The Forgotten Coast is the ultimate place for beachcoming adventures! If you love collecting seashells during your waterfront vacation, you’re in luck – St. George Island, Florida, offers it all. Whether you’re staying in Resort Vacation Properties’ West Gulf Beaches, East Gulf Beaches, St. George Plantation or the East End neighborhood, you’ll enjoy exploring our beautiful sandy shores. Here are some common and rare seashells that you’ll be able to discover and add to your collection from St. George Island.

Common Seashells

When roaming the northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll come across a variety of shellfish coverings. Oyster shells are often larger and are marked by a whitish-gray outer coloring. Scallop shells can be found in a variety of colors, and boat-shaped, ark clam shells are plentiful along the coastline. Cockle and broad-ribbed cardita shells are also prominent on St. George Island.

Rare Finds

After a storm, you’re likely to discover more exotic specimens, one of which is the fighting conch. Typically found after windy weather conditions, fighting conch shells are characterized by several spines along the top ridge, and protruding, yet smooth, outer edges. Lightning whelk, fig, olive, pen and baby’s ear shells may also be found on the Forgotten Coast. Rarer yet, the treasured murex, tulip and angel wing shells may wash ashore following a thunderstorm.

Plan Your Shelling Adventure on St. George Island

Bring home one-of-a-kind souvenirs by combing the white sand beaches of St. George Island for seashells during your next vacation. At Resort Vacation Properties, we offer a range of vacation rentals, including beachfront homes, so you can search for both common and rare seashells to your heart’s content. For more information about St. George Island or our rental properties, give us a call at 877-272-8206.

For some, breakfast is just a habit, a quick bite with coffee to get you up and running. For others, it’s a way of life. If you fall into the latter category, you’re in luck—the Forgotten Coast loves a yummy start to the day! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite breakfast spots to check out during your stay on St. George Island.

First up, we have a new addition to the island. Weber’s Little Donut Shop opened just a few months ago, but they’re quickly becoming a favorite of locals and visitors alike. They offer a wide variety of pastries with innovative flavors, like Fruity Pebbles and cookies and cream. But don’t worry about being overwhelmed with options; at just $1 a pop, it’s easy to try them all. It’s not uncommon for there to be a line before they open at 8:00 A.M., so get there early for the most options. And don’t forget cash! Weber’s is a card-free establishment.

Next is more of a St. George Island classic: The Beach Pit. Now in their sixth year, The Beach Pit is the top spot for traditional breakfast, with everything from bagels to crepes. A favorite dish is the signature seafood omelet, which comes with a choice of shrimp or oysters. If you like your breakfast with a little “hair of the dog,” this is the spot for you—The Beach Pit’s full bar starts serving when they open at 7:30 A.M.

Although it’s just across the bridge, the flavors of Apalachicola’s Café Con Leche will transport you to Latin America. The owner, Tamara Suarez, blends Venezuelan classics such as arepas and fried plantains, with classic breakfast dishes to create an experience as unique as the Forgotten Coast itself. Customers rave about their coffee, and, if you take your cup of joe with the digital edition of your favorite newspaper, you’re in luck—Café Con Leche offers free Wifi.

Of course, if you’re more inclined to stay at home for breakfast, that’s an easy option, too. All Resort Vacation Properties come with fully appointed kitchens, right down to coffee filters, and no dress code means pajamas are the perfect attire. Happy breakfasting!

Resort Vacation Properties is lucky to be able to offer our guests homes that can accommodate up to twenty people. While it’s lots of fun to vacation with a huge crew, sometimes it’s nice to slip away with just your immediate family or a few close friends. For those times, we’re happy to offer a variety of smaller homes. Keep reading for more info on some of our favorites!

With one bedroom, Ocean Mile L-13 is perfect for a romantic vacation for a couple, while the sleeper sofa also makes it an option for small families. This condo is located in the 99-unit 300 Ocean Mile beachfront community, and guests have access to all the amenities of the property during their stay, including two large pools. Multiple boardwalks take you right to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more solace, St. George Island State Park is less than half a mile away!

Stella Di Mare is a favorite for small groups or families. This beautiful beachfront home sleeps six in three bedrooms, including one with two twin-sized beds that are perfect for children. Outside, there’s direct beach access available via a private boardwalk as well as a screened-in porch with a hammock.

Surrounded by lush island greenery, you find Shooting Star, an island retreat suited for seven people to stay in its three bedrooms. Like Stella Di Mare, one of the rooms is ideal for children, with bunk beds and a standalone twin bed. The porch is perfect for enjoying St. George Island’s stunning sunrises and sunsets, while an elevator means that everyone can join in on the fun. This property even includes a private pool and hot tub!

The truly stunning A Glimpse of Heaven is part of the secluded gated community of St. George Plantation. Up to six guests can stay in the three bedrooms, with an additional two on a sleeper sofa. The screened-in private pool features a dolphin fountain with an outdoor summer kitchen and a half bath conveniently located on the ground floor for quick access. When it comes time for sunset, there’s hardly a better view on the island than from the multiple furnished decks at this gem of a home.

All Resort Vacation Property rentals include 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 properties listed above also include a credit for Free Beach Gear, with choices ranging from bicycles and kayaks to lounge chairs and our signature red-and-white striped beach umbrellas, delivered straight to your door. So kick back and enjoy your low-key vacation—you deserve it!

One of the most exciting parts of vacation for endorphin enthusiasts is the chance to switch up our exercise routine. St. George Island is a fitness lover’s dream, with 17 miles of paved bike trails and our greatest resource for adventure—the Gulf of Mexico. Needless to say, many of our activities are water-based, but one company in particular stands out with its unique offerings.

In just five short years, young entrepreneur Sam Fortunas’ Island Fit SUP has become a fixture on the Forgotten Coast fitness scene. Her mission to spread her love of standup paddle boarding brought her back to the same area where decades before her great-grandparents immigrated to pursue the American Dream by way of sponge diving. That heritage of deep respect for Apalachicola Bay and St. George Island is apparent in her fitness offerings, which all take place outdoors, giving access to pristine surroundings while working up a sweat.

In the way of paddle boarding, Island Fit SUP has a variety of options, making it accessible to every level of fitness and background with the sport. Beginners can get a taste for paddle boarding with lessons covering everything from standing on the board to holding the paddle. Both private and small group lessons are available, ensuring you get lots of one-on-one time with your certified instructor. More experienced paddle boarders will enjoy the signature guided paddleboard excursions and eco-tours, led by St. George Island area experts. You choose the setting: explore the intricate estuary eco-system of Apalachicola Bay or seek out dolphins and sea turtles on the beachfront trips. And anglers will love the challenge of the paddleboard fishing trips!

If you’re looking for a more relaxing way to keep up your fitness regimen while on vacation, Island Fit Sup has you covered with their beach yoga classes. Imagine greeting the day on the beach with a yoga flow, with the waves rolling in sand and the gulls calling overhead serving as the soundtrack to your vinyasa. Soft morning sun caresses your skin, and there’s no need for a mat as a beach towel on the sugar white sand provides all the support necessary for this gentle session. Classes meet at the Lighthouse Public Beach every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from March to September. Private lessons are available. Please bring a beach towel and cash; classes are $15.

Whatever your preferred activity is on the mainland, consider expanding your horizons with Island Fit SUP! You won’t get bored (no pun intended) with this one-of-a-kind way to get out and get active while experiencing gorgeous St. George Island!

A central part of any vacation is finding souvenirs for loved ones, which can be a daunting task. You want to find something personal, unique to the area—something unlike anything you’d find at home. Luckily, that’s an easy feat in a place as special as the Forgotten Coast, especially with Apalachicola’s newest addition, the Bowery Market.

Held each Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Commerce Street between Avenues F and G, this open-air market features local vendors selling their wares and offering their unique services. As you wander from booth to booth, enjoy live music from local artists and tasty snacks from the area’s top food vendors.

The Bowery Market is a joint venture between Apalachicola Main Street, Inc. and Florida A&M University’s Business Incubator Program, both of which have a focus on supporting small, local businesses, so you can ensure that your souvenirs are 100% Forgotten Coast.

While you’re exploring the Bowery District, be sure to check out the Nichols Building on the corner of Commerce Street and Avenue G. This historic building, dating back over a hundred years, was originally the Economy Cash Store.

Owned and operated by the Nichols family, the store was the original one-stop shop, selling essentials such as groceries, shoes, and even medicine. The building was empty for decades, until its 2015 restoration. Stop in to admire the historic details, and, if you still haven’t found the perfect souvenir, you’re in luck—true to the history of this beautiful building, the downstairs is a retail space.

August brings soaring temperatures to St. George Island, but that doesn’t deter competitors in the St. George Island Sizzler 5K Race and One Mile Fun Run, held this year on August 5th. The Sizzler is perfect for beach-loving runners—instead of a t-shirt, participants receive a commemorative towel, and the finish line celebration is a sunset beach party at St. George Lighthouse Park complete with seafood and live music. While not required, costumes are strongly encouraged.

The awards, handcrafted by local artist Anne Eason, are as unique as the event, and will be given out to overall male and female participants in the Masters, Grand Masters, Senior Masters, and all standard age group winners.

The Sizzler is appropriately named, as the Forgotten Coast’s heat and humidity in August are a force to be reckoned with. Because of this, we recommend visiting runners adapt to the heat slowly and make sure to hydrate throughout the day leading up to this evening race. A water station will be provided at the halfway point. Organizers also advise to dress as coolly as local laws (and modesty) allow. The event will happen rain or shine, with only lightening as a potential cause for delay.

Sponsored by the Tate’s Hell Track Club, 2017 will be the race’s 20th and final year. All proceeds will benefit the Franklin County Humane Society, a not-for-profit facility in the Tate’s Hell woods from which the Track Club derives its name. The Franklin County Humane Society has been in operation since 1991 and continues to work toward its mission of relieving animal suffering, preventing animal cruelty, eliminating animal over-population, and promoting humane education to enhance the human-to-animal bond.

Registration offers a variety of prices and options, from the $35 Sizzler, which includes a towel, to the $15 Student rate. Discounts are available for military with valid identification. On-Site Registration is available for $40 and will include the towel, if available. All packets include a ticket to the Post-Race Party, and any available extra tickets will be sold for $15 on the day of the race.

Some say variety is the spice of life, but for “chiliheads,” or those who enjoy chili peppers and other spicy foods, the spice of life is—well—spice! And maybe they’re onto something: studies show that capsaicin, the molecular compound that gives piquant foods their kick, has a wide range of health benefits. We’ve rounded up the top four benefits of capsaicin:

  1. Capsaicin contains antibacterial properties that fight chronic sinus infections, such as sinusitis. This works exactly like you’d suspect—the spice helps the nose to stimulate mucus production to clear up congestion. These same effects work well on allergy symptoms, too!
  2. Capsaicin can also relieve pain. Some studies indicate that this is because it blocks the pain signals being sent to the brain, while others suggest that it’s due to the endorphin release associated with spicy food. There’s a long history of it being used topically for pain relief by Native Americans, but ingesting it can have the same perks!
  3. Another surprising effect of Capsaicin is its benefits for a variety of diseases. Although it seems almost ironic, it can help with intestinal troubles, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and H. pylori, and it has been used to manage or even prevent diabetes. Some studies even show it can help fight certain types of cancer!
  4. If you’re trying to shed some weight, look no further than chili peppers. Not only does capsaicin add flavor to sometimes-bland diet food, it can help to fight the buildup of fat and speed up the metabolism. A little kick in the form of a chili pepper also can decrease a hormone involved in promoting hunger, meaning it can curb your appetite, too!

Interested in adding more capsaicin to your life? Regardless of whether it’s for the health benefits or just for the flavor, swing by Sometimes It’s Hotter Seasoning Company on Gulf Beach Drive, where you can choose from a variety of zesty seasonings. Choose from their three bottled seasonings—the 7-pepper blend of Original, milder Jalapeno and Sweet Onion, or the fiery Habañero—or the wide varieties of fish blackening and seasonings for grilling, jerk, poultry, shrimp or jambalaya. All of their offerings are low in sodium and free of additives, preservatives, and MSG, and, if you start to feel peckish, look no further than their prize-winning snack nuts! Their blends make the perfect souvenir or gift for the chiliheads in your life, so be sure to stock up.

 

Sources:

https://draxe.com/capsaicin/

http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/06/03/29/capsaicin-7-powerful-health-benefits-of-the-stuff-that-makes-peppers-hot-004.htm

There’s nothing quite like celebrating the Fourth of July at the beach. The hot dogs, cold beers, and all around good times we associate with America’s birthday are accompanied by the red of the sunset, the white of the sand, and the blue of the ocean. Apalachicola Bay residents love the holiday so much we celebrate for two days! Here are our favorite ways to spend Independence Day:

If you’re like us and can’t wait for the Fourth, head across the Bay to Apalachicola for the 6th Annual Independence Eve celebration on July 3! The party kicks off at 5 P.M. at Downtown’s Riverfront Park with food, beverages, a parade, and kids’ activities while musical guests Johnny and the Loveseats, featuring Voice contestant Johnny Hayes, rock out on the main stage. The evening finishes with a bang as a fireworks show illuminates the beautiful Apalachicola River.

For the holiday itself, there’s no better place to be than St. George Island! The annual parade welcomes anyone (including visitors!) with a costume or decorated vehicles and encourages all to join in the fun with water guns. Get your golf cart decorated, your trailers hooked up, and your squirt guns filled!

The St. George Island 4th of July Parade will start at 10:00 am in front of The Beach Pit on W. Pine Ave.
The route will proceed east down Pine Avenue, passing Paddy’s Raw Bar and turning right (south) on 3rd St. East.  It will turn right again on E. Gulf Beach Drive to head west and complete the route! Line-up starts at 9:30, with roll-out at 10:00 am sharp. Be safe and we’ll see you there!

Later in the day is the fireworks show, lighting up the sky and reflecting vibrant sparkles of color upon the water and sand. Our favorite spot to watch the show is from the deck at Blue Parrot Oceanfront Cafe where you can enhance the fireworks with a yummy seafood dinner, specialty cocktails, and live music.

And if you’d rather spend the Fourth of July celebrating America’s natural splendor, look no further than Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park—the go-to spot for kayaking, fishing, and swimming in the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The park closes at sundown, so you have all day to play in the sun, sand, and surf!

Check out our available listings for a home-away-from-home to retreat to once the Fourth of July festivities have ended! Our vacation rentals selection is accessible here.

Few things are as American as apple pie, making it the quintessential dessert for your Fourth of July celebration. But who wants to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else plays outside in the surf and sand?

That’s where this Rustic Apple Tart recipe comes in. It has all the flavor of the iconic American classic with a fraction of the fuss, meaning you’re out of the kitchen and into those waves before you can say, “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Serve warm, or at room temperature, with your favorite vanilla, cinnamon, or caramel ice cream. Pro tip: it pairs perfectly with fireworks!

 

Rustic Apple Tart

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith or Golden Delicious (or a mix of both), peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 package)

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 cup apricot preserves or apple jelly, melted with 1 tablespoon water.

 

Instructions:

  1. Allow pie crust to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Toss apples, sugar, and optional cinnamon.
  4. Roll or stretch crust to slightly larger than in the package, to about 14

inches. Place crust on parchment paper on a pie pan.

  1. Arrange apple slices in a an overlapping spiral in the middle of the pie

crust, leaving about three inches of crust all around. Fold crust edges,

covering the outside edges of apples. Brush crust with beaten egg and

sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

  1. Bake tart at 400 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, until apples are tender

and golden. Cover edges of crust with strips of foil, if necessary, to

prevent burning, near the end of bake time.

  1. Brush apples with melted preserves. Cool and serve.