Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Apalachicola Bay (February 22, 2009)

Sunday, February 22, 2009
Apalachicola Bay

Haven't hit a hill worth the name during a wonderful week of traveling in Florida and Georgia, which is reason No. 1 why these are primo Leveler destinations.

Take for example Apalachicola,  - Apalach, to old-timers. It's in Florida's Big Bend area at the confluence of the Apalachicola River and Bay.

Tip: You Snowbirds need to detour off of I-75 for this area to see the real Florida of tranquil rivers and aqua blue bays. Better be quick, though. US 98 is fast becoming a sea level version of California's Coastal Highway 1. A few more seasons of storms and the Gulf of Mexico will be coming up under the pavement.

Turn-of-the-century buildings house boutiques and book shops, hostelries and purveyors of all things maritime.

That's where you wander to work off a lunch or dinner of what many consider the world's sweetest and best oysters. The fish is good, too, but Apalach is known for its oysters: 10 percent of those consumed in the nation, 90 percent of those slurped down by Floridians come from these waters.

Visitors were waiting in line for a table at Apalachicola Seafood Grill, located on Market Street at the historic town's only traffic light. This popular spot claims the biggest fish sandwich and best prices but I was totally satisfied and sated at Boss Oyster House overlooking the riverfront piers on Water Street.

You'd think an oyster basket would contain a lunch-sized portion but here it brimmed with TWO dozen two- and three-bite fried oysters. Plus the best cheese grits around, cole slaw and, as if you'd have room, several corn fritters. Yumm.

Tip: I skimmed the shops until reaching Riverlily on Market Street. It's loaded with things you don't need and a lot more that you'll want. The Baekgaard line of colorful leather goods perfect for traveling caught my eye.


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