Visitors tell us “This is what Florida used to be like”: A Florida that does not exist anywhere else. Eighty-seven percent of Franklin County’s 545 square miles is in national preserves, state forests and protected lands. Pristine uncrowded beaches, one of the most abundant bays in the world and 200 years of history make this place exceptional. Here, there is room to breath, nature works at its own pace and our coastal communities think of visitors as neighbors.
Travel the Big Bend Scenic Byway, US Highway 98, to access the wonders of Franklin County. Between Ocholocknee Bay and the Gulf, the secluded peninsula of Alligator Point is home to Bald Point State Park offering remote sandy beaches and exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities. On St. James Island, the golf community of St. James Bay features an 18-hole, par 72 Audubon International championship course with full amenities.
Laid-back and quiet, the hamlet of Carrabelle combines an authentic working waterfront with full-service marinas for fabulous fishing and recreational boating. Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum and the recently restored Crooked River Lighthouse highlight the area’s importance in regional history. If you choose to bring your boat, many vacation rentals are available with deep water dockage.
The area’s world renowned oyster industry has deep roots in the bay side community of Eastpoint. Franklin County harvests 90% of the oysters sold in Florida and 10% of the oysters sold nationwide.
Forget the rows of high-rise condos! St. George Island is 22 miles of serene beach dotted with traditional cottages and contemporary beach houses. Accommodations for two or twenty-two are easily found. The endless miles of bay and gulf waters are perfect for kayaking and fishing. The island’s center features a restored Cape St. George Lighthouse, a public beach, children’s park, shops and restaurants. St. George Island State Park has picnic pavilions, nature trails, and a modern campground for RVs and tents.
Apalachicola, rich in maritime history and famous for its seafood, has discreetly sophisticated shopping, nationally recognized restaurants and a restored historic district like no other in the Panhandle. As the center for Arts and Culture, the 1830’s port town features art galleries, museums, and a professional theatre all located within 200+ historically significant homes and commercial buildings. Hotels, inns and charming bed & breakfasts are in easy walking distance.
St. Vincent Island, Little St. George and Dog Island are only accessible by boat, and are prefect for birding, hiking, swimming, shelling or simple solitude. With acres of undisturbed natural beauty, Tate’s Hell State Forest and the Apalachicola National Forest provide numerous trails and recreation areas for access to fishing, camping and hunting.
Franklin County is the exceptional Florida, natural, historic, authentic “Old Florida”. Tickle your feet in the sand, tour history, explore nature or just relax.