July 29, 2011

Scallopalozza! A Steinhatchee Fourth of July

We spent this Fourth of July weekend with great friends on our 3rd annual scalloping trip to the tiny little fishing village of Steinhatchee, Florida.  If you have never been to Steinhatchee, it’s time to go! I hope this post will help you plan your own scallopalooza.
What to do in Steinhatchee?
Hunt for scallops, of course! Scalloping is a really simple activity that can be enjoyed by everyone. All you need is a boat, a mask and snorkel and a 5 gallon bucket to hold your catch (hint, a small bag like the ones used to wash delicates is perfect to hold your scallops while you are swimming around). The Steinhatchee River takes you straight out to the Gulf and from there all you have to do is choose a spot, throw in the anchor and let the hunt begin. It is a lot like an underwater Easter-egg hunt.  Scallops are just sitting on the bottom waiting for you to pick them up.  Once you have reached your limit or are tuckered out, grab a pool noodle or float, a frosty beverage and kick back and relax. This really is one of the best parts of scalloping!
If you aren’t interested in scalloping Steinhatchee also offers great fishing and apparently hunting (but that is not my thing). If you don’t like the outdoors and are expecting shopping malls, Whole Foods or ANYTHING bordering on fancy, this may not be the trip for you. It really is a fishing village in every sense of the term.
Where to stay?
In Steinhatchee, rental houses are key. There is not much in the way of hotels. Two places I would recommend are
 What if I don’t have a boat?
A few marinas in Steinhatchee offer boat rentals. The nicest boat we have rented so far was from SeaHag Marina http://www.seahag.com/boatrentals.htm
What should I eat?
Don’t count on restaurants or grocery stores. For this trip you will need to plan ahead! The rental houses have basic cooking utensils but you may want to pack things like a can opener, veggie peeler and a sharp knife. There are a few places to grab a bite around town, but count on 90% of it being some version of fried food.  Feel free to contact me if you would like to see the menu I planned for our most recent trip. I based it on food I could cook ahead of time and just heat up when we got in from a long day on the water.



So, are you ready to go try your hand at scalloping?


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