Friday, July 10, 2009

Recap of Haunt Jaunt to Gulf County, Florida

We're back from our Haunt Jaunt to Gulf County, Florida, otherwise known as Florida's Forgotten Coast. All I can say is, I don't know what was harder to find: a place to eat or a ghost.


Actually, finding a place to eat wasn't all that hard. It just seemed that way because we stayed on Cape San Blas. The nearest food was in Port St. Joe, 20 miles away. (With the exception of a couple of smaller restaurants, one right across from where we stayed and the other in Indian Pass, maybe 10 miles away. But both were closed when we tried to frequent them.)

After swimming, body surfing, scalloping, snorkeling, and walking on the beach working up an appetite, driving 20 miles on a hungry belly made it feel like there was no food to be found.


There isn't a whole lot to see and do in Gulf County. That's part of its appeal. If you want a nice, relaxed, laid back beach atmosphere, it doesn't get much more laid back than Gulf County.

In fact, on Cape San Blas it was even hard for us to get cell phone reception. (Wayne got better than I did. I could sometimes get one bar, but I couldn't really get a connection.)

However, besides just enjoying the beach, we did take in some sights.


We checked out the Cape San Blas Lighthouse (pictured above). I was really hoping for some ghosts there, but the woman (who's name I unfortunately did not get) who sort of stays out there and runs it and the adjoining Sleeping Beauty Gift Shop assured me there are no ghosts out there.

"I've heard all the legends but I can definitely say I've spent enough nights out here to know ain't nothing haunting this place."


We strolled around Port St. Joe's historic downtown area. Reid Avenue is akin to a Main Street area with shops and such. It's kind of in the process of being revived. There was an old theater that might have had some promising ghost stories, but it was all closed up and for sale.

However, we haunted Joe Mama's Wood Fired Pizza. (406 Reid Ave, Port St. Joe, FL) Man, that pizza was grub! We made sure to eat there twice during our visit.


Also twice we headed over to Apalachicola. Dumb dumb me could've had a Haunt Jaunt t write about there if only I'd thought to check out another haunted travel site first, the Shadowlands Haunted Places Index.

I saw the Gibson Inn when we were walking around the town and had said to Wayne, "Maybe I should get a picture of that place and go inside and ask if they have any ghosts."

But it was hot, we were both thirsty, and Wayne wasn't much in the mood for my "ghost shenanigans" as he calls them. All he wanted to find at that moment was a cold drink.

The next day I checked that index and saw that, yep, the Gibson Inn was listed. Apparently a ghost of a captain haunts room 309 and a lady ghost (thought to be one of the Gibson sister's who ran the hotel in the 1920s) haunts the second floor. As well as sometimes messes with the phones.

Oh well, missed out on that one.

But I can recommend Up the Creek Raw Bar for delicious, fresh seafood. Not to mention it was very reasonably priced. We ordered a dozen oysters on the half shell, a pound of steamed shrimp, a cup of crab soup and a dozen clams in a butter/wine/garlic sauce all for $30. (And that included two teas, sweet of course!)

Also, there were two other big pluses about Up the Creek: (1) it was a doggie-friendly dining establishment, and (2) it boasted an amazing view. We had left Murph back at our digs on Cape San Blas, but had we brought him he would've been welcome to enjoy the view of the water with us on the back deck. And they would've even provided him a fresh bowl of water if he was so inclined.


I would've haunted the volleyball courts they had here if we'd known about them earlier. Sadly, we didn't discover the much more happening St. Joe Beach and Mexico Beach scenes until the end of our visit when we headed to Toucan's our second-to-the-last night for dinner.

Again, no ghosts here. But Toucan's made for a great place to eat. We were seated at a table right next to the beach. (On their outside covered patio. We enjoyed the sea breeze keeping the temps mild, laughed at the sea gulls begging for scraps, and our entertainment was watching the surfers ride the waves.)

If we were more the drinking/bar types, their upper deck is apparently the hip hoppening place to hang at nights.


After having been to more active haunted beach jaunts like St. Augustine or even Charleston, I can safely say Gulf County and the Forgotten Coast is not a happening haunted destination.

However, if you want great fresh seafood, in particular oysters, or if you're looking for uncrowded, unspoiled beaches that also happen to be pet friendly, Gulf County is the place for you.


  1. Thanks for the virtual tour. I've never been to Florida at all but the idea of fresh seafood and endless ocean sounds pretty good about now when it's 110+ in Phoenix! Sometimes ghosts and beautiful coastlines don't mesh. Sounds like a fun and spontaneous trip. I like the kind where you decide what to do once you're there instead of planning it all out. I bet you're all relaxed now.

  2. Cool! Glad your back. But heavens, no food for twenty miles? No wonder there were no ghosts to be found! LOL ;)


  3. Hi girls! I not only missed reading your comments, but your blogs as well. So it's good I'm a bit rested 'cause I got some catching up to do!!!!

  4. Just returned from Cape San Blas. Climbed up from the beach, aimed my camera at the grove near the lighthouse, making sure there were no people in the shot, when a petite lady in a robin's egg blue dress was facing me in the viewfinder. Irritated that I missed this tourist, I looked up, only to see there was no one there. I immediately snapped a photo, but nothing unusual was in it. This has never happened to me before. I'm convinced Cape San Blas Light is haunted.

  5. Well, that is a very weird story and I'm really tickled you shared it here! Thanks. But I'm also jealous. Dang it. Why couldn't I have had such an experience???!!!

  6. Thanks, Courtney. I can't wait to go back. My family loved the area, and next time I'll be prepared to do a little ghost hunting :^)Laurie

  7. It really is beautiful there isn't it? We liked it too. Perfect vacation spot! (And apparently ghost sighting spot for you!!!)