Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Where is Apalachicola, FL and Why Would You Go There?

We fell in love with Apalachicola, FL back when our son was in school at Florida State, and we would be in-country visiting him. During the day, he had college student things to do (like his own life to lead, LOL) so we would go out exploring, and one of our favorite places to end up was Apalachicola, one of the great oyster capitals of the world.

Where is Apalachicola, FL? (Hint: look down at the lowest point of land on this photo and you will see it; it is at the mouth of a wide estuary)

Apalachicola is another one of the oldest cities in Florida, and has a long history relating to shipping and warehousing. Before, we have always gone there to eat oysters at a really funky place, Boss Oyster. This time we actually took a tour on a golf cart, which was really fun, and took a nature hike, and ended up learning a lot more about a place we really like.

We went to Apalachicola, too, to avoid the Black Friday craziness that seems to have taken over. I know a lot of people are still hurting, economically, and it is painful to me to hear people being encouraged to CONSUME to the point of mindlessness. I understand some of the prices are unbelievably low, I understand that. It makes no sense to me that stores would be open all night, that they would require their employees to come in for an opening Thanksgiving night, or at midnight, or 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. That is sheer consumerist craziness, and I won’t have any part of it.

Apalachicola is just a lovely place. I want to share so me photos with you. This is approaching Apalachicola from the East, on highway 98, which comes in over a long long bridge:

The Apalachicola working boat marina:

An old merchant mansion, The Ormond House, now a State museum, beautifully decorated for Christmas:

The Nature Walk out to the Estuary is hidden behind the shrimp boat marina; you have to know it is there – as our guide did. It was a really nicely done walk, with just a few mosquitos (ouch!)

This is a detail from the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC, the only place in the United States allowed to have this statuary just like the original monument:

Trinity Episcopal Church, founded in Apalachicola by John Gorrie, the same man who originated the thinking behind modern air conditioning. He had patients with cholera, and he figured out that they got better when it was cooler, so he designed ways to keep patients cooler in the long, humid, hot summers of Gulf Florida . . .

There are many beautiful old homes, and a lot of money going into restoring them to their old grandeur in Apalachicola. You can stay in many of them; they are now hotels and bed and breakfasts or inns. Many, however, remain private residences, and retain their allure.

November 29, 2011 - Posted by | Cultural, Florida, Geography / Maps, Living Conditions, Road Trips

5 Comments »

  1. Why is this the only other place the Vietnam memorial statue is displayed? Is the creator from that town? This looks like one of those American gems. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by momcat | November 29, 2011 | Reply

  2. It is a gem. I wish I could have captured that million-mile-battle-stare in their eyes, but the sun was in the wrong location.

    Here is the explanation, as best I can remember. A ‘detail’ is a technical term for a portion of a sculpture which is much larger. Somehow, an agreement was reached that there would be several of these memorials around the USA and then (funding never materialized?) something happened, and no one was authorized to copy any portion of the statue. Apalachicola already had funding and petitioned to be able to build the portion of the statue as previously agreed, and somehow they won approval, and this portion was made. It is a beautiful memorial. I hope you will visit Apalachicola one day – maybe with us?!

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 29, 2011 | Reply

  3. The memorial is actually an exact replica (from the original mold) or the Vietnam Memorial. There were supposed to the 5 of them around the country so that veterans could more easily visit the memorial. The original sculptor passed away, so the deal fell through. A local resident, and platoon mate of the gentleman who got the DC statue done, was able to work with the widow of the original sculptor and get us a “bust”. It is exactly the same as the DC monument, but only the “bust”.

    Thanks for appreciating Apalachicola. We have a big battle going right now with Progress Energy putting large power poles through town. To find out more you can go to http://www.SaveApalach.com

    Comment by Mark | November 29, 2011 | Reply

  4. This definitely looks interesting to me. I almost feel a little of the same flavor as Savannah but on a less beaten path. Let’s put it on the list!

    Comment by momcat | November 29, 2011 | Reply

  5. Mark, thank you so much for the clear explanation. We did see the protest signs against the mega-telephone poles, and later, we saw one of the poles. Hideous! Who ever thought those would be a good thing??? We have above ground wires in Pensacola, and they are awful. We wish you well on your fight against those huge monstrous power poles. And thank you again for explaining how Apalachicola got the bust.

    Momcat – now we really have to visit, and visit the memorial (walking distance from the Water Street Hotel) and eat oysters! Apalachicola is maybe a little like Savannah, except a whole lot smaller and more intimate.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 30, 2011 | Reply


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