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Sarasota to Panama City Trip

Would appreciate any suggestions on fun,simple,good food places between Sarasota and Panama City.Best oysters,other seafood and possibly BBQ. Should we take I-75 to I-10 or do State or off roads lead us to some good eats and scenery?
Thank you.

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  1. It is shorter and quicker to take 275 to the veterans/Suncoast Pkwy. Go the the end of the Pkwy and hit 19 north and then at Perry you head West.
    Lots of little stands and places to eat on the way.
    Once you hit PC check out Hunt's Oyster Bar in town or Billy's Oyster Bar on the beach.

    1. rhnault: Isn't 19 a State road which would be much slower?Does 275 become 589 and you then hit 19 south of Homosassa Springs? What are the key foods sold a the "little stands"? Many thanks for your response.

      3 Replies
      1. re: il davis

        The distance is so much shorter that you make up for it in time. We are not in season yet so 19 won't be jam packed with snowbirds and it should not be too bad. The speed limite is even 65 on many stretches.There are fruit stands, bbq stands, boiled peanuts, smoked mullet. You could even shoot over to Cedar Key or Steinhatchee. I am a panhandle native and I think the trip up 19 gives a good view of old school gulf coast. My Mom and brother still live in PC and they always do 19 to the Suncoast/Veterans to my house in Tampa.

        1. re: il davis

          It's actually about 10-15 minutes quicker between Tampa and Tallahassee if you take 19 instead of I-10 because of the decreased distance. However, once you get north of Homosassa Springs, it's a very lightly populated stretch of road and it may be a while to the next interesting-looking location, and I'd say to stop at the first place that catches your eye or you'll get stuck eating a McDonald's in *shudder* Perry or something.

          1. re: beachmouse

            They used to have this awesome southern food buffet in Perry called Swain's. I think I saw it was closed though the last time we drove through. If you are stuck having to eat in Perry they do have a Hardee's that serves thickburgers (occasional guilty pleasure). I would probably head over to Steinhatchee and eat some fresh seafood. I think it's only 20-30 miles off of 19.

        2. rhnault: Thanks for the most helpful feedback. People are suggesting that we explore Appalachiocola and its outer islands. We're trying to thoroughly explore this portion of the Panhandle, any other suggestions of what to see and eat along the way? Again, many thanks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: il davis

            Apalachicola is fantastic. We get a beach house for a week every year on Cape San Blas. It is an amazing unadulterated beach. No high rises. One gas station, one little store, and an ice cream shop. We usually take a couple drives in to Apalach while we are on the beach. There are cute shops and good restaurants.

          2. I lived in new port richey & pc and commuted to dothan and pc;do not take 19 it is 32 miles further and one hour further commute.stick to 75/I-10.
            appach is unique ;but i would save time and energy for area betwenn pc and pensacola

            1 Reply
            1. re: tlg

              well this thread is a year old but I will say that from my house in Tampa to my Mother's house in PC it is about 60 miles closer if you take the Veterans to the Suncoast to 19 and cut west at Perry. But that is PC, not Dothan

            2. Thanks for your recent imput. We didn't make the trip last year due to the cold weather. We're planning on going to Cedar Key and THEN Apalachicola in the near future. In fact, we have heard of a great oyster place west of Apalachicola that will be our main target.
              Thanks for you travel advice.
              ilDavis

              1 Reply
              1. re: il davis

                Is this the joint you have heard abut W of Apalachicola, FL. If so I advise that you stay in town. The food at Apalachicola's places are much better. The Raw Bar is fun for lunch but it's not worth the trip. Go one time and get it over with. There are plenty of Joint's around home for me. Papa Joe's has good oysters. Apalachicola Seafood Grill is very good also. Go to Buddy Ward's and buy some fresh. Boss Oyster is OK but it's not my favorite.

                Indian Pass Raw Bar @ 8391 County Road C30 # A, Port St Joe, FL 850 - 227 - 1670.
                http://www.indianpassrawbar.com/
                Papa Joe's Oyster Bar @ 301 Market St., Apalachicola, FL 850 - 653 - 1189.
                http://www.papajoesoysterbar.com/
                Apalachicola Seafood Grill and Steaks @ 100 Market St., Apalachicola, FL 850 - 653 - 9510.
                Boss Oyster @ 125 Water Street Apalachicola, FL 850 - 653 - 9364.
                Buddy Ward and Son's Seafood @ 233 Water Street, Apalachicola, FL 850 - 653 - 8790.
                http://www.13milebrand.com/