By  Mike Miller Updated January 17, 2023

Horseshoe Beach, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Horseshoe Beach, Florida is a small quiet village at the end of Dixie County Highway 351. It is located near the center of the Big Bend Coast.

It is 19 miles southwest of the almost as quiet town of Cross City located on US-98.

Aerial Photo Horseshoe BeachAerial Photo Horseshoe Beach

The population of Horseshoe Beach is about 169, more or less. The name seems to be derived from the plentiful horseshoe crabs in the shallow waters around the area. 

Horseshoe CrabHorseshoe Crab

These crabs are edible, usually baked or grilled, and people eat the orange-colored eggs inside.  I have never seen them on a Florida restaurant menu, however.

The crab's biggest value seems to be in medical research and drug safety.  Its blood has a rare protein used by drug manufacturers to test their products.


The area around Horseshoe Beach was settled in the early 1800s by a lumbering company.  When the company ran out of timber to cut and mill they began to urge their employees to move out.

In 1935 the lumber interests sold their land to C.C. Douglas and Burton Butler for $324.  A good deal even back then.

Horseshoe Beach Buildings in 1987Horseshoe Beach Buildings in 1987
Florida Memory, State Archives by David Nelson

These men offered the people who were then living there an even better deal:  for $10 they could buy the lot they were currently living on.

Many settlers stayed on and worked as fishermen.

The residents of the town got together in 1963 and went through the process of incorporating Horseshoe Beach.

Norwood, Mary LouFishing Boats in Horseshoe Beach 1982
Florida Memory, State Archives by Mary Lou Norwood


Horseshoe Beach is an interesting mix of private residences, a few vacation condominiums, and other small businesses that serve the fishing, boating, and shrimping industries.

Cottage in Nearby Cedar KeyCottage in Nearby Cedar Key
Photo from VRBO

Many of the permanent residents are retired or engaged in the commercial fishing business.

Horsehoe Beach MarinaHorsehoe Beach Marina

One of the largest and most essential businesses in this tiny village is the Horseshoe Beach Marina.  It is a full service operation with a boat lift and storage for boats and trailers.

The marina also has vacation rentals and RV sites.

Horseshoe Beach CondoHorseshoe Beach Condo
Tammy Bryan with Compass Realty

The village has at least one restaurant, two churches, a park on the waterfront, and a public library. 

It also boasts a small athletic field with areas for both basketball and baseball.

Docks at Horseshoe BeachDocks at Horseshoe Beach

Horseshoe Beach is a great kick off place for kayaking, sport fishing, air boating, and just having a good time on the water.


You might not expect to find a real good restaurant in a small place like Horseshoe Beach, so you will be surprised when you discover the Shrimp Boat. 

Dinner at the Shrimp Boat in Horseshoe BeachDinner at the Shrimp Boat in Horseshoe Beach

The restaurant is owned and operated by Jill and Tyler Futch.  It serves locally caught seafood using delicious southern style recipes passed down from their family for generations.

Map of Horseshoe BeachMap of Horseshoe Beach

Take a look at the Google map above to get a feel for where things are in this unique little place.


Most hotels that serve Horseshoe Beach are many miles away.  Take a look at private homes for rent at Vacation Rentals by Owner.


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