Best day trip from Cape San Blas
More Things to Do in Cape San Blas Florida
We hopped on the pontoon book with company owner Matthew Godwin who seems to know every inch of the 6,700 acres of these lakes and even where we’d have the best chance of spotting wildlife.
He told us that some people come out and kayak on their own, which sounds fun before I realized I’d be hopelessly lost in about two minutes in these dark tannic waters among the cypress trees and dead tree trunks that give the lake its name.
Matthew expertly guided us through the trees and maneuvered up close to the tupelo trees that were in bloom and prized for the honey produced when the bees feast on their blossoms.
Beekeepers from all over the country flock here during the three weeks the blossoms are blooming, leasing land and letting the bees gorge themselves on the sweet nectar.
It was a delightful tour of a fascinating part of Florida I had not seen before.
After the eco-tour, head to get some of that sweet Tupelo honey for yourself at Smiley Honey, just a short distance away. If the shop isn’t open, help yourself at the honey honor bar outside. Be sure to bring cash.
Best restaurants in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe and Indian Pass
I ate really well in Gulf County and lost count of the number of shrimp I downed as we Bubba Gumped our way through several restaurants.
From pizza to oysters to low country boil, you can get your fill of whatever strikes your fancy. Here are some of my favorite restaurants.
I always said if I ever had a restaurant, which to be clear has about as much of a chance of happening as me becoming an Olympic shot putter, I would specialize in one thing.
There is only one item on the menu at Skully’s Low Country Boil, and it’s one of the most popular Cape San Blas restaurants. The only question to answer is how many servings of this delicious mix of fresh shrimp, smoked sausage, corn on the cob and new potatoes do you want. Choose between one serving or 20 if you’re feeding a crowd.
We enjoyed a heaping pile of the delicious dish our first night in Gulf County, along with oysters from Indian Lagoon Oyster Company.
Local favorite Indian Pass Raw Bar is housed in the former company store for a turpentine operation that started in 1903. Gypsie McNeill served meals in a portion of the store in the 1930s and now her great grandson, Austin McNeill, runs the restaurant.
One of the many young business owners in Port St. Joe, Austin took over the restaurant after the death of his legendary father, Jim McNeill, who passed away in 2020.
While you can get a hamburger here, the specialty is seafood – oysters, shrimp, crab legs and seafood gumbo. There’s an outdoor area with a stage where local musicians perform.
For a delicious sandwich, head to Dagwood’s Delicatessen. For fresh seafood from the Gulf of Mexico, take a seat on the screened porch of LongBill’s. I was surprised to see cheese curds on the menu, as I think of those as a Wisconsin specialty. The smoked fish dip and fish tacos are yummy.
On the sweet end of the dining spectrum, head to Sweet Bunz Donuts for breakfast. Be warned – you may see lines and some items may be sold out if you don’t get there early.
Co-owner Belva shared a bit of her story with us as I enjoyed a bear claw, one of their specialties. Her husband, Richard, trained with a master baker from Germany and has been baking doughnuts for 50 years, making all the doughnuts and pastries himself.
Two more of the young entrepreneurs of Gulf County, sisters Jera Horton & Jae Glass opened Sugar Shack last year, serving handcrafted ice cream and ice cream treats.
We had lunch at Provisions and enjoyed “paella for the people,” a Friday specialty. Other items on the menu here include chicken piccata, shrimp scampi and other pastas.
The colorful décor and humorous signs at Krazyfish Grille made me smile before we even sat down. Menu items include seafood, burgers, tacos and creative drinks, like a margarita served with a tequila floater on top.
Another example of a young business owner, Nicolette Haddock is running the restaurant after her father and founder, Mark, died in 2021. The signs in the restaurant were a reflection of her father’s sense of humor, she told us.
It took a minute to figure out how to order at Sand Dollar Cafe, which serves southern comfort food for lunch and dinner in a cafeteria style. For breakfast, we could choose any three items for $11, which included a biscuit.
With old cookbooks and a game of Candyland hung on the wall, the décor is meant to evoke a feeling of visiting your grandmother’s house.
They don’t serve food, but hanging out, drinking beer and listening to live music at Scallop Republic is one of the favorite things to do on Cape San Blas for locals.
The newest development in Gulf County is WindMark Beach, located on the St. Joseph Bay, with charming houses and a strip of retail and restaurants.
Our dinner the last night was at the aptly named The View on Old 98 at WindMark. We had a table by the window of the open and airy restaurant and enjoyed delicious sushi and ahi tuna salad from the Asian-American menu.
I spied an order of the lobster mac and cheese at a nearby table and can attest that it’s bigger than your head.
After dinner we took a stroll down the boardwalk onto the beach to watch an amazing sunset.
Then we walked the other way and stopped at The Mill Mercantile & Social for a drink. The combo package store/bar/coffee shop has a large outdoor area with games and features live music Thursday through Saturday.
Another popular spot in WindMark is Bruno’s Pizza at WindMark Beach. The daily lunch buffet features all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta, salad, drinks and dessert.
Where to Stay in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe and Indian Pass
Most people who visit Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe and Indian Pass rent a home or cottage. We stayed in a large, sprawling home on Indian Pass that’s perfect for a large group or family.
The Grove at Indian Pass has three buildings with five bedrooms and four bathrooms that sleep 14, a huge kitchen and dining table and screened-in porch. One of the buildings is a game room with pool table and indoor pool.
The best feature is the dock right on the water with magnificent views of the sunset. Second best are the rocking chairs facing the dock that line the screened-in porch.
For plenty more options, visit the VRBO site.
On our previous visit to Cape San Blas, we stayed at a house rented through a company called Sunset Reflections that handles vacation rentals and were very happy with the home and the service.
For another of our favorite Florida beaches, see our story: How to Have an Amazing Vacation in Navarre Beach, Florida.
For more on Gulf County, Florida, see VisitGulf.com
– Photos and story by Jan Schroder, Editor-in-chief