15 Best Things to Do in Cape San Blas, FL

 Cape San Blas, FL sunset
NSC Photography / shutterstock.com

On the northwest coast of Florida sits a 17-mile peninsula of white, sandy beaches around St. Joseph’s Bay, better known as Cape San Blas.

This stretch of land is also part of the Forgotten Coast of Florida's Panhandle, having been one of the few remaining regions that haven’t been taken over by modern malls and buildings, leaving the natural terrain pristine and untouched.

Despite being devastated by a Category-5 Hurricane known as Hurricane Michael back in 2018, this city was able to quickly recover and get back on its feet, repairing most, if not all, the damages and reopening all its facilities and establishments to the public.

Cape San Blas is the perfect vacation destination for outdoor enthusiasts and lovers, with this city’s location right next to the Gulf of Mexico, giving all tourists easy and convenient access to the water!

Here is a curated list of things to do and places to visit while on your trip to this gem in Florida:

Visit an Iconic Structure at The Cape San Blas Lighthouse

Aerial view of Cape San Blas Lighthouse
NSC Photography / Shutterstock.com

The Cape San Blas Lighthouse was originally constructed to warn ships of a navigational hazard that extended from the shore in the 19th and 20th centuries before becoming a tourist attraction in this city.

Though destroyed by a storm in 1851 before being rebuilt in 1857 and being relocated from the northwestern end of Cape San Blas to Port St. Joe, this lighthouse opened its doors to the public after nearly two centuries in 2014.

Closer view of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

Intrigued visitors can take a long climb up 131 steps inside this lighthouse to take in the mesmerizing views that the top of this structure has to offer.

Rich with history and its cultural significance, The Cape San Blas Lighthouse has become a historical landmark and has been preserved and well-maintained for public use.

This iconic structure is found inside George Core Park, a 20-minute drive up from the city center, so be sure to register to be able to climb the lighthouse!

Far view of Cape San Blas Lighthouse
NSC Photography / Shutterstock.com

Book a Room at Cape Escape Vacation Rentals

Located a short drive up from the city center of Cape San Blas, Cape Escape Vacation Rentals provides guests with various rooms and homes available for rent during your stay!

Conveniently found within walking distance to the beach, there are plenty of activities to do here that include water activities matched with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico!

One of their main features includes the scalloping and crabbing activities where you can catch these creatures with a safety net which is usually a hit with the younger visitors.

You’re most likely to see a multitude of little crabs scampering around the beach during the dark and find the scallops within the shallow ends of the shore, making them easy to spot!

This vacation rental establishment is also pet-friendly, allowing you to take your dogs with you on your trip.

Other amenities include a playground for kids, freshwater fishing ponds, a tennis court, and even a swimming pool.

Go Horseback Riding at Rockin' M Ranch

Rockin’ M Ranch offers guests the opportunity to explore the beauty of Cape San Blas on horseback!

Since its establishment in 1996, this company has been taking both locals and tourists alike on horseback riding tours on the sandy beaches of this city.

Whether you’re a seasoned rider or if it's your first time riding a horse, you’ll be guided by friendly and professional guidance throughout the entire duration of your trip.

Guests also have the option to go on a special, private ride – with family or a significant other – that this company can arrange for you!

One of their best features is their sunset rides which give you a magnificent view of the sun descending beyond the horizons as you admire it on horseback.

The horseback ride lasts up to an hour, catering to both children and adults to give you a captivating and unforgettable experience.

This facility doesn’t take walk-ins, so be sure to make a reservation ahead of time to ensure a spot!

Wind Down for a Night Cap at the Scallop RePUBlic

Specializing in craft beer, delicious wine, seltzers, and other drinks, Scallop RePUBlic is the go-to pub for a nightcap in Cape San Blas, located within the heart of the city!

They also host live music and entertainment every night featuring local artists to keep you entertained!

Depending on their schedule and calendar, their stage is open to the audience for open mic night, where anyone can take the spotlight as long as they sign up ahead of time.

Their food truck can be found in their parking lot, serving up some delicious food such as barbecue to complement your drink of choice.

Guests are also encouraged to participate in their indoor games, where they can challenge their family and friends to a friendly competition in darts, ring toss, cards, and more!

After a long day of touring this amazing city, Scallop RePUBlic is the ideal place to wind down and relax!

Enjoy Private Beach Access at Salinas Park

Found along the base of Cape San Blas sits a peaceful beach park known as Salinas Park!

More on the quiet side as compared to other parks in the surrounding area, guests who visit this facility also have beach access if you’re looking for a relaxing day next to the water!

Basic park amenities include a barbecue grill, picnic tables, and a playground, making it a family-friendly place for both kids and adults.

Despite still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, this park stands strong, continually attracting visitors for its easy and convenient access.

In addition, Salinas Park is also pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friends with you!

Its location on the gulf side also gives guests a wonderful view of the sunset, which you can easily see from the boardwalk.

Be sure to bring a camera with you when you visit this park and take some memorable photos with family and friends.

Grab a Sweet Treat at Cone Heads 8020

Situated between St. Joseph’s Bay in Cape San Blas and the Gulf of Mexico, Cone Heads 8080 has been regularly serving the community and its members with delicious ice cream and classic American cuisine.

They got their name from the thousands of ice cream cones they sold yearly, but they also pride themselves in being a staple restaurant that serves your favorite hotdogs, hamburgers, and more!

Since its establishment more than a decade ago, Cone Heads 8020 stands strong despite watching other restaurants come and go, continually achieving customer satisfaction with their delicious menu.

This family-friendly restaurant has also won awards, having received recognition for being the “Best All-Around Restaurant” in 2016.

They also host various events, ranging from seasonal live music to painting classes that are open to everyone of all ages!

Be sure to check out this relaxed and comfortable eatery while visiting Cape San Blas!

Spend Quality Time with Family at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Sunset at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Joanne Dale / Shutterstock.com

With over 20 miles of soft, white sand combined with the glistening blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park is one of the best, top-rated beaches in the entire country!

In addition to the beach amenities, guests who visit this park can also indulge in water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and more!

Outdoor activities are also available, making them suitable for those with an affinity for the outdoors, including camping, biking, hiking, and fishing.

Trail of T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
ZakZeinert / Shutterstock.com

Besides their full-facility camping grounds, you may choose to spend the night at this state park at their lodging homes and cabins.

T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park’s location along the water as a barrier island also attracts a diverse group of birds, as many as over 240 different species that avid bird-watchers may enjoy!

This park is the ideal destination for both a primitive getaway or an adventurous vacation that can cater to you and your family, ensuring a lot of new, memorable experiences!

Colorful sunset at T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Joanne Dale / Shutterstock.com

Visit an Abandoned Boat Called The Donna Kay at Cape San Blas

The Donna Kay is a shrimp boat that washed up on the shores of Cape San Blas on the western end of the city that is surrounded by mystery and theories!

Both locals and experts are unsure when and how exactly this little boat ran aground on the sandy shores of this city, with some people speculating this as a stunt for insurance claims while others say the captain simply fell asleep on the wheel before it crashed.

Though visitors are welcome to visit this interesting site, individuals are discouraged from playing in and around this shrimp boat due to hazardous material that can injure them.

Back in 2019, a crew attempted to salvage the remains of Donna Kay; however, they were unsuccessful and left this boat as a tourist attraction.

This unique, hidden gem is a site you wouldn’t want to miss, so be sure to drop by and see what all the fuss is about!

Experience Unique Camping at CSB Fish 'n Camp

Right next to the bay, CSB Fish ‘n Camp is best known for providing guests with camping amenities both in tents on their campgrounds or in a recreational vehicle!

Guests can drive into their RV sites and leave their vehicle parked while they avail of the camping facilities in the surrounding area.

This establishment is the ideal destination for tourists who have a passion for outdoor activities, including but not limited to biking, boating, fishing, and hiking!

With private bay access, you may even host a nice bonfire and roast some marshmallows while you tell scary stories with your family and friends.

CSB Fish ‘n Camp gives you the chance to spend quality time outdoors while being able to retreat safely within the walls of your RV.

This camp doesn’t take walk-ins, so book ahead to ensure a slot!

Explore the Sandy Coast of William J. “Billy Joe” Rish Park

William J. Rish Park extends from the Gulf of Mexico into St. Joseph Bay, providing guests with various activities to do on both the beach and the bay!

Breaking the barriers that restrict PWDs from experiencing recreational activities, William J.Rish Park is one of its kind, with exclusively designed facilities that aid all individuals in experiencing Florida as best they can.

With over 100 acres in size, this beach park has been serving the community for decades since its establishment in the 1970s.

Guests who visit can go bird watching or fishing, hike the 2-mile stretch of boardwalks on the beach, or get out in the open water on a canoe or kayak!

When the sun sets, this beautiful night sky is lit up by various stars and constellations that give you the perfect opportunity to go stargazing.

This establishment has also recently opened an Olympic-size swimming pool, complete with a wheelchair ramp for those with disabilities.

There truly is a lot to do at this park and a lot of amenities to enjoy that are meant for everyone!

Get Out on the Open Water with Happy Ours Kayak & Bike Outpost

This rental establishment is located right next to the Gulf of Mexico and allows guests to get out into the water using their kayaks, paddleboats, canoe, and other water equipment.

Whether it’s your first time out in the water or if you’re an experienced kayaker, Happy Ours Kayak & Bike Outpost can cater to your needs.

They also give you the option to experience the open water on a guided tour on a kayak or paddleboat, where an experienced guide will take you to go scallop fishing during scallop season!

They’ve recently added a bike fleet to their list of rentals if you prefer to do your adventure on land.

The indescribable beauty of the Gulf of Mexico is a sight to behold that you should experience right out on the open water.

Try Some of the Best Donuts in Cape San Blas at Weber's Little Donut Shop

This donut shop in Cape San Blas is a major hit with both locals and tourists, quickly selling out all their goodies and pastries soon after opening!

With flavors and fillings of all kinds, Weber’s Little Donut Shop caters to a wide range of people who are willing to stand and wait in the long line just to score a couple of pieces of their pastries!

All baked goods are made fresh daily upon opening at 7:30 am and close as soon as they’re sold out.

Though this eatery looks like your typical, modest pastry shop, their pastries are nothing short of amazing despite the simplicity of the donuts and croissants.

Try and get here early to ensure a box – or two – of the best goodies and treats in all of Cape San Blas!

Go Scalloping During Scallop Season at Scallop Cove

In addition to being a general store and one-stop shop for all things you may typically need on vacation, Scallop Cove is best known for its scalloping activities!

Providing guests with a complete set of gears and equipment available upon rental, Scallop Cove also teaches you the tips and tricks on how to catch these saltwater creatures.

Scalloping Season varies depending on your location in Florida; however, scalloping is still one of the most famous activities and hobbies on this coast.

Each individual can take home as many as two bags full of scallops (if you can catch that many) and learn how to properly store and clean them before eating them for lunch or dinner!

Harvesting these shelled creatures is a must-do while visiting Cape San Blas, so drop by and see how many scallops you can find!

Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy Casual Dining at Indian Pass Raw Bar

Exterior and name sign of Indian Pass Raw Bar
Peter Titmuss / Shutterstock.com

Indian Pass Raw Bar is located in Port St. Joe and is best known for the tastiest and freshest plate of all kinds of seafood that come out of their kitchen!

Their operations began as early as 1903 with the mission to become a hangout place where locals and tourists alike could mingle and socialize over food and drinks.

Front exterior of Indian Pass Raw Bar
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With a casual setup and atmosphere, Indian Pass Raw Bar is different from most of the restaurants in the surrounding area with its self-serving dining.

In addition to their menu of seafood, they also serve a selection of wine and domestic and imported beer!

You can’t go wrong at this resto-bar as you enjoy their delicious, local dishes while socializing with the friendly locals!

See the Wildlife Habitats at St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve

This nature preserve is located in Port St. Joe, a neighboring city that is only a short drive away from the heart of Cape San Blas and gives guests public access to a wide variety of activities and amenities!

From nature trails, archaeological sites and resources, visitor centers, canoeing and kayaking, and even tram tours, St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve has it all here for you.

Their trails are perfect for walking and hiking and give you lovely views of the natural landscape of coastal Florida.

You can also find over 19 archaeological and historical landmarks on this preserve that date as far back as prehistoric times.

The topography of Florida’s native landscapes attracts a variety of rare and endemic species, so be sure to keep an eye out for them!

St. Joseph Bay State Buffer Preserve is full of sites to see that you wouldn’t want to miss!

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re traveling with a group or by yourself, this peninsula in Florida is the perfect getaway to recharge you from the realities of everyday life!

The sandy white beaches, pristine, blue-green waters, matched with some of the best camping grounds and nature preserves, have ranked made Cape San Blas the home to a number of the best beaches in all of Florida.

Most of its tourist attractions are the parks and beaches surrounding the region and all things outdoors, which is sure to refresh your mind and soul while also getting you the tan you’ve always wanted.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Cape San Blas, where you can reconnect with nature and loved ones or simply bask in seclusion and solitude while you enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the outdoors!

Adventure and serenity await you, so book a trip now!