Water Worlds - Page 3
Day 5: Daytrip: Apalachicola & St. George Islands (45 Miles)
From your base camp, drive to the Apalachicola and St. George Island area. Plan on a visit to St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge (850.653.8808; www.floridastateparks.org/wakullasprings), accessible only by boat and home to white-tailed and Asian Sambar deer, wild hogs, and red wolves. Its secluded beach makes for superb shelling. Hook up with Journeys of St. George Island (850.927.3259; www.sgislandjourneys.com) for an all-day paddle to the island, or take the five-minute shuttle from Indian Pass (850.229.1065; www.stvincentisland.com). For dinner, savor Apalachicola Bay oysters right from the water. Boss Oyster (850.653.9364; www.apalachicolariverinn.com/boss.html) has the best selection and sits right on the Apalachicola River.
Day 6: Apalachicola Forest to Panama City (105 Miles)
Head west along scenic Highway 98, stopping in Panama City Beach to make camp at St. Andrews State Park (850.233.5140; www.floridastateparks.org/standrews), which spreads from beach to bay. Catch a five-hour deep-sea fishing trip with Captain Anderson Marina (800.874.2415; www.captandersonsmarina.com), or, for those with shorter attention spans, take the park's boat shuttle to Shell Island for beaching and snorkeling. Dine on fresh seafood at Capt. Anderson's award-winning restaurant (888.US.TOP.50; www.captanderson.com).
Day 7: Panama City to Destin to Pensacola (105 Miles)
Follow scenic Route 30-A to Grayton Beach State Park (850.231.4210; www.floridastateparks.org/graytonbeach) for full-facilities camp near dazzling white sand dunes. Spend the day exploring the gorgeous Panhandle coastline. Drive to Destin to rent jet skis and hit the bay or gulf waters. Hop a sunset cruise and watch for dolphins with Destin's Nathaniel Bowditch Sailing (850.650.8787; www.bowditchsailing.com), then have a seafood dinner at the funky, nouveau-junky Red Bar in Grayton Beach (850.231.1008; www.graytonbeach.com/redbar.html). After feasting, crash in town and wake the next morning for the last few miles of coast-hugging asphalt to Pensacola.