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.
Although its population today is less than 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.
It had been settled as a fort site by the Spanish in 1679,
many years before Florida became a territory in 1821.
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.
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.
Another popular landmark which still stands is the St Marks lighthouse; it is the second oldest light station in Florida.
It was completed in 1831, and has been repaired and rebuilt several times over the years. It's located in the St Marks National Wildlife Refuge, and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
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 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).
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
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.
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.
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 Cafe Bar and Grille is a good place for lunch or dinner. It has a comfortable down home feel and one of the best burgers in this part of the state.