7 Unmissable Fall Events in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, & Mexico Beach

More than just summer spots, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach are beloved year-round destinations. One of the main reasons is the great array of events and festivals that keep these towns lively. Each season offers its own special appeal and activities, but fall in this region is especially captivating. The pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and stunning coastal scenery provide a beautiful backdrop for some of the most unique events of the year.

Wondering what events take place in the Forgotten Coast during the season? You're in the right place. This blog is your go-to guide for the best fall events in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach.

At Pristine Properties, we're all about making your vacation unforgettable. We offer a fantastic selection of vacation rentals in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach, all close to some of America's most beautiful beaches. Beyond finding you a dreamy rental, we're here to help you discover the best activities these charming towns have to offer.

And since we're at it, if you ever need tips on Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach, you can dive into our local destination blog. We've got the scoop on everything from the best nightlife spots to dog-friendly beaches and where to score the best coffee in town. There's always more to come, so keep an eye out for our latest posts!

But for now, let's dive into those exciting fall events!

1. Port St. Joe Scallop Festival (September)

family-friendly, local culture, food

Usually held in late August or early September, the Port St. Joe Scallop Festival is a highlight of the fall season. This annual event brings people together for live music, arts and crafts, and, of course, fresh seafood delicacies. The festival coincides with the local scalloping season, so expect to savor the best scallops you've ever tasted.

Held at George Core Park, this celebration of the area's maritime heritage also hosts live performances by famous musicians and local artists selling unique crafts. Even if you're not a fan of seafood, the Port St. Joe Scallop Festival is a must-go event to experience a lively atmosphere set against the gorgeous coastal bay-side — don't forget to bring your camera for memorable photos!

2.  Music in the Park (September)

family-friendly, music, local culture

Need to hear some great tunes and enjoy a sunset? You're in luck! The Music in the Park concert series takes place every Thursday in September from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Parker Park in Mexico Beach. Featuring live music from local favorites, each concert is free and open to the public.

Bring your blankets, chairs, and picnic supplies for a great evening just in time for sunset. If you're not in the mood to pack a picnic, the Mexico Beach Fire Department serves hot dogs and beverages for a small donation. The vibe is relaxed and super friendly.

The concerts are a wonderful way to experience the community spirit of Mexico Beach while enjoying great music and beautiful views.

3.  License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day (September)

family-friendly, outdoor, local culture

Ready to fish without having to purchase a license? The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission offers license-free fishing days, typically on the first Saturday in September. This is the perfect time to explore the waters around Mexico Beach, Cape San Blas, and Port St. Joe.

On these days, the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational anglers, including both Florida residents and non-residents. The waiver applies to any recreational harvest requiring a saltwater fishing license, including crabbing, lobstering, and scalloping.

Whether you're an experienced angler or just looking to try something new, License-Free Saltwater Fishing Day is your chance to enjoy the abundant marine life of the Gulf Coast.

4.  Blast on the Bay Songwriters Festival (October)

music, local culture, adult

Typically held in October, the Blast on the Bay Songwriters Festival is a three-day music extravaganza in Port St. Joe. This festival provides songwriters with a platform to reconnect with their roots and showcase their original compositions. It's a celebration of songwriting and storytelling, where talented artists come together to share their stories and melodies.

The festival offers a diverse lineup of music, featuring performances by both well-known and emerging songwriters. Hosted by different venues throughout the city, you can attend workshops, jam sessions, and late-night performances, allowing you to connect with the musicians and hear the stories behind their songs.

5. Ghost on the Coast (October)

family-friendly, local culture, Halloween

Ghost on the Coast is a Halloween event held in downtown Port St. Joe, featuring trick-or-treating, costume contests, and spooky activities for all ages. The highlight is the trick-or-treating along Reid Avenue, where local businesses hand out candy to costumed children, creating a safe and fun environment for everyone.

The costume contests are also a hit! Divided into different age groups and categories, amazing prizes are awarded for the most creative and impressive outfits. Other attractions and activities include haunted houses, spooky mazes, pumpkin painting, face painting, and carnival-style games — all adding to the eerie fun.

Local bands and performers provide live music, and food trucks and local vendors offer a variety of treats, from traditional Halloween goodies to local delicacies.

6.  Forgotten Music Festival (November)

music, local culture, family-friendly

The Forgotten Music Festival is a celebration of diverse musical genres, from blues and rock to folk and soul. This festival brings both nationally recognized performers and local musicians to George Core Park in Port St. Joe, creating an eclectic and vibrant event catered to all musical tastes. Add to that the breathtaking Gulf Coast setting, and you've got a winning fall event.

Forgotten Music runs over a weekend and also features local vendors and food trucks providing a variety of food and beverages.

7.  Annual Florida Seafood Festival (November)

family-friendly, local culture, food

The Florida Seafood Festival in Apalachicola is a celebration of local cuisine, held every November. This two-day event draws tens of thousands of visitors to the historic town, set under the shady oaks of Battery Park. It's a short drive from Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach.

You'll find a maritime exhibit area where you can learn about the local ecosystem and meet local wildlife up close. Demonstrations and educational exhibits also highlight the hardworking fishermen of the community. The oyster eating and shucking contests are crowd favorites, showcasing impressive skills and competitive spirit.

Other attractions include a colorful parade with bands, floats, and regional dignitaries, arts and crafts booths, seafood vendors, and live performances. If you're an active type, the festival even features a 5k race through the charming streets of Apalachicola.

Bonus Activity for Fall: Bonfires in Cape San Blas

family-friendly, local culture

Bonfires on the beach are a cherished tradition in Cape San Blas, especially during the fall months. As the temperatures cool, locals and visitors gather around bonfires to soak up the serene beauty of the Gulf Coast. The cooler weather creates the perfect setting for cozy gatherings by the fire.

To enjoy a bonfire on the beach, you'll need to get a permit from the Gulf County Sheriff's Office or the local fire department. This ensures safety regulations are followed and helps protect the natural environment. Bonfires can be set up at various points along the expansive beaches, with popular spots near public access points and vacation rentals.

Permit in hand, there are many things you can do on a family bonfire night — from roasting marshmallows, storytelling, and playing music to stargazing and nighttime beach walks.

Just be sure to keep your bonfire safe, always attended, and clean up thoroughly afterward. It's a simple yet magical way to enjoy the fall evenings in Cape San Blas.

Why is fall the best time to visit Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach?

As vacation crowds thin out, fall becomes the prime time for soaking up the vibes of the Forgotten Coast. From mid-September through early November, the weather's just right — nice and mild with plenty of sunshine. It's not too hot, not too chilly, just perfect for relaxing on the beach or getting into some outdoor fun.

And there's a bonus: the sea waters are extra clear during this season, ideal for swimming and all kinds of water activities. With less rain, there's less muck in the water, and the cooler temperatures and calmer winds add to the clarity.

In sum, with the comfy weather, fewer crowds, and clear waters, fall's definitely the time to hit up the region and have a great time.

Where to stay when visiting Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, & Mexico Beach?

Stay like a local by booking a vacation rental with Pristine Properties. We are proud to offer a selection of Cape San Blas Vacation Rentals, Port St. Joe Vacation Rentals, and Mexico Beach Florida Vacation Rentals. are well-located, just steps away from beautiful beaches, great dining options, and an array of outdoor pursuits. That's how you ensure a perfect holiday on the Florida Gulf Coast!

Our properties are well-located, just steps away from beautiful beaches, great dining options, and an array of outdoor pursuits. That's how you ensure a perfect holiday on the Florida Gulf Coast!

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