If you like oysters, no doubt you’ve savored Florida’s best: the large, briny ones that hail from this quaint fishing town in the Big Bend region of Northwest Florida. The secret? Apalachicola is a peninsula within a peninsula, surrounded by the Apalachicola River, Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay. The protected waters serve as the perfect incubator of oyster beds and support of the most diverse marine ecosystems in North America.
Start Here: Guests and locals mingling on the Victorian wraparound porch, swaying in rocking chairs while sipping cocktails from the bar inside, make the Gibson Inn a comfy spot for a weekend getaway. And you can’t beat the location, just over the bridge at the entrance to the historic district, within walking distance of just about everything.
Oysters from the brackish bay are a main attraction in Apalach (as locals call it), and Boss Oyster is the place to go for tastes you won’t find anywhere else. The dress the sweet, plump bivalves more than 20 different ways, with feta, mushrooms, bacon, jalapenos and more. Even if you just have them plain (everything is shucked to order) they taste sweeter on a deck overlooking the Apalachicola River.
Hit the water with Journeys on neighboring St. George Island, your ticket to Gulf, Bay and River excursions. During boat tours of the Bay, guides jump into the water to grab a few oysters from the water, then serve them right on board with crackers and Tabasco.
Stop by photographer Richard Bickel’s studio in the historic Downtown District to see his gorgeous images of Apalachicola and surrounding areas. His gritty yet beautiful portraits of watermen give insight into the people who have cultivated the area’s bounty for generations.