Cape San Blas, FL is a beach we have fallen in love with in the past several years. It’s a newish-to-us beach but has quickly become a treasured family spot. Really, the whole Florida panhandle coast is such a beautiful and unique place with white sand, blue water, and the laid-back vibe you want for your vacation and Cape San Blas is not different. But it’s not just about chilling at the beach; there is so much more fun to be had! Here’s our list of 15 fun things to do in Cape San Blas, FL.
1. Enjoy a Beach Day
We’ll get the most obvious activity out of the way first: enjoy a day at the beach! Cape San Blas has miles of coast line, and with shimmering white sand and gorgeous blue water you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a superb beach day.
Don’t forget some beach essentials: sunscreen, towels, beach chairs, and something to stay hydrated. Plus, you’ll definitely need some shade against the Florida sun. We recommended a beach canopy like this — they are easy to travel with and set up!
2. Rent a Kayak or Stand-Up Paddleboard
One of our favorite things to do in Cape San Blas, FL is to kayak out into the Gulf. You can get away from the shore, get some exercise, plus you might spot some wildlife! I’ve seen fish and sting rays while kayaking at Florida beaches, and you very well might spot a dolphin.
There are several companies on Cape San Blas that rent out kayaks and paddleboards including Happy Ours Kayak, Sand Flea Rentals, and Scallop Cove. If you are staying at a rental house on the Cape, you can often arrange for them to drop your beach equipment off at your house for the duration of your stay and then pick it up when you leave. Sometimes rental houses also have beach rental credits included, which you can use for water equipment.
3. Take a Bike Ride
Taking a bike ride is another great thing to do on Cape San Blas. There is actually a complete bike trail that runs along almost the whole Cape. This trail — The Loggerhead Bike Trail — runs from Salinas Park to St. Joseph State Park for a total of 11 miles.
The trail runs along the main road, so you will be next to some traffic. But usually the further down you get on the Cape, the thinner the traffic gets.
Just like with kayaks and paddleboards, there are several companies on the island (see the list above) that will rent bikes to you for the duration of your stay and drop them off and pick them up at your beach house. And, of course, you can also bring your own bikes!
4. Go Fishing
If you’re looking to fish, Cape San Blas has opportunities all over the place. From fishing in the ocean, to the bay, to booking a charter — there are all kinds of options.
Shore fishing on the beach does require a permit, which you can purchase at Scallop Cove. Florida residents can get a permit for free.
5. Go Horseback Riding
On Cape San Blas, you can actually ride horses on the beach! There are a couple stables that offer beach horseback riding — Two Bit Stable and Broke a Toe. They are located near Salinas Park, and you will be riding on that side of the Cape (the Eastern side).
Rides can be booked for one hour, and both stables offer photo packages as well.
6. Go Crabbing
One of the most memorable things you may do with kids at the beach is to take them crabbing late at night. Grab a net and a turtle-safe flashlight and go down to the beach after dark. You’ll likely see crabs scampering all over the place.
These are usually Ghost Crabs, which are small (and fast!) white crabs that are mostly nocturnal. Don’t worry — the little crabs are relatively harmless, although they may tickle your feet if they run over you and can pinch if you bother them too much.
Try to catch some with your net, and then let them go!
7. Catch Your Own Scallops
You can actually catch your own scallops at Cape San Blas in St. Joseph Bay. Scalloping season lasts usually from late August to late September of each year. You’ll need to check the scheduled season, because it is only allowed during certain dates. You’ll also need a permit, which you can get at Scallop Cove.
You can find scallops by snorkeling or wading into the bay. You’ll want to make sure you have the right equipment, including a bag to store your scallops in and ice to keep your scallops fresh. Also make sure you familiarize yourself with the rules about scallop season and scallop limits.
8. Learn About Sea Turtles
During sea turtle season, hundreds of turtles make their nests on Cape San Blas laying thousands of eggs. Nests are marked off by the Turtle Patrol, who walk the beach early in the morning to find where turtles have come up during night to lay eggs. If you are out early in the morning, you might just catch some turtlers looking for a nest, or you might see turtle tracks yourself — they look like a long path drug through the sand with fan like marks coming out of the side.
You can also schedule a time to walk with the Sea Turtle Patrol early in the morning. Learn more about scheduling this opportunity here.
When you are in Cape San Blas, you’ll want to make sure you are aware of rules and guidelines involving sea turtles.
- Touching or disturbing a sea turtle nest is a violation of Florida State and Federal Law and comes with hefty fines. (Only trained volunteers are allowed to do so as they work toward turtle conservation.)
- If you see a turtle on the beach (this happened to us once!) leave it alone and give it plenty of space. Don’t shine lights toward it.
- Turn off lights in your house at night or make sure your windows are covered. Turtles who may be hatching look for the way out to sea using the moonlight to guide them, and artificial light from houses can confuse them.
- Use turtle safe flashlights while on the beach at night.
- Bring all of your beach equipment up from the beach at night so you don’t get in the way of a turtle trying to find a spot for a nest.
If you want to learn even more about sea turtles, you can take a trip into Port St. Joe and visit the Florida Coastal Conservancy’s Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Center. Note that they are only open on limited days.
9. Watch for Dolphins
Dolphins are a common sight along Cape San Blas, especially in the morning hours. They can be seen in groups fishing somewhat close to the shore, their fins popping up and down in the water. If you really want to see them well, you might consider bringing a set of binoculars.
Remember that if you see dolphins you should not try to approach them and should give them plenty of space.
10. Eat Some Great Food
When you’re down on the coast, of course you need to eat some seafood. Cape San Blas has a small selection of restaurants where you can get your fix, the most popular probably being Indian Pass Raw Bar.
But one of my favorite things to do in Cape San Blas is to get donuts at Weber’s Little Donut Shop. They are small kiosk located outside the Cape Trading Post. They are usually open Tuesday – Saturday during the summer from 7:30 until they sell out. Be sure to get there early — a line forms well before they open. During the winter, they are open less days — Thursday – Saturday.
All their donuts are fantastic — they are cake donuts with a variety of creative toppings. Be sure to try their fried croissants too!
11. Visit Salinas Park
Salinas Park is on Country Road 30E, about 3 miles before you veer onto the Cape. There is a Bay Side and Beach Side to this park.
On the Bay Side you’ll find a pickleball court, screened-in dining gathering areas, a small playground, plus a beautiful boardwalk that you can use to walk out to the bay.
On the Beach Side, you can walk through scrub out to the beach.
It’s really a beautiful little place, and the Bay Side of the park is great if you want to escape the sand of the beach for just a little bit.
12. Visit St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
At the end of Cape San Blas, you’ll reach St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. This is an area of untouched beach, with high sand dunes, forests, and wildlife. There is a picnic area, a campground, cabins, and 3 different trails to enjoy. (Some activities may be limited due to recent hurricane damage.)
The entrance fee to get into St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is $6 for single day use.
13. Visit Apalachicola
One of our favorite things to do when we’re staying in Cape San Blas is to spend a day visiting Apalachicola, a nearby historic port town.
Here you’ll find plenty of restaurants, shopping, art galleries, and more. It’s a small town with plenty to fill a morning (or a day!) with. We love getting a grouper sandwich as The Seafood Grill, browsing through Downtown Books & Purl, and having gelato at the Apalachicola Chocolate & Coffee Company.
14. Watch the Sunset
Because Cape San Blas faces slightly west, it gets some of the most spectacular sunsets over the ocean. You’ll want to be outside and keep an eye on the cloud cover. And when the sun is setting don’t be distracted by something else. You really don’t want to miss it!
During the summer, the sun sets pretty late — usually some time between 8 and 9. It’s pretty common for people take their beach chairs down to the beach after dinner just to watch the sun.
15. Build a Bonfire
Cape San Blas allows fires to be built on the beach! So gather the family around one evening and build a fire on the beach, roast some marshmallows and maybe sing some songs? If you’re that kind of family?
Just keep in mind the following guidelines:
- Dig a hole to build your fire in.
- Do not build a fire within 100 feet of any structure.
- When the fire has fully extinguished, remove the remnants and fill the hole so you don’t leave a trace of it.
Cape San Blas is truly such a great Florida beach — there’s a lot to do without being around the crowds that some of the more popular beaches have.
Looking for more Florida beach information? Check out our Guide to Florida Panhandle Beaches.
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