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Franklin County

Get back to nature on a panhandle paradise

Named after the Founding Father whose likeness is on the $100 bill, Franklin County is a quaint and cozy coastal county that’s as green as the currency. The verdant region sits on the Florida Panhandle and is one of the least populated counties in the state, but its human presence has nonetheless been significant. Archaeologists have discovered traces of human settlements dating back 12,000 years, and Native American tribes thrived in the area for eons, subsisting on fishing off the warm Gulf waters. These days, fishing is still a big industry in Franklin County, and its mellow way of life attracts visitors seeking relaxation, adventure and a chance of catching “the big one.”

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Fun on the Water

Virtually 90 percent of Franklin County falls under the rubric of protected parkland or nature preserve. The community’s mammal inventory includes black bears and the elusive Florida panther, while the region’s swamps, beaches and waterways entice passionate bird-watchers. Find fun in the form of canoeing along the 100 miles of the Apalachicola River’s swamplands or go hiking across pristine white-sand beaches. With the small-town hospitality of the county’s rough diamond towns Franklin is a flashback to sultry “Old Florida.”

There’s no point going to the coast if you’re not going to enjoy the water, and in Franklin County, a number of relaxing and eye-opening boat tours are available. If you prefer dry land, take a trip into the Apalachicola National Forest, Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve or Tate’s Hell State Forest.

Historical Franklin County

The Apalachicola Maritime Museum reflects on the things that made this region great, including fishing and trade, while at the John Gorrie State Museum, you can learn about another big part of Franklin County’s history, and one that has nothing to do with the coast. John Gorrie lived in Apalachicola during the early 1800s, and is known for his pioneering work in the fields of air conditioning and refrigeration. The museum looks back on his life and work, and includes a replica of his first ice-making machine.

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Lighthouse fans will enjoy touring the Cape St. George Light on St. George Island. A museum and interactive archive tell the story of this landmark, which traces its history back to 1848.

For More Information

Franklin County

866-914-2068

www.saltyflorida.com

 

Florida Department of Tourism

888-735-2872

www.visitflorida.com