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04/05/24

Rainy days

Rainy days at the beach are both a challenge and an opportunity. You’ve pictured bright sunny days with sand and surf but that doesn’t always happen for your week. You obviously know how to manage a rainy day at home but how do you make the best of your day when you may want to […]

Rainy days at the beach are both a challenge and an opportunity. You’ve pictured bright sunny days with sand and surf but that doesn’t always happen for your week. You obviously know how to manage a rainy day at home but how do you make the best of your day when you may want to be indoors on vacation? The Forgotten Coast offers many indoor museums to engage minds of all ages and interests. Each of the lighthouses’ climbs are a great way to burn off energy but won’t have the touted views on rainy days. This list runs east to west and spans the coast from Mexico Beach, through Port. St. Joe, Apalachicola and all the way Carrabelle. It’s a good idea to check the link before heading out to find out that hours or operations have changed.

Picture from: https://www.coastaljoevacationrentals.com/

Port St. Joe Lighthouse

200 Miss Zola's Drive, Port St Joe, FL 32456
Wednesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:45 PM

The Port St. Joe Lighthouse has been guiding mariners since 1839. This historic landmark features a white masonry tower with a black lantern room, offering panoramic views of St. Joseph Bay. Visitors can learn about the site, explore the grounds and of course climb the lighthouse itself. There is a visitor center, interpretive exhibits, and guided tours that allow you to explore its history.

Constitution Convention Museum

200 Allen Memorial Way, Port St Joe, FL 32456
Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

In the heart of Port St. Joe, the Constitution Convention Museum State Park invites visitors to step back in time and explore Florida's origins. Housed within a historic building, the museum showcases artifacts, documents, and interactive exhibits that provide insight into the state's early constitutional history. Visitors can trace the evolution of Florida's governance, from the drafting of its inaugural constitution in 1838 to the pivotal role played by delegates in shaping the state's future. Guided tours offer deeper insights into the personalities and politics of the era, providing an understanding of Florida's formative years as a state.

St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve & Visitor Center

3915 State Road 30A, Port St Joe, FL 32456
Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

While not a traditional museum, the St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve & Visitor Center offers educational exhibits and programs focused on the local ecosystem and wildlife. The visitor center and observation point will give you a glimpse of the preserve and you can save getting into the woods for a beautiful day. Visitors can learn about the importance of preserving the natural beauty of the region, explore hiking trails and access observation areas within the preserve.

Apalachicola Maritime Museum

103 Water St, Apalachicola, FL 32320
Currently closed for Remodel

Situated along the historic waterfront of Apalachicola, the Apalachicola Maritime Museum celebrates the rich maritime heritage of the region. Through a diverse array of exhibits, visitors can explore the area's seafaring traditions, from boatbuilding and navigation to commercial fishing and oystering. Interactive displays offer hands-on experiences, allowing visitors to learn about the tools and techniques used by generations of mariners. Additionally, the museum hosts educational programs and events that highlight the importance of preserving and protecting the coastal environment for future generations.

John Gorrie Museum State Park

46 6th St, Apalachicola, FL 32320
Monday through Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The John Gorrie Museum State Park honors the legacy of Dr. John Gorrie, a pioneering figure in the field of refrigeration and air conditioning. Through engaging exhibits and interactive displays, visitors can learn about Gorrie's groundbreaking inventions and their impact on public health and comfort in warm climates. From his early experiments with ice-making machines to the development of modern cooling systems, the museum chronicles Gorrie's journey from visionary inventor to scientific pioneer. Guided tours offer a deeper dive into Gorrie's life and work, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of his enduring contributions to society.

Apalachicola Arsenal Museum

1 Bay Ave, Apalachicola, FL 32320
Wednesday through Saturday, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

The Apalachicola Arsenal Museum & Conference Center showcases the history of the military installation established in 1838. The museum's exhibits explore the arsenal's role in various conflicts, including the Civil War, and highlight its impact on the local community. Visitors can view artifacts, documents, and displays related to military history and heritage, providing insight into the strategic importance of the arsenal in defending the Gulf Coast region.

Orman House Historic State Park

177 5th St, Apalachicola, FL 32320
Closed for Renovation

The Orman House Historic State Park offers a glimpse into the antebellum era of Florida's history. Featuring the restored Orman House, a stately mansion built in the 1830s, surrounded by beautifully landscaped grounds, the park provides guided tours that delve into the lives of the Orman family and the cultural significance of the home in Apalachicola's development. Visitors can explore the meticulously preserved interior of the house, including period furnishings and decorative arts, while learning about the daily life of a wealthy Southern family in the mid-19th century.

Raney House

128 Market St, Apalachicola, FL 32320
Wednesday through Saturday, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

The Raney House is a historic antebellum mansion dating back to 1838. It offers a glimpse into the region's rich history and architectural heritage. Visitors can explore the restored interior, featuring period furnishings and decorative arts, while learning about the life of the Raney family and the cultural significance of the home.

St. George Lighthouse

2B East Gulf Beach Dr, St. George Island, FL 32328
Sunday through Saturday; 10:00AM to 5:00PM

The St. George Lighthouse, situated at on St. George Island, Florida, is a historic landmark offering stunning views of the Gulf Coast. Visitors can climb the tower to enjoy panoramic vistas of the surrounding beaches and pristine coastline. The lighthouse also features exhibits detailing its history and maritime significance. The Lighthouse welcomes visitors to explore its grounds and learn about its storied past.

Apalachicola Reserve Visitor Center

108 Island Drive, Eastpoint, FL 32328
Tuesday through Saturday; 9AM to 4:00PM

The Apalachicola Reserve Visitor Center serves as the gateway to the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. This center offers valuable insights into the reserve's diverse ecosystems, including salt marshes, tidal flats, and oyster reefs. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits showcasing the ecological significance of the reserve and its role in supporting biodiversity. From educational panels to hands-on activities, there are engaging opportunities for learning and discovery.

Camp Gordon Johnston Museum

1873 Highway 98 West, Carrabelle, FL 32322
Wednesday through Saturday, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Camp Gordon Johnston Museum honors the soldiers who trained at Camp Gordon Johnston during World War II. Exhibits include artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia that provide insight into the military history of the area and the sacrifices made by servicemen and women. Guided tours offer a comprehensive look at the camp's role in preparing troops for wartime deployment.

Crooked River Lighthouse

1975 Hwy 98 W in Carrabelle, Florida
Wednesday to Sunday, 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Climbing Saturdays and Sundays

The Crooked River Lighthouse is a distinctive maritime beacon with a fascinating history. Visitors can climb the tower to take in breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline and explore exhibits highlighting the  lighthouse's role in navigation and coastal life.

Carrabelle History Museum

106 Avenue B SE, Carrabelle, FL 32322
Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Carrabelle History Museum offers a comprehensive look at the region's rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore exhibits detailing the area's maritime history, Native American heritage, and pioneer settlement. The museum also features artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that bring the past to life. The Carrabelle History Museum invites visitors to discover the stories and traditions that shaped the community.

I hope you have a chance to explore some of the hidden gems of the Forgotten Coast. This is a great starting point to find something indoors and interesting and if you have something to add please let me know at [email protected]. Also don’t forget to get out on the beach after a storm. That’s the best time for shelling and exploring the beach for treasures and sometimes literally treasure.