Travel Guide to Florida

You’ll Never Forget Florida’s Forgotten Coast

- BY STEVE WINSTON

“Florida’s Forgotten Coast,” actually the panhandle’s Franklin County, was so named because it is a beautiful, peaceful place that’s a bit under the radar. And it certainly has been forgotten, all right. Forgotten by crowds. Forgotten by highrises. Forgotten by traffic jams. And forgotten by outrageous lodging and dining and shopping prices.

But it won’t be forgotten by you… ever. Here, you’ll still feel salty ocean breezes. You’ll still find old-fashioned Southern hospitalit­y, and friendly “Y’alls.” You’ll still find beaches on which your family may be the only people. And here, you’ll still find colorful old-time fishing villages like Apalachico­la, where the fishing fleet still “comes in” to the docks every day.

There are historic neighborho­ods with interestin­g little shops, and seafood restaurant­s offering specialtie­s—such as the famed Apalachico­la oysters—that were in the bay just an hour ago.

On the idyllic tropical getaway of St. George Island, the historic St. George Island Lighthouse dates back to 1853. The town of Carrabelle has the Crooked River

Lighthouse, built in 1895, and also proudly boasts “the world’s smallest police station”— actually an old phone booth! Both lighthouse­s have been faithfully restored, and now feature interestin­g museums.

A tiny town called Eastpoint offers boat tours, fishing charters, and opportunit­ies to get out on the water in a kayak or canoe. And Alligator Point, at the easternmos­t end of Franklin County, has uncrowded beaches with great fishing.

On the “Forgettabl­e Coast,” you’ll see the wonders of Mother Nature everywhere. Franklin County is 90 percent state and national forest, with great hiking and biking trails. You can row, kayak, or float on the

numerous lakes and rivers, or on the Gulf of Mexico. And don’t miss the sunsets on the Gulf!

Franklin County, however, is also about what you won’t see. For example, traffic lights—there’s only one in the entire county!

This region is full of surprises, such as the mom-and-pop shops and the eclectic boutiques and galleries. Or the burgeoning foodie scene, with creative young chefs and new takes on old seafood specialtie­s, and an up-and-coming craft-brewery scene epitomized by Oyster City Brewery and Eastpoint Beer Company. Or the vibrant new music scene.

This region is a relaxing, pet-friendly place—including the beaches—where the scenic old villages are built for walking, and each street has its own special character. Franklin County, in a word, is authentic. And when you visit, you’ll leave believing that the “Forgotten Coast” should be changed to “Unforgetta­ble Coast!”

 ??  ?? CARRABELLE WATERFRONT AT DAWN • FORREST WESSON
CARRABELLE WATERFRONT AT DAWN • FORREST WESSON
 ??  ?? APALACHICO­LA FEATURES A VARIETY OF DINING OPTIONS • VISIT FLORIDA
APALACHICO­LA FEATURES A VARIETY OF DINING OPTIONS • VISIT FLORIDA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA