This time of year, the airwaves are full of monster movies and creature features trying to scare you, but on the Forgotten Coast, we don’t have to look any further than the waters of the Gulf of Mexico discover the weird and wacky! Did you know that although oceans cover 70% of the world’s surface, humans have explored less than 5% of them? But even that 5% has proven to be home to some eerie organisms. Here are a few of our favorite freaky fish of the Forgotten Coast:

One creepy resident is also a favorite dish of ours—flounder! This fish may be known for its tasty flavor, but it also possesses a very distinctive profile. In adults, both eyes are on one side of its very flat body. But it gets even weirder: they’re not born that way! Baby flounders have eyes on both sides of their bodies, but, as the fish grows from the larval to juvenile stage, one eye migrates to the other side!

The Sheepshead Fish looks like your average, run-of-the-mill aquarium-type fish. Its black and white stripes are both eye-catching serve as the impetus for their nickname “Convict Fish.” However, their appealing appearance ends when they open their mouths—which contain what look like human teeth! They have many rows of them, too, to help grind up their favorite foods: mollusks and bivalves.

Barracudas also call the waters of the Gulf of Mexico home. Their signature features, such as the protruding under jaw and razor-sharp teeth, are definitely creepy, but it’s their attraction to shiny things that sends shivers up our spines. If you plan to swim in a barracuda’s habitat, be sure to remove all jewelry and watches. The sheen reminds them of their natural prey, and they’ve been known to attack humans, thinking their glittering trinkets are food!

What are your favorite creepy creatures from the deep?

Go time-traveling when you explore the quaint shops and eateries of St. George Island and nearby Apalachicola. Each town offers charming spots that will make you feel that you’ve been transported to the past. Whether you’re a history buff, foodie or shopping fanatic, the Forgotten Coast is the perfect place to find a touch of nostalgia! Keep reading to learn more about a few of our retro-themed local favorites.

The Old Time Soda Fountain

Serving the Forgotten Coast since 1905, The Old Time Soda Fountain, located in Apalachicola at 93 Avenue B, offers visitors a chance to take a seat at an old-fashioned counter and enjoy delicious treats, Blue Bell ice cream and much more. Guests will also want to check out the gift shop to browse souvenirs for friends and family back home.

The Tin Shed

This local favorite has earned a sterling reputation among antique collectors, and for good reason, because it’s jam-packed with a captivating assortment of nautical treasures, including ship wheels and floats, locks, keys, maps and flags. However, the collection isn’t restricted to maritime pieces. Take a look for yourself by visiting The Tin Shed at 170 Water Street in Apalachicola.

Bowery Station

Situated at 131 Commerce Street in Apalachicola’s Bowery district, Bowery Station offers ample historic charm alongside craft beer and wine served at a classic wooden bar. Patrons will feel right at home as they enjoy live music and relax at the inviting outdoor beer garden. There’s always something happening at Bowery Station, so be sure to check out their schedule of events.

Apalach Outfitters

If you’re planning a day of shopping, be sure to visit Apalach Outfitters at 32 Avenue D. The shop offers outdoor apparel from noted brands for both men and women – just look for the distinctive, historic building with pine doors, a tin roof and many other vintage details. Interested in a fishing trip? You won’t want to miss their selection of fly-fishing and light-tackle gear before setting sail.

Peer into the Past

Enjoy a walk down memory lane by exploring the Forgotten Coast’s historic shops, restaurants and landmarks. With so many places to see, events and shopping and dining opportunities, the only difficult part of planning a trip to St. George Island with Resort Vacation Properties is deciding what to do first.

When Halloween is on a weekend, it’s often observed on that day alone. But when it happens to fall on a weekday, it’s only proper form to celebrate the whole weekend leading up to the spookiest day of the year. This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday, meaning this year is one we celebrate Halloweekend! That just leaves the question of how to spend it!

Just across the bay in Apalachicola are three different options to make your Halloweekend so much fun it’s frightening! All of these events are happening Saturday, October 28—it’s just up to you to decide!

A non-traditional way to celebrate Halloweekend is with the award-winning Autos and Oysters Auto Show in Apalachicola. Prizes are given to Top 50, Best of Show, Club Participation, and Sponsor’s Choice, but a category our guests might win is Greatest Distance Traveled. If you want to vie for that prize, head over to Riverfront Park between 9 AM and noon with your $20 registration fee. For those who just want to peruse the cruisers, admission is free, and the show is open to the public from 10 AM to 4 PM.

If you’d rather celebrate with a quiet night in, look no further than your own home away from home. You can craft something truly wonderful in the fully equipped Resort Vacation Properties kitchens, and many of our properties have DVD players so you can watch a scary (or not so scary!) movie. The Apalachicola Farmers Market is a great place to pick up fresh, local produce and seafood for a yummy dinner. Stop by to meet our local farmers, fishermen, and artisans at the Millpond Pavilion Market Street every second and fourth Saturday from 9 AM till 1 PM!

If you’re a fan of a more ghastly Halloween celebration, Apalach has you covered, too. Saturday evening from 6:30 to 8:30, the Apalachicola Area Historical Society hosts its biannual Ghostwalk in the Chestnut Street Cemetery. Wander through history as locals regale the stories that make the Forgotten Coast so unique, all while dressed in creepy cool attire from the time period. All proceeds go to the preservation of this historic cemetery.

However you choose to celebrate, it’s sure to be an epic Halloweekend on the Forgotten Coast! Ask one of our friendly team members for further insight to what you can get up to while you’re here this fall!

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a cool summer treat on St. George Island. Our vacationers can’t resist the allure of delectable ice cream flavors paired with unparalleled ocean views. Here are just a few of our favorite destinations for ice cream and other savory desserts.

Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream

Located at 147 East Gulf Beach Drive, Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream is a St. George Island classic. Flavors vary seasonally, which makes it easy to discover new favorites, and seating is available on the deck and indoors, with air conditioning to help you beat the heat. Once you’ve finished your snack, enjoy a stroll to explore the nearby businesses, including Island Emporium and Island Outfitters.

Sweet Surf

A more recent addition to St. George Island’s eclectic collection of eateries, Sweet Surf offers soft-serve ice cream along with a plethora of treats guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. Options include Italian ice, root beer floats, milkshakes and much more. Sweet Surf is conveniently located at 41 East Gulf Beach Drive, right next to St. George Island Trading Co. and just a few steps from the St. George Island Lighthouse.

Off the Island

When you explore the nearby city of Apalachicola, you’ll also discover mouth-watering desserts. Visit The Old Time Soda Fountain at 93 Market Street for ice cream and treats, or stop by the Apalachicola Chocolate & Coffee Company to enjoy homemade gelato, as well as chocolate, pastries, cookies and other irresistible sweets.

Come to the Forgotten Coast

For travelers and their taste buds, St. George Island has plenty to offer. Experience the sweetness of the Forgotten Coast by booking your stay with Resort Vacation Properties today.

Nothing brings together a group like live music—dancing, singing along, and rocking out can turn strangers into friends over the course of just a few hours. As friendly as the Forgotten Coast is, it’s no wonder the area has plenty of hotspots to get your live music fix!

Blue Parrot Oceanfront Café (68-A Gorrie Dr.) offers unrivaled Gulf views to accompany their summer weekend concerts, and this Island staple is pet friendly, so Fido can tag along, too!

Stop by the large, outdoor courtyard at Harry A’s (28 Bayshore Dr.) for live music and karaoke and stay for the mouth-watering seafood offerings on their menu—don’t miss the seared ahi tuna!

At Paddy’s Raw Bar (240 E. 3rd), you can take your live music with fresh Apalachicola Bay oysters and one (or more!) of their sixteen draft beers.

If you’re looking for something more low-key, head over to Sometimes It’s Hotter (112 E. Gulf Beach Dr.) on Thursday evenings for Circle of Friends, a weekly music and cash beer and wine bar event.

Across the Bay are even more options as Apalachicola is home to two fantastic spots. Tamara’s Tapas Bar (73 Market St., Apalachicola)’s motto “Eat, Drink, Bond” rings true with tasty tapas, mouth-watering cocktails, and live music on weekends. Over at Bowery Station (131 Commerce St., Apalachicola), a beer and wine bar with a taste of old Apalach, there’s live music every pumping every night, including Wednesday’s open mic night.

Venturing further along the Forgotten Coast to Carrabelle is one of the area’s mainstays: Harry’s Bar and Package (306 Marine St., Carrabelle). This Carrabelle mainstay has been in operation since 1942 and offers distinctively New Orleans flair in their popular courtyard. The attached Marine Street Grill offers a small but scrumptious selection of sandwiches, salads, and starters. Also in Carrabelle, you’ll find Fathom’s Steam Room and Raw Bar (201 St. James Ave, Carrabelle), where you can enjoy waterfront views as you sip, savor, and sway along to their band du jour.

Wherever you head to hear tunes on the Forgotten Coast, you’re in for a treat. With plenty of island talent and laid back beachy vibes from SGI to Carrabelle and back, there’s no shortage of coastal revelry at these live music hangouts!

Ever come back from a less-than-stellar fishing trip and hear that tired, old phrase, “That’s why they call it ‘fishing’ instead of ‘catching?’” It may be true, but we’d rather wow folks with our bounty than rest on excuses.

And the way to do that is to know where and when to go and what to use once you get there. Luckily, the Apalachicola Bay area is flush with outfitters who not only have the bait and tackle you need, but the expertise to point you in the right direction to catch one of the hundreds of species of fish we’re blessed with around St. George Island.

When it comes to fishing, our clients traditionally like a mix of experiences. There are so many good charter companies that can take you to destinations more than 50 miles offshore in search of grouper, snapper, cobia, amberjack, and even trophy fish like mahi, wahoo, and mackerel.

But if you want to do it yourself, even rent a kayak to take you into the bay or river, here are the places you want to visit for gear and fresh bait. How else are you going to land the speckled trout, redfish, flounder, pompano, and tripletail that flourish throughout area waters?

The Forgotten Coast Fly Company offers fully customized flies using small-batch artisan materials, right in the heart of downtown Apalachicola. You can find them on the web at forgottencoastflycompany.com.

Right down the street, you’ll find Apalach Outfitters, one of the most popular retailers in town and home to everything from men’s and women’s clothing to light and heavy tackle for experienced anglers and happy kids, alike. You can find them on the web at apalachoutfitters.com.

Located at the south end of the St. George Island Bridge, Fishermen’s Headquarters is owned by Doug McKinney, whose seafood trailer has been an island mainstay for 25 years. Doug knows seafood, and his shop has the saltwater bait and tackle you need. And if you’re staying on the island, they also offer hardware and plumbing supplies. You can reach them at 850-927-4004.

The folks at Survivors Bait & Tackle like to boast that they’re 60 miles from the nearest Walmart and have been supplying anglers on St. George Island since 1983. They offer rod and reel combos at affordable prices and have live and frozen bait and traps for fishing and crabbing, respectively. They can be found on the web at survivorsbaitandtackle.com.

A one-stop shop for lots of gear and rental equipment, Journeys of SGI offers the aforementioned charter tours and guides, and also kayak and paddle board rentals. They also have lures, tackle and other accessories needed when you want to spend hours enjoying the natural wonder that is St. George Island and Apalachicola Bay. You can find them on the web at sgislandjourneys.com.

Another mainstay on SGI that features kayak and paddle board rentals in addition to tackle and clothing is Island Outfitters. They also rent fishing carts, which can be a blessing if you’re sand casting and wanting to make your way throughout the island’s coastline. And if you need frozen or artificial bait, there’s a wide selection to help you land both inshore and offshore species. They can be found on the web at sgioutfitters.com.

One of the newest and most enjoyable shops to offer outfitting services on St. George Island, Island Dog Beach and Surf Shop also offers art and apparel. They specialize in rentals and shopping, so if you need a t-shirt to go along with your fishing cart and/or kayak, you’ll find them all here. You can find them on the web at islanddog.dog.

For centuries, people have sought out the healing benefits of hot water, and it’s no wonder, as soaking can decrease swelling and inflammation, support sore limbs and improve circulation. While St. George Island may not have been blessed with natural hot springs, we have the next best thing: hot tubs in scenic locations. Here are a few of our favorite properties that include hot tubs!

1 Beach Memory’s 6-person balcony hot tub offers breathtaking views of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but that’s just one of many amenities. This beautiful home, just steps from the sugar-white sand beach, is perfect for the chef in you, with Pro-Series stainless appliances in the kitchen and a fantastic gas grill on the upper level deck. After dinner, play some pool at the 9-foot professional pool table or binge watch to your heart’s content on any of the flat-panel satellite-equipped HDTVs.

Over on the bay, Waterbird Watch is a nature lover’s dream: the whole property has been protected by MosquitoNix, an insect control system safer than DEET, meaning you can enjoy Apalachicola Bay sunsets from the open air porches without even a nibble from a buzzing pest. Beach days are a breeze with the provided chairs and umbrellas, but the screened in pool is perfect for days you want to stay bayside. When you want to unwind after the kids are asleep in the custom-built kids’ bunkroom, a 5-person hot tub, surrounded by the sounds of cicadas and calling birds, awaits you. There’s even a library stocked with birding books to help you identify your neighbors!

The casual coastal décor and open floorplan of Shooting Star offer prototypical beach house vibes. Drop off your things and you’re ready to relax by the private pool or take a stroll down to the beach, which is accessed by a shared walkway. And, after a long day at the beach, rinse off in a private outdoor shower and changing room. The 4-person hot tub at this property is nestled among soaring pine trees and lush greenery, providing a stunning setting for a tranquil soak. An added bonus of this property is the elevator, making the luxurious relaxation accessible to everyone.

Each of these properties include a beach gear credit, and, like all Resort Vacation Property rentals, you don’t have to pack the whole house: They each come with a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, linens and towels, wireless internet, and a starter supply of consumables, like coffee filters and garbage bags.

The Forgotten Coast is an enigma, a place unto itself and unlike any other, a haven for misfits and nonconformists, where those who march to the beat of their own drums can find solace in their peculiarity being matched by their neighbors’. It’s no wonder, then, that the area is home to shopping as unique as its residents. A prime example of the Forgotten Coast’s eclectic flavor is The Tin Shed, home “the most comprehensive maritime collection east of the Mississippi” tucked away in an eponymous shack in downtown Apalachicola.

You might recognize this spot from its iconic Buoy Wall. Aside from being a favorite photo opportunity for tourists and locals alike, it’s also popular with national publications. It was used as a backdrop for a shot in the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and, more recently, was featured in Garden and Gun.

Inside, it’s like a museum where the relics are available for purchase. Everything nautical you can conceptualize is here: buoys, flags, signs, carvings, old charts, and more. You could spend hours perusing and barely scratch the surface. Unlike many souvenir shops, these items are authentic instead of kitsch, each with a long history and distinctive flair, so whatever you purchase is a one-of-a-kind addition to your home. It’s that attention to detail that has made for almost 20 years of success for The Tin Shed—they’ve even provided the decorations for several restaurants across the country!

So swing by The Tin Shed, get a shot of the Buoy Wall, and pick up something special to commemorate your trip. You’re guaranteed to find something as unique as the Forgotten Coast itself in this truly extraordinary shop!

The Tin Shed is located at 170 Water St. in Apalachicola and is open every day from 10 AM to 5 PM.

A long day at the beach, soaking up the sun and splashing in the surf, not a care in the world…that is, until you realize it’s almost time to head out for dinner, and there’s no time to rinse the salt water from your hair. Luckily, loads of popular hairstyles can be achieved with the added texture from salt water. Don’t believe us? Keep reading!

Our go-to style is a classic: loose, beachy waves. This look is beyond easy, as it just takes air-drying. The key to nailing it, though, is to combat frizz. A great method for keeping flyways at bay is to work in some leave-in conditioner to damp hair. We love this one from Living Proof. No leave-in conditioner? No problem! Just head to the kitchen! Olive oil has a litany of benefits for dry hair and is the perfect solution for frizz. Simply work a dime size drop (or less—you don’t want to make your hair too oily!) of olive oil to tame any frizz or flyways. Olive oil works wonders to rehydrate your hair after a long day on the beach.

In the island heat, you may want to get your hair off your neck. Salt-water texture is perfect for updos. Another classic (and easy!) look is milkmaid braids. All you’ll need is two hair ties (preferably smaller latex rubber bands, like these) and 4-8 bobby pins. Part hair in the middle and separate it into two even sections. Loosely braid both sections, securing each with a rubber band. Take one braid over your head and fasten it on the opposite side with 2-4 bobby pins. Repeat with the second braid, placing it on top of the first. If any section looks or feels too loose, add more bobby pins. Pull front pieces out to frame your face and finish with a light hair spray. You’re done—and adorable! For a more refined ‘do, try a beachy take on the iconic French Twist. Start by teasing the crown section of your hair for some volume, then gently pull your hair back like you’re going for a mid-pony. Go all the way to the ends of your hair and start rolling inwards until you reach your head. Secure with bobby pins in a crocheting pattern (think weaving!) so as not to flatten the look and finish with hair spray. This look is the epitome of beach elegance and is perfect for a date night or even a destination wedding!

Saltwater can be rough on your hair, so be sure to bring a deep conditioner, like our fave from Davines. And remember: regardless of how you style your hair, you’ll fit right in here on laidback St. George Island!