Our Guide to Family Fun in Cape San Blas

Are you planning on heading to Cape San Blas with the family for Spring Break this year? Not only can you take advantage of our pet-friendly vacation rentals, white sand beaches, blue-green water and amazing Gulf sunsets, but there are also plenty of activities the entire family can enjoy! Following are some of our favorites:

Fishing

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It’s not surprising that fishing is one of the most popular activities in Cape San Blas. You can simply cast your line from the beach or wade out to the shallow waters to fish.  If you want to get out on the open water you can hire local guides to take you on both inshore and offshore fishing charters.

Inshore charters tend to stay close to shore and the boats are smaller in size. You can expect to catch flounder, redfish and several other species on inshore trips.

Offshore charter boats are typically larger, and travel several miles offshore for the best catch.  Expect to reel in flounder, red snapper, mahi-mahi and others offshore.

Enjoy St. Joe’s Peninsula State Park

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This 1900-acre wildlife preserve is located on the Gulf of Mexico, across the bay from Port St. Joe. You and your family can take advantage of the 9.5 miles of pristine, un-crowded beaches, and the Wilderness Preserve. The park also provides boat ramp access to St. Joseph’s Bay. You can hike, bird and dolphin watch, swim, kayak and much more when you visit.

Spend the day boating

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Cape San Blas is boater’s paradise. The possibilities here are endless. Head out onto the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the protected waters of Eagle Harbor or the blue-green waters that St. Joseph Peninsula is famous for. Don’t have your own boat? No worries, there are plenty of area businesses that that can provide fully equipped boats for rent; pontoons, sailboats, kayaks, center-consoles and more.  Should you choose, you can also charter a boat with a captain at the helm. There’s so much to see from the waters off Cape San Blas — sting rays, dolphins and so much more!

Go beach horseback riding

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Give your family members an experience they won’t soon forget with a ride on horseback along our pristine beaches. Cape San Blas is one of the few places in the Unites States where this activity is allowed. One-hour rides are guided by experts so there’s no horseback riding experience necessary!

Make a beach bonfire

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One of the unique things about Cape San Blas is that they allow bonfires on the beach! And let’s face it, a bonfire is a favorite for all ages — adults, kids and teens. Who doesn’t love a S’more or marshmallow that’s been toasted on a roaring fire? Just be sure to dig a hole for your fire, and cover it up before you leave, so you leave no trace on the beach after you’ve left.

These are just a few of the activities that the whole family can enjoy on your visit to Cape San Blas. So, head to the Forgotten Coast this Spring Break. Your family will thank you for it!

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Get away from the cold this holiday season in Cape San Blas

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Visit us in Cape San Blas this holiday season and enjoy bright sunshine, warm temperatures, pet-friendly, un-crowded beaches and amazing Gulf sunsets; as well as these Forgotten Coast happenings that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

Mexico Beach Turkey-Trot 5K Fun Run

Thanksgiving morning at 8 am-Under the Palms Park, Mexico Beach, FL

This 5K run is a perfect way to burn off calories in advance of Thanksgiving dinner later in the day! Whether you’re participating in the race or cheering on the runners, the Fun Run is a wonderful way to start the holiday season along with family and friends.

Apalachicola Historic Downtown Christmas Celebration

November 24th at 3pm- Apalachicola, FL

Decorated homes

Head to the historic town of Apalachicola the day after Thanksgiving and enjoy some shopping and all sorts of holiday cheer! Businesses will be open late for the day, several historic homes with be decked out for the holidays and carolers will be entertaining revelers with holiday favorites.  The highlight of the event will be the arrival of Santa on a shrimp boat at 4pm at the City Dock.

Holiday Fresh Market

December 2nd at 10am- Apalachicola, FL

Xmas Market

This market is the ideal place to find unique gifts for family and friends from local artisans. Shop for handmade jewelry, crafts, baked goods and more.

Chili Cook-off and Family Bazaar

December 2nd at 12pm- Sailors Cove, Port St. Joe, FL

Work up an appetite before heading to this annual event! There will be plenty of food, live music and a beer garden; in addition to a Family Bazaar, where you can find unique holiday gifts for everyone on your list.

Port Theater’s 1st Christmas Gala

December 7th at 6:30 pm- Port Theater Art and Cultural Center- Port St. Joe, FL

5 Top Christmas Gifts for Gift Giving This Year

Celebrate Christmas at this beloved historic landmark.   The Gulf Coast State College Jazz ensemble & FSU strings will be performing holiday favorites, and there will be dinner and drinks as well!  All proceeds benefit the Port Theater Art and Culture Center.

Christmas on the Coast

December 9th at 5pm on Reid Avenue- Port St. Joe, FL

Come Spend Thanksgiving in Cape San Blas This Year

Historic Reid Avenue is the place to be for this Christmas Parade. Come on out and see holiday festooned floats, boats, trucks and much more as they compete for a prize.

Jingle in the Joe

December 14th at 6 pm- Port Theater Art and Cultural Center- Port St. Joe, FL

Get in the holiday spirit, with performances by local musicians and choral groups.

Celebrate New Year’s Twice

New Year’s Eve- Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, FL

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This is a wonderful opportunity to ring in 2018 twice; first in Port St. Joe at 10pm EST and second in Mexico Beach at midnight, CST. The day begins with a scavenger hunt from Port. St. Joe to Mexico Beach beginning at 9 am, and ends with fireworks to celebrate the New Year!

We look forward to seeing you here in Cape San Blas this holiday season, where you won’t only escape the cold, but also experience the holidays in true Forgotten Coast style!

 

 

Cape San Blas is Amazing in August…and Here’s Why.

Pet-Friendly White Sand Beaches

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The Forgotten Coast has some of the most beautiful, un-crowded beaches in the country; boasting soft white sand and amazing blue-green water. And you can share this paradise with your canine companion!

The George Boyer Band at the Historic Port Theater– August 17th- 314 Reid Street, Port St. Joe

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Come out and see the George Boyer Band at Port St. Joe’s historic Port Theater; as part of their “Thursdays at the Theater” program. This Art Deco style venue originally opened in 1938, as a place for locals to see the latest theatrical releases.  It shuttered its doors in 1967 and fell into disrepair, until it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.  With vigorous fundraising and the help of a local non-profit group, the theater is open again.  Come and see this local historic landmark, while enjoying some fabulous music!

21st Annual MBARA Kingfish Tournament– August 26th- Mexico Beach

3 fishing rods off the back of a boat

This annual tournament is a fantastic opportunity for those who love fishing to win prizes, while at the same time supporting a worthy cause. All proceeds from the event go to MBARA (Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association), whose mission it is to construct artificial reef habitats to enhance sustainable fisheries in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  So, come out for some amazing Kingfish, Wahoo and Spanish Mackerel fishing.  You could win big!

Apalachicola Farmers Market– August 12th and 26th from 9 – 1- Mill Pond Pavilion, Market Street 

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Shop for locally harvested seafood and produce, as well as homemade breads, pies, jewelry, art and other regional specialties at this twice-monthly local favorite.

Beach Horseback Riding

8_2_2017 CSB August HorseWhat a perfect way to explore the uncrowded beaches of the Forgotten Coast! Locals and visitors alike list exploring the beach on horseback as one of their favorite pastimes, and there are plenty of stables in the area that offer guided rides.

These are just a few of the ways Cape San Blas is amazing in August.  Come down to the Forgotten Coast this month and discover the myriad other ways Cape San Blas is truly unforgettable….

 

 

Let the Scalloping Begin!

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It’s that time again….scalloping season on the Forgotten Coast! Every year, this amazing area on the Gulf coast of Florida gears up for recreational scalloping.  Adults and children alike can be seen scouring the bays for these delicacies, and restaurants begin whipping up inventive scallop dishes for their patrons.  Not familiar with scalloping?  Following is all you need to know…

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The Florida bay scallop is a bivalve mollusk that grows and lives in shallow (4-10 feet deep) sea grass beds, commonly found in places like Crystal River, Keaton Beach, Cape San Blas and Port St. Joe.  Scalloping season on the Forgotten Coast commences at the beginning of July and ends around the 4th  week in September.

hands holding a fresh catch of scallops in the shell.

There is very little equipment necessary for scalloping. You will need a boat (not necessary, but best for optimal scalloping), swim mask, snorkel, a small mesh bag and a divers-down flag (which is required by law).  Most scallopers go by boat into waters which are 4 to 10 feet deep, where they drop their anchor, put up a dive flag, and snorkel over the beds; gathering the scallops by hand.  Without a boat, one can simply wade through the shallow waters with a dip net and a mesh bag.

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Collecting scallops is simple. They can be spotted on or near the bottom of sea grass beds; and are particularly easy to see where the sand/mud bottom of the bay meets the edge of the bay grass.  When approached, scallops may attempt to scurry away, but they’re not very fast and can easily be caught.  Remember that when you return to the boat (or shore) with your catch, immediately place your scallops on ice, which will make them easier to shuck, as this forces the scallop to open its shell a bit.

Scalloping Journal

Cleaning bay scallops is more difficult than catching them, but well worth the effort! The simplest way to clean them is to use a scallop or clam knife (a teaspoon can be used as well) to pry open the bottom and top shells, and cut away the white muscle that is attached to the shell.  The scallop’s muscle is what is most commonly eaten (although there are some people who eat other parts of the scallop, as well).

The only thing to do once you’ve cleaned your scallops is eat them! They can be made in a variety of ways: sautéed, blackened, fried, in chowders and over pasta.  A word to the wise…they can very easily become overcooked and dry, so be mindful of how long you’re cooking them.  Bon Appetit!!

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Come and join us on the Forgotten Coast during bay scallop season….we still have amazing homes available for August!

Florida has strict recreational scalloping regulations. Please review these guidelines before embarking on your scalloping excursion.

The following sources were used in writing this post:

https://scallophunter.com/about-scallops/where-to-catch/

https://www.flseagrant.org/fisheries/scalloping/

http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/bay-scallops/

http://www.capesanblas.com/things-to-do-scalloping.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

Cape San Blas is the Place to Be in July!

Cape San Blas is known for its dog-friendly, white-sand beaches, blue-green water, abundant wildlife and laid-back atmosphere!  There’s so much to do and see in this area of the “Forgotten Coast,” and July is an especially busy month at this Florida gem.  Following are just a few of the amazing things happening in July:

Annual Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Festival – July 2nd from 11-4 at Village Drive and George Core Park in Port St. Joe

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This 2nd annual event features music, food and fun!  Its sole purpose, is to help educate the public about sea turtles; one of the most beloved creatures on the Forgotten Coast.  There will be a special focus on the importance of preserving the coastal habitat that the sea turtles call home.  The event is also a fundraiser for the Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Center, so come out and support this very worthy cause!

Downtown Apalachicola Independence Eve Celebration– July 3rd from 5-11pm at Riverfront Park

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Come celebrate our independence a day earlier than the rest of the country!  This year’s event features music from Johnny and the Love Seats.  Lead singer, Johnny Hayes, was recently a featured contestant on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Independence on the Coast– July 4th at Frank Pate Park in Port St. Joe at 10 p.m.

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Celebrate our country’s independence with an amazing firework display over St. Joseph’s Bay. The display will be set off in front of the Port St. Joe Marina, and can be viewed from most areas in downtown Port St. Joe.

Salt-Air Farmer’s Market– July 1st and 15th from 10-1 in Downtown Port St. Joe

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Shop for seasonal produce from area farmers, locally harvested Gulf seafood, and artisan goods while listening to live music.  It’s always fun for the whole family!

Mexico Beach Offshore Classic– July 28 and 29th at Mexico Beach Marina

3 fishing rods off the back of a boat

This 2-day tournament allows anglers a chance to take home $2,500 in cash prizes.  Wahoo, Dolphin and King Mackerel are the fishing categories, with cash prizes up for grabs in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  Fishing will commence at 5am on both days; with weigh in from 4-5:30pm.  It’s a competition that should not be missed!

Bay Scallop Season Begins July 25th at St. Joseph’s Bay in Port St. Joe

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Bay scallop season is one of the most highly anticipated times of year on the Forgotten Coast. Adults and children alike can be seen in area bays scavenging for these delicacies.  They’re surprisingly easy to catch!  For those that would like to get an early start on scalloping, it’s as easy taking a short boat trip east of Indian Pass, where scallop season begins a bit earlier, on July 1.  Stay tuned for more bay scallop events and information in future posts…