Horseshoe Beach
Population (2016)
169
Area (Square miles)
0.5
Year founded
1935
Year incorporated
1963
Located on the tip of a peninsula jutting out into the Gulf along the Big Bend area of Florida, Horseshoe Beach is 20 miles southwest of Cross City at the end of County Road 351. Make sure you have plenty of gas before leaving Cross City - because they're aren't any gas stations in Horseshoe Beach.

First settled in the 1800's, the land was originally owned by lumber companies. In 1935, C.C. Douglas and Burton Butler purchased the land and offered each resident squatter the lot he was living on for $10. Thus the town of Horseshoe Beach was born, and it was incorporated by the residents in 1963.

Even though it is one of the most remote towns on the Nature Coast, once you get here it appears that there are just way too many houses for the amount of land available. It's an eclectic mix, with many expensive homes overlooking double wide trailers. One of the houses - pictured on this page - is a large wooden boat elevated on stilts. Another interesting residence is constructed from three large round silos sitting on an elevated deck.

Horseshoe Beach is almost exclusively devoted to fishing and boating. There are a few permanent residents - mostly retired folks, or those engaged in the commercial or sport fishing business. But most of the houses are vacation or weekend getaways. The town has a small restaurant, a general store, a marina, a hardware and marine supply store, and a tiny library and museum. There are no hotels, but a few houses or apartments are available as short term rentals, and a few overnight RV spaces.

At the very end of County Road 351 - which is also Main Street - you will find a great place to park and view the sunset over the Gulf. At the west end of 8th Avenue is Douglas-Butler Memorial Park, named after the founders of the town. The park is also called Horseshoe Beach Park. The park has a paved public boat ramp and parking for cars and boat trailers. There are also a few shelters with picnic tables.

Needless to say, fishing is a popular pastime in the waters around Horseshoe Beach, as is kayaking. Kayak and canoe rentals are available at the marina.
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