 and the home of the original “Soap with Sponge.” The sponge company is owned by locals who found their calling in retailing sponges, honey and Mrs. Joyce’s crafts. Jerry and Joyce Garlick are keeping the local business charm in their success along this river of history.
A weekend of charm, brew and oysters are to be found in this town of history along the Apalachicola river. If a quite get away is what you seek, this is your heaven except during the annual seafood fest celebration. Charm and romance is here in this sleepy river side heaven most of the year.
For the love of oysters this is a perfect chance to enjoy all the town’s restaurants and specialties if only for a day. Apalachicola is also a five star fisherman’s dream vacation to tug at your lures and lines for some of the best fishing the river and gulf have to offer.
Located not to far from Panama City and Tallahassee Florida you could make a great day trip out of it or stay in any of these timely classic styled hotels.
Apalachicola River Inn – Perfect for an oyster love get away.
The Gibson Inn – Close easy access to the charming sights of Hwy 98.
Water Street Hotel – Bring your boat and enjoy all the fishing and water craft fun you can.