This time of year, the airwaves are full of monster movies and creature features trying to scare you, but on the Forgotten Coast, we don’t have to look any further than the waters of the Gulf of Mexico discover the weird and wacky! Did you know that although oceans cover 70% of the world’s surface, humans have explored less than 5% of them? But even that 5% has proven to be home to some eerie organisms. Here are a few of our favorite freaky fish of the Forgotten Coast:

One creepy resident is also a favorite dish of ours—flounder! This fish may be known for its tasty flavor, but it also possesses a very distinctive profile. In adults, both eyes are on one side of its very flat body. But it gets even weirder: they’re not born that way! Baby flounders have eyes on both sides of their bodies, but, as the fish grows from the larval to juvenile stage, one eye migrates to the other side!

The Sheepshead Fish looks like your average, run-of-the-mill aquarium-type fish. Its black and white stripes are both eye-catching serve as the impetus for their nickname “Convict Fish.” However, their appealing appearance ends when they open their mouths—which contain what look like human teeth! They have many rows of them, too, to help grind up their favorite foods: mollusks and bivalves.

Barracudas also call the waters of the Gulf of Mexico home. Their signature features, such as the protruding under jaw and razor-sharp teeth, are definitely creepy, but it’s their attraction to shiny things that sends shivers up our spines. If you plan to swim in a barracuda’s habitat, be sure to remove all jewelry and watches. The sheen reminds them of their natural prey, and they’ve been known to attack humans, thinking their glittering trinkets are food!

What are your favorite creepy creatures from the deep?

Go time-traveling when you explore the quaint shops and eateries of St. George Island and nearby Apalachicola. Each town offers charming spots that will make you feel that you’ve been transported to the past. Whether you’re a history buff, foodie or shopping fanatic, the Forgotten Coast is the perfect place to find a touch of nostalgia! Keep reading to learn more about a few of our retro-themed local favorites.

The Old Time Soda Fountain

Serving the Forgotten Coast since 1905, The Old Time Soda Fountain, located in Apalachicola at 93 Avenue B, offers visitors a chance to take a seat at an old-fashioned counter and enjoy delicious treats, Blue Bell ice cream and much more. Guests will also want to check out the gift shop to browse souvenirs for friends and family back home.

The Tin Shed

This local favorite has earned a sterling reputation among antique collectors, and for good reason, because it’s jam-packed with a captivating assortment of nautical treasures, including ship wheels and floats, locks, keys, maps and flags. However, the collection isn’t restricted to maritime pieces. Take a look for yourself by visiting The Tin Shed at 170 Water Street in Apalachicola.

Bowery Station

Situated at 131 Commerce Street in Apalachicola’s Bowery district, Bowery Station offers ample historic charm alongside craft beer and wine served at a classic wooden bar. Patrons will feel right at home as they enjoy live music and relax at the inviting outdoor beer garden. There’s always something happening at Bowery Station, so be sure to check out their schedule of events.

Apalach Outfitters

If you’re planning a day of shopping, be sure to visit Apalach Outfitters at 32 Avenue D. The shop offers outdoor apparel from noted brands for both men and women – just look for the distinctive, historic building with pine doors, a tin roof and many other vintage details. Interested in a fishing trip? You won’t want to miss their selection of fly-fishing and light-tackle gear before setting sail.

Peer into the Past

Enjoy a walk down memory lane by exploring the Forgotten Coast’s historic shops, restaurants and landmarks. With so many places to see, events and shopping and dining opportunities, the only difficult part of planning a trip to St. George Island with Resort Vacation Properties is deciding what to do first.

When Halloween is on a weekend, it’s often observed on that day alone. But when it happens to fall on a weekday, it’s only proper form to celebrate the whole weekend leading up to the spookiest day of the year. This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday, meaning this year is one we celebrate Halloweekend! That just leaves the question of how to spend it!

Just across the bay in Apalachicola are three different options to make your Halloweekend so much fun it’s frightening! All of these events are happening Saturday, October 28—it’s just up to you to decide!

A non-traditional way to celebrate Halloweekend is with the award-winning Autos and Oysters Auto Show in Apalachicola. Prizes are given to Top 50, Best of Show, Club Participation, and Sponsor’s Choice, but a category our guests might win is Greatest Distance Traveled. If you want to vie for that prize, head over to Riverfront Park between 9 AM and noon with your $20 registration fee. For those who just want to peruse the cruisers, admission is free, and the show is open to the public from 10 AM to 4 PM.

If you’d rather celebrate with a quiet night in, look no further than your own home away from home. You can craft something truly wonderful in the fully equipped Resort Vacation Properties kitchens, and many of our properties have DVD players so you can watch a scary (or not so scary!) movie. The Apalachicola Farmers Market is a great place to pick up fresh, local produce and seafood for a yummy dinner. Stop by to meet our local farmers, fishermen, and artisans at the Millpond Pavilion Market Street every second and fourth Saturday from 9 AM till 1 PM!

If you’re a fan of a more ghastly Halloween celebration, Apalach has you covered, too. Saturday evening from 6:30 to 8:30, the Apalachicola Area Historical Society hosts its biannual Ghostwalk in the Chestnut Street Cemetery. Wander through history as locals regale the stories that make the Forgotten Coast so unique, all while dressed in creepy cool attire from the time period. All proceeds go to the preservation of this historic cemetery.

However you choose to celebrate, it’s sure to be an epic Halloweekend on the Forgotten Coast! Ask one of our friendly team members for further insight to what you can get up to while you’re here this fall!

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a cool summer treat on St. George Island. Our vacationers can’t resist the allure of delectable ice cream flavors paired with unparalleled ocean views. Here are just a few of our favorite destinations for ice cream and other savory desserts.

Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream

Located at 147 East Gulf Beach Drive, Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream is a St. George Island classic. Flavors vary seasonally, which makes it easy to discover new favorites, and seating is available on the deck and indoors, with air conditioning to help you beat the heat. Once you’ve finished your snack, enjoy a stroll to explore the nearby businesses, including Island Emporium and Island Outfitters.

Sweet Surf

A more recent addition to St. George Island’s eclectic collection of eateries, Sweet Surf offers soft-serve ice cream along with a plethora of treats guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. Options include Italian ice, root beer floats, milkshakes and much more. Sweet Surf is conveniently located at 41 East Gulf Beach Drive, right next to St. George Island Trading Co. and just a few steps from the St. George Island Lighthouse.

Off the Island

When you explore the nearby city of Apalachicola, you’ll also discover mouth-watering desserts. Visit The Old Time Soda Fountain at 93 Market Street for ice cream and treats, or stop by the Apalachicola Chocolate & Coffee Company to enjoy homemade gelato, as well as chocolate, pastries, cookies and other irresistible sweets.

Come to the Forgotten Coast

For travelers and their taste buds, St. George Island has plenty to offer. Experience the sweetness of the Forgotten Coast by booking your stay with Resort Vacation Properties today.

For a picture-perfect destination wedding, look no further than St. George Island. With endless stretches of white sand, the unspoiled barrier island is a stunning natural backdrop, with numerous locations to say “I do.” In addition, the island is home to a full slate of event-related businesses, including caterers, photographers and more, ready to provide any service you’ll need to make your big day meaningful and memorable.

St. George Lighthouse Park

Nothing complements St. George Island’s maritime theme quite like the recently constructed Cape St. George Lighthouse at the center of the island. The picturesque tower is a one-of-a-kind setting for a wedding ceremony; also, both the lighthouse’s Lantern Room and the surrounding park itself can be reserved for the event, although space within the lighthouse is limited. However, the park’s first-come, first-serve beachfront pavilions can’t be reserved, so they’re better suited to more casual gatherings.

St. George Island State Park

Three covered pavilions are available on the grounds of the St. George Island State Park, and many of our brides and grooms choose to say their vows right on the nearby beach. Your guests are sure to love the park’s natural setting and stunning views. To rent a covered pavilion, contact the park by phone.

Your Resort Vacation Properties Home

Our lavish St. George Island vacation homes are available to groups of all sizes, from wedding parties to family reunions. Whether you’re seeking one extra-spacious house or a handful of houses in close proximity, these homes provide a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere and easy access to the waterfront. If you’d like to hold your ceremony on the grounds of a Resort Vacation Properties home, reach out to our group event coordinators, or learn more about scheduling your special event at Resort Vacation Properties by perusing our special event FAQs.

Experience The Forgotten Coast

Whether you’re tying the knot or simply searching for a relaxing getaway, don’t settle for a location that’s anything less than perfect. Book a stay on St. George Island in Franklin County, Florida, with Resort Vacation Properties today.

As much as we consider St. George Island to offer the epitome of “island living,” one of the best aspects of the Forgotten Coast is that there is more than one isle to visit.  Stand at the easternmost point of St. George Island State Park and there in the adjacent St. George Sound you’ll see Dog Island.

Known locally as “the island that time forgot,” Dog Island has a tremendous local history and even enjoyed a bit of national publicity in the 1980s thanks to advertisements run in large northern markets such as New York and Chicago. An article published in the New York Times in March 1987 made a point that, “Dog Island is indeed secluded and everyone on the island wants to keep it that way.”

And on the island, such seclusion isn’t a negative, but one of the goals for visitors. There’s no magnificent bridge connecting the mainland—you have to take a water taxi to the island, which sits 4 miles south of Carrabelle. And the average day tripper is known to disembark with hiking boots, shell bags, a camera, and binoculars.

Dog Island measures nearly seven miles long, 1,800 acres, with approximately 60 percent of the island residing in the Jeff Lewis Wilderness Preserve. Lewis, a Florida businessman, paid $12,000 for Dog Island after World War II and later sold it to the Nature Conservancy in the early ‘80s for its preservation.

The natural beauty is incredible on the island. Two hundred species of birds call Dog Island home at some point during the calendar year and can be found everywhere on the island. Permanent residents such as egrets and herons share space with migratory shore birds like black-bellied and snowy plovers.

And considering it’s a barrier island like St. George, shell collectors are in heaven throughout Dog Island’s white sands. In terms of flora, there are almost 400 native and naturalized plants, including two species of orchid, 15 species of fern, and dunes filled with oak scrub, sea oats, and rosemary. Along the old Jeep trail, you can still see slash pines with horizontal gashes in their trunks, made by early 20th-century turpentiners gathering tree resin to be made into turpentine.

As Hurricane Michael revealed in 2018, Dog Island was once a place of shipwrecks, thanks to another hurricane — one that rocked Carrabelle in 1899. During that disaster, 15 ships ran aground on the island as the Category 2 storm wreaked havoc all the way to St. Teresa Beach. After Hurricane Michael hit the Forgotten Coast as a Category 4 storm, the hulls of the shipwrecks once again saw the light of day, offering yet another photo opportunity for visitors and residents alike.

Speaking of residents, there are about 100 cottages on Dog Island, which are mostly used during the summer and as rental properties. There are around 30 full-time residents on the island, one of whom chose to ride out Hurricane Michael in the 2,000-square-foot house he built in 2003 to withstand such storms.

Bradlee Shanks, a University of South Florida art professor, said he wanted to see how his home would perform during a hurricane, and later told the Tallahassee Democrat, “It’s performed marvelously.”