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 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

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.

The St. George Island in Florida is a picturesque location littered with amazing sand dunes, pine trees and sea oats. The St. George Plantation measures approximately 1.87 square miles, which is equivalent to about 46 castles, a paradise on the island that serves as the perfect getaway for families and group trips.

The island has a rich history and especially that of its original inhabitants: the Creek Indians (the Muscogee). They were from the Mississippi culture, people who built earthwork mounds at their chiefdoms along the Mississippi River area. The Muscogee were the first Native Americans to be called ‘civilized’ by President George Washington’s civilization program in the list of the famous ‘Five Civilized Tribes’ in the 19th Century.

The Muscogee before the 1700’s wore clothes made from deer skin or bark fabric. Women wore knee-high skirts while the men had breechcloths. This changed however when the Europeans came and introduced their clothing style. They traditionally ate crops of corn, beans, squash, melon, and sweet potatoes which they grew. The men of the society also dined on hunted deer, wild turkeys, and small game. Their tastes expanded in the 1800’s when they farmed cows, horses, and pigs.

The Muscogee have been called the Creek/Muscogee Conservancy that rose after the first Spanish expedition led by Hernando De Soto – a Spanish explorer and conquistador – coming from the large losses of the Muscogee and the Indian Slave Trade in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Conservancy was a loose alliance between the Muscogee-speaking survivors and descendants.

The Conservancy had four mother towns or ‘idalwa’; Abihka, Coosa, Tuckabutche, and Coweta. The idalwa was the basic social unit in their society which had a democracy led by the village chief the ‘Mico.’ The Mico led the warriors into battle and led the villages while being in authority as long as he could still persuade the people to his side on matters. The Mico was helped by his second-in-command the ‘heniha’ and lesser chiefs the ‘micalgi.’ Others also advised him, including respected village elders, medicine men (‘yahola’) and the principal military adviser (‘tustunnuggee’ or ‘ranking warrior’).

The Mico’s authority was complemented by the clan mothers of each clan, their most important social unit. The clans organized hunts, distributed land, arranged marriages, and punished lawbreakers. Women were important as they had the matrilineal kinship system where inheritance was through the maternal line and the children were considered to belong to their mother’s clan. Among the first clans was the ‘Wind Clan’ which produced many of the Micos.

The Muscogee were forcibly relocated to the Indian Territory during the Indian Removal in the 1830’s and are now living in Oklahoma, recognized by the Federal Government as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama.