Florida’s Forgotten Coast, Indian Pass and Cape San Blas

This is a “retro” blog, but now that I’ve figured out how to upload photo albums into the gallery setting, I thought I’d try to feature a “Destination A Day” until I had finished all my albums. This is a continuation of our travels along Florida’s Forgotten Coast, from Mexico Beach to Apalachicola. I last featured Port St. Joe already, so we’re going to head east now. You take  a quiet two-lane along the coast and it takes about 15 minutes to get to the communities of Indian Pass and Cape San Blas.

Blue Heron at Indian Pass boat launch

Jamie, Tash and Bart on Indian Pass beach

The last time we went to this area we stayed at a VRBO right on the highway called Congo Bongo. It was pet friendly and really neat inside. It was a historic one room schoolhouse that the owner moved from another community and renovated. It’s very homey and comfortable and had every essential we needed. I loved the turtle tile on the tub that was made by a local artist friend of the owner. I really liked the wrap-around porch and on the back deck he has fixed a doggy door where they can come and go from inside to the deck. There’s a wide shoulder along the highway, so I took the dogs for their walks along the road.

The owner lives downstairs and was very nice, telling us all the highlights in the community, sharing some of his fish he had caught with us, and even took us down the beach for a tour and pointed out where a pair of bald eagles had a juvenile in the nest. He does guided fishing tours (Congo Charters) and can take folks out to fish in the rivers or close to shore in the ocean. Congo Bongo is not on the ocean, but does back up to the marsh. The only drawback are the little gnatty bugs. His VRBO is: www.vrbo.com/279523

One of the two Congo Bongo bedrooms

Sunset from Congo Bongo

Fog on marsh, Congo Bongo

We were there for the weekend and had to check out the local claim to fame – the Indian Pass Raw Bar. We got there after dark and it was PACKED! It’s an old store and you go in and help yourself to a cold beer or soda in the store coolers along the back wall. There was a band playing out on the front porch, and all the family-style tables were full of diners. We found a hole along the bar and slid in, ready for some raw oysters on the half shell. After several dozen with accompanying cold beers to wash them down, we were pretty happy. I struck up a conversation with the couple next to us and small world, they were from Nashville and went to Vanderbilt.

The next day, we explored the Indian Pass Campground area and the dogs were excited to rip and run along the beach. We only saw one or two other people and there were little shells everywhere and sand dollar bits, so I recommend this stretch of beach for those with dogs, shell searching or like to have their solitude. During our stay, we packed a cooler (he has an ice machine you can help yourself to) and enjoyed the beach several times. You just drive into the Indian Pass neighborhood and look for a public beach access.

Indian Pass Campgrounds Office

You can take the ferry over to St. Vincent Island from Indian Pass

The other beach is Cape San Blas and it is a penisula that juts out into the ocean and is covered with nice vacation rental homes, a few stores, ice cream shops, and the T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. www.floridastateparks.org/stjoseph/. The state park has miles of sugar white sand and has been rated as one of the top beaches in the United States many times over the years. On the land side is the shallow St. Joe Bay where kayakers and snorkelers can cruise the gentle waters. On the ocean side, there were so many sea birds when we visited and I had a great time capturing their antics. The only drawback to St. Joe Beach is that no dogs are allowed in the park, so we went down to one of the public accesses on the Cape San Blas beach stretch for a while.

I love these birds! St. Joe Beach

Next stop will be Apalachicola, one of our favorite places to visit….

Categories: Travel: FLORIDA | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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