Cape San Blas Vacation Rentals in Barrier Dunes:
Florida Panhandle, Pet Friendly Beach!

St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Miles of white sand beaches, striking dunes, 2,516 acre park.  It is surrounded on 3 sides by the Gulf of Mexico and the St. Joseph Bay.  Dr. Beach rated it #1 in the USA in 2002.  Excellent snorkeling, swimming, birding, shelling, crabbing, hiking, fishing, bating and scalloping.  Boat ramp available.  Located just outside of Barrier Dunes!  You can walk to the State Park via the beach, drive or Bike from Barrier Dunes.

Cape San Blas Lighthouse

cape san blas fl lighthouseThe Cape San Blas Lighthouse is now closed & in the process of being moved to Port St. Joe. The "Lighthouse Gift Shop" is open in the old Maddox House in Port St. Joe. Located next door to the Gulf County Tourism Development Council on the waterfront near Frank Pate Park. Come by and check us out, as for now we'll be open only on Friday & Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm.  Call us at 850-229-1151.




St. Joseph Bay surrounds Cape San Blas, FL





Salinas Park

The first park you’ll get to after turning onto Cape San Blas Road, is a beautiful beach front park offering picnic areas, restrooms, & boardwalks that’ll take you straight to the beach.   This is where the horseback riding companies meet you to go riding ON the beach!  See our Things to Do Page or the Links page for information on companies that will take you horseback riding on the Cape San Blas, FL beaches!

Black's Island:  Sits out in the middle of the bay--good snorkeling and scalloping!  Watch for the sandbars if you are boating!





St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center

St. Vincent Island is an unspoiled barrier island at the west end of Apalachicola Bay.  The refuge is open during daylight hours.  It is only accessible by boat and no facilities are available.  Visitor’s Center is located on the north end of Market Street in Apalachicola. Thre are no dogs allowed on on St. Vincent Island, but it's a great place to explore! 850-653-8808.  See links page for shuttle link! 

Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve

Encompassing over 246,000 acres in Apalachicola Bay, it is the 2nd largest Estuarine Research Reserve system in the nation.  Educational center located at the north end of Market Street.  Exhibits on the flora and fauna of the area, an aviary and live giant fish tanks.  850-653-8063.

Cape Palms Park

It is about five miles down Cape San Blas Road.  This new park provides public access, covered pavilions, restrooms, showers, grills, playground and covered deck.   

Apalachicola National Forest 

It is the second largest in Florida, after the Everglades Park.  A subtropical jungle, hosting Florida Panthers, Florida Bears and Alligators in the bayous formed by the delta of the Apalachicola River.   

St. George Island State Park 

This 9-mile long reserve is one of 3 barrier islands that separate Apalachicola Bay from the Gulf of Mexico.  The Reserve’s remoteness and wilderness qualities provide an opportunity to explore and enjoy a remnant of Florida’s original natural landscape.  It is also home to the Cape St. George Lighthouse and lighthouse keeper’s quarters.  Built in 1852, the lighthouse stands 72 feet tall.  Shell collecting is very good.  Accessible only by boat.  850-927-2111. 

Map of Port St. Joe - Cape San Blas, FLCamp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum

Located in Carrabelle.  The base was used as an amphibious training facility for the Normandy Invasion.  697-8575.  

Constitution Convention Museum State Park200 Allen Memorial Way.

Located in Port St. Joe.  Florida’s first state convention was held there in 1830. The state’s first constitution was drafted and signed at this location.  850-653-3333. 

John Gorrie Museum State Park

John Gorrie invented a machine that produced ice, laying the groundwork for modern refrigeration and air-conditioning.  A replica of Gorrie's ice-machine, built from the specification of his 1851 patent, is on display at the museum.

Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory  202 Clark Drive., Panacea. 
This laboratory maintains a 25,000 gallon aquarium and has exhibits of native marine life, bays and marshes.  850-984-8297.   I haven't been but I hear it's really amazing!

St. Joe Wildlife Sanctuary

Located north of Port St. Joe on Hwy. 71.  The sanctuary houses a permanent hospital and rehabilitation center for sick, injured and orphaned animals.  Educational opportunities are for the public.  850-229-WING.

Apalachicola Historic District

Many fine old home and buildings dating from the 1930s.  A scenic walking tour of the town acquaints visitors with sites such as cotton warehouses, which house the City’s once-prosperous cotton export of the 1800s, a sponge exchange and Victorian homes nestled amid magnolias.  Map available at the Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street.

There is also some fun shopping in Apalach--here are just a few of the places you can go!


Shopping in Apalachicola-one of many things to do while visiting Cape San Blas.               

 Chez Funk Outfitters                           Kid's Port- Old Fashioned Toy Store



 Fogotten Coast Outfitters                 The Tin Shed - Lots to explore!


 Tates Hell State Forrest

Wakulla Springs

Wakulla Springs is one of the world’s deepest freshwater springs featuring glass bottom and river-boat tours.  850-224-5950.

Tate’s Hell State Forest

Acres of forest for hiking and biking.  North of Carrabelle on State Route 67.  850-697-3734.

Port St Joe Shopping Directory


Located on the Carrabelle River East of Cape San Blas.  See the World's smallest police station station in the downtown area.  Visit the Crooked River Lighthouse.  Located newa Carrabelle Beach, the lighthouse was built in 1895 and has recently been deeded to the City of Carrabelle. 

Dog Island: 

Accessible only by boat.  Dog Island has a rich maritime history!  Littered around the coves and waters of Dog Island are the remais of shipwrecks and other aspects of regional maritime culture.

Apalachicola National Forest.

 the Apalachicola National Forest, located between Tallahassee and the Apalachicola River, boasts over 564,000 acres where your leashed pet will be most  welcome when you hit the trails!  Despite the fact that this area is one of the most popular of the national forests on the east coast, there are still remote, quiet and remote areas of the park. There are also short interpretive trails for those who are seeing a shorter walk with Fido.  Dogs are also permitted at the numerous lakes here, again, as long as they are kept on a leash.  There is also a 31 mile Apalachee Savannah Scenic byway, which is on the western flank of the forest.

Gulf World Marine Park 

In Panama City Beach.  If you need a great outing for the kids---be a trainer for a day and swim with the dolphins or enjoy the Splash Magic Laser Show at night and journey around the world!


THINGS TO DO PAGE for additional options!

View of the tip of Cape San Blas from the entrance to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park! Pristine!
The park is just outside the gates to Barrier Dunes!

View Cape San Blas from the Bay Side of St. Joseph Peninsula Stae Park.


The beach at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park! Doesn't get any better than this!

Quiet, uncrowded beaches of Cape San Blas FLA


Mr. Crab! A crab we found in a shell while exploring the bay!


Docking the boat at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park! It's nice to have the park so close...we park the boat & are back at Barrier Dunes in 5 minutes!



Shrimp boats in Apalachicola. Apalach has some GREAT seafood restaurants!  See our PLACES TO EAT page!



Enjoy Charter Fishing off Cape San Blas - Inshore or Offshore in the gulf!
Ryan Wright shows off his great catch while Charter fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Copyright © Cape Escape Vacation Rentals, 2014. All photos and content are owned by CEVR/Wendy Jackson.


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Guest Comments:

We had a great time and were really sad to leave. Hopefully we can be back soon. The place was perfect and had everything we needed. My "1st time to the beach" lab had a wonderful time. At first he was a bit hesitant to go too far in, but after a while he was swimming right next to us. Thanks a lot for having this dog friendly beach!
Ruben Lagos

We had an absolutely fantastic time. The location was exactly what I wanted - we took lots of lovely long walks with the dog and she came swimming with us! It was so relaxing and peaceful. I would definitely love to come back -- it is a wonderful escape from the city. Thank you for all your help organizing on short notice -- the ease of organizing certainly added to the relaxing experience.
Elaine Garvey

Just wanted to let you know we loved it! I like the beach early in the morning and had it almost to myself. It was great! Thanks for everything!
Tammie Meadows 



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