Take A Virtual Vacation to Wonderful Wakulla County, Florida—An Outdoor Paradise

Take A Break and Take a Virtual Vacation in Natural North Florida

Spring 2020 has brought a sllowdown to Florida tourism, and tourism worldwide.. Our Visit Natural North Florida region has slowed, too, and with the restrictions of social distancing and travel we’re all dreaming of better times to come. And we hope that potential visitors, from near and far, take care of themselves, and dream of coming to visit us when the “fever” breaks. In the meantime, take some time to peruse our special “edition” of Virtual Vacations in Natural North Florida. This post is an another in that series. More, featuring highlights of our 15-county region will follow, each including links to local highlights, where “Nature Is Our Theme Park

Paddling the Wakulla River at St. Marks
Fishing the marshes at the mouth of the St. Marks River

No one ever said there was nothing to see or do in coastal Wakulla County, Florida!

Located just south of Tallahassee and Leon County, Wakulla County not only has an active and historic Gulf of Mexico coastline, but has some wild, scenic rivers and one of Florida’s largest freshwater springs. Driving down from Tallahassee (where the local regional airport offers connections worldwide) you’ll pass through Crawfordville, the county seat of Wakulla County. It’s busy there, as you’d expect, and it exists now as a bedroom community for Tallahassee, the state’s capitol. But, as Crawfordville Highway merges onto US98 at Medart, you’ll soon find the best places to visit. To the east, there’s St. Marks and Wakulla Springs and to the west, there’s the town of Panacea and the Ochlockonee River.

The settlement at St. Marks is considered one of the oldest in the US. Be sure to visit the San Marcos de Apalache State Park next to the City Park in St. Marks.
The present town of St. Marks is located at the confluence of the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers, in southern Wakulla County

Wakulla County is the perfect place for a future dream vacation, or for a virtual one–right now!

The Lodge at Wakulla Springs is the perfect place to stage your exploration o Wakulla County
The Lodge is located within Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
You’ll also find excellent lodging at the Best Western Wakulla Inn in Medart.
For lodging that’s a bit more “outdoorsy” try the cabins at Shell Island Fish Camp in St. Marks …..
…or if you’re a camper, hook up at Ochlockonee River State Park, on the western end of Wakulla County, south of Sopchoppy
Take a ride in one of the glass-bottomed boats at Wakulla Springs State Park….
…or splash around in the clear 72-degree F water.
A visit to the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea is a great way to learn about all sorts of marine species!
It’s a hands-on learning experience!
There are several cycling trails in the County, this one alongside the Ochlockonee River from Sopchoppy to the Gulf….
…and another from Tallahassee to St. Marks along an old railroad bed.
In addition to lots of local festivals in St. Marks, Sopchoppy and Panacea, the Wakulla Springs State Park also hosts some interesting public gatherings.
From the town of Newport, just east of St. Marks, you’ll find the entrance to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and the St. Marks Lighthouse
But before you take the drive to the lighthouse stop by Ouzts’ Too, in Newport, for a few delicious local oysters or some fried mullet.
Other “don’t miss” eateries in the area include Posey’s and Hamaknocker’s BBQ in Panacea as well as the Riverside Cafe by the water in St. Marks.
There’s a great kayak launch next to the St. Marks Lighthouse. Larger boats can launch at the City Park in St. Marks or at Shields’ Marina or Shell Island Fish Camp.
When it comes to fishing, Wakulla County’s Gulf of Mexico coastline offers some of the best in Florida. More about that in a future post!