Looking at a map of Florida, that portion where the eastern panhandle approaches the peninsula is often referenced as the “Forgotten Coast.” That phrase is a trademark registered by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce in the early 1990s for promotional purposes. It encompasses the coastal area from Mexico Beach to St. Marks. The point is to highlight this quiet and relatively uninhabited section of Florida for marketing, promotion, commerce, and tourism. We specifically elected to stay in Apalachicola for a few days in order to explore this area.
So, what did we see???
Departing Panama City, we drove through Tyndall AFB noting that construction is still underway as repairs continue following 2018’s Hurricane Michael. The damage was extensive. Michael roared through the Florida Coast and up into Georgia. Mexico Beach was nearly demolished. So, too, Tyndall AFB. It is now over 2 years later (Michael came ashore October 10, 2018) and the repairs and reconstruction continue!!! Here are some photos:
Now, a little history about Port St. Joe and Apalachicola
Port St. Joe, founded in 1835 by prominent businessmen from Apalachicola, became a major seaport for Apalachicola. The Apalachicola Northern Railroad came in 1909. Major highways are nearby. The Intracoastal Waterway connects from St. Marks, Florida to Brownsville, Texas. Barges moved inland on various rivers including the Mississippi, Tombigbee, and Apalachicola Rivers. This entire area was a hubbub of commercial activity: lumber mills, saltworks, fishing, sponges, cotton from the North. And Apalachicola was the center of it all.
Apalachicola prides itself as authentic “Old Florida” with its New England roots, charming southern traditions, and laid-back attitude. It’s a seafood town and is often referred to as “Oyster City.” The locals call it “Apalach.” Here’s the windshield tour of Port St. Joe, Apalachicola and St. George Island:
Our next installment, part 4 Tallahassee, will conclude the adventures of our Florida Panhandle Road Trip. The state capital is lovely, and the geocaching was fun!!!
We’ll show you!!!
We’ll also report on the challenges encountered traveling during Covid times!!!