The strip of coast between Tallahassee and Panama City may look like the middle of nowhere on a map. But that remoteness is what has kept the brilliant white beaches and dunes of St. George Island and St. Joseph Peninsula so unspoiled.
The two sandy gems, which routinely make the top-10 lists of beaches nationwide, are down the road from some of Florida's best seafood, nourished by the nutrients flowing from as far away as the north Georgia mountains by way of the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola rivers.
Both beaches - St. George Island's especially - abound with rental cottages popular with winter snowbirds, college kids at spring break and a mix of folks the rest of the year.
And the coastal drive on U.S. Highway 98 to either beach may make you feel that you're in New England, with Victorian homes and fishing boats in abundance, especially in the port town of Apalachicola, where air conditioning was invented in the 1850s.
St. George Island and St. Joseph Peninsula, 30 miles west, offer abundant outdoor activities, as does the surrounding Panhandle area.
More info: St. Joseph Peninsula State Park (8899 Cape San Blas Road, Port St. Joe; 850-227-1327) offers 20 miles of pristine shoreline, with picnicking, swimming, camping, fishing and hiking allowed. A boat ramp and canoe rentals are available.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun