By  Mike Miller  Updated November 17, 2023

St. Marks, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

St. Marks is a village in Wakulla County about 20 miles south of Tallahassee.  It is at the end of Woodville Highway, also known as State Road 363. 

St. Marks LighthouseSt. Marks Lighthouse
Bob Kyle Photography

Although its population today is only about 300 people, it is one of the most historic towns in Florida. 


St. Marks was one of the important early ports in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. 

This is a result of its strategic location where the Wakulla River meets the St. Marks River.  From this point, the Gulf of Mexico is only three miles south.

This location had been settled as a fort site by the Spanish in 1679, many years before Florida became a territory in 1821.

St Marks LighthouseSt. Marks Lighthouse
Bob Kyle Photography

San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park is near the old fort site at Tucker's Point, where the Wakulla and St. Marks Rivers come together.

The park museum has ancient archeological objects and interpretive displays. 

It is open from 9am to 5pm Thursday through Sunday, and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

San Marcos de Apalache Historic State ParkSan Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park

Another popular landmark which still stands is the St Marks lighthouse;  it is the second oldest light station in Florida.

St. Marks City HallSt. Marks City Hall

It was completed in 1831, and has been repaired and rebuilt several times over the years. 

It's located in the nearby St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

St. Marks Post OfficeSt. Marks Post Office

When Florida became a U.S. territory in 1821, St Marks began to develop because of its location on the St Marks River leading to the Gulf at Apalachee Bay. 

Florida's first railroad was built from Tallahassee down to St. Marks in 1836. 

A plantation economy was developing in North Florida, and cotton was transported by rail to St Marks and shipped out to major seaports like New Orleans and Charleston. 

During the U.S. Civil War, confederate soldiers and guns were stationed in St. Marks.

St Marks and Hurricane Dennis

St Marks was severely damaged by the saltwater storm surge that came along with Hurricane Dennis in 2005.  The flooding that Dennis brought damaged many local businesses. 

It destroyed a St Marks landmark, Posey's Oyster Bar (Home of the Topless Oyster)

St Marks, Florida.Posey's Oyster Bar is Gone Forever

People from all over the state used to come to St Marks just to enjoy a meal at the old ramshackle building that perched out over the St Marks River. 

Posey's had been serving people continuously since the Roaring Twenties.  The building became an eyesore and was finally demolished in 2011.


St Marks Florida today is a place where fishermen, boaters and seafood lovers like to gather. 

It is a weekend destination for many Tallahassee residents. 

Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State TrailTallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

The old railroad has been abandoned and converted into a paved 16 mile long bike, hike and horse trail. 

Even though Posey's is gone, there are still 3 or 4 seafood restaurants in town.

St Marks, Florida, Shell Island Fish CampShell Island Fish Camp

You can also spend the night at Shell Island Fish Camp, shown in the picture above, or Sweet Magnolia Bed and Breakfast.  Both establishments get good reviews on TripAdvisor.

Cooter Stew CafeCooter Stew Cafe

Cooter Stew Cafe Bar and Grille is a good place for lunch or dinner in St. Marks. 

It has a comfortable down home feel and one of the best burgers in this part of the state.


St. Marks Lighthouse 
1255 Lighthouse Rd, St. Marks, FL 32355 | (850) 925-6121 
The historic St. Marks Lighthouse, located within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, is a must-visit landmark that offers breathtaking views and a glimpse into the area's rich maritime history.

As one of the oldest lighthouses in Florida, it provides a picturesque backdrop for photography and a serene setting for contemplation.

The surrounding refuge also offers ample opportunities for bird watching, hiking, and enjoying the pristine natural environment. It’s a favorite spot for those seeking a peaceful connection with nature and history. 

San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park 
148 Old Fort Rd, St. Marks, FL 32355 | (850) 925-6216 
This historic park stands on the site of a 17th-century Spanish fort and offers visitors a chance to explore Florida's diverse cultural heritage through its museum and interpretive trails.

The park's strategic location at the confluence of two rivers has made it a focal point of history for Native Americans, Spaniards, English, and Americans. It’s a must-see for history enthusiasts eager to delve into the stories that shaped this region. 

Posey's Up the Creek Steam Room & Oyster Bar 
1506 Coastal Hwy, Panacea, FL 32346 | (850) 984-5243 
Just about 20 miles from St. Marks in Panacea, there is another Posey’s known for its delicious seafood and laid-back atmosphere.

Enjoy fresh oysters, shrimp, and other seafood delights while soaking in the local flavor. It’s a great place to unwind after a day of exploration and savor the tastes of the Gulf Coast. 

St. Marks Trail 
Capital Circle Southeast, Tallahassee to St. Marks 
The St. Marks Trail offers cyclists and walkers a scenic route from Tallahassee to St. Marks. This paved trail, part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System, is perfect for a leisurely bike ride or walk.

You can enjoy the beautiful landscapes and perhaps spot some wildlife along the way. It’s an ideal activity for those looking to combine fitness with outdoor enjoyment. 

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park 
465 Wakulla Park Dr, Wakulla Springs, FL 32327 | (850) 561-7276 

About 6 miles from St. Marks, Wakulla Springs State Park is home to one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. Visitors can enjoy swimming in the crystal-clear waters or take a guided boat tour to see manatees and alligators. 

One can explore the historic lodge. It’s a favorite destination for those seeking natural wonders and a refreshing dip in pristine waters. 
Cooter Stew Cafe Bar and Grille 
859 Port Leon Dr, St Marks, FL 32355 | (850) 925-9908 
I discussed this restaurant earlier on the page. 
Shell Island Fish Camp 
440 Shell Island Rd, St Marks, FL 32355 | (850)-925-6226 
I mentioned Shell Island Fish Camp earlier on this page and included a picture.  Their site advertises them as “an old school fish camp with everything you need to enjoy the beautiful local waters: rental boats, charters, cabins, motel, camp sites, boat storage, boat repair, bait and tackle." 
Sweet Magnolia Inn 
803 Port Leon Dr, St Marks, FL 32355 | (850) 755-3320 
I also mentioned this Bed and Breakfast earlier on this page. Their amenities include fresh fruit, hot & cold coffee, tea, hot chocolate, juice, sodas & snacks available at all times.

There is a full body massage chair in the lobby area.  Take a stroll in the garden or relax on the broad front & upper porches. 


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