First Impression: It's almost impossible to find a "secret boating haven" in the state of Florida anymore. But this is one place that would fit the description.
Something You Have to Do: Contact a guide like Terry Caruthers (Last Cast Charters, 850-251-5571) to find out where to find fish, and to ask if the bay waters are hospitable or if it's best to stay in the river system.
Trivia: Carrabelle is home to what once was the world's smallest police station – a phone booth in the center of town.
Launching Here: It's all two-laners into Franklin County. The ramps are in great shape, but watch the tide schedule.
Local Flavor: The Tiki Hut at Pirate's Landing will cook your fish; they also have a sesame-grilled tuna steak prepared so fresh there's no need for foo-foo spices. The Funky Oyster Shack is hidden under old trees, and was redone a year ago in a way that fits the town character.
Bedding Down: Rent a condo or cottage with a boat slip and/or ramp access through Sandy Beach Properties (MySandyBeach.com, 850-251-6185). You can wake up next to your boat. Nightly rates range from $100-$250.
Distance From Tallahassee: 80 miles
Best Contacts: carrabellechamber.org, 850-697-2585
The previous owners of the 3 bedroom, 3 bath home we found with deepwater docking along the Carrabelle River must have liked to make boating easy. This house comes with a wraparound porch, boat lift and covered boat dock. It all comes with 80 feet of river frontage. We saw it listed for $298,000 at mysandybeach.com.