Forgotten Coast

The Forgotten Coast is located in the northwest of Florida, the United States of America. It is a registered trademark coined in the early 1990s by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce. The coast stretches from Mexico Beach on the Gulf of Mexico to St. Marks on the Apalachee Bay as a relatively quiet, undeveloped, and largely uninhabited region, which led to it being known as the “Forgotten Coast.”

forgotten coast map
Map showing the location of the Forgotten Coast region of Florida.

The nearest major cities to the coast are Tallahassee, situated around 145 km northeast of Apalachicola, and Panama City, home of Tyndall Air Force Base, about 95 km to the northwest. The Forgotten Coast includes several coastal communities, including (from west to east), Port St. Joe, Cape San Blas, Apalachicola, Eastpoint, Lanark Village, Alligator Point, Panacea, and Shell Point.

Islands And Peninsulas In The Forgotten Coast

The Forgotten Coast spans through the Gulf, Franklin, and Wakulla counties and oversees peninsulas and barrier islands, including St. Joseph Peninsula, Cape San Blas in the Gulf County, and St. Vincent Island, St. George Island, Dog Island, and Cape St. George Island in Franklin County.

St. Joseph Peninsula

beach of Joseph Peninsula Florida USA
Beach of St. Joseph Peninsula, Florida, USA

St. Joseph Peninsula is situated in Gulf County. The peninsula is a 24 km long spit, extending northward from Cape San Blas and bounded by the Gulf of Mexico on the west and St. Joseph Bay on the east. It is also known as St. Joseph Spit, and the northern end is known as St. Joseph Point.  

People of Weeden Island culture occupied several parts, including the Old Cedar, Eagle Harbor, and Harrier. Bahía de San José was the name the Spanish gave the bay. They built a fortification on the mainland opposite St. Joseph Point in 1701. During the War of the Quadruple Alliance in 1718, the French invaded St. Joseph Bay and established Fort Crevecoeur on the shores opposite St. Joseph Point. The Spanish pushed the French out of the area a year later and established Presidio Bahía de San José de Nueva Asturias on St. Joseph Point. Pensacola was lost to France that year, and the new presidio was designated the capital of the newly created Province of the Principality of Nueva Asturias until 1722. The post was moved to Presidio Isla Santa Rosa Punta de Siguenza near Pensacola on Santa Rosa Island.

St. Vincent Island

St. Vincent Island in Florida
St. Vincent Island in Florida.

St. Vincent Island is located between Cape San Blas and the town of Apalachicola on the Florida Panhandle and covers 49.7 square km. It is a national wildlife refuge and a major ground for loggerhead turtles and home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bald eagles, loggerheads, and migrating wood storks. The deer were introduced in the early 1900s when the island was privately owned and used as a hunting ground for exotic games. Today, the island is owned by the Federal Government. The fourteen km long and six km wide triangular-shaped island is accessible only by boat.

Dog Island

Dog Island is located on the northwestern Florida Gulf coast, around 5.6 km offshore from Carrabelle. It is a small barrier island, privately owned, and accessible only by water-taxi, boat, or airplane. The Nature Conservancy owns most of the eleven km in length island, and around 100 residents live on it. Dog Island has a rich maritime history with evidence of human presence on the island as early as 8,000 years ago.

Tourist Attractions On The Forgotten Coast

Editorial credit: Leigh Trail / Shutterstock.com
A group of children feed the birds on the Apalachicola River dock. Editorial credit: Leigh Trail / Shutterstock.com

Most of the attractions and activities occur in the Franklin County section of the Forgotten Coast. Fans of live performances, art and theater scenes enjoy an array of art galleries situated in the corners of Apalachicola’s historic downtown district and scattered throughout St. George Island and Carrabelle. Visitors can also enjoy different recreational activities along Florida’s Forgotten Coast, such as birdwatching, boating, and golfing. The coast offers a wide variety of parks and sites for everyone. Nature lovers can enjoy hiking along the coast or in parks like Bald Point State Park in Alligator Point and St. George Island State Park. 


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