Museums & State Parks
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Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve & Friends of the Reserve
The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve is a the second largest in the nation encompassing over 246,000 acres. The Apalachicola National Research Reserve is also a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, an internationally designated protected area meant to demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature. The Reserve's Nature Center in Eastpoint features exhibits on the flora and fauna of the ares including aquariums, open tanks, local sea life, a small theater. Open to the public Tuesday - Saturday 9:00-4:00 pm.
John Gorrie State Museum
Contains a replica of the first ice machine (predecessor to A/C) created by Dr John Gorrie in an attempt to cool his yellow fever patients. His invention later became the basis for the ice industry and air conditioning. Open Thursday-Monday 9:00am-5:00pm 6th Street and Avenue D (850) 653-9347
Chapman Botanical Garden
Time stands still in our garden as you find a place of solitude where you can finish that book, start a new painting or perhaps watch the butterflies in our butterfly garden. Slow down, unwind and reconnect. Located on North Market Street, adjacent to the Orman House Historic State Park. Open Thursday through Monday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Located at Avenue L and 17th Street, behind the old Apalachicola High School, is a city park especially for our furry friends. It's divided into 3 sections: a large dog area, a small dog area, and a "special" section. We expect the special area to be used by dogs or people that want to enjoy the park but don't want or need to be with other dogs and for people with small children to be with just their dog. That might be someone with a handicap, with an older dog, or with a dog that isn't yet socialized enough to be with the others. Each section has a double port gate and seating so people can "sit and stay" for a while. Water and trash cans are located in each area and the large and small dog sections share a big shade structure.
Set amidst 52 acres of breathtaking Florida flora and fauna, the Tallahassee Museum has served as an iconic Tallahassee landmark for more than 60 years. Ranked as one of Florida’s top museums, the Museum’s living exhibits of native Florida wildlife, nature trails and native gardens are renowned by visitors of all ages. The Museum encourages guests to discover and learn about North Florida’s natural environment, rich history and diverse cultural communities. From amazing native animals and rare historic buildings to beautiful natural scenery to exciting public programs, special events, and educational programs, there’s something here for everyone.
Three Servicemen Statue Detail & Veterans Memorial Plaza
The Three Servicemen Statue South non-profit organization was created to raise the necessary funds to bring this one-of-kind detail of the original sculpture to Apalachicola, Florida. The Three Soldiers, Detail bronze sculpture, made from part of the original molds, is set on a black granite pedestal and is the centerpiece of Apalachicola's Veterans Memorial Plaza. The Three Soldiers, Detail statue was unveiled and dedicated July 12, 2008 as an unending expression of our gratitude to the living, fallen, and missing veterans of the Vietnam War and all of our nation's wars. The Three Servicemen Statue is part of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C. (1982 - 1984). Along with The Wall, this monument serves as a symbol of our nation's honor and recognition of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. This monumental figurative work of soldiers speaks to what renowned sculptor Frederick Hart called "their true heroism that lies in the bonds of loyalty". It is a visual reference for the ages of their courage and devotion to their country.
St. George Island State Park
Welcome to Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park Miles of undeveloped beaches on this barrier island provide the perfect setting for the park, which offers ample opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing, hiking, camping, and nature study. Two natural boat ramps provide access to the Apalachicola Bay. These ramps can accommodate small, shallow draft boats under 26 feet. Anglers can fish for flounder, redfish, sea trout, pompano, whiting, Spanish mackerel, and other fish off the beach or in the bay. Few parks offer better opportunities for shelling and beachcombing. The shoreline is active during the summer months when sea turtles and shore birds such as the snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer, and willet lay their nests within the park. Dolphins are also a common sight on the Gulf side and the bayside. The park has six large picnic shelters equipped with grills, tables, and nearby restrooms. Some of these pavilions can be reserved for a fee. Pavilions cannot be reserved for the days surrounding the summer holidays of Memorial Day and July 4th. The campground is located approximately four miles from the ranger station and features 60 campsites with water, electric, a central dump station, and two bathhouses. Two primitive campsites can be accessed by a 2.5-mile trail or by canoe or kayak. A primitive group camping area is also available for scouts and other organized groups. Annual special events include Coffee in the Campground from November through February, Coastal Cleanups in September, and weekly interpretive programs in the fall and winter. Other events and ranger programs are available throughout the rest of the year. Located on St. George Island, 10 miles southeast of Eastpoint, off U.S. 98 - Directions to this Park St. George Island State Park is featured on the Firsthand Florida Fun Blog. Experience this park with Erika Z.’s YouTube video and check out past blog posts from other Florida State Parks
Built in 1838 by Thomas Orman, the wood for this two-story home was cut to measure near Syracuse, New York and shipped to Apalachicola by sailing vessel around the Florida Keys, then assembled on the bluff overlooking the broad estuary and bay of the Apalachicola River. Today the house still resonates with a genteel aura and warmth of the past. Open Thursday-Monday 9:00am-5:00pm North Market Street (850) 653-1209
Raney House Museum
Apalachicola was a small settlement at the mouth of the Apalachicola River when President James Monroe appointed a Port Collector in 1822. By 1828 steamboats operated between Apalachicola and Columbus, Georgia carrying manufactured goods to upriver towns and plantations and returning with cotton destined for mills in New England and Europe. In 1836, 50,000 bales of cotton were shipped from Apalachicola making it the third largest cotton port of the Gulf coast, after New Orleans and Mobile. The three decades prior to the Civil War were prosperous ones for Apalachicola. Revenues from the cotton trade built several fine mansions, including the Greek-Revival Raney House, completed in 1838 by David Greenway Raney. Raney made his fortune in the cotton trade, and served two terms as mayor. David and Harriet Raney had three sons who served in the Confederate forces. One son, David G. Raney, Jr., was a marine officer aboard the C.S.S. Tennessee which was captured by Union naval forces in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864. David was captured but escaped and made his way back to Confederate lines. Members of the Raney family lived in the house until 1914. The City of Apalachicola purchased it in 1973 and established the Raney House Museum which exhibits furniture, documents and artifacts of the 19th century. The Raney House Museum is at 128 Market Street at the corner of Avenue F in historic downtown Apalachicola. The Museum is operated by the Apalachicola Area Historical Society and supported by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council. Contact: (850) 653-1700 or www.ApalachicolaHistoricalSociety.org for more information. The Raney House is open to the public 11:00 am--4:00 pm Monday through Thursday; and 10:00 am--4:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free but door donations are accepted. Special tour group requests to visit The David Raney House may be arranged at any time. Please call 850-653-1700 to make the appointment.
Carrabelle History Museum
The Carrabelle History Museum is housed in a historic building, that for 75 years, was Carrabelle's City Hall. Now a museum, its mission is to preserve the history and culture of Carrabelle and the surrounding Forgotten Coast. Personal memorabilia and local artifacts tell the story of Carrabelle from the eyes and ears of its long term residents. Exhibit items include ancient Native America pottery shards and artifacts, fascinating fossils, tools and other artifacts from the turpentine, lumber and commercial fishing industries, nautical artifacts and history, and a Civil war display... and an endless supply of fascinating stories. The museum also has an exhibit about the steamship “SS Tarpon” which served the city with weekly visits from 1902 to 1937 including the amazing tale of its deadly wreck and the men who survived it. And the original World's Smallest Police Station can be found on display right inside the Carrabelle History Museum. Museum & Gift Shop Hours: Wednesday 12-5 pm Thursday, Friday, & Saturday 10 am-5 pm Sunday 12-5 pm Contact us at email@example.com or 850-697-2141.
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum
A large Amphibious Warfare Training Camp from 1942-1946, it is estimated that over 250,000 men and women passed through Camp Gordon Johnston during its operation. The Camp Gordon Johnston Museum honors and preserves the heritage of these brave soldiers through extensive histories, displays, weapons, videos, and photographs of the area and life, at it existed at the camp. This is the only World War II museum east of New Orleans and the only one in Florida. Admission is free but donations are accepted. Located at its new facility, 1873 Highway 98 West, directly across from Carrabelle Public Beach. Hours are: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00am - 5:00pm. Sunday - Monday: closed. Tours and special requests are welcome with advance notice. (850) 697-8575. www.campgordonjohnston.com. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historic Port Theatre Art and Culture Center
On June 20, 1938, the Port Theatre opened for its first movie presentation, and the residents of Port St. Joe have engaged in a love affair with the building ever since. People still recall the movies they saw such as "Lassie Come Home" in 1944 or "The Greatest Show on Earth" in 1952. Musicals, live theater, and community benefits and events were also held until the theatre closed around 1967. Since then, the building has fallen into disrepair, battered by time and hurricanes. While some improvements were made by recent owners Paula and Wade Clark, the building today remains closed and unattended, in stark contrast to the expressed desire and wishful thinking of many locals through the years.
St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge
Established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1968 for the protection and conservation of migratory birds, St. Vincent NWR is managed to preserve, in as natural a state as possible, it’s highly varied plant and animal communities. The Refuge is comprised of two islands and two mainland tracts totaling approximately 12,492 acres. Popular recreational opportunities include fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, bicycling, kayaking, and nature photography. Surrounded by Outstanding Florida Waters, the Refuge is an important stop-over point along the Gulf coast for neotropical migratory birds and a haven for threatened and endangered species. In addition, St. Vincent NWR serves as a breeding site for endangered red wolves