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.