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The Gibson Inn is a small clapboard hotel located in Apalachicola, Florida. Built in 1907 by James Fulton "Jeff" Buck, a native of South Carolina, it was originally named "The Franklin Hotel." Featured on the National Register of Historic Places, it is one of the few inns on that prestigious list that is still operating as a full-service facility.

The structure itself is a fascinating mix between Victorian and Old Florida architecture. The three story building features a tin roof and massive wrap-around porches. Carefully restored and remodeled in 1985, the interior's 31 guest rooms are appointed with poster beds, antique armoires and pedestal basins, as well as being retrofitted with modern amenities.

Regarded as one of Apalachicola's most treasured landmarks, the Gibson is also renown for its four-star restaurant. The hotel is home to a number of cats that wander its lobby and porches daily, and unlike some hotel mascots, they are very approachable and friendly.

The highlight of the tourist season for the hotel is the annual Florida Seafood Festival in early November. Room reservations for this event are booked a full year in advance, and preference is given to those who have had bookings the previous year - so it is very difficult to procure a room at the Gibson at this time of year. Nevertheless, the Gibson is the place to see and be seen for the State's official seafood celebration. The inn's porches and surrounding streets are clogged with folks from all over the southeastern United States, drinking and eating and enjoying themselves from the morning until the wee hours of the night. (I am there every year!)

The Gibson Inn is located at 57 Market Street, Apalachicola Florida, 32320.
Rates (USD): $75-$125
Reservations: 1-850-653-2191

Source information: apalachtimes.com • gibsoninn.com

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