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Big Bend Scenic Byway

Explore Undiscovered North Florida

Stop #9: Apalachicola

Driving Directions: From SR 65 turn right (west) onto US 98 and continue 3.2 miles on the Byway to Eastpoint. At the entrance to town, turn left off US 98 onto Patton Drive (SR 30), cross over SR 300 to St. George Island, and continue west on Bayshore Drive until it intersects with US 98 (1.1 miles). Turn left (west) and cross the John Gorrie Bridge into Apalachicola (6.5 miles).

Distance and driving time between this and previous stop: 10.8 miles / 15 minutes.

Minimum time: Overnight.

Apalachicola Docks

Description: This first day’s drive ends with an overnight stay in the Waterfronts Florida Community of Apalachicola, where travelers can choose from a variety of accommodations, including historic B & B’s, and sample some of the best fare on the Byway. The town has an exceptionally rich history and its maritime culture reflects the area’s bountiful natural resources. Visitors can watch shrimp boats ply the area waters, sample the famous Apalachicola oysters, visit a museum, or browse through unique galleries and antique shops.

Designated a “Distinctive Destination” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Apalachicola has over 900 homes and buildings listed in its National Register District, dating as far back as the 1830s. A scenic walking tour of the town acquaints visitors with sites such as cotton warehouses, which supported the city’s once prosperous cotton export trade during the 1800s.

This segment of the Byway terminates in Apalachicola at the dock on Market Street, where two facilities of interest are located at either end of the parking lot. These are the Nature Center of the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, the second largest of 25 such Reserves in the U.S., and the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center with displays about this remote 12,300-acre barrier island at the west end of Apalachicola Bay.

The city celebrates its heritage each May with a Tour of Historic Homes and the Florida Seafood Festival in November.

Other Nearby Destinations: Orman House State Park, Chapman Botanical Gardens; Chestnut Street Cemetery, John Gorrie State Park, Dixie Theatre; St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center; Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature Center; Apalachicola Maritime Museum.

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