Monday, March 28, 2011

Great Lodging and Great Food In Port St. Joe, Florida

In the last few posts, I have touched on the wonderful saltwater adventures you can experience in the Port St. Joe area. From fishing, to snorkeling and kayaking clear Gulf waters, Port St. Joe has it all. However, ... you have to stop to eat and sleep sometimes, so here are a few places to eat and a really cozy place to stay if you are in the area. Located just outside the entrance to St. Joseph's Peninsula State Park is "Cone Heads". We ordered hamburgers, which were very good and served on a very light fresh bun. It was a typical beach meal as far as what we ordered ... crinkle cut fries, onion rings and burgers. They were all good, but do NOT be in a hurry when you get there. My impression is that they are operating on a minimal staffing formula so the wait to be served was far too long. Everyone was nice and the food was good, I just think they could do with a little larger staff. The town center of Port St. Joe is undergoing a transformation apparently. There are signs of restoring and reusing all sorts of older store fronts along the core of the town. The scene above is right across the street from the Port Inn were we stayed, so we were able to just walk over to dine. Joe Mama's was recommended by the Port Inn staff. We decided to give it a try after the desk clerk said, "They make great pizza, but it's not going to be like regular Pizza Hut pizza". He was right. The service was great, the atmosphere inviting, and the pizza was this Delicious thin crust crispy creation topped with totally fresh goodies and NOT smothered in sauce or a pound of cheese. You could actually taste all of the ingredients! t was the best non seafood meal we had on this trip. I'm pretty sure it was the tastiest pizza I have ever eaten, and because it was not smothered in oily over "cheesage", I never experienced that post-Pizza Hut feeling of having just ingested 20cc's of horse tranquilizer. Here's a side view of the Port Inn looking east from the street with all the restaurants and shops. The Port Inn was a lucky find on this trip. When I was planning ahead for the trip ... about 3 days ahead, it became very clear that this was not a motel dense area. In fact they are few and far between. Lucky for us, the Port Inn is one of the few. The Port Inn was delightful. To borrow a paragraph from their website, "Port Inn is a recently-restored 21-room hotel located in the small coastal town of Port St. Joe on Florida's quiet Gulf Coast, less than twenty minutes from Apalachicola and Mexico Beach. The Inn sits just across the street from St. Joseph Bay and Frank Pate Park with public boat launching facilities, and just three blocks from a new, state-of-the-art marina offering fishing charters and waterfront dining." We almost drove past it, since the room were described as a"bay view" room. That descriptive term had us looking at the left (bay)side of the highway as we drove west through Port St. Joe. Suddenly, there it was on the right! So, yes, it is a "bay view", but a bay view across the road from the bay. No big deal, because it turned out to be a great place. It had the right amount of quaintness as a restored older inn, but there was nothing stuffy about it. The room was beautiful, the bed very comfortable, and the TV was not flat ... see, I told you it was quaint. The staff members were very pleasant and even though there is a pretty fun bar on site called "The Thirsty Goat", the bar music and noise never seemed to be intrusive back at the room. They serve a fantastic breakfast also and this is included in your room price. The price was about $119 per night, but considering that on the final night of this trip we stayed at a Days Inn in Apalachicola for almost the same price with boring basic motel furnishings and a sad, pitiful complimentary breakfast (which we skipped), ... well, considering all THAT, the Inn was a deal. I would definitely stay there again. And here is your "bay view" from the pretty park located directly across the street from the Inn. When I return to Port St. Joe, the Port Inn will be my first choice for lodging. In this final Port St. Joe post, I've tried to string together (by way of links to the previous posts) a first hand account of what to do, where to eat, and where to stay. Why, I've practically planned your vacation for you! We were only there for a few days, so obviously we missed some other neat places to visit in the area, but, hey, all the more reason to return! Book your 2011 and 2012 Florida villa breaks with Florida4Less


kathy a. said...

looks like you found a great place to stay, and great pizza! have enjoyed the travel journal.

Ol' Lurker said...

Pizza Hut "horse tranquilizer". LOL! You got that right.

Thunder Dave said...

We first experienced wood fired pizza in Beijing of all places! You described it perfectly!

Dani said...

So what's behind the getaway for you and the Mrs????

Floridacracker said...

Kathy A,
We did!
It was only 3.5 days, but it was fun.

Seriously, a Pizza Hut meal saps every bit of energy from my body.
Maybe if I would stop at 3 slices, that wouldn't happen.

This really blew me away.

25 years in the rearview mirror.

Dani said...

Nice, very nice. :)

Island Rider said...

This is lovely. We are going to be celebrating 30 in June. Did you know that today there is a Disney World ad on your blog? Kinda funny after you posted about the mouse and his minions!

LaDivaCucina said...

Congrats on a quarter of a century together! Time flies, eh! Looks like you and the missus had a lovely get away and well deserved, I'm sure! Also, thanks for the Florida 4 Less tip...I'll be checking that out!

pattaya villas said...

It always looks very warm in that part of the country. I enjoyed looking at these photos. And I would also love to try that pizza!

Anonymous said...

I agree completely.

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