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.

Artists of all mediums are inspired by the beauties of the Forgotten Coast. In addition to the many shopping opportunities in the region, our guests will discover eclectic art galleries and gift shops featuring unique offerings from local artisans, from sea-inspired jewelry to stunning photography that captures the island’s scenic landscapes. Keep reading, and we’ll dig into all that the region’s art scene has to offer.

Art On The Island

Eager to get a taste of the Forgotten Coast’s art without leaving the island? You’re in luck. Sea Oats Gallery, located at 128 E. Pine Ave, is a longstanding St. George Island favorite that displays an extensive collection of art created by dozens of local talents. The gallery was initially intended to house the work of local artist Joyce Estes, but eventually expanded to include the diverse work of other local figures.

Outfitted with a similarly diverse collection is Island Dog Beach and Surf Shop, situated at 160 E. Pine Ave. This popular island shop displays local art in the form of original paintings, photography and more, which visitors can purchase to bring home a piece of the Forgotten Coast itself.

The Cape St. George Lighthouse Gift Shop is a great place to find a variety of original artworks and unique souvenirs of your trip. The historic lighthouse, with its 92-step wooden spiral staircase, offers spectacular views of the sunset and full moon during its popular Full Moon Climbs (reservations are recommended; call 850-927-7745). The lighthouse also hosts arts festivals and other cultural events throughout the year.

Finally, local photographer Chip Sanders has made a name for himself with his stunning shots of the Gulf Coast’s waters. View his work in person by visiting his gallery at 139 E. Gorrie Drive.

Art Off The Island

If you’re willing to venture into the nearby community of Apalachicola, you’ll discover even more local artistry. Richard Bickel Photography at 81 Market St houses the excellent work of the business’s namesake, focusing on an array of photographs depicting the historic downtown district of Apalachicola. In addition to shots of local scenery, you’ll find striking images from around the world.

Jeweler Marilyn Brogan creates one-of-a-kind pieces from recycled gold and silver and re-purposed gemstones. View her creations in her one-woman studio at 118 Commerce St. in Apalachicola.

The Gallery at High Cotton is the creation space for artists Jenny Odom and Beth Appleton. Browse their studio at 230 Water St. in Apalachicola from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday to Saturday.

Schedule a Visit to St. George Island

Experience the artwork of the Forgotten Coast with a sunny getaway to St. George Island. Resort Vacation Properties offers a massive selection of vacation homes catering to all group sizes and budgetary needs, and each rental is outfitted with amenities that will make your stay as comfortable as can be. Browse our properties to get started.

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!

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!

Located off the Florida panhandle, St. George Island is the perfect tropical getaway and close to home. A hidden gem among the many attractions on the expansive Florida coast, St. George Island offers beautiful beaches, wonderful fishing, swimming, turtle watching and more. Many people think of Florida as nothing short of perfect, but we do have high and low seasons. Before packing your bags and heading to St. George Island, be sure that you are ready for island weather.

Year-Round Relaxation

Part of being relaxed on your vacation to St. George Island is dressing for the weather. The year-round low is 42 degrees in January, but there have been record temperatures as low as 9 degrees. The year-round high for island weather is 91 degrees in July, with record temperatures getting up to 103 degrees in August. It is best to bring layers so that you can be warm when out fishing in the morning, comfortable when hiking the dunes in the afternoon, and just right for watching the sunset from your beach vacation rental.

Summer Rains

Florida has amazing weather almost all year round though some seasons are better than others. June through November is hurricane season, with August and September being the months most prone to heavy rains and strong winds. When it comes to being safe on the island, always be sure to check the weather before you travel and each day when you are here.

Island Weather Safety Tips

If you find that you are visiting St. George Island during inclement weather, it is important to stay safe. As a general rule, do not stay outside during heavy rains. If you have been out hiking or cycling, return to shelter and let the rain pass. If you have been out fishing and the tide turns, cut your lines and come back to your vacation rental. The tide is always stronger than you think, and no fish is worth putting yourself in danger.

If the winds pick up and the rains beat down, seek shelter. Low-lying areas are the most dangerous. If an evacuation warning has been called, follow directions and posted routes to leave the island. If you are in your room, stay away from windows, turn off electronics but keep the radio on for updates. Be ready for anything by keeping a supply kit handy stocked with waters, granola bars, a first aid kit, flashlights and a copy of important phone numbers.

St. George Island is a wonderful place to get away to. Being ready for island weather means you will have a fantastic time, rain or shine.