Carrabelle, Florida

Carrabelle, Florida

Carrabelle is one of the most unspoiled areas of Florida. It is quiet, laidback, and rural yet has all the services you might need for modern comfortable living. Located on the estuary of the Carrabelle River in the panhandle of Florida, in Franklin county, Carrabelle is truly Florida’s forgotten coast. The area was known as Rio Carabella or beautiful river and has always served as a useful port. The original occupations are not much different from those of today: lumbering and fishing. The first lumber mill was set up in 1875 and the town was incorporated in 1893.

Lighthouse tower at Crooked River. The clock in the center of the small town of Carrabelle in Florida. Photo credits, ShutterStock.com, licensed.
Lighthouse tower at Crooked River. The clock in the center of the small town of Carrabelle in Florida. Photo credits, ShutterStock.com, licensed.

About The Community

Development of the area was furthered with the arrival of the railroad. The scenic wonders, particularly the beaches attracted tourists who arrived from Tallahassee by rail road. A luxury resort was built for them as they grew in numbers and Lanark Springs Hotel became a landmark of the area. The town was hit by a hurricane at the turn of that century and most of the structures were completely destroyed. The downtown area was relocated to its present location and had to be completely rebuilt in the early1900s. Today just fifteen people call Carrabelle their home.



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A couple paddles in kayaks along the salt marsh near Carabelle on the Florida Panhandle. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.
A couple paddles in kayaks along the salt marsh near Carabelle on the Florida Panhandle. Photo credit ShutterStock.com, licensed.

The white sugar beaches and slow pace of life are the main factors that attract visitors to Carrabelle even today. One can enjoy every form of water sport in this lovely town. Fishing is the major attraction but people also come here to sail, scuba dive, snorkel, and scallop or to just relax on the pristine white beaches, away from the noise and rush of metropolitan living. You can breathe the salt in the air as you ride the waves and feel the wind in your hair as you sail. Life never seems as perfect as when you watch the sun go down; the beauty of the sunset will remain a lingering memory.

The white sands of Carrabelle beach, Carrabelle, Florida on a February day in 2014. Editorial credit: Fsendek / Shutterstock.com, licensed.
The white sands of Carrabelle beach, Carrabelle, Florida on a February day in 2014. Editorial credit: Fsendek / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

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Vicinity of Carrabelle







Additional Details

The port town has all the modern facilities you may need served with a generous dollop of warm small town friendliness and hospitality. Banks, restaurants, hardware stores, general stores and other services are all located within minutes of one another as you stroll through the picturesque streets. There are no large department stores or malls but you can shop for unique gifts and local art and crafts. The US Highway 98 that goes through the town is the main thoroughfare, but there are no traffic lights anywhere in Carrabelle.

Sign and old brick wall for Harry's Bar in historic Carrabelle, Florida on March 23, 2019. Editorial credit: Ken Weaver / Shutterstock.com, licensed.
Sign and old brick wall for Harry’s Bar in historic Carrabelle, Florida on March 23, 2019. Editorial credit: Ken Weaver / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

The Apalachicola National Forest is a nature lover’s delight. There is plenty of opportunity to observe exotic birds such as oystercatchers and brown pelicans and wildlife such as deer. Visitors enjoy biking or hiking through its shaded trails. You can take canoe or boat or kayak from Hickory Landing to Owl Creel in a slow ride through this beautiful old forest. Another quaint landmark of Carrabelle is the Crooked River Lighthouse. This has guided mariners for a hundred years from 1895 to 1995. It was built to replace one that stood on Dog Island which was destroyed in a hurricane.

A view of Carrabelle RV resort in Carrabelle, Florida in February 2014.  Editorial credit: Fsendek / Shutterstock.com, licensed.
A view of Carrabelle RV resort in Carrabelle, Florida in February 2014. Editorial credit: Fsendek / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

Camp Gordon Johnston Museum describes the life during World War II and particularly about the camp that was run by that name to train ambitious soldiers in 1942. The Georgian Motel is the gateway to the areas most beautiful dune laden beaches. Old Carrabelle Hotel has been beautifully restored in an original construction of the late 1800’s. It is believed that the property was a railroad hotel.

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