Florida’s Forgotten Coast has so much to offer and so many exciting places to explore, it’s hard to put a limit to them. Here are what we think are the top 5 outdoor adventures that are sure to have your family putting down their electronics and making memories to last a lifetime.
- Night Crabbing
Grab your bucket, net and flashlight. Your fun family adventure begins on St. George Island’s spectacular moonlit beaches. There’s such beauty, but also a great chance to have a ton of fun with your loved ones and even give your kids a good scare with some fiddler crabs! Shine your flashlight around and you’ll see all different sizes of fiddler crabs scurrying around. Make it a game to see who can catch the most and keep your kids entertained while you sit on Florida’s Forgotten Coast’s pristine beaches, relaxing and watching the moon dancing on the water.
Explore the waters of Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Bring your own kayak or grab a rental from one of Franklin County’s many suppliers. Florida’s Forgotten Coast is located in Region B of segments 4 & 5 of the mapped Florida paddling trails organized by the Florida Paddling Trails Association. Our area offers a network of mapped paddling trails from the Apalachicola Bay to the Crooked River. Make it a day trip and explore the Apalachicola Basin, or embark on an overnight camping adventure by exploring the Crooked Rivers mapped paddling trails to one of the area’s primitive campsites for a real off the grid nature experience. No technology required here!
- Seashell Searching
If it’s simplicity and tranquility you’re seeking then seashell searching on one of our island’s unspoiled beaches just might be the perfect leisure activity for your entire family. Make it a competition of sorts and see how many shells you can collect, maybe you’ll get lucky and find a couple of whole sand dollars, or even a star fish (be sure to return him to the water promptly after admiring him)!
- Island Hopping
An exciting excursion awaits your family! Explore some of Florida’s Forgotten Coast barrier islands. An added bonus is you can only get to them by boat or ferry (with the exception of St. George Island, which can be accessed by bridge), so you get to enjoy some time on the water. A great place to start your hopping experience is on St. Vincent Island. Home to the exotic sambar deer, St. Vincent Island is a great place to explore wildlife. In the early 1900s the Sambar deer was imported from Asia along with other foreign species such as Zebra and Eland, but of these, only the Sambar deer survived. You may be lucky enough to spot one! St. Vincent Island is also great for other activities such as seashell searching and hiking.
Our next stop is serene Little St. George. Only accessible by boat or ferry, it boasts 9 miles of beautiful unspoiled beaches and makes the perfect getaway! This island offers the perfect outdoor adventure with primitive camping, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing and seashell searching. After your trip to Little St. George, take a trip to the more established St. George Island. Providing all amenities, St. George Island is the perfect beach vacation destination! Providing a biking and walking path for a majority of the island, your family will have a blast exploring the shops and restaurants. The path also provides easy access to the beach for some fun seashell searching and maybe on your way back, stop for a delicious ice cream treat! Another great activity for fun family time, is fishing in the Apalachicola Bay from the St. George Island fishing pier. If its solitude you’re seeking, then Dog Island is the perfect secluded destination. Referred to as a jewel-like barrier island and featured in the New York Times as “A Florida Shore Where Solitude Rules” (click here to read article), the island offers the perfect opportunity for serenity with no overnight accommodations, only offering primitive camping (the only inn on the Island known as the Pelican Inn is no longer operating). The Island is perfect for birdwatching, which is the best in the spring, quiet walks on the beach, seashell searching and a great opportunity for unobstructed photography.
A super fun adventure hunt is a great way to get your family exploring outdoors. They are everywhere! While you’re visiting some of our barrier islands, take a gander around, and see what you might find. If you visit historic Apalachicola, take a look. You just might find a surprise! With an estimated 200+ geocaching sites from Alligator Point to the western edge of Franklin County, you’re sure to find a treasure on your outdoor adventure. For more information on geocaching click here.