Unspoiled by over-commercialized attractions and devoid of a hectic atmosphere, Wakulla County presents must-visit communities that are off the beaten path. Sopchoppy is a cozy-old Florida community on the southwest edge of Wakulla County that reminds visitors of Mayberry and easier times. The GF&A railroad referred to fondly as the “Gopher, Frog & Alligator” ran through Sopchoppy and played a vital part in shaping the character of this town. Almost all of the original buildings, including the old railroad depot, have been restored and many are on the National Register of Historic Places. Most have been repurposed as charming shops, restaurants, and businesses. Sopchoppy is located on the east side of the picturesque twisting Sopchoppy River, one of Florida’s blackwater streams. In this undisturbed dark river fed by wild swamps and bordered by wild azalea, tupelo, and ancient cypress, once swam large sturgeon so plentiful they were commercially harvested for their caviar. Surrounded by the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and the Apalachicola National Forest, Sopchoppy is a Florida Trail “Gateway Community.” The area remains a relatively undisturbed hotspot of biodiversity and haven to outdoor enthusiasts. Sopchoppy has become known as the music center of Wakulla County where many local musicians as well as artists work and reside. The Sopchoppy Opry is held the last Saturday of most months and always draws large crowds for an evening of lively entertainment.
The seasonal winds that blow in from the Gulf, enhanced by the geography of the bay and coastline at Shell Point, provide ideal conditions for wind enthusiasts in this small coastal community located in southeastern Wakulla County. Sailors and windsurfers alike are drawn to these shores because of the perfect sea breezes. An entertaining wind ceremony is held early each spring by the local sailboard group to celebrate the natural cycle of wind, water and sun, and ensure fair weather and perfect winds for the coming year. The very active sailing community is supported by the Shell Point Yacht Club which hosts several races and regattas throughout the year and sponsors a local Sea Scout unit. The Stephen C. Smith Memorial Regatta, a total community effort, draws as many as 200 participants and hundreds of spectators from all over the southeast the last weekend in April. Whether you enjoy windsurfing, sailing, boating, fishing, kayaking, beachcombing, bird watching, photography, bicycling, hiking, picnicking, or just kicking back to enjoy the views, the community at Shell Point welcomes you to come experience their little nugget of quiet paradise on the northern edge of Apalachee Bay.
For more information on things to do and places to stay, please go to visitwakulla.com.