Carrabelle is located along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s Panhandle. Located along the Central Coastal Trail of the Big Bend Scenic Byway, it is 60 miles southwest of Tallahassee and 75 miles southeast of Panama City. Carrabelle is considered the Gateway to the Gulf for its easy access to offshore fishing and boating. Those arriving by vessel call it “the best jumping-off spot in the Panhandle” before crossing the Big Bend toward southern ports. Carrabelle is a naturalist’s paradise and a “walkable community”, with daily conveniences close by.
Carrabelle is laid-back and quiet...rural Florida, where the past meets the present. Unpretentious and friendly, Carrabelle exemplifies small town nostalgia. Uncrowded, white-sand beaches are perfect for family vacations, romantic interludes, river and gulf fishing, or just much needed quiet for the soul. Come down, hang out, unplug! Here you will fully appreciate one of the last unspoiled areas in Florida, where natural treasures await you, and the stresses of life seem to fade away.
The seafood industry has always been strong in Carrabelle, although the focus in recent years has shifted from commercial fishing to sport fishing. The city is headquarters for several “fishing classic” tournaments for charity and large purses. Today, as always, Carrabelle is a great fishing destination for salt and fresh water species. People come to Carrabelle not only for fabulous fishing, but also to sail, snorkel, scuba dive, scallop, play on the beaches, or to just steal away from the real world for awhile.
Ecotourism has become the most popular aspect of the area. The surrounding forests and state parks offer camping, hiking, kayaking, off-road trails, fishing, picnic areas and boat launches. The forest features unique dwarf cypress trees estimated at over a century old! Pitcher plant prairies hold a diverse mixture of carnivorous plants, wildflowers, and grasses. The rich array of wildlife, butterflies, and wild flowers is amazing! Wildlife is plentiful. It is not unusual to spot a deer, fox, blue heron, eagle, pelican, or at the right time of year, to see a family of black bears at play. If luck is really with you, you may be entertained by the local dolphins when walking the beach or riding in a boat.
The ways of our earliest inhabitants, the Civil War, the lives of lighthouse keepers, our working waterfront, the World War II era, the tourism trade and much more are brought to life in Carrabelle’s fascinating historical museums and sites: The Carrabelle History Museum, Camp Gordon Johnston World War II Museum, the Crooked River Lighthouse and Keeper’s House Museum, and The World’s Smallest Police Station. Find more details under “Things to Do” tab.
Until just recently, Florida's "Forgotten Coast" has just been our little secret...shhh!!! Maybe it's better if not too many people know.