Franklin County: Old Florida Lives On

Travel Guide to Florida - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY STEVE WIN­STON

Franklin County sits in the Florida Pan­han­dle, an­chored by towns with names like Apalachicola and Carra­belle. Here, Old Florida lives on. It’s still strik­ingly ev­i­dent in the tiny old fish­ing vil­lages, gen­eral stores owned by gen­er­a­tions of the same fam­ily, and in the his­toric light­houses. In fact, this county is 90 per­cent na­tional and state for­est. And there’s only one traf­fic light.


Water is ev­ery­where. Kayak on it. Take a sun­set cruise on it. And, start­ing in early 2017, cruise on board the pad­dle­wheeler, Jean Mary, once owned by ac­tress Deb­bie Reynolds. You can see wildlife, such as nest­ing sea tur­tles, along­side the shore. And swim at places like St. Ge­orge Is­land State Park Beach, named one of the best beaches in Amer­ica by Dr. Beach.


You’ll be sur­rounded by water, too, when you visit Franklin County’s two his­toric light­houses—the Crooked River Light­house and the Cape St. Ge­orge Light, both beau­ti­fully re­stored with mu­se­ums and pe­riod rooms.

The his­toric towns of Apalachicola and Carra­belle have a mod­ern side, as well, with unique bou­tiques and restau­rants, a thriv­ing arts com­mu­nity and gal­leries and a no­table Plein Air art fes­ti­val. The area also hosts col­or­ful events such as the Florida Seafood Fes­ti­val as well as an oys­ter cookoff and a chili cook-off.

Don’t for­get to saunter through Apalachicola’s Na­tional His­toric Dis­trict, home to 900 his­toric build­ings.


You sim­ply can­not visit this area with­out try­ing the renowned Apalachicola Bay oys­ters, which are har­vested only an hour or two be­fore you de­vour them. At Oys­ter City Brew­ing Com­pany, wash them down with some ex­cel­lent craft beers brewed on-site.

Apalachicola, Carra­belle and St. Ge­orge Is­land are also fast be­com­ing pop­u­lar live­mu­sic venues. In Apalachicola, the Bow­ery Sta­tion, lit­er­ally a hole-in-the-wall ware­house bar, fea­tures the re­gion’s up-and-com­ing mu­si­cians. Rio Carra­belle, lo­cated in a small brick gallery, fea­tures sea­sonal jazz and clas­si­cal con­certs.

TOP: Sun­rise over St. Ge­orge Is­land.

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