Port St. Joe | Mexico Beach | is a community located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 98 and State Road 71 in Gulf County, Florida, United States. As of 2007, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 3,579. The population was 3,644 as of the 2000 census. Port St. Joe became the county seat of Gulf County in 1965.
The city is located at 29°48'29?N 85°17'52?W (29.807968, -85.297684), within the Florida Panhandle and along the Emerald Coast. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.3 square miles, all of it land. Port St. Joe averages only 3 feet above sea level. At its highest point it is only 8 feet above sea level. This portion of the town has been dubbed "Highland View".
Port St. Joe is traversed by the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW), a federally maintained canal with a channel of 12 feet deep by 125 feet wide, which provides access from St. Marks, Florida, to Brownsville, Texas. From the GIWW, barges can be moved inland on various river systems including the Mississippi River, Tombigbee River Waterway System, and the Apalachicola River. The Apalachicola River is Gulf County's eastern boundary.
The Port of Port St. Joe shipping channel is congressionally authorized to a depth of 35 feet and connects to the shipping lanes of the Gulf of Mexico and to the world. Existing facilities include a manufacturer of chemical line from dolomite, a chemical plant, a 9 million ton/year, dry bulk, barge to rail transloading terminal, and a builder of dive-cruise ships.
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park – ranked #1 beach 2002 by Dr. Beach. With miles of sugar white sand, this park is one of the top rated beaches in the United States. Sunbathing, snorkeling, swimming and fishing are popular activities. A boat ramp which accommodates most trailer vessels is located at Eagle Harbor. Some of the highest dunes in the nation are found here as well as some of the last remaining habitat of coastal sand pine scrub. St. Joseph Peninsula State park has an abundance of wildlife and provides excellent opportunities for bird watching and wildlife viewing.
Mexico Beach is a city in Bay County, Florida, United States and was incorporated in 1966. The population was 1,072 at the 2010 census. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.84 square miles, 1.8 square miles of it is land, and 0.04 square miles or 2.84%, is water.
Mexico Beach is located between Port St. Joe and Panama City and is known for great fishing, affordable waterfront dining, shelling and snorkeling with white sand beaches and calm, clear waters protected by Cape San Blas. Never heard of Mexico Beach? South of Panama City, on the Florida Panhandle, the 1,200 residents have avoided high-rises, strip malls, and theme parks like the plague, keeping their low-slung town to themselves. The top local attractions include parasail rides, shelling, scuba diving, the newly lengthened fishing pier and relaxing on uncrowded, sugar-white sand beaches. Boaters enjoy the short six mile ride over to America’s #1-Ranked Beach at St. Joseph’s Peninsula State Park or dolphin watching at Crooked Island. And, nearby Panama City is just 20 minutes away.