Day Four (Wednesday, July 6)
This is the day we covered a lot of ground, trekking from upper central Florida and the region known for its springs to the Panhandle and the “beaches.” I can’t offer you a place to stay here because we crashed with friends. I’m sure with a little Google-fu you can find a cozy respite.
Things to Do:
Drive the coast along Hwy 98. Frankly, this was more interesting to us on the end closest to the “shaft” of Florida before we got the more congested, popular destinations. This is possibly because we are both fans of small towns, small coastal towns, and we’ve lived near the beach for roughly forty years. We’ve also lived in cities for a long time so endless strip malls and traffic is boring.
From Bald Point State Park to Apalachicola was the best strip of Hwy 98. Apalachicola is adorable, quaint, and has a cute little bookshop. (Call ahead and special order All the Bridges Burning, maybe.)
Hitting the beach at Carabelle is also super easy. Just pull off the highway by the kickass old-school picnic tables and pull your clothes off as you run to the ocean. (Note: this works best if you’re wearing a swimsuit under your clothes. Of course, it’s Florida, so why wouldn’t you be anyway?)
For history and nature enthusiasts, Camp Helen State Park makes a nice stop.
Things to Eat:
For breakfast, we had bagels and tofu scramble at the cabin. Lunch was sandwiches, chips, and cherries at Bald Point State Park where we shared a picnic shelter with a lovely group of travelers.
Dinner was at End of the Line Cafe, which not only offers a great wine and beer selection and kickass vegan food, but had a live bluegrass jam session going on during dinner. This was a bit of a splurge, but only because we paid for our friends’ dinner, too. Not paying for lodging that night balanced it out, budget-wise.