Have you ever heard of ‘Old Florida’? It’s a place where you can hear the the egrets call, see the Spanish moss in the coves and go back in time. It’s hard not to believe it’s Florida at its best.
You’ll find it in the Big Bend area. The marshy Gulf Coast corner that turns west at the Apalachee Bay. About an 1 1/2 hours from Gainesville, 3 hours from Tallahassee and an hour from the closest interstate, imagine quiet country roads, wildlife every where you look and plenty of stops for fishing, canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking and just relaxing.
One of my favorite stops here is the fishing village, Steinhatchee, (pronounced steen hatchee), known for its Spanish moss, egrets, a Victorian waterfront and scallop fishing. One of the three prime places in Florida for scallop fishing from late June to early September. And when scallops aren’t in season the trout, red fish, snapper and black sea bass will make sure you don’t go home empty handed or hungry.
If you go for the scallop fishing go later in the season when the scallops are bigger and go with a guide. This place is so good it can take as little as an hour to harvest the legal limit of 2 gallons of scallops in the shell per person. Back on shore you can take your haul to be shucked right there in town. Then you can go back to your seaside cottage and cook them with a little garlic, butter and linguine.
Whether you fish or not you’ll want to get out on the water and feel the warm wind in your face, smell the salt air and take in the scenery. It’s a place where you can pack up your watch until it’s time to go home. If you’re looking for something different this year try ‘Old Florida’, it’s one of a kind.