Some of the best, quirkiest, most interesting, and most beautiful things to see and do in Florida are miles and miles away from Orlando, Miami, and the Atlantic coast. This winter we decided to head west to “The Forgotten Coast,” otherwise known as the Florida Panhandle. While staying in Carrabelle, we discovered a house built of empty bottles, saw the world’s smallest police station, and visited the Crooked River Lighthouse. Then on to Apalachicola, Florida’s self-described “Oyster Capital of the World,” to enjoy the fruit of the sea at “Up the Creek Raw Bar.” Did we eat raw oysters? You’ll have to watch to find out!
Heading east again, we were able to take advantage of a last-minute cancellation to snag a campsite at Crystal River State Park. The park was once a private tourist attraction with lush foliage, kayaking, a petting zoo, plus rodeos, glass-bottom boats, and swimming in its famous crystal-clear waters. The big amusement parks eventually lured away most of the tourists. Fortunately, the state bought the land and is actively working to restore and conserve this natural treasure.
Finally, we spent some time on a cold, windy day exploring the Crystal River Archeological Site, which was once home to a thriving, Native American community that mysteriously vanished a few hundred years before European settlers arrived in the area.
This video was filmed in late February, just before the realities of Covid-19 began to impact Florida and the rest of the nation. Who could have imagined!