Bayside B&B with Five-Star Luxuries
Along Florida's panhandle is a shoreline that's been dubbed the Forgotten Coast. The beaches here have escaped heavy development; instead, you’ll get a glimpse of what old Florida was like, with soaring pines, saw palmettos, and snow-white dunes. At the heart of the Forgotten Coast, the St. Joseph Peninsula stretches into the Gulf of Mexico. Cape San Blas Inn is situated on this narrow finger of land, which separates St. Joseph Bay from the open gulf. The inn stands just 200 yards from the beach on the opposite coast.
In the back of the inn, you can look out onto the water from bay windows and screened-in porches. A wooden boardwalk leads toward the water, where you’ll find a dock extending into the bay. You can borrow one of the inn’s complimentary canoes here, or paddle to the end of the pier, where there’s a hot tub situated right on the waterfront.
Inside, no two guest rooms are exactly alike, but some include Sleep Number beds and prints of tropical beaches hanging on the walls. In the morning, the inn lays out breakfast including Starbucks coffee and dishes such as quiche and french toast. Feel free to eat in the large, airy dining room, or carry your plate out to the veranda to watch starfish try to form constellations.
Port St. Joe, Florida: Beachfront Parks and Coastal Towns
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is one of the prettiest beaches in the area. It overlooks both the bay and the shores of the gulf around the secluded eastern tip of the peninsula. The Cape San Blas connects the peninsula with the mainland.
Head inland to the town of Port St. Joe to dine at seafood restaurants or book charter cruises. Farther east, you'll find Apalachicola, a city filled with 19th-century architecture, including the Orman and Raney houses. Both of these Greek Revivalist mansions were built by cotton magnates. If it gets too hot outside, head to the John Gorrie Museum—the former home of the man who pioneered air conditioning.