Singing the Praises of Gulf County, Florida

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Gulf County Florida | I-10 Exit Guide
With 244 miles of shoreline throughout Gulf County, there are plenty of access points for visitors. | Credit: Gulf County Tourist Development Council

Gulf County, Florida, is the perfect spot to relax and unwind. The beautiful beaches, diverse waters and low-rise lifestyle it is known for are being hailed in a new song and music video. Centrally located on the Gulf Coast (just two hours southwest of Tallahassee and an hour east of Panama City Beach), this is an easy drive and a favorite getaway for those throughout the region. Whether for a popular annual event or a laid-back evening of entertainment, live music has become a favorite element of Gulf County’s appeal.

Season after season, musicians have played on a variety of stages in Gulf County, sharing their voices and talent with both locals and visitors. This year, that talent is on display from the Gulf Coast to Music City as Gulf County’s new anthem is being presented on stages in Nashville and celebrated locally. “Gulf County” is an original song by Northwest Florida singer/songwriter Anna Wescoat. Wescoat’s tribute to Gulf County won top honors in the Gulf County Tourist Development Council’s first-ever Gulf County Song Contest. The honor was announced at the 12th Annual Blast on the Bay Songwriters’ Festival in October.

The song is being touted as a destination anthem and will debut at Nashville Lifestyle’s Music in the City event in Nashville on January 19, 2023, as an opener for Elle King. The song will also be performed on “Today in Nashville” live on January 19. It will also be featured in Gulf County’s 2023 Spring Marketing Campaign. 

Gulf County’s music scene is integral to its appeal and has become a growing part of its identity. In 2018, Brothers Osborne, the three-time Grammy nominated duo and two-time CMA Vocal Duo of the Year launched their sophomore album, titled “Port Saint Joe,” for an enthusiastic local crowd. The album was written and recorded in the Gulf County town of Port St. Joe.

Blast on the Bay, held each October, features more than 30 songwriters performing at numerous venues throughout the destination during the four-day event. This year’s event will be held October 19-23. The Forgotten Music Festival is also held fall and spring brings Blues on Reid.

Music lovers know there is no “off season” here. Live music venues bring a variety of acts in a variety of settings and a multitude of outdoor festivals a year get this coastal destination in a groove. The Mill Mercantile and Social (105 Good Morning Street, Port St. Joe, Florida 32456, 850-899-9149), the Haughty Heron (117 Sailors Cove, Port St. Joe, Florida 32456; 850-229-3463) and Scallop RePUBlic (411 Cape San Blas Road, Port St. Joe, Florida 32456; 850-227-9009) are the great options for enjoying local music any time of the year. 

The new Gulf County Fusion Trail offers a unique way to experience the area’s music scene while enjoying the variety of restaurants and other venues throughout the county. By signing up for the online passport, visitors can accrue points for a chance to win a vacation package. 

Where to stay

Gulf County has a wide array of lodging choices to fit any group’s needs. There are vacation rental homes of all sizes and inns and cottages, each with a character all its own. Camping, both primitive beach camping and full hook-up RV sites, is a popular way to enjoy this coastal area, as well.


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