Reeds on lake edge and kayaker in St Joseph Peninsula State Park, Florida.

© NetaDegany / E+ / Getty

TH Stone Memorial St Joseph Peninsula State Park

Top choice

This lovely park, a quilt of beach and pine forest, brackish bays and fuzzy salt marsh, is a fine slice of increasingly rare Gulf Coast wilderness. Visitors can wander amid sugar-sand beaches that stretch for 2516 acres along grassy, undulating dunes, edging wilderness trails. Cyclists, walkers and bladers can set out on the Loggerhead Run Bike Path, named for the turtles that inhabit the island, which runs about 9 miles to Salinas Park.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Salinas Park

9.52 MILES

Located at the edge of the cape, this little park offers an over-dunes boardwalk, waterfront views and good spots for a picnic.

2. St Vincent Island

19.52 MILES

Just a few minutes from Apalachicola, but accessible only by boat, lies this pristine island. Its pearly dunes reveal 5000-year-old geological records,…

3. Fort Gadsen Historic Site

25.27 MILES

This is the former location of an 1814 British fort manned by African American and Native American soldiers armed and trained by the British to defend…

4. Raney House

25.86 MILES

Sitting behind a white-picket fence and a facade of grand columns, this small museum occupies the former 1838 Southern style–plantation home of David…

5. Trinity Episcopal Church

25.86 MILES

This handsome church was built in New York state and cut into sections, which were shipped down the Atlantic Coast and around the Keys before making their…

6. John Gorrie State Museum

25.9 MILES

Dr John Gorrie (1803–55), one of Apalachicola's most famous sons, developed an ice-making machine to keep yellow-fever patients cool during an epidemic…

7. Apalachicola Maritime Museum

26.14 MILES

This small museum, which rests on the banks of the Apalachicola River, gives a breakdown on the history of oystering, fishing and boat building in…

8. Shell Island

26.89 MILES

Offshore from St Andrews State Park, this sandy 'desert' island is fantastic for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling. There are neither facilities nor…