Every year, sea breezes bring a bounty to St. George Island and the greater Forgotten Coast. Whether it’s to provide a lift to the summer heat, pollinate the gorgeous flowers, or carry the scents of sumptuous meals to come, more often than not coastal winds help make the area more enjoyable.

These coastal gusts also bring us a host of winged creatures that infuse every day with color and variety. Bird and butterfly watchers flock to the region with binoculars, cameras, and notepads, ready to celebrate and chronicle the insects and animals who either call the Florida Panhandle home or stop by every year for a week or two on their way to other parts of the world.

And the beauty of being a birder — or a butterfly-er — is that anyone who appreciates them can participate. Just an hour or two over the course of a vacation can make all the difference if you know where to look and what to look for.

As they rely on sugary nectar to live, many species of butterflies flock to colorful flowers, but did you know they can prefer mud puddles and riverbanks as well? And some don’t go near flowers at all, favoring rotting fruit or even tree sap when it comes to lunch. And that means St. George Island, its state park, and the bike paths and hiking trails in and around the Apalachicola area are perfect places to find monarchs, long-tailed skippers, swallowtails, and dozens more species.

Going fishing in the mornings or afternoon? Keep a look out and a field guide handy so you can check off the types of winged creatures you’ve seen. It will boggle your mind how many different species you can see even in a few hours. And while spring is a good season for butterflies, late summer and autumn are when the larger ones get out and about.

For birders, flying friends abound all year long in our area, and southwestern Franklin County is actually home to Apalachicola Bird Island, a strip of land right off the St. George Island Causeway. Other areas, such as Gulf Island State Park, St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge and the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve are prime places to seek out shorebirds, migratory birds, and woodland species.

Nearly 300 native species have been identified, including the endangered piping plover, as well as black rails, boat-tailed grackles, merlins, Peregrine falcons, least terns, and American oystercatchers, to name a few.

A broad diversity can be seen by powerboat, kayak, and canoe around Apalachicola Bay and the Apalachicola River, and along the hiking trails in the above parks and reserves — as well as in Tate’s Hell State Forest and Bald Point State Forest.

Staying on St. George Island for your vacation? Consider putting out a birdhouse or feeder to see who you might get as a visitor. You have plenty of places to seek out the feathered flocks; why not let a few come to you, too?

Want a unique tale to tell the folks back home, and something truly special to do during your stay on the island? Consider scalloping.

These tiny-yet-delectable mollusks grow in the grassy beds on the eastern end of St. George Island, and elsewhere along the Forgotten Coast such as St. Joseph Bay. Scallop season in Franklin County — home to Apalachicola and St. George Island — are in season from July 1 to Sept. 24; and in Gulf County (St. Joseph’s Bay), the season is shorter, running from Aug. 17 to Sept. 30.

Scalloping is an awesome activity for the whole family and requires very little in terms of gear. First, you’ll want to obtain a Florida saltwater fishing license, which can be had for a very reasonable $17 and is available at myfwc.com. After that, all you’ll need is a mesh net, a snorkel and mask, and a dive marker.

The dive marker is very important, as it alerts boaters in the area that there’s snorkeling going on. The dive marker is an orange or red float that’s towed around the snorkeler, and it’s required when shore snorkeling inland around St. George Island and in St. Joseph’s Bay.

You can scallop on your own, or through one of several different outfitters along the coast.

Scallops are usually found in 2 to 6 feet of water, and the ideal time to catch them is during a slack tide, when the grass blades are standing upright. Their shells have distinctive blue or purple “eyes” along the ridges and tiny hairs at the opening. And it’s important to note you have to actually catch the scallops, it’s definitely not like harvesting other shellfish such as clams or oysters. They’re tough to spot, but you can catch bay scallops either by hand or using a net.

The little mollusks are quick, however. They have powerful adductor muscles, which also make them such delicious eating, but they can pinch hard and it’s no treat if you have a finger nearby. And these bivalves are likely to try and flee if you’re looking to bag them. Be warned—they will try to escape by squeezing their shells together, shooting out a jet of water to quickly propel them across the bay’s floor.

The beauty of scalloping while snorkeling is that there’s so much else to see other than what you hope to put on a plate later in the day. There’s a host of other sea life to experience just below the water’s surface, such as seahorses, rays, starfish, sea urchins, and spider and horseshoe crabs.

An immensely successful scalloping trip means catching the limit, which is up to two gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell, or one pint of scallop meat, each day during the open season. Recreational scallopers can’t possess more than 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or a half gallon of meat aboard any boat, and the scallops cannot be sold for commercial purposes.

But you don’t want to sell these delicious morsels, you want to take them home and cook them. First, you’ll want to shell them with a small paring knife, and then clean all the debris and side muscle away from the prize, which is the round white muscle. Once those muscles are all that’s left, heat some butter, garlic and lemon juice in a skillet and sauté them for a few minutes on each side. Or you can toss them with seasoning and Panko breadcrumbs for a savory baked dish to be served over crusty bread.

Either way, you’ll feel like a world-class diver and chef, all for having a day’s fun with your family!

It’s National Lighthouse Day!

Did you know that there is a National Lighthouse Day? It’s celebrated on August 7th each year, and is rooted in a 1789 Act of Congress. Although the St. George Island Lighthouse isn’t quite that old, it’s still a part of this important past.

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

On August 7, 1789, Congress passed an Act that provided for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers. These help commerce and navigation, but also help improve public enjoyment of the nation’s waterways and coasts.

National Lighthouse Day was officially designated in 1989, recognizing the 200th anniversary of the signing of the 1789 Act and of the first Federal lighthouse being commissioned.

The original 1789 Act read:

An Act for the Establishment and support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

That all expenses which shall accrue from and after the fifteenth day of August one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, in the necessary support, maintenance and repairs of all lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers erected, placed, or sunk before the passing of this act, at the entrance of, or within any bay, inlet, harbor, or port of the United States, for rendering the navigation thereof easy and safe, shall be defrayed out of the treasury of the United States: Provided nevertheless, That none of the said expenses shall continue to be so defrayed by the United States, after the expiration of one year from the day aforesaid, unless such lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers, shall in the mean time be ceded to and vested in the United States, by the state or states respectively in which the same may be, together with the lands and tenements thereunto belonging, and together with the jurisdiction of the same.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That a lighthouse shall be erected near the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, at such place, when ceded to the United States in manner aforesaid, as the President of the United States shall direct.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to provide by contracts, which shall be approved by the President of the United States, for building a lighthouse near the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, and for rebuilding when necessary, and keeping in good repair, the lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers in the several States, and for furnishing the same with all necessary supplies; and also to agree for the salaries, wages, or hire of the person or persons appointed by the President, for the superintendence and care of the same.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That all pilots in the bays, inlets, rivers, harbors and ports of the United States, shall continue to be regulated in conformity with the existing laws of the States respectively wherein such pilots may be, or with such laws as the States may respectively hereafter enact for the purpose, until further legislative provision shall be made by Congress.  Approved: August 7, 1789

Origins of National Lighthouse Day:

Although we love and cherish our local lighthouses the Cape St. George Light and the Crooked River Lighthouse, National Lighthouse Day originated much farther north – in Rhode Island, in fact. There, Senator John H. Chafee sponsored a joint resolution in Congress on April 28, 1988, to designate August 7, 1989 as “National Lighthouse Day,” proclaiming that the resolution “Designates August 7, 1989, as National Lighthouse Day and calls for lighthouse grounds, where feasible, to be open to the public.” The resolution passed quickly, emerging from the Senate on July 26, 1988, and coming through Congress (sponsored by Rep. William J. Hughes, New Jersey) on October 21. Two weeks later, on November 5, 1988, President Ronald Reagan applied his “John Hancock,” and the Bill became law. The first National Lighthouse Day was observed on the 200th Anniversary of the original act, August 7, 1989.

Carrabelle Lighthouse

Carrabelle Lighthouse, FL

In Recognition of National Lighthouse Day – Hon. William J. Hughes

HON. WILLIAM J. HUGHES
in the House of Representatives
WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 1989

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call attention to a special occasion which communities all across America will be celebrating next week. August 7, 1989, marks the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Lighthouse Act and the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse in the United States.

In honor of those events, I was proud to sponsor a resolution last year which designated August 7, 1989, as National Lighthouse Day. The celebration next week will provide some long overdue recognition for the important role which lighthouses played in the history of our country, and the values of safety, heroism, and American ingenuity which they represent. At the same time, I am hopeful that it will encourage communities and citizens groups around the country to rededicate themselves to the protection and restoration of these historic structures.

As America continues its technological progress into the 21st century, it becomes easy to forget the wholesomeness and serenity of preindustrial establishments such as lighthouses. The history they provide gives us the opportunity to step back in time and learn more about our country. The contributions they made to our society, from protecting our coasts to guiding our sailors, should continue to be appreciated and remembered.

I am proud to point out that there are three restored lighthouses in my congressional district in southern New Jersey. These three, the Cape May Point lighthouse, the Finns Point lighthouse, and the Hereford Inlet lighthouse, contribute greatly to New Jersey’s beautiful coastline.

The Cape May Point lighthouse, which was first lit on October 31, 1859, was reopened to the public in 1988 after being closed for 50 years. Today, with restoration virtually complete, its light once again shines bright, giving comfort to seamen nearly 19 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Hereford Inlet lighthouse was built in 1874 and is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture. Under restoration since 1982, it continues to provide North Wildwood with a valuable monument to Cape May County’s maritime history.

Last, the Finns Point lighthouse, located in Pennsville, is a 113-year-old marvel. It served as an aid to navigation along the Delaware River from 1877 until 1950, when the river channel was enlarged and deepened.

Unfortunately, not every lighthouse is as lucky as these to have been adopted by a local citizens group or community. Many have fallen into disrepair and desperately need support. For this reason, I have been pleased to join with other Members of Congress in sponsoring legislation to establish the National Bicentennial Lighthouse Fund in order to provide Federal assistance for local lighthouse restoration efforts.

Mr. Speaker, the National Lighthouse Day celebration on August 7, 1989, will indeed be a special event. I hope it further rejuvenates the spirit of these maritime institutions and the impressive restoration efforts which are now taking place in the many communities. It is important that future generations have the opportunity to learn more about and appreciate the unique role which lighthouses played in helping to build our great Nation. I hope that everyone will join me in supporting this effort in the months and years ahead. —

Today…

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

However, the National Lighthouse Day designation was, it turns out, only official for that one anniversary in 1989. Although lighthouses and lighthouse lovers around the country celebrate annually, Congress has yet to permanently designate August 7th as a recurring date to observe the importance of what the Lighthouse Foundation refers to as “America’s lighthouse heritage.”

In 2013, twenty-four years after the 1989 observation, a Senate Resolution passed that made August 7, 2013 “National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day,” but again this was only a single-year designation. As the Lighthouse Foundation notes, “Over the past couple of decades, lighthouse leaders from around the country have worked tirelessly to convince Congress to permanently designate August 7 as National Lighthouse Day on America’s calendar, and though unsuccessful to date, those noble efforts continue. However, even without official recognition from Congress, the nationwide lighthouse community continues to ‘keep the flame of our rich lighthouse heritage burning bright. Each year, August 7 is celebrated as National Lighthouse Day, with lighthouse groups offering the general public a host of fun-learning activities to enjoy – including tours, cruises and presentations that pay special tribute to America’s lighthouses and their grand history.”

Here on St. George Island, we’re lucky to have a magnificent lighthouse to see and love every day of the year, and dedicated folks to protect and preserve it even without official Congressional designation. It’s a beacon for the Island, a piece of Apalachicola Bay history preserved for everyone to enjoy, and easily the best view around. So come on out next time you’re down, stop by the Lighthouse museum, and admire the majesty of the Cape St. George Light.

“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful. In a word, more alive.” — Alice Waters

The restaurants of St. George Island aren’t just spaces where tasty dishes are served in flavors as varied as the wildlife they’re surrounded by, they are places where strangers become friends. And it’s not just meals we gather over, but songs, bingo cards, and trivia slips.

On the island, you’re not required to entertain yourselves, although that’s certainly your right, and if you want to relax and share fellowship at the same time, there’s fun to be had every night of the week—and most of the time without charge.

If your week — even one spent on vacation — begins on Monday, then Paddy’s Raw Bar (at Gunn Street and East 3rd) is where things get lively. Trivia conducted under the theme “Eat. Drink. Think.” is held on Monday nights around 7 p.m., and live music is offered there most other nights as well, beginning around 6 or 7 p.m.

Tuesdays are a great night for socializing on St. George and in the area. There’s Trivia Night with Coach starting around 7 p.m. at Doc Myers’ (East Pine Avenue and West 1st) or Trivia with Skip at Tamara’s Tapas Bar in Apalachicola, also around 7 p.m.

Harry A’s is the place for karaoke on Tuesdays, around 7 p.m., and about that same time on Wednesdays challenges the island’s sharpest minds — imported or native — with trivia.

Live music is also available most nights of the week, especially Friday through Sunday, and Doc Myers’ offers a late-night DJ party most weekends, going until well after midnight.

Folks who visit St. George Island tell us they don’t want to stay anywhere else. And we want them back every time, too. After all, it’s personal. For many of them, multiple generations of their families have made this their island for a few weeks or months every year, no matter where home is.

But St. George Island is a unique destination for everyone who visits, and we’ve put together a few reasons we think that that is. Here are the top 5 reasons St. George Island is truly one of a kind.

  1. No high-rise condos or massive buildings of any kind. Look up from any point on the island and while you may see our historic lighthouse or water tower, what you won’t see is a towering condominium complex or hotel. There are hundreds of places to stay on the island, but due to the strict, 35-foot height restriction on buildings, they’ll never block a sunrise or sunset. Our goal is to make sure that anything man-made complements and provides respectful access to the amazing scenery available no where else.
  2. Speaking of scenery, you’d be hard pressed to find another place where the Gulf of Mexico and a thriving interior bay are so close together. On St. George Island, you can take a dip in Apalachicola Bay or hop on a charter boat docked there before the powdery beach sand from the Gulf side has even brushed off your feet. The island is just shy of a mile wide at its broadest point and much more narrow elsewhere. It’s an especially cool experience by kayak, canoe or power boat. In Apalachicola Bay you can fish for more than 100 species of fish before rounding the point at St. George Island State Park, where 25 miles of sandy beaches and surf and offshore fishing await.
  3. From beaches to wilderness preserves and all the natural beauty in between, visitors to St. George Island coexist with incredibly diverse and unique wildlife. As a community we do our best to protect the several thousand green, loggerhead and Kemp’s Ridley turtles that hatch on the island during the summer months. But it’s not just the turtles who infuse our vacations with beautiful new life, there are also dolphins, more than 300 species of birds, as well as countless amphibians and reptiles who either stop by seasonally or call St. George Island home year-round. We love them all and have an amazing time appreciating their beauty. And with our “leave no trace” policy across the island, we all have a hand in making sure these special creatures are protected.
  4. On St. George Island, our domesticated animals are just as important to us as those living in the wild, and here there’s incredible access for pets, especially for our canine friends. The island is exceptionally pet-friendly, with dogs allowed on both beach and bayside on most of the island as long as they are on a leash. And in the business district, you’ll find many different shops and restaurants who not only allow them to join you, but offer a treat or two as a welcome.
  5. George Island State Park is a fantastic resource for everyone who visits the island. A beautiful public reserve spread over 2,000 acres, the park has nine miles of undeveloped shoreline, majestic dunes, a bay forest, and salt marshes. Here, you’ll also discover campgrounds, boat launches, and several miles of pristine sugar-sand beaches.

California chef John Taylor hadn’t been to St. George Island before December 2017, but his sister and her family have been visiting the island for 40 years. And through her tales and his own want to “bring the whole Mexican vibe to the panhandle,” the St. George Cantina was born.

Opened in June, the Cantina is located on East Pine Avenue and offers a lot that patrons won’t be able to experience elsewhere. Taylor, known as JT, has opened 52 restaurants throughout his career and decided now was the time to open one of his very own.

St. George Cantina Restaurant on St. George Island

“I’m excited to do it for myself,” Taylor says. “The biggest thing for me is guest service and food consistency, and I think the island could really use a step up in the way food is done. I want something really easy and clean.”

Taylor has tremendous respect for the chefs of Apalachicola and said he wants to create that standard at the Cantina. The menu is infused with diverse flavors and features pork, steak, vegetarian dishes, and lots of seafood. Taylor gets his shrimp and seafood from Apalachicola fishermen.

“We will feature a different fish every day,” Taylor says.

As a chef, Taylor has crafted the menu to include several fresh and homemade items, including his own hybrid corn-and-maseca-flour recipe for tortillas, which are used for the various tacos being offered.

An unusual offering guests will find at the St. George Cantina is the mac-and-cheese bar.

As Taylor puts it, “I love mac and cheese, and I want people to have fun when they come in.”

There’s a chef making cheese sauces and guests can add savory items like lobster and bacon. At the bar, the signature drink is the Moscow Mule, which has Taylor’s unique touch, adding passion fruit to the ginger beer and vodka that usually makes up the recipe.

Another distinct touch the Cantina offers is that only one item is fried — shrimp for the tacos — while everything else is sautéed or grilled.

Taylor is working with contacts in Tallahassee to bring in flamenco guitarists for folks who want a softer musical touch, but with plenty of beat to salsa or merengue dance to. He also offers the island’s only delivery service and has added catering services and cooking classes as well.

Another amenity he’s developing for the younger crowd is a teen night. He wants to put up a large tent over a grassy area and offer a DJ, hamburgers, and hot dogs for teens on the island.

“There needs to be something like that for them,” he says.

And it all benefits the greater island community, for locals and those here to enjoy a vacation.

“I hope everyone goes along with raising the bar,” Taylor said of setting a new standard. “It will increase traffic everywhere because if they can find it on the island, they’ll stay on the island.”

For the menu and more, visit StGeorgeCantina.com.

There are a lot of great restaurants on St. George Island, and elsewhere along the Forgotten Coast. But visitors and locals alike love the challenges of preparing their own gourmet meals, and when it’s time to choose from the best area seafood, they usually have two names in mind: Dail’s and Doug’s.

The two seafood trailers have been staples on the island for more than two decades, and offer a wide variety of the fresh bounty harvested from local waters daily. They are usually parked within a couple of blocks from one another in the central business district, near the two grocery stores that sell the items every chef needs to complete the perfect recipe.

Most days you’ll find Doug McKinney sitting in his red chair under the awning of his Doug’s Seafood trailer. Around him are usually several coolers filled with the day’s catch, which often includes local oysters, shrimp, scallops, snapper, and grouper, among others.

 

“I try to be the best I can be and offer the best seafood money can buy, seven days a week,” McKinney says. The former millwright went into the seafood business more than 25 years ago, and said his seafood is “known around the world” because of the vast diversity of visitors who come to St. George Island each year.

“I have people who have been buying from me for 25 years,” he says. “They’re like one big extension of my family.”

Doug's and Dail's Seafood Trailer on St. George Island

Family, and the connection with their customers, is something that’s cherished across the way at Dail’s Seafood as well. There, Anna and PeeWee Carmichael man what they like to call “the Wagon,” and dish out as many stories as they do pounds of shrimp and oysters.

“We have quite a tremendous, loyal customer base,” Anna says. She loves to talk with the folks who walk up to the trailer, which was originally opened in the 1990s by PeeWee’s parents, Dail and Betty Carmichael.

Anna’s journey began away from St. George Island, but she remembers her family vacationing here when she was a child. Eventually those regular trips turned into something even more lasting when she “married a shrimp man.”

Dail’s Seafood offers many of the same staples you’ll find at Doug’s, with the addition of yellowfin tuna and scallops, which aren’t commercially caught in local waters. And Anna also makes several gallons of her now-famous fish dip each week, which has become a favorite item for visitors and locals alike.

“We do everything but catch the fish,” she says. Her dip is made of mullet or mackerel which they smoke at their fish smoker at home, and she mixes up the rest of the secret recipe herself. Dail’s also offers crab cakes made by another local fishing family, the Amisons from Apalachicola. That family operates a seafood warehouse across the bay and partners with the Carmichaels.

For Anna and PeeWee, success is all about connection. They get lots of customers from social media and web advertising, but it’s the stories they share with one another that breed loyalty and fellowship between retailer and customer, they said.

“We love our customers, they’re the ones who support us year in and year out,” PeeWee says. To which Anna adds, “Engaging our customers is one of the most important things we do. In this new age of interaction through technology, human interaction is absolutely necessary.”

While vacation can be a time for excess, those living a healthy lifestyle — or trying to start — will find plenty of opportunities to “live right” on St. George Island.

It all starts with the drive in, along the four-mile St. George Island Bridge. Longtime visitors have described the traverse as “letting the real world go for a spell,” and the approximate five minutes of travel time is the perfect excuse to cue up your favorite song or just roll down all the windows to hear what the coastal winds have to whisper.

The body’s health starts with the mind, and by the time the iconic lighthouse comes into view, you’ll be primed for the best of times.

Before you head to your property, or favorite spot on the sand, stop in at the Piggly Wiggly Express or newly refurbished SGI Market for some fruits and vegetables, which will keep your snacks and meals low-calorie and high-energy.

And when you’re ready to use some of that energy, St. George Island has a 21-mile walking/jogging/bike path that spans most of the island. And while the island is home to many 5k charity races throughout the year, you don’t have to pin a number on your shirt to get your heart rate up and treat your body right.

Prefer wheels to heels? You can rent bikes at one of many island shops, like Journeys, Island Outfitters, and Island Adventure. Just remember your helmet! And while you’re at those fine businesses, reserve your kayak, paddle board, or canoe for some other fun outdoor activities. You can paddle over to Little St. George Island, up the Apalachicola River Blueway or a number of other places near the island. Bring a fishing pole and you might just catch dinner, too.

But if you’re not someone who usually harvests from the sea and you’re looking for healthy dinner options at our local restaurants, you’ll find there are plenty of healthy selections at most of our eateries. We recommend having your shrimp and oysters grilled or blackened — or on the half shell, of course — and most dishes can be served with steamed vegetables or wild rice on the side. And you can always skip the bread and have a heart-healthy glass of red wine instead!

And should you be ready for some low-impact fitness and relaxation, what could be better than a light hike, walk down the beach, or morning yoga session? The island has 28 miles of beach, with access points throughout. And there are hiking options on Little St. George Island, at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, and at the East Hole tract at the end of 6th Street on the island.

And now you can enjoy yoga sessions several days during the week thanks to the St. George Island United Methodist Church and Island FITSUP!

With all these choices, there’s a good chance you’ll be heading home across the bridge at the end of your stay even healthier than when you arrived.

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.