If you are yearning to slow down and experience a historical, authentic “Old Florida” village, then meander south to Panacea. You won’t find high rises, goofy golf, or surf shops here. Instead, you'll discover a coastal area steeped in rich maritime history, shaped by generations of proud families, who still work the water in the time-honored traditions of boat-building, shrimping, crabbing, and fishing. Get close and personal to marine life with the touch tanks at the Gulf Specimen Aquarium. Learn the history of mullet seineyards or the art of boat-building at the Big Bend Maritime Center.
Wander down to the Rock Landing dock to enjoy breathtaking views. The boats rest upon Dickerson Bay. This is where commercial and sport fishermen bring home their daily catches of blue crab, oysters, pink and white shrimp, mullet, trout, and grouper. Seafood so fresh it will melt in your mouth at the many restaurants and markets operated by friendly locals who do Florida seafood right. Plan to attend the Blue Crab Festival held the first Saturday each May, as well as the Mighty Mullet Maritime Festival, which takes place in the fall.
At the turn of the twentieth century, hundreds flocked to Panacea to bathe in the restorative “Cure-All” of the natural mineral springs. Panacea boomed with hotels, restaurants, health spas, baths, boardwalks, piers, and pavilions -- until the Depression descended upon the country and a major hurricane hit in 1928.
But, the original Cure-All still exists. Now, you can quietly amble through the native site of the mineral springs, and imagine yourself transported back to the prosperous, grand heyday of a forgotten time.
Across the street stands the Wakulla Welcome Center. Stop in to browse displays of old photographs, artifacts, and artwork while discovering Panacea's area attractions, as well as the wealth of local nature guides and charter boat captains at your service.
Panacea, nestled between the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and Apalachicola National Forest, is considered a nature lover's paradise. Towering pine forests, shady palmetto and hardwood hammocks, a bountiful freshwater lake, healthy tidal marshes, and pristine estuaries provide opportunities for bird and wildlife observation. The sweeping views are often so compelling you stop you in your tracks. Otter Lake features an amazing feathered performance of birds, which roost at dusk. At Skipper Bay, at the end of Bottoms Road, the sky opens wide to reveal a canvas ideal for stargazing. What could be more perfect?
Come explore the waterfront community of Panacea, located along Coastal Highway 98 in southern Wakulla County. Discover small town hospitality. In- and off-shore, during any season, Panacea has it all.