A Morning in Apalachicola

coffee shop

We arrived in the city a bit early, on purpose. To enjoy a cup of good coffee while sitting at an outdoor table looking out at the rest of the world feels just a little decadent. We took our time; sipping from the cup, chatting occasionally, and watching the world go by. We visit here at least once or twice a year, so the newness of place has given way to a comfortable, familiar enjoyment. This visit we sought out the new, and also planned to revisit some of the familiar.

Like many towns and cities in Florida, Apalachicola relies on tourism for a good part of its economy. Unlike so many, in Florida and so many other places we visit, they offer more than the one after another “antique” and other shops, interspersed with various restaurants. Recently someone referred to these other places as “nothing to see but a lot of the same useless stuff to buy”. I find that a bit harsh, but I’ve felt the same way.

Two state parks reside in the city, one Orman House Museum and the other John Gorrie Museum. Apalachicola Maritime Museum contains maritime heritage exhibits and is a must see. Several galleries dot the downtown area, but we found most closed on Mondays. We peeked in the windows, and moved on.

One thing we never pass by is an independent bookshop. Apalachicola has two, and we visited both and of course couldn’t leave without a book. The book may be cheaper on line, but the experience of browsing and checking out carefully chosen titles, exploring eye-catching covers, chatting with the staff, and being greeted by the store cat makes the in person purchase more valuable. Plus, I find lately that the local books, the ones that bring the area to life, usually can’t be found on-line. Most independent bookstores are closing, and as Karl said one time, we simply don’t have the money to keep them all in business by ourselves. That said, whenever we visit a place we seek out bookstores and if we find them, they do get some business from us.

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