Did anyone go scalloping this summer? We did! For our last “hurrah” of summer, we took the fam up to Steinhatchee (which I learned is pronounced STEENhatchee). Steinhatchee is not the kind of place for nightlife or eating out. When in Steinhatchee, there’s one food on the menu: Scallops!
Steinhatchee is a great weekend boating trip. It’s about a 4-hour drive North from the Bradenton/Sarasota area and if you take the Veteren’s Expressway, it’s a relaxing drive that’s easy enough to tow your boat. We stayed at the Steinhatchee Landing Resort which is on the Steinhatchee River. With a community pool and petting zoo, it’s a perfect spot for families with kids. Being only 3 miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico, it also makes a great spot for your “mancation” where you can enjoy some fishing in the grass flats. The resort is made up of 32 one- to- four bedroom Georgian architecture style cottages. There is a boat launch and plenty of dock slips so you can easily dock your boat.
Now, on to the scalloping! I grew up in Florida, and this is the first time that I have been scalloping. Now I know what the fuss is all about! It’s like a fun “treasure hunt.” Remember the thrill of hunting Easter eggs? You’ll get the same feeling when you spot your first scallop. Searching for the little guys among the sea grass is really quite addicting. In the sticky months of August and September; it’s the perfect way to cool off! There are a few things you’ll need to stock up on before you go. Gotta get a good mask, snorkel, diver’s bag (to collect your scallops in), 5 gallon bucket and a diver’s flag. The Scallop Hunter web site is a great resource for all of your scalloping questions and answers…and they also provide many yummy scallop recipes.
We didn’t reach our limit on scallops, but we got enough to make a filling dinner. We sautéed them in garlic, olive oil and white wine and put them over pasta. A fantastic way to end a Steinhatchee weekend!
Scalloping season has been extended through September 24, so if Tropical Storm Isaac doesn’t mess us up too bad, there are still a few weekends left that you can plan a scalloping trip. Steinhatchee isn’t the only scalloping destination – Homosassa and Crystal River are also having a fantastic scalloping season this year. But if this year doesn’t work out, start making plans for next summer!