White sand beach with blue ocean water and text that says "Cape San Blas Amazing beach paradise

Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Dr. Shannon Barrett

Dreaming of a serene beach escape that’s off the beaten path?

We know exactly how you feel.

Having fallen in love with the sublime beauty of Cape San Blas, Florida, we can confirm it’s a great beach town filled with white beaches and blue water.

This blog post will guide you through the breathtaking scenery, diverse activities, and warm hospitality found in this undiscovered paradise.

Dive right in; your tranquil getaway awaits!

Key Takeaways

  • Cape San Blas, Florida, offers some of the state’s most pristine and picturesque beaches, with white sand and crystal-clear waters.
  • Visitors to Cape San Blas can enjoy various water-based activities such as swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing.
  • The area also provides numerous land-based adventures, including biking, hiking, wildlife watching, horseback riding, and exploring nature trails.
  • Cape San Blas offers a taste of Old Florida with its laid-back vibe, charming neighborhoods, fresh seafood restaurants, and historical landmarks.

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Where is Cape San Blas?

Cape San Blas is a narrow peninsula located in Gulf County, Florida.

It is approximately 50 miles southeast of Panama City and 10 miles south-southwest of the town of Port St. Joe.

Cape San Blas is known for its pristine beaches, clear blue waters, and laid-back atmosphere.

To get to Cape San Blas, you can take US Highway 98 to Port St. Joe. From there, take State Highway 30 west for about 10 miles.

Cape San Blas is located at the end of the road.

The Pristine Beaches of Cape San Blas

sunny beach with white sand and blue water

Cape San Blas boasts some of Florida’s most pristine and picturesque beaches, with white sand and crystal-clear waters.

We think they are the most beautiful beaches on the Forgotten Coast. 

There are a few shops and restaurants on Cape San Blas, but it is mostly beach houses and a large state park.  

Activities and Attractions in Cape San Blas

Cape San Blas offers many activities and attractions to keep visitors entertained.

From fishing excursions and land-based adventures, there is something for everyone in this beachside paradise.

Water-Based Thrills

3 people kayaking in clear water
Photo: Gulf County Tourist Development Council

Water-based thrills abound in Cape San Blas, inviting us to dive into numerous exciting activities. 

You can plunge into the warm water for a refreshing swim or strap on a snorkel mask to explore vibrant underwater life.

Kayaking offers an immersive way to navigate the tranquil blue waters that surround this Florida panhandle jewel. 

The calm waters are ideal for paddleboarding. Check out Happy Ours Kayaking if you need to rent kayaks, paddleboards or bicycles.


Cape San Blas is a fishing haven, offering year-round opportunities to reel in great catches.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting, this area has something for everyone.

This area provides the perfect setting for fishing adventures, with its calm waters and diverse fish species.

You can also explore T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, which offers beach access to both St. Joseph Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.


Map of scallop regions on Forgotten coast
Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Scalloping is a popular activity on Cape San Blas, Florida, during the summer and early fall months.

Scallops are a type of saltwater mollusk that live in shallow waters.

They are a delicious and healthy seafood option, and they are relatively easy to harvest.

To go scalloping on Cape San Blas, you will need a mask, snorkel, fins, and a mesh bag to store your scallops.

You can also rent or charter a boat to take you to the best scalloping spots.

Scallops are typically found in clear, shallow waters with sandy or seagrass bottoms.

To find scallops, look for their brown or gray shells on the bottom of the ocean.

Scallops can swim, but they are not very fast.

Once you see a scallop, you can gently scoop it up with your mesh bag.

The daily bag limit for scallops on Cape San Blas is 2 gallons of whole scallops in the shell or 1 pint of scallop meat.

Be sure to check the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website for the latest regulations.

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Land-Based Adventures

Prepare to embark on exciting land-based adventures in Cape San Blas, Florida.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and discover the thrilling activities that await you. 


2 people biking over boardwalk in forest
Photo: Gulf County Tourist Development Council

Rent a bike and ride along for miles of the scenic trails that wind through lush forests and showcase breathtaking vistas.

Wildlife and Bird Watching

deer eating grass in forest
Photo courtesy of Gulf County Tourist Development Council

Cape San Blas is rich in wildlife, making it a perfect spot for birding or observing sea turtles during nesting season.


sea urchin on beach
Photo: Gulf County Tourist Development Council

Stroll along the beach to collect beautiful seashells that wash ashore.

William J. Rish Recreation Park

Boardwalk over sandy beach
Boardwalk at Rish Recreation Park

This park is a special place on Cape San Blas.

It is a unique and accessible beachfront destination for individuals with disabilities and their families and caretakers.

William J. Rish Recreation Park is a 100-acre park located on Cape San Blas in Gulf County, Florida.

The park features two miles of boardwalks and ramps that connect dormitories and family cottages to the beach.

There is also a mile-long ADA-accessible beach, and an accessible fishing pier.

The park also has an event hall, picnic areas, and playgrounds.

There is also a large pool.

This is a great place to enjoy the beauty of Cape San Blas and the Gulf Coast.

Visitors can swim, sunbathe, fish, go for walks on the beach, and participate in other activities.

The park is also a great place to relax and socialize with other families and caretakers.

Here are some of the things you can do at William J. Rish Recreation Park:

  • Swim, sunbathe, and fish at the accessible beach.
  • Go for walks on the boardwalks and ramps.
  • Participate in ranger-led programs and activities.
  • Rent a cottage or dormitory.
  • Have a picnic in one of the picnic areas.
  • Let your kids play on the playgrounds.


blue bird in a pine tree
Photo: Gulf County Tourist Development Council

Capture the mesmerizing landscapes and unique wildlife encounters with your camera, creating lasting memories.

T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

wooden sign for Sy joseph pennisula park

T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is a beautiful 2,790-acre state park located on the St. Joseph Peninsula in Gulf County, Florida.

The park is known for its pristine beaches, clear blue waters, and abundant wildlife.

Visitors to the park can enjoy a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, fishing, hiking, biking, and birdwatching.

You can also grab lemonade and shaved ice at the Tropical Paradise truck within the park.

orange food truck with tropical written on it

Here are some of the things you can do at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park:

  • You can stay overnight at the vacation cabins or primitive campsites
  • Go swimming, sunbathing, and fishing at one of the park’s many beaches.
  • Hike or bike along one of the park’s many trails.
  • Go birdwatching in the park’s many marshes and wetlands.
  • Visit the T.H. Stone Memorial Visitor Center to learn more about the park’s history and natural resources.

Horseback Riding

5 people on horseback on the beach
Photo: Rockin M Ranch

Experience an unforgettable ride along the shorelines as you horseback ride on one of Florida’s most beautiful beaches.

There are only three beaches in Florida where you can ride horses; Cape San Blas is one of them.  

There are two main companies that offer Horseback riding in Cape San Blas.

Rockin’ M Ranch

Rockin’ M Ranch provides group and private rides.

Reservations are required.

They have been offering beach rides since 1996.

They are happy to snap pics of you and your horse if you bring your camera.

Broke-A-Toe Horseback Riding

Broke-A-Toe is ranked highly on TripAdvisor.

All rides leave from Salinas Park.

They also offer private and group rides. Reservations are required.

They offer a photo package (extra fee) which includes a video of your ride.

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Best Restaurants in Cape San Blas

Cape San Blas offers a variety of dining opportunities that will satisfy every traveler’s taste buds. 

It’s also home to a number of great restaurants, serving up everything from fresh seafood to classic American fare.

Here are a few of the best places to eat on Cape San Blas:

The Smokehouse on Cape San Blas

Smokehouse BBQ restaurant exterior sign
Photo: The Smokehouse BBQ

The Smokehouse BBQ on Cape San Blas is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike.

This casual restaurant serves up delicious barbecue, fried seafood, and sandwiches.

The brisket is a must-try, as are the hush puppies and mac and cheese.

Plate with beef brisket collard greens and cornbread
Beef Brisket. Photo: The Smokehouse BBQ
4 donuts made of cornbread on a plate with side of butter
Cornbread Doughnuts. Photo: The Smokehouse BBQ

Skully’s Low Country Boil

white and red building with skullys low country boil banner on outside
Photo: Skully’s Low Country Boil

Skully’s Low Country Boil is another great option for seafood lovers.

This family-owned and operated restaurant specializes in low country boils, featuring fresh shrimp, crab, sausage, and potatoes.

Skully’s also offers a variety of other seafood dishes, as well as steaks and burgers.

Plate of cooked shrimp and corn on the cob
Photo: Skully’s Low Country Boil


Outside of restaurant with lots of colorful chairs and outdoor porch

LongBills is our favorite restaurant on the Cape.

The food is tasty and the service is friendly.

They are located just before the entrance to the State Park so they are a great option to grab a bite prior to a day in the Park.

They brew their own beer and have a small outdoor patio.

Our favorites are the Wonkee Donkee which is a half-pound hot dog with chili, cheese and too many other toppings to list.

hot dog with chili and cheese
The Wonkee Donkee

Also check out their Drunken Shrimp.

shrimp in a bowl with 2 pieces of bread
Drunken Shrimp

The Spicy Cheese Curds are also delicious.

bowl of fried cheese curds and jalapenos
Spicy Cheese Curds

Webers Little Donut Shop 

Webers donut shop stand with open sign and window to order
Photo: Webers Donut Shop

Webers is known for their delicious donuts.

They have branched out and have locations on Cape San Blas and St. George Island.

Get there early because they do sell our of these delicious treats.

Treat yourself to some delicious pastries

12 donuts all decorated differently in a box
Photo: Webers Donut Shop

Indian Pass Raw Bar

outdoor restaurant with people and chairs
Photo: Indian Pass Raw Bar

Indian Pass Raw Bar: Indulge in fresh seafood at this local gem known for its oysters and fishermen’s catch of the day.

They often have live music and a lively atmosphere.

Day Trips From Cape San Blas

Looking to venture beyond Cape San Blas? There are plenty of day trip options for you to explore. 

Downtown Port St. Joe

wooden sign with blue outline for historic port st joe

Visit the charming downtown area, filled with quaint shops, cafes, and art galleries.

Explore the local history at the Gulf County Historical Society Museum.

Salinas Park

Raised boardwalk in a park
Photo: Gulf County Tourist Development Council

Salinas Park is a family-friendly park is also located nearby Port St. Joe.

It offers picnic areas, playgrounds, and stunning views of St. Joseph Bay.

There are also pickleball courts and a volleyball area.


Wooden sign for historic Apalachicola

Apalachicola is a charming historic town located about 30 minutes east of Cape San Blas.

It’s known for its fresh seafood, art galleries, and laid-back atmosphere.


White sand beaches of Carrabelle Florida
White sand beaches of Carrabelle Florida

Carrabelle is a small town located about 45 minutes east of Cape San Blas.

The town is known for its laid-back atmosphere, its beautiful beaches, and proximity to the St. George Island State Park.

Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and fishing.

Best Places to Stay 

Cape San Blas offers a variety of options for where to stay during your visit. 

Our favorite is always pet-friendly vacation rentals.

This is great for us since we are digital nomads that travel with our dog.

These are also perfect for the kids and those traveling with furry friends.

Here are some great options that are close to the beach and are pet friendly.

100 Steps to the Beach” Vacation Rental

  • 2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Private Beach Access

“Take A Chance” Vacation Rental

  • 2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Ocean View

Le Grand Merci” Vacation Rental

  • 4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms
  • Quick walk to the beach
  • Complete makeover and was featured on HGTV
  • Pets not allowed

Whatever your preferences, there are plenty of places to choose from in Cape San Blas to ensure an enjoyable stay.

Bring your furry friends because most of Cape San Blas is pet-friendly.

The Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Cape San Blas, Florida, is spring.

The weather during this season is mild and pleasant, making it perfect for outdoor activities and exploring the area’s natural beauty.

One advantage of spring visiting is that the crowds are smaller than other times of the year, allowing you to enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed vacation experience.

June to October is the hottest time of the year but there are less crowds due to the heat.

Grab your sunscreen and prepare for an unforgettable, Cape San Blas vacation getaway.


We loved our time in Cape San Blas.

The water is much clearer than its sister cities of Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach.

Although we also love those beach towns as well.

Beach with clear water and white sand
Beautiful Beach on Cape San Blas

Cape San Blas has a more island vibe compared to its neighbors.  

If you are looking for a laid-back town where you may glimpse some horses on the beach at sunrise, visit Cape San Blas.

You’ll be glad you did.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is the best time to visit Cape San Blas?

The best time to visit Cape San Blas is during the spring or fall when temperatures are mild and fewer crowds. We stayed in the summer, and it was hot. However, the restaurants had no lines, and the water was wonderfully warm for swimming. 

Are pets allowed on the beaches of Cape San Blas?

Yes, pets are allowed on most beaches in Cape San Blas as long as they are kept on a leash. 

What makes Cape San Blas unique compared to other beach destinations?

Cape San Blas stands out for its pristine beauty and tranquil atmosphere, with no high-rise buildings or crowded tourist areas. It offers a peaceful getaway for nature lovers and those seeking relaxation. You can also ride horses on the beach.

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Veterinarian/Travel Writer/Digital Nomad

Dr. Shannon Barrett is a veterinarian and digital nomad. She owned a housecall practice, Island Veterinary Care, for over a decade and now travels full time. She lives in different beach towns and then writes travel guides based on her time there. If you’re looking for resources on travel destinations or how to become a digital nomad, then you’ve come to the right place! Love to bring your pets with you? Even better!

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