At the Constitution Convention Museum State Park, interpretive exhibits and artifacts put a face on Florida’s frontier days, with a special focus on the historic city of St. Joseph (now Port St. Joe).
Established by homesteaders who were kicked out of Apalachicola thanks to a sneaky land deal called the Forbes Purchase (1830), St. Joe was Florida’s first real tourist destination, a deep-water port that was the Las Vegas of its day. Some said it was the hand of God that wiped out Sin City in 1841, with a triple whammy of yellow fever, hurricane, and wildfire. A stone marker, cemetery, and this museum are all that’s left of the old city. In 1838 St. Joe hosted Florida’s Constitutional Convention. A replica meeting room has bios of all of the delegates, and gives a nice glimpse into a time when Mosquito County took up most of the southern peninsula.
This is not a hike, but a walk around a museum, one of several state park museums I felt compelled to add to Florida Hikes! when this historic state park was at risk of being shut due to budget cuts. However, it is also a trailhead for a paved trail through Port St. Joe, the Port City Trail.
Location: Port St. Joe
Lat-Long: 29.793400, -85.299400
Fees / Permits: state park entrance fee
Good for: history
The museum is open from 9-12 noon and 1-5 p.m. Thu-Mon, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Constitution Convention Museum State Park website
Along US 98 just east of downtown Port St. Joe at 200 Allen Memorial Way