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Start your visit by picking up a map and a self-guided tour brochure from the chamber of commerce, and then stroll around Apalachicola's waterfront, business district, and Victorian-era homes.

Along Water Street, several tin warehouses date back to the town's seafaring days of the late 1800s, as does the 1840s-era Sponge Exchange, at Commerce Street and Avenue E. A highlight of the residential area, centered on Gorrie Square at Avenue D and Sixth Street, is the Greek Revival-style Trinity Episcopal Church, built in New York and shipped here in 1837. Battery Park, at the water end of Sixth Street, has a children's playground. A number of excellent art galleries and gift shops are grouped on Market Street, Avenue D, and Commerce Street.

The showpiece at the John Gorrie Museum State Park, Avenue D, at Sixth Street (tel. 850/653-9347; www.floridastateparks.org/johngorriemuseum), is a replica of Dr. Gorrie's cooling machine, a prototype of today's air-conditioner: It really works! The park is open Thursday through Monday from 9am to 5pm; closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission is $2 (free for children 6 and under).

The renovated Dixie Theatre, 21 Ave. E (tel. 850/653-3200; www.dixietheatre.com), a 1912 movie house, hosts live theater productions. It has maintained its original ticket booth and restored its facades to their original glory.

The Estuarine Walk, at the north end of Market Street, on the grounds of the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (tel. 850/653-8063), contains aquariums full of fish and turtles, along with displays of other estuarine life. It's open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. Admission is free.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.