Steinhatchee, Florida’s Best Kept Secret
Unexplored Adventures with Dawn by Dawn Perez
We travel all over the Southeast United States, writing about all kinds of amazing adventures we are fortunate to experience. However, when we had the opportunity to experience some adventures in our own backyard, we were excited to play “tourist” in our county for a few days in Steinhatchee. Steinhatchee is a small coastal community located along Florida’s Big Bend. Taylor County is my home and Steinhatchee is a town I’ve spent a great deal of time in, but I wanted the full tourist experience. I wanted to visit as if I’d never been there. We made arrangements to stay along the Steinhatchee River in a place I had never been to, the Steinhatchee River Club. The Steinhatchee River is in my honest opinion one of the most beautiful, scenic, unspoiled rivers in the entire state of Florida. There are sections of this winding river that make you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time. The lands surrounding the river are secluded and brimming with wildlife, countless rare birds and a plethora of fish.
We arrived and immediately fell in love with the cabin at the Steinhatchee River Club. Cozy, charming and peaceful. Nestled just along the river, it was a stones throw from the dock where the pontoon boat we rented awaited. We didn’t waste any time tossing our belongings into our quaint little oasis and headed out for a short scenic trip down the river. It was, simply put, breathtaking. It was exciting to see things from the eyes of a tourist. I imagined what people that visit here for the first time think as they travel down this stunning river. After our boat ride, we had dinner at Roy’s Restaurant. Roy’s is well known for their fresh seafood, abundant salad bar, and thick, juicy steaks. We devoured our perfectly cooked seafood meal and enjoyed the most spectacular sunset before heading back to our cabin. Of course, we were spotted by Linda Wicker, the owner as we drove away and I said to her “Shhhh…you didn’t see me, I’m a tourist this weekend!”
The next day we got up early to head out for some fishing, but not before grabbing a hearty breakfast at Grandpa’s Backyard Restaurant. We had never been there before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Between the three of us, we had omelets and pancakes, it was all hot, cooked perfectly, and delicious.
Now for the fishing. This is something I love to do in my county….fish! Our area is blessed with an abundance of fish from Speckled Trout and Flounder to Red Fish and Black Bass. These species love this area of the Gulf because it’s grassy and shallow, allowing for spawning. There is never a shortage of fish along the coastline of Taylor County. We’ve never had trouble fishing these waters and wound up catching and releasing dozens of speckled trout throughout the day. After a relaxing day of sun, site seeing, and fishing the pristine gulf waters, we headed in. We encountered another amazing sunset, this time while dining at Who Dat Bar & Grille. My hubby had the Flounder which was perfectly fried with a lightly seasoned coating. It tasted amazing. I ordered steak and I’m very picky when it comes to steak. It was probably the best steak I’ve had in a very long time. Seasoned in a way I’ve never had before and so tender I didn’t even need a steak knife. After our dinner, we stopped by the local ice cream shop, Scoops for some lime cheesecake ice cream.
We were sad to leave the next day, but it was time to get back to the real world. The cabin we stayed in was so comfortable and perfect for a small family like ours. There was a loft for kids and a nice comfortable bedroom for us with all the amenities we could possibly need. We reluctantly packed our belongings and stopped in at McDavids for an amazing send-off breakfast of yummy omelets, waffles and crispy bacon.
One last stop was made at the Steinhatchee Falls. It’s a beautiful secluded park along the river with its very own waterfall. No, it’s not like Niagra or anything, but it’s a waterfall…and it’s in Florida. We are most likely the only area in Florida blessed with our very own waterfall. Another must if you ever visit Steinhatchee and I think you should. So we took off our tourist hats and headed home. If you want to be a real tourist and experience this beautiful area in Taylor County with its unspoiled river, and beautiful untouched gulf waters that offer so many opportunities for outdoor adventures from boating, fishing, scalloping, birdwatching, and breathtaking sunsets then visit TaylorFlorida.com for more information and schedule your Unexplored Adventure today.