City Profile: Apalachicola

By: VISIT FLORIDA staff

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This little town is a seafood lovers' paradise with fresh oysters, blue crabs and shrimp right out of local waters.

Surrounded on all sides by water, Apalachicola is a seafood lovers' paradise. Over 90 percent of the state's annual oyster harvest comes from Apalachicola Bay. If you are curious, oyster farmers can be seen harvesting more than 10,000 acres of carefully tended beds with special tongs. Blue crabs and shrimp are also locally abundant. Whether slurping down oysters at a "raw bar" or having a seafood dinner, Apalachicola will tickle your taste buds.

Named for the Native American tribe that once inhabited the area, Apalachicola was put on the map in 1848 by Dr. John Gorrie. He invented an ice-making machine to cool the rooms in the area to prevent yellow fever. The predecessor of refrigerators and air-conditioners, his invention made Florida a more hospitable place to live. You can see a replica of this machine in the John Gorrie Museum State Park. The original is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

Experience the bird-watchers' haven of St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, explore the fort held by Native Americans and runaway slaves against U.S. forces at Fort Gadsden State Historic Site, or view the lighthouse at Cape St. George. Nearby Carrabelle and Dog Island are also scenic retreats. If secluded beaches and native beauty are to your taste, Apalachicola is the place to unwind.

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