John Gorrie Museum State Park
Gorrie was deeply involved in his adopted community, serving as postmaster, city treasurer, town councilman and bank director. By 1841, concern for his yellow fever patients motivated Gorrie to invent a method for cooling their sick rooms. He became a pioneer in the field of air conditioning and refrigeration by inventing a mechanical device that produced ice. Dr. Gorrie received the first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851. Today, a replica of his ice-making machine and other Gorrie artifacts are on display at the museum. We are also proud to showcase temporary exhibits chronicling the history of the Florida Park Service, which plays a vital role in preserving and interpreting the Real Florida!
More than 900 historic homes and buildings from the National Historic District, dating from the 1830s, can be seen on the city’s walking tour. Included are cotton warehouses, which housed Apalachicola’s cotton export during the 1800s, a sponge exchange and Victorian homes of former lumber magnates.
Cape St. George Light
The Cape St. George Light which stands at the center of St. George Island, is the fourth reconstruction of the historic lighthouse that was originally built on what is now Little St. George Island. In 1831 Congress appropriated $11,400 for the construction of a lighthouse to guide ships into the thriving port of Apalachicola. The first lighthouse was erected in 1833 near West Pass but was difficult to see for maritime traffic approaching from the east. After suffering storm damage, it was ultimately dismantled and its bricks were used in the construction of a new tower, completed in 1848 at Cape St. George
Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature Center
The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve's home is located at 108 Island Drive (State Road 300) at Cat Point in Eastpoint, Florida. Visitors enter along a winding nature path and learn about local habitat types. Exhibits and aquaria inside give them a sense of where they are in Florida and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint watershed. A coastal walk from the Nature Center to the shoreline gives further opportunities to learn about and enjoy the natural setting. Below are guides to additional recreation opportunities within the Reserve.