Port St. Joe, Florida – The Forgotten Coast
Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go…Where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. ~ Cheers
In the Florida Panhandle, south of Tallahassee and east of the summertime vacation mecca of Panama City, sits a quiet stretch of land from St. Marks on the Apalachee Bay to Mexico Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. This section of the Florida coast stands in stark contrast to many of the tourist destinations of the Sunshine State. Apalachicola (The Oyster Capital), Carrabelle (a look back at Old Florida), the beach peninsula of Alligator Point, historic Mexico Beach, and Port St. Joe, the small town with a big heart, are just a few of the towns that comprise what is known as the “The Forgotten Coast.” We prefer to call it an “Unspoiled Coast.”
Beach at St. Joseph’s Peninsula State Park
Pristine white sandy beaches
The beach is also a wildlife preserve
There’s no goony golf here and certainly no Ripley’s Believe it or Not museums like you have in Panama City. Nor are there any gigantic souvenir shops where you enter through the wide-open mouth of an upside-down shark. There’s no wild nightlife or gigantic resorts, nor high-rise condominiums blocking views of the beautiful water and white sandy beaches of the Gulf coast. There is, however, plenty of wildlife and a sense that you have taken a step back in time to a slower-paced and simpler way of life.
Cape San Blas Lighthouse which was recently relocated to Port St. Joe
Fishing on the Intracoastal Waterway
Osprey at Dead Lakes
American Bald Eagle at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
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Gwen Pratesi is a James Beard Foundation Award Finalist in Journalism and award-winning travel writer. She is the author and owner of PratesiLiving.com with her husband, coauthor of Southern Heat, and co-owner of On the Road Culinary Adventures, a culinary travel business. She is a contributor to the Travel section of U.S. News & World Report and freelances for other publications including The Points Guy, USA TODAY, Cruise Critic, Travel + Leisure, Garden & Gun, Marriott Bonvoy Traveler, Reader's Digest, Forbes Travel Guide, Smarter Travel, TripAdvisor, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Magazine and World Travel Magazine. Her work has also been featured on MSN, Yahoo!, Business Insider, and SheKnows.
Gwen chronicles her love of international travel and experience as a professional home cook on PratesiLiving.com, where she shares the stories of some of the world's most sought-after destinations and cruise lines, highly regarded chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, wine and spirits producers and culinary artisans.
She and her husband traded in big city life in Atlanta for shorts and flip-flops on Fernandina Beach, Florida. They are enjoying the coastal lifestyle with their Tibetan Terrier, Rhythm.
This is my kind of vacation getaway!! Gorgeous photos and a great post!
Thank you, Amee. Port St. Joe would be a great vacation spot for your family. 🙂
Great article on the Forgotten Coast with fabulous photos…thanks
Thank you, Becky. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
If I may, there is one correction that should be made. The lighthouse that is referenced and pictured above is the Cape San Blas lighthouse, which was recently moved, over the objections of many Cape San Blas residents, to Port St Joe.
Now that you mention it, I remember hearing about that during our tour, so I made the change to the caption under the picture.