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Apalachicola

About Apalachicola

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 Apalachicola, Florida

Apalachicola, Florida

Apalachicola, Florida

Apalachicola, Florida

Apalachicola, Florida

Apalachicola, Florida

It feels like a long haul between Panama City Beach and here. Add an odd name and a town's below-the-radar reputation to that long drive and you may be tempted to skip Apalachicola. But you shouldn't. It's a weirdly fascinating town that, for some reason, has a growing cosmopolitan veneer. And that makes it worth a visit.Meaning "land of the friendly people" in the language of its original Native American inhabitants, Apalachicola—known in these parts as simply Apalach—lies on the Panhandle's southernmost bulge. European settlers began arriving in 1821, and by 1847 the southern terminus of the Apalachicola River steamboat route was a bustling port town. Although the town is now known as the Oyster Capital of the World, oystering became king only after the local cotton industry flagged—the city's extra-wide streets, built to accommodate bales of cotton awaiting transport, are a remnant of that trade—and the sponge industry moved down the coast after depleting local sponge colonies.But the newest industry here is tourism, and visitors have begun discovering the Forgotten Coast, as the area is known, flocking to its intimate hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, dining at excellent restaurants, and browsing in unique shops selling anything from handmade furniture to brass fixtures recovered from nearby shipwrecks. If you like oysters or want to go back in time to the Old South of Gothic churches and spooky graveyards, Apalachicola is a good place to start.

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Things you can't miss

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Orman House Historic State Park

Tour this antebellum mansion built overlooking the Apalachicola River by a cotton merchant. Don’t miss the adjacent butterfly and botanic garden.

Orman House Historic State Park

Image Credit: Yvette Cardozo / Alamy

Climb Aboard Capt. Gill’s River Cruise

Cruise for a few hours in air-conditioned splendor. Capt. Gill will tell you all about the Apalachicola River ecosystem and its great biodiversity.

Climb Aboard Capt. Gill’s River Cruise

Image Credit: Stephen Alvarez/ National Geographic Creative/ Getty Images

Slurp ’Em Up at the Boss Oyster Restaurant

This establishment has its own harvesting boat to make sure your oysters are kept chilled every step of the way “from bay to belly.”

Slurp ’Em Up at the Boss Oyster Restaurant

Image Credit: Yvette Cardozo / Alamy

John Gorrie Museum State Park — Very Cool!

Pay homage to the father of refrigeration and air conditioning in the state that might have been left to the alligators and mosquitos without them.

John Gorrie Museum State Park — Very Cool!

Image Credit: Pat Canova / Alamy

Explore an Estuarine Research Reserve

Find sweeping views of the Apalachicola River estuary on this mostly boardwalk nature trail. Pass through a succession of four coastal habitats.

Explore an Estuarine Research Reserve

Image Credit: Getty Images

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