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Pamela Ackerson

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Relax and Retreat
By Pamela Ackerson
Last edited: Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2006

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A trip to the Apalachicola area

We did it. We had a vacation. It was wonderful and relaxing and we all want to do it again. I mean, we want to go back to the Apalachicola area for vacation, again. We stayed in hotels in Port St. Joe, Marianna, and Wakulla Springs.

The Port Inn with a view of the Gulf in Port St. Joe, a small town on the north part of the Gulf coast of Florida was quaint and comfortable. Their continental breakfast was impressive. Though we didn't make it into the pool, we were told it was heated. But most important was that it was clean and kept up properly. If I remember correctly, the Inn was built in the 1920's and the owners have restored it in a fashion that keeps to the 20's era with all the modern day amenities. Since the Inn is right on the Coast and across the street from a boat ramp, they have oversized boat parking. While we were there, we went to the beach, walked around the downtown area and then off to the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea. (My daughter is interested in being a Marine Biologist) There is a touching and non-touching area for all to experience and someone is there to answer any of your questions.

Our main goal was the Florida Caverns.
And yes, Florida does have caves. They are beautiful. The tour was fascinating and I didn't want it to end. Actually, we all wanted to take another tour but decided to keep to our original plan. There were many other sights to see!
We stayed at the Ramada in Marianna. It was clean and comfortable.

Wakulla Springs Lodge in Wakulla Springs was breathtaking.
We were only going to spend one night at the lodge but after a quick tour of the state park we decided to make it two nights. (Actually, my husband wanted to make it three nights, but alas, we had to go home and do work) I cannot rant and rave enough about the Wakulla Springs area. It was an unanimous vote, when we go back to the northwest area, we will go there.
You can swim in the springs. It's cold. For the three days and two nights we were there the water temperature was 69 degrees. I didn't go swimming. I did go in up to my knees, but that was it. It was just too cold for me. My daughter and husband enjoyed every second of it; jumping in from the high and low platform, swimming back and forth to the raft, etc.
They had a blast.
All in all, we had a wonderful tour of the Apalachicola area and still didn't catch everything. We will just have to go back.

A list of recommended places to visit if you are in the area:
Wakulla State Park
Florida Caverns
Gulf Specimen Marine Lab
John Gorrie State Museum (in Apalachicola, he invented air conditioning in the mid 1800's)
St. George Island
San Marcos de Apalache State Historic Site
The Pioneer Settlement (Blountstown)
St. Marks Lighthouse
The Suwannee River

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park

Florida Caverns State Park

Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory

Port Inn, 501 Monument Avenue, Port St. Joe, Florida


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Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader) 8/23/2006
Sounds like a wonderful time.
Florida is full of caves, as is most of the east coast. All those pirates had to have some place to go. (smiles)

Reviewed by Chrissy McVay 8/22/2006
I didn't know Florida had caves! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us.

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