Secret Escapes: Find Hidden Seclusion on the Choctawhatchee River - 30A

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Secret Escapes: Find Hidden Seclusion on the Choctawhatchee River

Captain Andy Coleman knows the Choctawhatchee River.

He’s been cruising up and down its wild waters just a few miles north of Santa Rosa Beach since the mid-70s. He knows the river’s story, the people who live tucked in little communities most easily reached by boat and the history of their lives on the water and somewhat off the grid. He knows the plants and the animals who call the river home. And he loves it all.

Last year, he decided to start Backwater Tours, to share his love for the river with others. Now, he ferries people up the river in his shallow draft 26-foot motorboat.

Captain Andy Coleman of Backwater Tours

Captain Andy Coleman of Backwater Tours

The boat is outfitted with a powerful motor, making for a smooth and fast ride that is also light enough to maneuver through some of the shallow sloughs that lead to truly hidden gems, like the River Run spring, a small swimming hole that pumps out ice-cold freshwater and is accessible only by boat.

Touring the river with Coleman is a treat.



Guests experience an authentic piece of old Florida that is hard to imagine is just a stone’s throw from the bustle of Seaside and Rosemary Beach.

An hour into the tour and Coleman has shared a treasure trove of little stories, pointing out the Tupelo and Cypress trees, telling all about the people who used to make their living off these trees — and some who still do.

Contact Andy Coleman at 850-865-0420.

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