The Panhandle of Florida is one of our favorite areas to visit. We’ve never visited this time of the year and this is an ‘explorative’ trip, seeing how we like the area during a non-touristry season. We have stayed at nearby St. George Island many times (since early 1990s) and visited Apalachicola, but never with this purpose. The next four days will be spent exploring the city and surrounding area.
it’s roughly a five-hour drive, taking a scenic, non-interstate route. Rocky’s is our normal stopping point, a chance to stretch our legs and walk through their store.
And the store is amazing! Combination gas station, eatery, truck stop, fishing supplies, convenience store, deer stands, animal feed, crab & pinfish traps, scalloping supplies and the list continues. We needed gas.
There is a BBQ competition this weekend in Apalachicola, their first such event and one that they are trying to grow into an annual event. Since we’re were arriving late, we stopped to check it out before going to our hotel.
Music was part of the event as the judging was occurring.
The whole event was winding down so we headed to our hotel, Water Street Hotel & Marina. It’s a fairly new place that we have never stayed at and tried it for a change of pace.
There was a welcome committee that never moved as we went inside. I assumed they’re siblings. Throughout the weekend, we kept running into the cats. One evening they followed us to our room on the fist floor and was used to being invited inside (but not us – sorry kitties).
Our room was much nicer than what I expected. It has a small kitchen, two bedrooms – one with bunk beds – and a screen porch that overlooks the Apalachicola River.
After dropping off the luggage we started walking. We’re close enough to walk to the downtown area which was very fortuitous. We walked past a new storefront that had a name from the past: Betsy’s Sunflower. When we started visiting in the 1990s, this was the coolest store. I bought so many linens, dishes and food items, Eric tried to limit my spending, ha! They just had things in that store that I couldn’t seem to find anywhere else!
We had to step inside the store and ask the question……….were they related to the other store? Yes! It is the same owner. 🙂 She left in 2005, headed for Maine and recently scoured Apalachicola to find another store front in the town to reopen her store in Florida. Yeah!!!!! She graciously allowed me a photo. She mentioned how she has heard numerous stories from shoppers that remembered her other store. Betsey is on the left.
There are just too many things in her store to capture in a few photos but since my purchases in the past always involved linens, I couldn’t resist.
Our walk had a purpose in mind, dinner. After checking restaurant hours over the next few days, we settled on ‘Hole in the Wall’ since Saturday night would be our only opportunity on this trip to eat there.
There are several ‘salty’ characters and the lady that controls it all (Barbara) keeps all the men in line. There’s no photo on purpose, she wouldn’t stand still for such nonsense. This gentleman does all of the shucking and preps the oysters.
Eric had to start with oysters, since Apalachicola is the ‘oyster capital of the world’. While 1 1/2 dozen didn’t nearly satisfy his craving, it was a start. Yes, I ate one and they were good. 🙂
This fish dip is always a great starter and suited my appetite more. Somehow fish dip always taste better when eaten near the coastline.
And the seafood baskets (grouper, oyster), fried of course………….
It’s just a fun place to grab a bite to eat. When there is only the two of us, we sit at the bar. Eric never met a person he couldn’t strike up a conversation.
Main street had an ‘old-fashioned soda fountain’. After walking the block, we stopped and we shared a chocolate malt to ‘fill in the cracks’ our dinner didn’t.
Saturday was a good beginning to our weekend trip. It gave us a chance to see another side of Apalachicola.