Apalachicola, Florida Travel Guide
Where is Apalachicola, Florida?
Apalachicola Florida is named after the river that built this town into an ever changing bed of pearls, the Apalachicola River. Located 60 miles east of Panama City, this quaint little town is part of what is known as “the forgotten coast” of the Florida panhandle,
A riverfront community where life seems slower, more relaxed and beckons you to sit and stay awhile.
Apalachicola’s glory days included big river steamboats and a navy of shrimp boats. The town started as a hub for shipping cotton in 1822. The logging industry also boomed here in the mid-1800s and by the early1900’s the seafood and sponge trade were top industries in this small town.
Apalachicola isn’t really “forgotten” any more. Now famous for its scrumptious oysters, seafood festivals and reputation as a fisherman’s paradise. Yet it’s still holding on to its old Florida charm.
What to do in Apalachicola
Located along the riverfront where a few shrimp boats still dock are the local shops, pubs and restaurants. The old red brick warehouses have been re-imagined into a locals and tourist destination.
The Tin Shed
A unique nautical shop filled with everything from maritime antiques to decorative painted wood signs. It’s hard to take it all in as The Tin Shed is overflowing with treasures.
You’ll find a little bit of everything that represents the sea and the beach. Mermaids, pirates, sailors, pelicans, sea turtles, ship wheels, the most beautiful collection of glass floats and so much more.
It’s an eclectic mix of the new and old, the outrageous and the tasteful and simply has something for everyone.
Oyster City Brewing Company
Another interesting find downtown is a nice brewhouse called Oyster City Brewing Company serving up a variety of special IPAs and Ales.
They have great named beers for their local flavor: Apalach IPA, Hooter Brown Tupelo Honey Ale and Mill Pond Dirty Blonde Ale. They are now brewing beer 7 days a week, offer happy hour specials and free popcorn.
A great local vibe with indoor and outdoor seating, Oyster City Brewing Company is a great spot to relax with a brew, visit and people watch.
Owl Cafe & Tap Room
Three out of the four owners at the Oyster City Brewing Company are also the owners of another popular restaurant, Apalachicola’s Owl Cafe & Tap Room. So popular, reservations are suggested.
Serving lunch and dinner during the week with and a brunch menu on the weekend afternoons.
The Tap Room offers unique brews and oyster servings on the special Tap menu.
Oyster Bones Pet Store
Dog owners can enjoy their cocktails on the sidewalks café-style with the dogs lapping up their treats. Then stroll over to the famous pet store Oysterbones.
A pup’s little heaven with a ton of gourmet treats to choose from and even has a “doggie toy testing area.”
Of course, they cater to cats and humans too. Everyone can find something they’ll love.
Apalachicola Sponge Company
The Apalachicola Sponge Company opened in 1995 and is the home of the original “Soap with Sponge.”
The sponge company is owned by locals, Jerry and Joyce Garlick, who have a passion for the natural sponges harvested from the Gulf of Mexico.
They adamantly only work with sponge harvesters who are “good stewards of the sea,” which means the harvesters cut the sponge with a sharp knife leaving an inch behind so it can regrow. The harvesters also squeeze the sponge prior to putting it in their bag in order to release more spores in the area so new sponges will grow.
Along with natural sponges, you’ll find Tupelo honey, luxury bath products and handmade soaps.
Where to Stay in Apalachicola
The only truly historic luxury inn which opened in 1907. After Hurricane Michael in 2018, much of the inn is updated including the unique rooms. Your stay includes a free breakfast and there is an on-site restaurant. The do have a few rooms which are designated as dog-friendly.
A condo hotel directly on the river. One bedroom condos as well as two bedroom two bath condos are available and each condo is decked out with everything you need from a fully equipped kitchen to a washer-dryer.
There are only four rooms in this boutique hotel, making it a wonderfully romantic stay. Each room has a full size refrigerator with ice maker and a microwave. The cozy garden area and large wrap-around decks will make it hard to leave the hotel.
Spend the day or a weekend shopping, sipping craft brews and eating your fill of oysters in this old Florida town full of history along the Apalachicola river.
If a quiet getaway is what you seek, Apalachicola is your heaven.
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