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10 Things You Will Absolutely Love About Stone Crab Season

Stone Crab Season 

October is quickly approaching. If you live or vacation on the Gulf Coast of Florida, you know what that means: Stone Crab season is about to begin! This beloved event begins annually on the Gulf Coast starting on October 15 and continuing through the month of May here in the Sunshine State. It’s a phenomenon all its own, so if you haven’t experienced Florida Stone Crab Season, you must! Book your Gulf Coast vacation rental and be here for the food, fun and festivities during this favorite time of year. 

So what do you need to know about Stone Crab season in Florida? Let us help you out. We’re listing 10 things you’ll absolutely love about stone crab season here on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Read this and then make your plans to be here. You won’t regret it.


1. The Seasonality


Because Gulf Coast Stone Crab Season only happens during a portion of the year from October 15 through May 15, it’s a time of year that Floridians look forward to each and every time it rolls around. There’s heightened anticipation and satisfaction in knowing that you can’t get this delicacy all year long. Seize the day… and the crab!

2. The Florida Stone Crab Festivals & Celebrations


As with any big event on the Gulf Coast of Florida, you’ll find that there are celebrations and festivals all in honor of the glorious stone crab and the kick-off of the season. Wondering where to go? Keegan’s Stone Crab Feast happens annually in Indian Rocks Beach and is a good place to start. Then there’s Frenchy’s Stone Crab Weekend and Cooter’s Stone Crab Fest in Clearwater Beach. Let’s also not forget about the John’s Pass Seafood Festival, where you’ll find stone crabs and all of your other seafood favorites all in one place. You have a lot of options!

3. The Sweet Succulence of Stone Crab Meat


Known for their signature sweet taste and delicate meat, stone crabs fall into two categories in this area: Gulf stone crabs and Florida stone crabs. Gulf stone crabs can be found in all five Gulf states (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) and are known for their giant crusher claw. The crusher claw accounts for almost half of a stone crab’s weight and can easily crush an oyster, which happens to be its main source of nutrition. Gulf stone crabs are brownish-maroon in color. Florida stone crabs closely resemble the Gulf stone crab, except they have a spotted brownish-maroon colored shell which gives them a somewhat lighter appearance. And they are harvested exclusively in Florida. You really can’t go wrong with either kind. 


4. The Specialty Stone Crab Dishes

Preparing Stone Crab at Home

Whether you’re stone crab purist and like them steamed with drawn butter or you’re a foodie with an adventurous palate, it’s fun to hit the Gulf Coast restaurant circuit this time of year and see what’s on the menu. With stone crab a likely star of many dishes, you’ll get to try many variations on this Florida seafood classic. See what the local chefs whip up and indulge until your heart, and your cravings, are content.


5. Preparing Stone Crabs Right in Your Gulf Coast Vacation Rental

Don’t be intimidated by the stone crab! Yes, you can make a stone crab dish right at home or in your vacation rental kitchen. You can make the stone crabs as simple or as fanciful as you like, but you should definitely try your own. Looking for a delicious, quick and easy stone crab recipe to make at home? Try this one for Stone Crab Claws Miami. Then let us know how it turned out. 


6. The Time of Year on the Gulf Coast of Florida

The weather is cooler. The colors are vibrant. The beach vibe is in the air year round on the Gulf Coast. Enjoy all the things you love about Florida with a little less of the heat and humidity as fall brings a refreshing wave of rejuvenation. Get out there and make the most of this time of year on the gorgeous Gulf Coast. 


7. Other Gulf Coast Fun & Festivities Happening at the Same Time

October happens to be an event-filled month in Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores as well as into Clearwater, Tampa and beyond. Not only will you find stone crab festivities and celebrations, but there are also other big Gulf Coast events including Oktoberfest celebrations, the John’s Pass Seafood Festival in Madeira Beach, the Clearwater Jazz Festival and the International Folk Festival in St. Pete. Stay tuned and follow our blog for more details on these big October events coming soon.


8. Satisfying Your Craving While You Can

Human nature wants what it wants, when it wants it. Knowing that time is limited and that stone crab only lasts for a portion of the year means that you have to get your fill when the time is at hand. Go ahead and satisfy those stone crab cravings now so you don’t look back with regret. Once May rolls around, you’ll have to wait all summer long and into the fall months for your next chance to indulge. Don’t miss out.


9. Trying New Stone Crab Dishes

Go ahead and be adventurous this year. Set a goal of trying a new stone crab dish once the season rolls around. Something new, something different! As mentioned earlier, you will have abundant opportunities to taste the best of the season at the local restaurants, so take full advantage. We would love to hear what you tried, where you had it, and which stone crab dish you loved most. Come back and tell us about in our comment section, okay?


10. Planning for Next Year’s Stone Crab Season

The best way to deal with the sadness of stone crab season coming to an end is to look to the future. It’ll be back again next year, so boost your spirits by planning your next Gulf Coast vacation during the stone crab season. Then count down the days until you’re here with stone crab claws in hand… and in your belly. You won’t regret it! See you soon.

Plan Your Next Florida Gulf Coast Vacation


Where’s your favorite place to eat stone crabs on Florida’s Gulf Coast? We want to know!

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