Pearl Cottage on the Bay Vacation Rental | Panacea Florida

Mashes Sands Beach
Located just down the road from Pearl Cottage on the Bay, Mashes Sands Beach was recently listed by Delta Airlines magazine as one of the hidden gems of Florida. This lovely, white-sand Gulf beach is ideal for families because the water is shallow enough even toddlers can enjoy themselves. There are restroom facilities at the beach. It’s popular with fishermen, too.

Bald Point State Park
Located just across the Ochlockonee Bay bridge in Alligator Point, Bald Point State Park offers a wide range of aquatic opportunities, from swimming to fishing to kayaking. The park offers access to two Apalachee Bay beaches, Sunrise Beach and North End Beach. Both beaches are wheelchair accessible. Beach wheelchairs can be rented at park office. Picnic pavilions, grills and restroom facilities are also available

Alligator Point
This narrow 8-mile-long peninsula offers a number of public beach access points within this coastal community. It’s a great location for shell collecting, wildlife viewing, kayaking, and surf fishing.

Located 35 minutes to the west on Highway 98, Carrabelle Beach is an easily accessible, curving, white sand beach, just west of the town of Carrabelle. There’s convenient parking, outdoor showers, modern bathroom facilities, and classic Old Florida-style-covered picnic tables.

Saint George Island
For a day’s outing, you’ll love the beaches at Saint George Island. Located an hour west of Panacea on Highwy 98, Saint George is a 28-mile long barrier island of sugar sand beaches and surf. At the east end of the Island you’ll find the Dr. Julian G. Bruce State Park. This wild and scenic beach is often listed as one of the top spots for swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and camping in the United States.

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park
One of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world this park is a wildlife lover’s dream. Small tour boats ply the river several times a day where you can get up close and personal with manatees, alligators, ibis, egrets, coots, ducks, turtles and osprey. Swimming is also popular in the year-round 68 degree water. The Wakulla Springs Lodge overlooks the spring and has a full-service dining room and snack bar. The Lodge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge
Containing over 70,000 acres of diverse habitats along 45 miles of Florida’s Gulf coastline, St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is a mecca for wildlife lovers. Its location makes it a prime resting spot for migrating songbirds and waterfowl and it provides a year-round home to a wide variety of native birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. On a recent survey taken in early June, 73 different species of birds were logged in on one day.

Gulf Specimen Marine Lab
Located in Panacea, the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab is a non-profit marine life education center and sea turtle rehabilitation facility. Family members of all ages will enjoy getting up close and personal with a wide assortment of Gulf creatures, including large “touch tanks” that allow visitors to hold and examine Gulf denizens.

Apalachicola National Forest
One of the largest tracts of forest in the Southeast, Apalachicola National Forest contains an abundance of freshwater streams, rivers, lakes, bogs, and natural springs. It’s also home to a wide variety of bird and animal life including the Florida Black bear and the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. Hiking trails, camping areas, and boat launches can be found without the forest.

Tate’s Hell State Forest
Spanning over 200,000 acres of Franklin and Liberty Counties, Tate’s Hell State Forest was once a huge pine plantation that’s now being restored to its original state. Home to a wide variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles, Tate’s Hell State Forest is a great place to hike for the wildlife enthusiast.

Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve
An hour west of Panacea, you’ll find the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. Its Nature Center is dedicated to educating the public about the estuary ecosystem. Exhibits and aquaria inside showcase plants and animals that inhabit the region. There are also elevated walkways through different environments around the facility.

Pearl Cottage on the Bay is located within easy driving distance of four of Florida’s 29 historic lighthouses.

St. Marks Lighthouse
Located in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge the St. Marks Lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark. The 88 foot tall tower rests on a 12-foot thick limestone base. The Lighthouse has recently been completely restored and is open to visitors.

Crooked River Lighthouse
Located near Carrabelle the Crooked River Lighthouse was built in 1895 to help guide ships into the bay through the East Pass between Dog Island and Saint George Island. An annual lantern fest in October celebrates the magic and history of this amazing landmark.

Saint George Island Lighthouse
After collapsing into the Gulf in 2005, the Saint George Lighthouse was rebuilt and opened for visitors in 2008. First built in 1883, the Saint George Lighthouse holds a commanding post at the foot of the Saint George Island bridge that connects the island to the mainland near Eastpoint.

Cape San Blas Lighthouse
Now located in downtown Port Saint Joe, the Cape San Blas lighthouse was built over 130 years ago. It was designed to guide vessels around the shoals running out from the Cape. Located an hour and half west from Panacea on Highway 98, the Cape San Blas lighthouse also includes two keeper’s quarters and a museum.

San Marcos Apalache Historic State Park
The historic site of a Spanish Colonial Fort is now a National Historic Landmark. First built as a wooden stockade by the Spanish in the 1700s. After a hurricane destroyed the site the Spanish built a stone fort that was eventually used by the English, American, and Confederate forces that once occupied the site. There’s a museum and interpretive trail open for visitors.

Camp Gordon Johnston WW II Museum
Located across the highway from Carrabelle Beach, Camp Gordon Johnston WW II Museum honors and preserves the memory of the men and women who trained there. A quarter of a million people were trained here in amphibious operations to confront tyranny in both Europe and the Pacific.

Prospect Bluff Historic Site
Also known as Fort Gadsden, the Prospect Bluff Historic Sites contains the ruins of two forts on the banks of the Apalachicola River. The first fort, built by the British during the War of 1812, was destroyed by the Americans and resulted in the deaths of over 300 African-Americans holding the fort under British rule. In 1818, the construction of a second smaller fort was led by James Gadsden and remained in use until 1821 when Florida became a U.S. Territory.Historical artifacts and the site of both forts and cemetery can be seen.

Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park
Located between Tallahassee and St. Marks, Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park is the site of the second largest Civil War battle in Florida and where the St. Marks River drops into a sinkhole and flows underground for a quarter of a mile before remerging. Confederate soldiers successfully repelled three major attacks by Union forces, making Tallahassee the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi not captured by the Union. Picnic and fishing areas as well as a monument to the Confederate soldiers who defended the area can be found here.

Panacea Mineral Springs
Located in Panacea, Mineral Springs was founded in 1895. Known for its healing properties, the seven springs in the park are famous for their curative properties. During the early 1900s visitors from all over the world came to bathe in the waters and stay in the grand Panacea Mineral Springs hotel.The hotel was eventually destroyed in a fire and much of the area has fallen into disrepair, but the springs and remnants of the facilities still exist.