Cape San Blas Water/Beach Activities
Scalloping, Surf Fishing, Charter Fishing, Boating & Boat Rentals Ecotours,, Kayaking, Canoeing, Snorkeling, Cruise Boat Tours, Diving, and much more.
NEED A BOAT RENTAL?
You can rent a pontoon boat right on Cape San Blas at Scallop Cove TOO in the State Park, right outside the gates to Barrier Dunes.
Scallop Cove Great folks here and right on the Cape! They have 5 pontoon boats for rental and they will deliver a kayak, stand up paddleboard (SUP) or canoe (or most anything you need to rent) directly to your Barrier Dunes Rental & pick it up at the end of your stay! They also have a Scallop Cove II location IN St. Joseph Peninsula State Park if you want to take a boat our SUP out in the bay!
Easy Bay Pontoon Rentals with Captain Clint: 850-247-3828
Rent a Boat:
Bayou Boat Rentals: 850-441-9343 or 850-899-3397
Capt. Clint’s Pontoon Boat Rentals: 850-625-5904
Happy Ours Canoe and Kayak Rentals: 850-229-1991 On Cape San Blas. They do tours as well!
Presnell’s Boat Rentals: 850-229-9229
Sand Flea Rentals They rent just about everything you can think of!
KAYAKING, CANOEING & BOATING
St. Joseph Bay is an outstanding place for new or experienced boaters alike since the waters are so calm! You may see a stingray, horseshoe crab, blue crab, starfish, redfish, mullet, live shells or schools of baitfish.
In the deeper channels around Black’s Island, you frequently see the bottle-nosed dolphin or sea turtles. If you are bringing your own boat – St. Joseph Peninsula State Park has a boat ramp and it’s right outside the gates to Barrier Dunes! We love taking a boat out to the tip of Cape San Blas & anchoring just off the beach & exploring the coast–we always find lots of “treasures”! There is overflow boat parking in Barrier Dunes. Happy Ours Kayak & Bike Outpost – RIGHT on the Cape!
Check out Happy Ours Kayak & Canoe Outpost 775 Cape San Blas Road (678-442-8810) is located directly on St. Joseph Bay (AKA Cape San Blas!) & offers guided & unguided trips, & kayak sales. They specialize in guided eco-tours by a certified Florida Master Naturalist in Coastal Systems. Their guided snorkeling trips are fantastic as they introduce you to the underwater world & important habitat of saltwater bays. If you are a first-time scalloper, a guided snorkeling trip is a must to find out where & how to collect & clean these tasty morsels. Kayak fishing is the fastest-growing segment of the kayaking sport & the lush grass beds of St. Joseph Bay is a haven for trout and redfish, while the sand flats attract flounder. Happy Ours is fully equipped with expert guides & fishing kayaks. Paddling instruction is offered free with all rentals, & delivery to other launch sites is available by request. Stop by and say hello to Dan and Debbie & don’t forget to visit “Regent” & “Lizzie” & “Flopsy” at their petting zoo! has added PADDLE BOARDS as an option now! See their website for more info! “The girls haven’t stopped talking about Happy Ours & Dan, the man who helped us with the canoe in the bay. It was just a wonderful time. ” Crystal Culp, Guest
HORSEBACK RIDING ON THE BEACH:
Go horseback riding right on the Cape San Blas beach. Imagine riding on the beach at sunset—it’s breathtaking (very romantic & the kids love it too!!) There are several companies and they bring the horses to Salinas Park, about 1 mile past the C30 junction on the Cape.
We recommend Two-Bit Stable Horseback Riding: Kymber Lewandowski 850-227-4744.
You can also call Broke A Toe at 850-899-RIDE. Enjoy a moonlit ride on a full moon, sunset ride, wagon rides or lessons!
Rockin’ R Ranch 850-227-6177
BONFIRE ON THE BEACH:
Another unique activity you can enjoy on the beach is a beach bonfire! Be sure to dig a hole for your fire so you “leave no trace” on the beach when you’re done. Bring a firelog to help start the fire (there are no Boy Scouts on the beach). You can get firewood at the Cape Trading Post, Scallop Cove or the Piggly Wiggly. Do be sure to be away from the dunes when you dig your hole! Great to enjoy after a beautiful Cape sunset!
Turtle season in Gulf County runs from May 1 to the end of October . The Cape San Blas beaches are prime nesting grounds for Loggerhead & Greenback turtles. During the 1st half of the season, pregnant sea turtles drag themselves up on the Gulf County beaches to lay their eggs. During the second half of the season, thousands of tiny hatchlings hatch & make their way to the Gulf of Mexico! If you see a square area marked off by warning tape, it’s a turtle nest! Please stay clear & keep your dog clear of any turtle nest! If you take a walk in the evening or early morning, you might be lucky enough to see a sea turtle lay her eggs or the eggs hatch.
There are always several nests in & around Barrier Dunes during turtle nesting season!
Seeing sea turtles laying their eggs or seeing the eggs hatch is just one of many great things you can experience at Cape San Blas, FL (note: Never touch a sea turtle nest or egg!)
Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Center. George Core Park.200 B Miss Zola’s Drive, Port St. Joe. Open Friday & Saturday 1-5 EST. Come visit the center to learn all about one of Gulf County Florida’s favorite creatures, the majestic Sea Turtle! The Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Center is brought to you by the Florida Coastal Conservancy to promote our community’s natural beauty and preserve one of its most valuable resources.
There is wonderful fishing in the area—from the shore, from a boat, in the ocean or bay or one of the freshwater ponds in Barrier Dunes! The waters of the Apalachicola Bay & the Gulf of Mexico from Carrabelle to Mexico Beach are known to be among the richest in marine life in the world due to the nutrients carried down on the Flint, Chattahoochee, Oclocknee, St. Marks & Apalachicola Rivers! What can you catch?
Fish ‘N Xpress 49 Passenger Party Fishing Boat. Leaves out of Port St. Joe Marina. Wednesday – Sunday 9:30 – 4:30 Bottom Fishing. Shark Fishing 3 1/2 hour trips (Seasonal, catch and release) and Sunset Dolphin Cruises! Call 850-227-8200 for more information!
If you would like a fishing guide, there are quite a few to choose from! Here are just a few places you can try:
Book Me A Charter Join us for a fun-filled day on the water! Do you prefer Inshore fishing in the Apalachicola or Port St. Joe Bay, or Offshore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico? Local and Native to the area, this is our backyard. We offer both full and half day charters. We are a family friendly guide service. Give us a call 850-653-2622 we would love to hear from you.
Fishing Port St. Joe with Captain Gary Goodrich. Fishing, sightseeing, eco-tours and boating makes Port St Joe top on the list for a “real Florida” vacation. Call Captain Gary Goodrich at 850-229-3474.
Tall Tales Fishing with Captain Tim Harvey who was born and raised in the Apalachicola and St. Joseph Bays. He has over 30 years of experience catching the inshore species in the Forgotten Coast area, including Redfish, Trout, Shark, Tarpon and Tripletail. See our website for more details!
Cape Sufaris: Surf & shark fishing, tarpon fishing, surfing & paddleboard lessons, 4WD shelling & Eco-Tours. One-stop service for adventure on the Forgotten Coast. Whether you want to catch & tag some big sharks off the beach, learn how to surf or just take in the beautiful scenery from a paddleboard they can accommodate you. They come RIGHT TO YOUR RENTAL! Includes bait, tackle & firewood
Daly’s Watersports 317 Monument Ave. Port St. Joe Rent kayaks, bodyboards or stand-up paddleboards.
SUNSET CRUISE OR SHELLING EXCURSIONS:
If you can swim, float or walk you can go 2 miles or more in a foot or 2 of water, you can scallop. Scalloping is a perfect activity for families because scallops are found in shallow, grassy areas making them easy targets for kids!
What You’ll Need:
- FL Saltwater Fishing License. Not needed if you are not using mask and snorkel. You can purchase one at the Scallop Cove bait and tackle shop right on Cape San Blas!
- Regulation Dive Flag (must be flying before anyone gets into the water, even if wading out from shore!) –we did provide dive flags, but they kept disappearing, sorry. You can rent them or buy them at Scallop Cove right on Cape San Blas, FL.
- Snorkel Gear – Not required, but helpful!
- Mesh Bag – To put all those scallops in!
- Boat – not required as you can walk out from the bayside beach of the State Park! We used kayaks and had lots of fun!
Once you have everything you need, get your boat, or wade into the water. Once you see a few scallops lying on top of the seagrasses, start collecting. Be sure to store the scallops on ice immediately after harvesting. This opens the shells & makes cleaning easier.
You are allowed 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of scallop meat per day. Depending on the number of people on board a vessel, they’re limited to a maximum of 10 gallons of whole scallops in the shell or ½ gallon of meat on board a vessel at any time.
BE A RESPONSIBLE SCALLOPER…DON’T GO OVER THE LIMIT!
Most will say the best scalloping is at the south end or head of the bay. The best way to reach these scallops is by boat.
or just visit St. Joe Bay…it’s easy and good eats
Whether you’re strolling along the natural shores of St. Joseph Bay, taking a walk on our pristine beaches or exploring the wonders of the Forgotten Coast, you will surely be amazed at the treasures you’ll find as you comb Gulf County’s unique shorelines. From beautiful driftwood carved uniquely by nature, to the vast variety of bivalves, urchins & mollusk shells, you’ll never come back empty-handed. Shelling is 365 days a year in Gulf County and is influenced by the tides, the weather & the seasonal fish.
There are a wide variety of shells and other treasures on both the Cape San Blas beaches and the St. Joseph Bay side of the Cape! A good spot for shelling is right past the stump hole… take your first right after you pass the “stump hole” if you are coming from Barrier Dunes. This area has HUGE shells, especially after a storm! The bayside is also a great place for different shelling treasures! You can access the bay and beachside inside St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, right outside the gates to Barrier Dunes.
St. Joe Bay & the Gulf both offer great snorkeling! If you don’t have your own equipment you can buy or rent what you need at Scallop Cove or The Trading Post, both on Cape San Blas! You can walk straight out from the shore or take a boat out in the ocean or the bay!
PARASAILING & JET SKIS:
Crazy Waverunners 850- 527-9893
Available on the beach behind the El’ Governor Motel in Mexico Beach.
You are welcome to bring your own jet ski. There is a hose under (or on the back deck) of all of our Barrier Dunes rental to wash off the salt water when you are finished. There is also a boat washing area on Parkside Circle right in Barrier Dunes.
Family Fun and Great Eating! You can do this on the beach and in the bay–one of our favorite places is at the end of Indian Pass, but you can go crabbing on Cape San Blas or just about anywhere! One method is to use a crab cage–this is great for catching a LOT of crabs, but not near as much fun as crabbing with a string and a chicken neck! You can get a crab cage at Scallop Cove.
What you will need:
- Fishing line, string or twine
- Chicken Necks (any part of the chicken really)
- Stick/pole or something to secure the line to
- A long-handled net (not too long or it gets in the way)
- A bucket that will hold water and is deep enough the crabs can’t crawl out of. Deep coolers work too!
- A family ready to have some fun!
My kids look forward to crabbing each time we go to the beach almost as much as the beach itself! We stop at the Piggly Wiggly on the way through Port St. Joe and buy some chicken necks or wings and freeze them—we freeze them after each time and use them all week.
We have the bases of palm fronds that we use for sticks and have the string (about 25 ft) already tied to them and wrapped around the fat end of the palm branch because it means less wrapping!
Gather up your gear and a few drinks and snacks and pick your favorite spot! We like the end of Indian Pass so far, but have heard success stories from St. Joseph State Park, the surf in front of Barrier Dunes on a calm day, the Stump Hole on Cape San Blas (the skinny part of the Cape with the rock wall) and the last Bridge before you get to Indian Pass Raw Bar (don’t get in water here—alligators are a possibility).
Throw your line out about 15 feet & wait a few minutes! When you pull the line a little and feel some extra weight—he’s there! Pull him in slowly and have a net waiting! Scoop him up and put it in your bucket of water!
When you get home—only cook the live ones. All you do is drop them into boiling water with Old Bay Seasoning and wait for it to boil again. They’ll turn pink—a lot like cooking shrimp! Dump them out and dinner is ready!
You can also get a crab cage at Scallop Cove in the fish and tackle shop.
For your convenience, there is a large crab pot, crab “crackers” and “pickers” available at all of our rentals!
Our kids were too young to get certified when we purchased at Barrier Dunes but we’re thrilled to say they have been certified by Daly’s Dock and Dive! John & I enjoy diving when we have a chance but haven’t made it on one of our Cape trips yet…now that our kids can dive we are looking forward to doing a wreck dive or two soon! There are several options for dive charters:
- Daly’s Dock & Dive Dive charters, equipment and full-service marine center. Port St. Joe. 850-229-6330.
- Seahorse Water Safaris They also rent equipment and boats!
For a great DIVE MAP go to the Seahorse Water Safaris & click on “Dive Boat Trips”.