It’s called the Forgotten Coast because it was once left completely off the Florida map. Cape San Blas Florida is part of this sleepy area of the panhandle that has quaint beach houses dotting a sun-drenched coast. Those houses, along with low-rise condos are part of what make this uncrowded seaside community the perfect low-key family vacation destination.
WHERE IS CAPE SAN BLAS
Where is Cape San Blas? Well, Florida’s forgotten coast stretches from Mexico Beach to St. Marks and includes the towns of Cape San Blas (commonly misspelled Cape Sandblast, Florida), Port St. Joe, Indian Pass, Apalachicola, Alligator Point, St. George Island, and Shell Point among others….less than an hour from Panama City to Cape San Blas.
I’ve visited this area of Florida twice, once in summer at the tail end of scallop season, then again for the New Year’s Eve celebration where you can celebrate twice – once in Eastern time, then take a trolley and do it all over again in Central time.
No matter when we’ve visited, the relaxed pace (which can take a little getting used to), and perfect weather on the Forgotten Coast made for wonderful memories.
CAPE SAN BLAS WEATHER
Cape San Blas, located in Gulf County, Florida is one of the most popular destinations on the Forgotten Coast. This 17-mile long peninsula curves around St. Joseph Bay, which means that all the coastal rentals are just steps away from the gulf or the pristine white beaches, no matter what the address. Cape San Blas weather is mild all year, with average lows in the 40’s during winter and average highs in the 80’s during summer. July, August and September see the most average rainfall at just over 7”.
Below is a guide to help you plan your own trip to Cape San Blas, or any of the other towns along the Forgotten Coast. Be sure to check out our post on the people of Gulf County Florida. They’ll welcome you with open arms, and make sure you have a memorable family trip.
A couple other tidbits that make this area of the Florida coast special, fires are allowed on the soft white beach, and it’s very pet friendly. It’s not just the beach, many of the coastal rentals welcome pets too.
CAPE SAN BLAS RENTALS
Although there are no hotels on Cape San Blas, the Cape San Blas Inn is a B&B that is popular with couples and adults and located as you come onto the peninsula. Here are a few of our partner rentals, also.
The Cape Escape Vacation Rentals has rentals in the Barrier Dunes community. Barrier Dunes is located right outside the gates to the State Park and walking distance to Coneheads (read on for more on Coneheads). The community has two pools, tennis courts and more, plus rentals come with a host of amenities right down to beach chairs! In addition, Cape Escape was voted Best of the Forgotten Coast for lodging by the Port St. Joe Star.
Cape San Blas Rentals is unique. Most of the beach realty companies have properties in Cape San Blas, Florida. Since Cape San Blas is so narrow, it almost doesn’t matter if you are on the ocean or the bay, as it’s just a few hundred yards to one or the other. Here are the most popular rental companies with Cape San Blas, Florida vacation rentals.
Pristine Properties has 250 homes and townhomes along the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast. They offer Cape San Blas vacation rentals, as well as rentals in Indian Pass, Mexico Beach and St. Joe Beach.
I stayed in a Pristine Properties condo during a familiarization trip to Cape San Blas, Florida. It was a newer three-story house on the bay, within a block of the beautiful beach and sugar white sands. With our rental we received a Family Fun Pass, which gives renters their option of a variety of complimentary activities like golf, horseback riding, or deep-sea fishing.
If you have a big crowd, you may want to check out Pristine Properties A Turtle View rental. This is one of their most luxurious properties right on the beach.
Sunset Vacation Rentals has approximately 70 properties in Indian Pass and Cape San Blas, Florida. I like that you can search by private pool. It’s nice to have a pool in addition to the beach, especially when you have little ones.
Homeaway, formerly known as VBRO Cap San Blas has more than 400 entries, some under $200 a night! Many are pet friendly. You can also search VRBO Florida Panhandle for homes near Cape San Blas.
Paradise is a smaller coastal rental company with around 40 homes and townhome/condo rentals in both Cape San Blas and Indian Pass.
Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals has a clean website with good pictures of their Florida beach rentals. Gulf Coast has Florida vacation rentals in Cape San Blas, Florida, as well as Mexico Beach, Port St. Joe, St. Joe Beach and Indian Pass. They also have a good overview of each one so you can choose what is right for you.
CAPE SAN BLAS RESTAURANTS
CAPE SAN BLAS RESTAURANTS
There aren’t too many restaurants on Cape San Blas, so we’re expanding out a bit from the peninsula to the surrounding Gulf County restaurants. If you’ve got a favorite, let me know.
CONEHEADS CAPE SAN BLAS: They had me at ice cream, but they also offer your beach staple of fried seafood. Coneheads ice cream is a reader favorite.
INDIAN PASS RAW BAR: You don’t have to be a Florida Gator fan to eat here, but if you are, you’ll like the décor. The establishment began as a company store for the turpentine industry. Owner Jimmie McNeill’s grandmother served noon meals and catered dinners. After Hurricane Kate hit in 1986, it was opened as Indian Pass Raw Bar and is a staple for locals and vacationers.
SHIPWRECK RAW BAR: We didn’t get to eat here on our trip, but have heard amazing things about their Bee Sting Shrimp made with local Tupelo Honey.
PAUL GANTS BBQ: This trailer is located on Hwy 30 on the way to Mexico Beach. They aren’t open all the time, but if they are, stop. During our visit they were out of BBQ, but my boys couldn’t stop raving about the dry rub on the ribs.
WEBER’S LITTLE DONUT SHOP. This cash-only spot is great — but get there early, because everyone knows it’s the best! The Original Weber’s Little Donut Shop on Cape San Blas keeps it simple with their famous cake donuts and deep fried croissants.
MANGO MARLEY’S: Once a thriving restaurant located in Mexico Beach on Hwy 30, this local establishment is currently a food truck until they can rebuild the restaurant. The Cajun remoulade that topped my blackened fish sandwich was killer.
LOOKOUT LOUNGE: They don’t serve food here, but the Lookout Lounge is a fun watering hole if you like to drink with the locals.
THINGS TO DO IN CAPE SAN BLAS
CAPE SAN BLAS STATE PARK
Officially known as T.H. Stone Memorial St Joseph Peninsula State Park, but that’s just too much to say.
During my familiarization trip, my colleagues went here for a turtle walk. I opted not to go, as I’ve been on several of these and never saw any signs of a sea turtle, much less the little buggers crawling toward the sea. Several years later, I’m still mad at myself for not going as they saw tiny little turtles making their way to the ocean.
Turtles or not, this is a beautiful area that you must see, whether driving through, taking a bike or just walking. The park is a well-known birding and wildlife observation area.
While you could previously camp on the beach here, it is not longer an option ever since Hurricane Michael.
August is scallop season along the gulf, and Cape San Blas, Florida is a great place to hunt for them. During our trip, we found a few, and lots of other sea life in the clear, blue-green waters. Our host Gary Heist explained everything we brought up and let us touch it before returning it to the sea.
Other guides allow you to keep your catch, and take it home to cook with butter and salt…pure heaven.
FISHING, PONTOONING OR PADDLING IN A KAYAK
Scallop Cove is where to go for all your watersports activity. Rent a pontoon to catch some fish (licenses, tackle and more are also available at the tackle.general store.)
Grab snorkeling gear or beach equipment…rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and more…find a fishing guide…rent bikes for the adults and/or the kids. They have everything!
If you want a local guide to the best fishing spots, contact Break-a-Way Charters. Wade Guilford grew up in Gulf County and followed his dad Bobby into the family fishing charter business. He can tell you what’s in season, and take you to the best place to find it.
I’d recommend this activity for anyone visiting. It’s inexpensive and we saw the most astounding sunsets. In winter is great amberjack fishing.
CAPE SAN BLAS LIGHTHOUSE
Technically this is in Port St. Joe, not on Cape San Blas. You can’t go up in the lighthouse, but the area around it is a favorite spot for festivals.
DEAD LAKES TOURS
A short drive from Cape San Blas is WeWa and the Dead Lakes area. Matt Godwin of Off the Map Expeditions takes groups through this eerily beautiful area by kayak, or if you’d prefer you can take your own pontoon boat. Although if you go by pontoon, you might miss some of the tranquil and tighter spaces that hold the most beauty.
BIKING IN CAMPE SAN BLAS
Along Cape San Blas you’ll find the Loggerhead Run bike trail. This eight-mile path runs the length of the Cape from St. Joe Peninsula State park to Salinas park.
The Port St. Joe Port City Trail is a 10-foot wide pedestrian pathway that covers four miles. BayWalk Trail is part of the Port City Trail. It hugs the Bay and begins (or ends) at Sunset Coastal Grill, a perfect place for a break.
Beachwalk is a 2.5 mile paved trail that runs along the waters of the Gulf of Mexico at WindMark Beach and offers views of the Bay and the Cape.
HIKE WITH FIDO
Cape San Blas is one of several dog friendly beaches in Florida panhandle. So go ahead and bring fido. Many of the Cap San Blas Florida rentals allow dogs as well.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- TALLAHASSEE: 22 Family-Friendly Things To Do In Tallahassee
- DESTIN RESORTS: 6 Fantastic Destin Florida Resorts Perfect For Fun In The Sun
- FLORIDA BEACHES: 17 Best Florida Beaches for Families To Relax and Unwind
- FLORIDA’S WEST COAST: 23+ Memorable Stops For A Perfect West Coast of Florida Trip
- FLORIDA KEYS: 3 State Parks & 1 Dreamy National Park You Can’t Miss
WHERE TO STAY IN CAPE SAN BLAS
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