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Big Bend Scenic Byway

Explore Undiscovered North Florida

Scenic Drive: Apalachicola Bay to St. George Island

Driving Directions: Return to the Byway, crossing the John Gorrie Bridge (6 miles), then turn right on South Bayshore Drive (SR 30) for 1 mile to the intersection with SR 300. Turn right (south) over the newly constructed Bryant Patton Bridge for 5.1 miles to St. George Island.

Distance and driving time between this and previous stop: 11.1 miles / 10 minutes.

Apalachicola Bay

Description: Travelers will experience a major change in scenery on Day 2—Gulf Waters to Magical Springs. Upon leaving Apalachicola, the Byway crosses two major bridges with sweeping views of Apalachicola Bay, a State Aquatic Preserve with designated uses such as shellfish propagation and harvesting. The drive also provides a great opportunity to watch Ospreys diving for food, Shrimp boats pulling their nets, and oystermen standing in their boats “tonging” for Oysters.

St. George Island is a 29-mile barrier island that provides access to the seafood-rich waters of Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. During most of its 5,000 years of existence, the island was uninhabited by man. During the early and middle 1900s, the island's pine forests were turpentined. Many scars are still visible on the larger slash pines. The Cape St. George Island Lighthouse now stands at the main intersection on the island. Constructed in 1848 on Cape St. George, it collapsed following Hurricane Dennis in 2005. It has been painstakingly reconstructed brick by brick for public viewing at this new location, and was rededicated in 2008.

St. George Island features numerous beach-front rental properties, as well as a bike trail, and celebrates its relationship to the bay in October with an Oyster Spat Festival.

Other Nearby Destinations: St. George Island Lighthouse.

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