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Where is the Forgotten Coast and Why is it Forgotten?

By Forgotten Coast Web Team | March 24, 2023

Map of Franklin County Florida

Are you wondering where is this Forgotten Coast and why it is forgotten? The Forgotten Coast, Franklin County, Florida, is the quaint coastal vacation spot you’ll wish you’d known about sooner. 

Where is the Forgotten Coast?

The Forgotten Coast (Franklin County, FL) is a large rural county, sparsely populated and tucked behind the pines of the Apalachicola National Forest along the Gulf of Mexico in the panhandle of Florida. It is about 75 miles southwest of Tallahassee and 65 miles east of Panama City. From east to west, the areas of Franklin County are Alligator Point, St. Teresa, Lanark, Carrabelle, Dog Island, EastpointSt. George IslandApalachicola, and St. Vincent Island. We are a one-of-a-kind coastal area and typically a “scenic road trip destination.” 

Why is it called “Forgotten Coast?” 

Funny story… The state of Florida once left us off the state map. We chuckle, but we really don’t mind being Forgotten. It’s part of our extraordinary charm and why we love it here.

Our area is pristinely preserved and sought after for research and conservation. The lack of light pollution makes our night skies a national treasure. Much of our region is designated as a National Biosphere. The St. George Island State Park has received the Dark Sky Certification from the International Dark Sky Association.

Another reason this beautiful region has been dubbed “Forgotten” is because it’s the last remaining stretch of unspoiled, pristine Gulf Coast beaches that high rises and strip malls haven’t overrun. We’re a quite coastal community for a passion for the outdoors.

Whether you’re a nature lover, an outdoor enthusiast or simply an admirer of beautiful scenery, Florida’s Forgotten Coast is the perfect place to visit.

What is the Forgotten Coast known for?

Family Time
We believe a Forgotten Coast vacation is perfect for what we have and what we don’t. It’s a place known for laughter, conversation, and spending quality time together. We are famously known for being a serene, “off the beaten path,” low-key coastal area.

With various outdoor activities for all ages, families can make lasting memories while soaking up the sun and exploring the laid-back atmosphere of this special part of Florida. Whether it’s a family reunion or just a weekend getaway, the Forgotten Coast is the perfect destination for quality time with loved ones.

Explore the Forgotten Coast of Florida and discover a unique and diverse history. From the early Native American settlements to Spanish exploration and colonization, the rise of the cotton and seafood industries, and the influx of tourists in the mid-20th century, the Forgotten Coast has a rich and compelling past. Our history is connected to its maritime traditions reflected many of our local museums and historic sites. There are unlimited tales as old as time on Florida’s Forgotten Coast.

The Forgotten Coast’s unique combination of coastal beauty and historical significance makes it a must-see destination for those looking to explore Florida’s past. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a relaxing vacation spot, Florida’s Forgotten Coast will surely provide an unforgettable experience.

Franklin County features more than 250 miles of Florida beaches. Gulf beaches with miles of gently rolling surf, bay beaches with nature and privacy. Every one of our beaches is beautiful but each one is different.

 “Dr. Beach” has ranked us as a top 10 American beach twice in the last ten years. We don’t have high-rise condo buildings or hotels. We have strict beach rules and regulations to preserve our area for birds, sea turtles, and wildlife. The Gulf waters are hues of blue and emerald green. Dolphins, sea turtles, and over 300 species of birds are a common sight. These factors combine to reveal pristine beaches that aren’t overcrowded and overgrown.

Franklin County boasts two beautifully restored lighthouses. The first is on St. George Island, and the second is at Carrabelle Beach. Each tells a tale of coastal living in Franklin County more than 100 years ago, and each is worth visiting. The Cape St. George Lighthouse and the Crooked River Lighthouse reflect the area’s maritime history and commitment to preserving a unique coastal heritage.

Both lighthouses also host a nighttime climb each month on the full moon. Day or night, the views from the top are breathless and are guaranteed to be a highlight of your trip!

Whether you catch it yourself or buy it from one of our local seafood markets, you won’t be hard-pressed to find delicious, fresh seafood here. We are also the home of the famous Apalachicola Oyster. Though the USFWS closed Apalachicola Bay for the “wild harvesting” of oysters until 2025, oyster farmers have stepped in to restore the oyster population. You can still get delicious oysters served raw, steamed, baked, or any way you like them at most local restaurants.

If you want to plan an exhilarating Florida fishing trip, you’ve come to the right place. Franklin County revolves around water and fishing. You can go inshore fishing, nearshore fishing, offshore fishing, surf fishing, freshwater fishing, fly fishing, and shore fishing. We’ve got the Carrabelle River, Apalachicola River, Apalachicola Bay, Alligator Harbor, and quick access to the deeper waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Whether your are an avid bass fisherman or a master saltwater angler, we have a spot reserved just for you!

Scenic Tours
There are so many spectacular sights to behold across St. George Island, Apalachicola, Carrabelle, Eastpoint and Alligator Point — and scenic tours are the best way to see them. Schedule a guided trip with the local experts and be led by professional guides. These scenic tours give you a chance to view regional wildlife up close and personal, including dolphins, manatees, bald eagles, rare sea birds, Florida black bears and alligators. 

If you’re a little more adventurous and feel like stretching your legs a bit, take one of our self-guided walking tours through the historic areas throughout the county. Step back in time as you explore Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Follow any of these tours at your own pace, and experience the area’s natural beauty and rich historical culture.

With its untouched beauty and endless outdoor activities, Florida’s Forgotten Coast is the perfect destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable vacation. Plan a trip to the Forgotten Coast and discover our small-town charm and wonderfully preserved wildlife and waters.