Apalachicola, Florida—unhurried, yet discreetly sophisticated
Apalachicola, or Apalach, as it is known by locals, is located at the confluence of the Apalachicola River and the Apalachicola Bay. Established in 1831, it was once the third largest port along the Gulf of Mexico (after New Orleans, Louisiana and Biloxi, Mississippi). At that time Apalachicola's main industry was cotton, and today, broad downtown streets and numerous brick warehouses harken back to that era. During the fourth quarter of the nineteenth century, the shipment of lumber succeeded cotton; and today, hundreds of historic buildings, built from locally milled heart pine and cypress, make up its vibrant historic district. In 2008, Apalachicola was selected as one of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The location of Apalachicola continues to play the most significant role in its development and future. The Apalachicola basin encompasses what is considered one of the most ecologically diverse systems in the United States. The Bay supports major fisheries such as oysters, shrimp, crabs and finfish; and for the past 100 years, the seafood industry has been the main economic engine of Franklin County. Historically, Apalachicola Bay has produced 90% of Florida oysters and 10% of the oysters consumed nationwide.
For the nature enthusiast, Apalachicola is also buffered by a vast expanse of National and State forests which affords nature walks, spectacular birding, and superb kayaking and canoeing.
Single family residences make up the majority of real estate in Apalachicola, and homes located within its designated historic district are easily accessible to downtown shopping, dining, and art events. Indeed, living in Apalachicola, one can go days and even weeks without getting in a car! It is not by chance that Apalachicola has remained so well preserved while other areas of coastal Florida have become so over-developed. Citizen commitment, together with thoughtful planning and renovation, have played a critical role in maintaining Apalachicola's historic feel. Under the aegis of a well thought-out land use code, the City of Apalachicola has been able to preserve hundreds of historic buildings and sites, as well as maintain its original city squares and green spaces, landmark trees, and accessible alleyways that run through each city block within the historic district.
To learn more about our architectural history, please visit Historic Apalachicola Design Guidelines