Some visitors to St. George Island are among the third and fourth generations of their families to vacation here, and while their magical traditions began decades ago, new ones are also starting every day. For those planning your first foray to gorgeous St. George, here’s a helpful guide with plenty of insider information to enhance your experience:

Let’s assume you’ve booked an amazing place to stay with a great rental company and have all the details regarding your lodging squared away. Once you’ve crossed the island’s scenic bridge, the best place to start is the St. George Island Visitor Center, located within a few steps of our historic lighthouse. Operated by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce, the center features plenty of free guides to area recreation, including fishing charters, outfitters, and gear rentals.

And while you’re on the property, pop into the Cape St. George Lighthouse Museum and Gift Shop and climb to the top of the 89-foot lighthouse, which offers a gorgeous panoramic view of where you’ll be enjoying your time over the course of your visit. Since most rental properties offer well-appointed kitchens and other comfortable amenities, consider stopping at one or both of the island’s grocery stores to get the necessary provisions for your stay.

With its own dedicated gas station, the Piggly Wiggly Xpress is a great place to top off your tanks and fill a basket with needed items. And across the intersection, the newly renovated SGI Fresh Market offers a large selection of items, fresh produce, a variety of refreshments, and a deli counter with fresh seafood.

And speaking of fresh seafood, if you’re looking for anything from fresh shrimp and oysters to an amazing, ready-to-eat seafood dip, you’d do well with either — or both — of the island’s seafood trailers. Both Doug’s and Dail’s seafood trailers have been staples on the island for more than 20 years, and both are located near the island’s main intersection and usually open seven days a week to provide the freshest of the sea’s bounty.

Once you’re unpacked and settled in your vacation home, you can start thinking about how much, or little, you want to do while on St. George Island. Guests of Resort Vacation Properties enjoy free beach gear including kayaks, paddleboards, bikes and beach games to go along with each home’s high-speed WiFi, cable or satellite. But if you’re looking for a canoe, fishing gear or a charter trip through the scenic local waterways, there are a number of outfitters to help you, including Journeys SGI and Island Outfitters.

Then there’s the beach. St. George Island has 22 miles of sandy, pet-friendly coastline with plenty of room to stretch out without folks sitting right next to you. Seashells are wonderful mementos to bring home with you, as are the unlimited sunrise and sunset photos you can create right on your stretch of beach.

Looking to get out and socialize a bit? The restaurants on St. George offer a variety of tasty meals and expansive cocktail menus for a great lunch or dinner out, and there are opportunities for live music, trivia, and karaoke almost every night. And for those who love to shop, there are art galleries on the island, and Apalachicola’s delightful shopping district is just a short drive across the big bridge, with shops offering apparel, home goods, fine art, and more. You can get amazing meals, many featuring famous Apalachicola oysters, and entertainment there, too.

And an inaugural visit to St. George Island wouldn’t be complete without a few hours spent enjoying its signature state park. With more than 2,000 acres of natural habitat, the park offers coastline on both the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay. There are opportunities to hike, bike, geo-seek, swim, camp, fish, and take in the scenic glory of untouched coastal Florida. Photographers flock to St. George Island State Park to capture the wildlife, landscapes and especially the nighttime stars which, due to little light pollution, are among the best in the Southeast. The state park will help you learn about the natural history of St. George Island while experiencing it firsthand. And the rest will be up to you!

For more ideas about what to get up to along Florida’s Forgotten Coast, click here.

A pair of signature Resort Vacation Properties homes, located inside the gated St. George Plantation, are among the highlights of this year’s St. George Island Tour of Homes. They are “Chasing the Sun” and “Camelot.”

According to the St. George Lighthouse Association, which sponsors the tour, its homes “showcase the distinct architecture, décor, landscape and vistas on the island, from the gated St. George Plantation on the West to the beautiful gulf views on the East End.”

The beautiful sunshine yellow beachfront home, “Chasing the Sun,” is a star of the Plantation, and was redecorated and renovated in Spring 2018. It features four levels of style and surprises, including peak floors, fireplace mantels recycled from a Kentucky barn and amazing beach vistas combine for comfort and dazzle.

Nestled in lush tropical vegetation, the warmly decorated “Camelot” is truly a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the real world. It is all elegant curves and unexpected angles. Rich furnishings, original art and a secret grotto evoke the feel of a mythic castle. It also features a beautiful lagoon pool and rock fountain.

From the St. George Island Tour of Homes:

The third home in the Plantation, “Pelican Peace,” is a lovely, lively, full-time home. The rooms are decorated in South African and Mexican themes, and include bright artwork throughout. Marble stairs, leather furniture, a black cypress dining table and an enviable kitchen exude elegant warmth.

“Eventide” is a brand new, elevated, two-story home designed to fit its coveted bayfront lot. Inside, the inviting and ingenious space is crafted to optimize every inch for leisurely living. Nautical and nostalgic décor create a serene space throughout, perfect for enjoying the days and glorious nightly sunsets.

“Rock Me On the Water” is a remodeled 1960s beach house filled with custom pieces made from reclaimed wood, metal siding and roofing. Opening a closed porch and combining four rooms created a large front room and sweeping porch facing the Gulf of Mexico and overlooking the custom pool.

The homeowners of “HappiNest” say “this is our before-and-after house.” Originally a three-room house, it is now a spacious, peaceful space with modern finishes. Sea green-blues and rust-coral accents add pleasing splashes of color. An Old Florida ambience still permeates this transformed home.

“East of Eden” is a grand house with an island heart. The main living area is a host’s dream featuring a rough-edged pine table and chef’s kitchen. Views from every floor are simply stunning. Outdoor luxuries include a seating area, second kitchen and full bath with galvanized tub.

The Plantation Clubhouse is once again on the tour and will present an exhibit of mixed media art by Beth Appleton, Jane Broddus and Judy Ehrhardt. Also open to tour participants is the Cape St. George Lighthouse and the Keeper’s House Museum and Gift Shop.

The SGI Tour of homes will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are available online at sgitourofhomes.com or at the Lighthouse Gift Shop at the center of St. George Island. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the tour.

Two primary reasons for renting from Resort Vacation Properties are location and amenities. As you already know, there is no better place than St. George Island and the greater Forgotten Coast to relax and enjoy the many benefits of “island time.”

As for amenities, considering the beautiful weather coastal Florida is known for, everyone wants to know about the swimming pools at our properties. Time on the beach and in the Gulf of Mexico is wonderful, but sometimes you and your guests want to enjoy a dip in private.

Here are five of the coolest pools available through Resort Vacation Properties, including one in exclusive St. George Plantation. They’ll make you want to grab a towel and a cool drink and head poolside right away!

  1. Aisle of Palms — The pool at Aisle of Palms is the signature outdoor attraction of this beachfront home located on the east end of the island. It is a remarkable 60 feet long by 20 feet wide and includes a spillover spa. There is plenty of room on the adjacent deck for pool parties of any size and it is all close enough to hold a conversation with guests on the numerous balconies of the five-bedroom, five-bath home, which sleeps 18.

    Aisle of Palms pool deck, St. George Island

    Aisle of Palms has a luxurious pool deck

  2. A Glimpse of Heaven — What is 40 feet long, screened in, with a giant dolphin fountain and an outdoor kitchen? The pool at A Glimpse of Heaven, of course. This covered pool is adjacent to an opulent living area, complete with a half bath just for pool guests. It’s like having a giant swimming pool at one end of your amazing living room!

    A Glimpse of Heaven screened pool area, St. George Island

    Screened pool retreat with leaping dolphin fountain at A Glimpse of Heaven.

  3. Camelot — King Arthur would approve of the lagoon-style pool at Camelot, complete with its own waterfall. Nestled in luxuriant tropical flora, the pool is a short walk from the beach, and both the covered and open decks overlook its curvy expanse. It’s a fantastic place to read, relax and sunbathe . . . simultaneously!

    Tropical pool at Camelot on St. George Island

    Tropical splendor and seclusion by the pool at Camelot.

  4. Resort Village — The tropical community pool located in our Resort Village inside St. George Plantation could be called a lake if it weren’t for its crystal-clear water. The expansive pool serves four premium properties: Coral Sands, Good Day Sunshine, Isla Callada and Between Tides. And it is large enough, and exquisitely designed, to allow for privacy no matter who’s taking advantage of its relaxing waters.

    Resort Village pool, St. George Island

    Luxurious oversized pool in Resort Village

  5. Solitude— The pool at Solitude is close enough to the beach that you might be tempted to cast a fishing line into the Gulf, although it’s still delightfully private. Located on the East End, the seven-bedroom home features a screened-in porch adjacent to the pool, which includes a six-person hot tub and private deck. The property may be called Solitude, but for those granted exclusive access, it is definitely a place to unwind and socialize.
    Solitude pool beachfront St. George Island

    Beachfront luxury at Solitude

     

    But if none of these suit your needs, we have many other pool homes available at Resort Vacation Properties. Browse them here, or contact us today for help finding your perfect pool home vacation destination!

If you’re like me, the phrase “spring break at the beach” brings back nightmares of partying college students waking your sleeping angels in the middle of the night. Beaches crowded with Frisbee-throwing, sand-kicking high schoolers. Long, slow drives through town behind a parade of spring breakers cruising for chicks.

Ok, maybe that last one was from a Frankie Avalon movie, but you see where I’m going.

Spring break at the beach can seem anything but relaxing. But if that’s your perception, you’re at the wrong beach.

Picture, instead, a spring break filled with all the reasons you go to the beach in the first place: those sugar sand beaches, the emerald waters, that mind-blowing sunset. Plus, instead of college kids, you’re surrounded by, well, MUCH-needed solitude.

On St. George Island on Florida’s Forgotten Coast, you can rent a gorgeous beach cottage for just you and the kids, a massive waterfront mansion to accommodate the whole extended family, or just about anything in between. Each Resort Vacation Properties home includes everything you need for a comfortable stay… even those things you usually have to stuff in the car, like beach umbrellas and chairs, kayaks and bicycles, even cozy spa-style robes.

Many properties also include hot tubs, swimming pools, and epic decks Plus, fully equipped kitchens and outdoor grills make it easy to host huge beachside suppers and avoid restaurant crowds. A quiet evening on St. George could start with an outdoor game of corn hole, followed by a homemade dinner of fresh local seafood, and finish off with a favorite family board game and a bit of stargazing. You won’t believe how many glimmering stars you can see without all the light pollution from the big city!

Most homes even include a washer and dryer so you can pack less, avoid musty bathing suits, and eliminate fights over who has to use the wet towel.

While St. George Island is not the place to find chain restaurants or bungee jumping rides, it is a great place for fishing, hiking, cycling, and relaxing. You’re just a stone’s throw from the St. George Island State Park, where birding and wildlife watching are favorite pastimes.

This year, make your SB about actually getting a break. Find a list of available homes to facilitate an unforgettable Spring Break on the Forgotten Coast here.

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!

Part of what sets St. George Island apart from other beach destinations is the lack of high-rise condos and hotels marring the exquisite coastline view. This impacts not only the skyline and landscape of the island but also the way people vacation here. Visitors get the chance to live like locals in luxurious vacation rental homes right along the pristine beaches of the Forgotten Coast.

Although St. George Island is small, there are a variety of neighborhoods from which to choose when it comes to selecting your home-away-from-home. One of these neighborhoods is the central Gulf Beaches region, which stretches for four miles across downtown and is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and its most famous resident: the St. George Island Lighthouse. As the first planned neighborhood on the island, the homes are as eclectic as they are convenient, and many feature views like this live video. Here we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite houses in Gulf Beaches:

While the name Kaki’s Cottage implies a smaller home, this beachfront ranch-style home is actually quite spacious, with three separate living areas, four bedrooms, and three full baths. The well-appointed kitchen, complete with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, is perfect for whipping up something yummy for your crew to enjoy in the large gazebo, and the flat screen TVs and DVD players in two of the living rooms are perfect for chilling out when you’ve had your fill of sun.

The remodeled bungalow Absolutely Paradise is aptly named. Surrounded by palm trees and with an unobstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico, this three-bedroom home’s most alluring attribute is the 60-foot screened-in porch with two seating areas and a six-person hot tub. If you’d rather hang around in the central air conditioning, be sure to note the original artwork in the open plan kitchen/dining/living room, or take advantage of a variety of apps for movies and music on the 65” TV. An elevator makes this home welcoming to all.

The Gulf Beaches area is known for its unique architecture, and Lighthouse by the Sea is no exception. This airy four-bedroom home’s most striking characteristic is the stargazing tower—perfect for admiring the waves by day or shooting stars at night—but that’s far from its only amenity. Spacious sundecks are perfect for al fresco dining or sunbathing, while the hot and cold outdoor shower means sand stays out of the house and on the beach where it belongs.

Elegant Shell Bee is the epitome of laidback luxury. Three of the five bedrooms are beachfront master suites, including one with a walk-in shower and jetted tub, and all have direct access to the beautiful sundeck. The first-level beachfront bathroom makes beach days even easier, and the fenced-in yard is perfect for pups or tots. This property even includes a private pool!

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. Almost all of these homes also include a credit for free Beach Gear, with choices ranging from bicycles and kayaks to umbrellas and lounge chairs—delivered straight to your door. And don’t forget Fido! Many of the properties (and all the ones mentioned in this post) are pet-friendly!

While the name Kaki’s Cottage implies a smaller home, this beachfront ranch-style home is actually quite spacious, with three separate living areas, four bedrooms, and three full baths. The well-appointed kitchen, complete with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, is perfect for whipping up something yummy for your crew to enjoy in the large gazebo, and the flat screen TVs and DVD players in two of the living rooms are perfect for chilling out when you’ve had your fill of sun.

The remodeled bungalow Absolutely Paradise is aptly named. Surrounded by palm trees and with an unobstructed view of the Gulf of Mexico, this three-bedroom home’s most alluring attribute is the 60-foot screened-in porch with two seating areas and a six-person hot tub. If you’d rather hang around in the central air conditioning, be sure to note the original artwork in the open plan kitchen/dining/living room, or take advantage of a variety of apps for movies and music on the 65” TV. An elevator makes this home welcoming to all.

The Gulf Beaches area is known for its unique architecture, and Lighthouse by the Sea is no exception. This airy four-bedroom home’s most striking characteristic is the stargazing tower—perfect for admiring the waves by day or shooting stars at night—but that’s far from its only amenity. Spacious sundecks are perfect for al fresco dining or sunbathing, while the hot and cold outdoor shower means sand stays out of the house and on the beach where it belongs.

Elegant Shell Bee is the epitome of laidback luxury. Three of the five bedrooms are beachfront master suites, including one with a walk-in shower and jetted tub, and all have direct access to the beautiful sundeck. The first-level beachfront bathroom makes beach days even easier, and the fenced-in yard is perfect for pups or tots. This property even includes a private pool!

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. Many of these homes also include a credit for free beach gear, with choices ranging from bicycles and kayaks to umbrellas and lounge chairs—delivered straight to your door. And don’t forget Fido! Many of the properties (and all the ones mentioned in this post) are dog-friendly!

A rental home while on vacation is a dream come true for most families; you have private sleeping quarters and you also get to enjoy private time together in shared living spaces, with access to a kitchen where you can enjoy your favorite meals at your convenience. However, having an entire home to yourself can feel like you constantly must clean up to make it habitable, negating the whole essence of a holiday away from house hold chores.

If you are traveling with your family, you need to involve them in taking care of your holiday home. Nagging and shouting will not get your kids to clean up; you need to resort to methods that inspire them to want to clean up. Being on holiday gives you the opportunity to use non-conventional methods where you can get creative with the help of your kids.

Some of the ideas to get your kids to clean up on vacation include:

Make Clean Ups Fun

When traveling with toys, invest in interesting toy baskets your kids love. Communicate to them that their toys are also on holiday and need to stay in the ‘new cool’ baskets when not in use. If you can, look for baskets inspired by local cultures and use them as educational tools. Your kids will be excited to use them, which may motivate them to store their toys in the new baskets.

Create A Schedule

When planning your holiday activities, schedule time for family clean up where everyone in the family takes on a specific task. Plan your schedule so that chores come before physical activities that may leave your kids exhausted. For example, if they take their toys to the beach, ask them to clean them up before leaving the house the next morning as opposed to forcing them to clean up before going to bed.

Plan With Your Kids

Involve your children in the division and planning of chores. Planning compels them to take on responsibility for something they agreed on, as opposed to something you are asking them to do. Set ground rules together and decide on the consequences for each child if they fail to clean up. For example, all beds should be made by 8:00 am, and whoever fails to abide by this will miss out on an activity for the day.

Enforcing clean up rules on vacation requires a little more creativity to avoid making your kids feel like they have to perform all the chores they do at home. Involve the whole family in keeping your holiday home clean and you will enjoy a relaxed break, where all your family members take responsibility for the cleanliness of the home.

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.