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Retirement Living In Carrabelle on the Forgotten Coast - Florida

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Area Description

Carrabelle is laid-back and quiet…...rural Florida, where the past meets the present. Unpretentious and friendly, Carrabelle exemplifies small town nostalgia. Uncrowded, white-sand beaches are perfect for family vacations, romantic interludes, river and gulf fishing, or just much needed quiet for the soul. Come down, hang out, unplug! Here you will fully appreciate one of the last unspoiled areas in Florida, where natural treasures await you, and the stresses of life seem to fade away. The area is expected to grow but keep its love and respect of the environment and nature.
Carrabelle is a “walkable community” with daily conveniences close by. Restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, hardware, marine supplies, post office, package stores, public library, museums, bank with 24 hour ATM, hair and nail salons, gift and antique shops are conveniently located along the mile of riverfront, some just across the street. Entertainment and local art produced by local artists can be seen and purchased at our art studios. Some restaurants combine food and entertainment. You will find variety in menu choices, and local seafood is generally available. (Please call ahead for hours and days of operation for the restaurants.) Or, if you prefer, a local retail seafood market provides everything you may need so you may prepare your own favorite recipes.
The seafood industry has always been strong in Carrabelle, although the focus in recent years has shifted from commercial fishing to sport fishing. The city is headquarters for several “fishing classic” tournaments for charity and large purses. Today, as always, Carrabelle is a great fishing destination for salt and fresh water species. People come to Carrabelle not only for fabulous fishing, but also to sail, snorkel, scuba dive, scallop, play on the beaches, or to just steal away from the real world for a while.
Ecotourism has become the most popular aspect of the area. The surrounding forests and state parks offer camping, hiking, kayaking, off-road trails, fishing, picnic areas and boat launches. The forest features unique dwarf cypress trees estimated at over a century old! Pitcher plant prairies hold a diverse mixture of carnivorous plants, wildflowers, and grasses. The rich array of wildlife, butterflies, and wild flowers is amazing! Wildlife is plentiful. It is not unusual to spot a deer, fox, blue heron, eagle, pelican, or at the right time of year, to see a family of black bears at play. If luck is really with you, you may be entertained by the local dolphins when walking the beach or riding in a boat.
The ways of our earliest inhabitants, the Civil War era, the lives of lighthouse keepers, our working waterfront, the World War II era, the tourism trade and much more are brought to life in Carrabelle’s fascinating historical museums and sites: The Carrabelle History Museum, Camp Gordon Johnston World War II Museum, the Crooked River Lighthouse and Keeper’s House Museum, and The World’s Smallest Police Station.

Includes Cities/Towns: Carrabelle, Lanark Village.

Region Characteristics

Area Amenities

Things to Do, Recreation & Fitness

   The majority of the Carrabelle area's activities are nature based: boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking, birding, miles of beach to stroll. Carrabelle is undergoing a considerable change, while attempting to maintain its down-home “fishing village” atmosphere and charm. Southern hospitality and Old Florida ambiance are found throughout this little village on the river, along with a town full of friendly people. All our shops and restaurants are locally owned featuring a variety of fresh local seafood and “local pricing” Franklin County is about 80% state & national forests (about 720,000 acres). Carrabelle itself in located about ½ mile up the Carrabelle River that leads to the Apalachicola Bay, which is enclosed by four barrier islands facing the Gulf of Mexico. A variety of organizations offer a range of interesting and fun programs including lectures, fitness, and common interests activities such as art, music, and fellowship.

Cultural Activities

Live music, museums, art galleries and shows are some of the many activities offered in the Carrabelle Area. Just 23 miles from Apalachicola, the county seat, which supplements the area with an even broader range including plays, historical home tours, and more museums.

Public transportation

No public transportation available in area, private contractors only

Medical Facilities

Carrabelle has a clinic that is part of Weems Memorial Hospital located near downtown Carrabelle, as well as physician specialist rotation from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in their local satellite office as well. Local dentist and health department supplement most health needs. Excellent Emergency Services available throughout the county, with life flight for more urgent needs. Although a lot of specialty care physicians are located about an hour away, the drive is generally traffic free along scenic coastline. About 5 miles east of Carrabelle, there is a new state of the art 90 bed long-term skilled nursing facility that also is a rehabilitation facility specializing in physical, occupational and speech therapy. Hospice has a location here in town, and provides a variety of services, including grief support and music therapy. Medical transportation is available to qualified applicants.

What Will The Climate And Weather Be Like If I Retire In Carrabelle on the Forgotten Coast, Florida?

Carrabelle is located on the Carrabelle River with an outlet to the Apalachicola Bay. The Bay is fronted by barrier islands facing the Gulf of Mexico. As a low-lying coastal town, we are subject to occasional evacuation as a cautionary measure, we are fortunate that this occurs rarely, with impacts from a hurricane infrequent. Our winters tend to be mild in the 40-60 degree range with short dips of a few nights below that temperature. Summer months can range from 70-mid nineties during the day. We do experience a lot of humidity, especially June-August.

Monthly Temperature Ranges

 Month  Low  Avg  High
 Jan  39  51  63
 Feb  42  54  67
 Mar  48  60  72
 Apr  54  66  79
 May  63  74  86
 Jun  70  80  90
 Jul  72  82  91
 Aug  72  81  90
 Sep  69  78  88
 Oct  58  70  81
 Nov  49  61  73
 Dec  42  54  65

Monthly Average # of Hot and Cold Days

 Month  Days Greater Than 90 F°  Days Less Than 32 F°  Days Less Than 0 F°
 Jan  0  10  0
 Feb  0  4  0
 Mar  0  1  0
 Apr  0  0  0
 May  5  0  0
 Jun  15  0  0
 Jul  20  0  0
 Aug  18  0  0
 Sep  8  0  0
 Oct  1  0  0
 Nov  0  1  0
 Dec  0  6  0

Rain & Humidity

 Month  Rainfall  Rainy Days  Humidity
 Jan  5 "  9  44 %
 Feb  4 "  8  46 %
 Mar  6 "  8  51 %
 Apr  3 "  6  56 %
 May  3 "  5  64 %
 Jun  7 "  11  71 %
 Jul  7 "  14  74 %
 Aug  7 "  14  74 %
 Sep  6 "  9  70 %
 Oct  4 "  6  61 %
 Nov  4 "  6  54 %
 Dec  4 "  7  47 %


 Month  Snowfall  Snow On Ground Days  Snowy Days
 Jan  0 "  0  0
 Feb  0 "  0  0
 Mar  0 "  0  0
 Apr  0 "  0  0
 May  0 "  0  0
 Jun  0 "  0  0
 Jul  0 "  0  0
 Aug  0 "  0  0
 Sep  0 "  0  0
 Oct  0 "  0  0
 Nov  0 "  0  0
 Dec  0 "  0  0

Natural Disaster Areas

Cost of Living for Carrabelle on the Forgotten Coast, FL

Carrabelle on the Forgotten Coast, Florida cost of living for Housing, Healthcare, Transportation, Taxes, Utilities, etc.:

Cost of Living




Political Party


Senior Housing Options

Most of the housing options are within a few miles of the coastline, a lot with a water view on the bay or riverfront. Many include personal dockage. Houses, condos, and rental units of each are available in and out of Carrabelle City limits. Outside the city, properties are minimum of 1 acre. There are not any high rise or apartment complexes at this time. All housing available generally is ground level up to 3-stories, many multi-level housing also have elevators.

Senior Assistance in Carrabelle on the Forgotten Coast, FL

Carrabelle on the Forgotten Coast, Florida offers the following assistance for seniors:

Carrabelle has a very active Senior Center, open Monday-Friday and offers a wide variety of programs and activities daily and a buffet lunch on Thursday. The Franklin County Senior Center in Carrabelle is the location of workshops, exercise classes, creative art groups, line dancing and much more along with a open and inviting atmosphere to meet and befriend both locals and long-term seasonal visitors. Many amenities in the area are designed to accommodate those with physical challenges. Many of our local organizations arrange "field trips' for groups.

What Job or Volunteer Opportunities Does Carrabelle on the Forgotten Coast Offer For Retirees?

Many organizations in the area survive on generous volunteers. Whether you'd like to volunteer part-time, full-time or just for a specific event, there is a variety of organizations in the area that meet a wide variety of interests that would appreciate your time and talents.

Additional Information

Visitor Information

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