The closest beaches are on St. George Island, about a 15 minute drive from Apalachicola. From the Cypress house, drive back towards downtown Apalach, turn right at the blinking caution light at the corner of the Grill Restaurant. Follow HWY 98 through town and onto the Apalachicola Bridge. When you cross the bridge, take your first RIGHT in Eastpoint (directly past the Cypress Corner Fruit Stand). Continue to the 'Y', veer RIGHT onto the St. George Island Bridge. You will arrive on St. George Island.
Lighthouse park behind the lighthouse-
When you get to the island stop sign, turn right and then left into convenient island parking. The public beach is not only easy to find but there are bath house facilities, covered pavilions for picnics, a playground and ball court for the younger generations. The Cape St. George Lighthouse and lighthouse Keeper's House are also located in nearby Lighthouse Park. Like most beaches in Franklin County this beach gently slopes and, although there are no lifeguards on duty, the surf requires only normal caution to be fun for the whole family. Naturally you should use caution on any beach during rough weather, but difficult swimming conditions are a rarity here.
St George Island State Park At the lighthouse take a left onto Gulf Beach Drive and drive till you reach the park entrance. St. George Island State Park beach, located at the far east end on St. George Island, was ranked in the Top 10 by Dr. Beach. At nine miles in length, this is the longest beach front state park in Florida. And you have a lot of choices how to enjoy it. There are two large beach use areas with ample parking, picnic pavilions, beach house facilities, grills and boardwalks. This beach is renowned for its soft, white sand, gentle surf and softly-sloping bottom that makes for easy beach enjoyment for the whole family. If you would like more privacy there's plenty of beach that is easy to get to. A number of small pull-off parking areas provide boardwalk access all along the length of the beach. Fishing is a common activity with spring bringing locally famous runs of pompano and Spanish mackerel, while the fall months bring redfish and speckled trout. Pets are allowed on leashes in parking lots but not on the beaches. Alcohol is not allowed in the park. There is an entrance fee and please observe the speed limit rules as they are enforced. When you bring the family to St. George Island State Park you'll find Florida beaches the way they used to be.
Both provide public access to the beach with restrooms, picnic tables, and other amenities. And, most of the north/south roads on the island provide a public access to the beach.
The closest boat launch (other than Bay City Lodge) is Abercombie Landing. It is located up river from the house. From the Cypress House, take a RIGHT onto Bluff Road (12th Street). Follow Bluff Road until it comes to an end.(about 1.5 miles) Abercombie Rd will be on the Left. Turn LEFT, follow Abercombie Road (about .5 miles) until you arrive at the Boat Ramps.
To launch directly into Apalachicola Bay, you will use the marina located underneath the Apalachicola Bridge. From the Cypress house, drive back towards Downtown Apalachicola. At the blinking caution light at the corner of the Grill Restaurant, drive STRAIGHT through the light. Drive 2 blocks to WATER STREET. Turn RIGHT. Follow Water Street towards the Apalachicola Bridge. The marina will be on your left. Locals call this marina the '10 Foot Hole'.
The Cypress Lodge is located 200 feet away from the Apalachicola River & 2 miles from downtown Apalachicola, FL. The location is perfect for active outdoor lovers & relaxing enough for people just looking for a quiet gettaway. If you have boat access, Bay City Lodge is less than 200 feet away & Abercombie Boat Ramp is less than a mile down the road. Guided boat, kayak & paddle board tours are available at the Apalachicola Maritime Museum located downtown. Fishing guides are available for whole or half day trips into the Bay & Gulf of Mexico. The area is surrounded by state parks and national forests including Tate's Hell State Park where several stands of unique dwarf cypress trees are located, some are documented to be over 150 years old. Ochlockonee River State Park & St. George Island State Park are great for birding, hiking, fishing & camping. Wakulla Springs State Park is home of one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. Daily guided riverboat tours provide a closer view of wildlife, and glass bottom boat tours are offered when the water is clear. The Apalachicola National Forest made up of almost 600,000 acres of wetlands & forest is part of the State's Recreational Trail System. Take a trip across Apalachicola Bay to one of the barrier islands - St Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, Cape St George, or Dog Island.