TOWNS ON FLORIDA'S FORGOTTEN COAST
Forgotten Coast is a pretty good name for this section along US-98 in the Panhandle.
Some local chambers of commerce got together in the early 1990s and came up with a name for their lonely stretch of north Florida gulf front towns and beaches.
Map of Florida's Forgotten Coast
The coast extends from Mexico Beach on the west to Shell Point Beach and St. Marks on the east.
It is not nearly as crowded and busy as the beaches to the west toward Panama City and the rest of the Redneck Riviera.
One of the reasons is that's is a long way south of Interstate 10 and miles west of Interstate 75.
Hurricane Michael Hits the Coast in 2018
Category 4, 155 mph, Hurricane Michael slammed into the Forgotten Coast near Mexico Beach on October 10, 2018. The area suffered extreme damage.
Many places have been repaired and are okay, but Mexico Beach is still having trouble recovering from this killer storm. The pandemic has not helped.
They have been working constantly to restore their town, and residents and tourists are beginning to return.
Here are some small towns along the Forgotten Coast that should be remembered as neat places to chill out and enjoy some remaining Old Florida.
The places have great beaches and seafood and a lot of history.
The towns are arranged from west to east as if you are driving along US-98.
MEXICO BEACH is a community of about 1,000 people directly on the Gulf of Mexico on US-98. It's nearest neighbors are Panama City to the west and Port St. Joe to the east.
Highway 98 in Mexico Beach
The video below shows Mexico beach 1 year after Hurricane Michael.
PORT ST JOE was once defined by the rancid stench of its paper mill. The mill is long gone and the town has reinvented itself as a tourist destination. Click on photo for more.
APALACHICOLA is world famous for its oyster harvest and the many restaurants that specialize in preparing them. Click on photo for more.
ST. GEORGE ISLAND is a beautiful barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico connected by a bridge from Eastpoint. The island has a state park, places to stay and eat, and is a pleasant break from the high rise beaches elsewhere in Florida.
EASTPOINT is a working waterfront town across the bay from Apalachicola. It is in the heart of the commercial oyster industry, and also has a great fishing pier. It's where you take the bridge out to St. George Island.
Fishing Boats in Eastpoint, Florida
CARRABELLE is a quiet fishing village that played a large role in World War Two. It's where amphibious landings were practiced before the Normandy invasion. Click on photo for more.
ALLIGATOR POINT is a small settlement on St. James Island on Florida's "Forgotten Coast" south of Bald Point State Park. There is a marina and the area is famous for its clam harvesting. The "End of the World" restaurant is at the marina. Click on photo for more about Alligator Point.
ST MARKS is a tiny fishing village that played an important role in early Florida history. Click on photo for more.
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By Mike Miller, Copyright 2009-2022
Florida Back Roads Travel is not affiliated with or endorsed by Backroads, a California-based tour operator which arranges and conducts travel programs throughout the world.