The Florida panhandle is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. Between Destin, Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and Orlando, the popular Sunshine State attractions need to make room for the Forgotten Coast, where you’ll find a quiet and relaxing barrier island in Franklin County called St. George Island. This pristine, untouched area is near Apalachicola Bay and Cape San Blas. And, with all the action the rest of the state gets, it’s no wonder our quaint destination is called the Forgotten Coast! If you need some help choosing your next Florida vacation destination, read on to compare St. George Island vs. Destin.

Looking for an easy way to put together the best vacation itinerary? Unlock our FREE Vacation Guide to all the best things to do during your vacay on the Gulf of Mexico!

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Comparing St. George Island vs. Destin

Where to Plan a Relaxing Getaway in Florida

In desperate need of a slower pace and some R&R? St. George Island, Florida, is the ultimate destination for relaxing. Most guests plan a visit around when they need a relaxing week on the beach, accompanied by tropical weather, and friendly faces.

Take a break from the fast-paced chaos that happens with daily work or school stress, and slow things down on the coast that people forget about, the Forgotten Coast!

And, with SGI being less crowded than Destin, it makes it so much easier to social distance yourself!


Is the Water Clear on St. George Island?

It’s the battle of the Gulf waters! While Destin, FL, is known for its beautiful green water, hence the Emerald Coast nickname, St. George Island also offers stunning ocean scenery.

You’ll see that St. George Island boasts crystal clear water since the island is so untouched, with zero high rises and far fewer people than places like Panama City, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or Jacksonville!


In addition to offering beautiful water clarity, St. George Island beaches are also the perfect place for family-friendly fun. Between May and August, make sure to look out for the giant Leatherback Sea Turtles as they come up on the sugary white sand to nest for nesting season.

And, if you visit in the fall, you’ll make it in time for the 60-day incubation period when the baby sea turtles make their way to the ocean.

We recommend visiting St. George Island State Park for more cool wildlife encounters and beautiful scenery.

Is It Worthwhile to Visit St. George Island While in Destin? And Vice Versa?

Of course! If you have time to visit both destinations, do it. The two coastal cities are about 3 hours apart, but each offers unique traits and attractions.

But, if you want to experience a memorable vacation with a laidback atmosphere, untouched scenery, bountiful wildlife encounters, and endless opportunities for bonding time with your loved ones, all while avoiding chain restaurants and amusement parks, St. George Island is your best bet!

Relax in the Best St. George Island Vacation Rentals!

Getting the R&R you deserve is easy when you’re staying in the best vacation rentals on the Gulf Coast! Resort Vacation Properties offer a wide selection of family-friendly, and pet-friendly vacation rentals on the beach and close to all the best SGI attractions. With top-notch amenities like private pools, decks, balconies, and outstanding oceanfront views, you’ll never forget your vacation on the Forgotten Coast!

Check our availability and book your relaxing getaway before others find out about our secret destination known as the Forgotten Coast of Florida!

For many, a Florida vacation is one of the fondest memories from childhood. It’s the memories you make while spending quality time with your family, playing games with your siblings and cousins on the beach, or ending a vacation day enjoying sweet treats at the local ice cream shop. The memories you make on the Forgotten Coast are never actually forgotten, especially when you spend your time doing the best St. George Island kid activities. From discovering a thing of the past with a visit to a historic 1833 lighthouse to fishing on Apalachicola Bay, our charming barrier island destination is abundant with family-friendly activities that your kids will remember forever! 

For more island adventures, make sure to unlock your complimentary Vacation Guide! You’ll get exclusive access to local insight on the best things to do on the Gulf Coast, like places to eat, play, shop, and explore during your stay. 

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St. George Kid Activities That Create the Best Family Vacation Memories 

1. Make a Splash at the Beach 

Build sandcastles with the little ones on the beach. You can bring the whole family, including the furry members, to our pet-friendly beaches. Just make sure your dog stays leashed. 

Our island is home to one of the top uncrowded beaches in the U.S., with 22 miles of pretty shells, fantastic fishing, and crystal-clear Gulf waters! 

Beach Gear & How You Can Get It for Free! 

Your outdoor adventures start with renting the best equipment. Head to a local gift shop for all the beach supplies you could possibly need, like golf carts, bikes, kayaks, surfboards, paddleboards, fishing poles, and more.  

Here are some places to rent beach gear on St. George Island: 
Jolly Roger Beach Shop 
Journeys of St. George Island 
Island Outfitters 

Our local gift shops are convenient, but there’s also a way to rent FREE beach gear! Enjoy your family vacation with us at Resort Vacation Properties and choose one of our vacation rentals with beach gear to rent some awesome equipment for your beach days, like stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, lounge chairs, bicycles – you name it! 

2. Discover Unforgettable History at a Historic Lighthouse 

The kids will be in awe with a trip to one of two historic lighthouses in Franklin County. Bring out the history buff in the group and visit Cape St. George Lighthouse in East Point, FL. Climb to the top for the ultimate view of St. George Island and then check out the museum and gift shop for a souvenir! 

The next stop on your day of exploring history is Crooked River Lighthouse in Carrabelle. This 1895 guiding light helped ships, fishermen, and oystermen get through the dangerous pass between Dog Island and St. George Island. 

One of the coolest activities to do at both towering structures is attend the Full Moon Climb. Kids and adults alike will be starstruck by the pretty view of SGI, the Gulf of Mexico, and Apalachicola Bay under the full moon and starry sky! 

3. Discover Florida Wildlife at St. George Island State Park 

You should definitely add the Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park to your family vacation itinerary because it’s one of our favorite SGI attractions. Not only can you enjoy adventures like kayaking, boating, hiking, fishing, and swimming on the beach, but you can also get glimpses of Florida’s most fascinating wildlife. 

Bird watching on our island is always a great fascinating time because you’ll see such a diverse variety of feathery friends. Check out the bayside of the park, and you might see woodpeckers and bald eagles. 

If you visit during your summer vacation, you’ll likely spot shorebirds and maybe even sea turtles and dolphins! 

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4. Take a Dip in Your Private Pool at Sandy Bottoms interior of vacation rental

Some of the most fun St. George Island kid activities happen from the comfort of your Resort Vacation Properties vacation rental. With amenities like private pools, free WiFi, boat docks, fishing piers, and free beach gear, the best bonding moments and fun memories never stop! 

Book Sandy Bottoms for your next family vacay. This 7-bed dream home can accommodate you and all your family as it accommodates 21 people. You’re sure to enjoy the convenience of this family-friendly rental as it not only has a 1st tier Gulf view, but also has a gorgeous private pool with boardwalk beach access just steps away from the house. 

Check our availability, and reserve it now for the FL vacay of your dreams! 


Get the adrenaline rush you’ve been longing for and rent St. George Island jet ski rentals to speed around the Gulf Coast with! You’ll have a blast exploring St. George Island from a new point of view – out on the water! With SGI being a fantastic family vacation destination, you’ll have a variety of options for fun on the water. 

And, when it’s time to touch down on land, use our free Forgotten Coast Vacation Guide to help you choose attractions and things to do during your stay on our Florida coast. Our handy tool uses local insight to provide you with our favorite restaurants, shops, museums, entertainment, and outdoor recreation on St. George Island, Apalachicola Bay, and Eastpoint, Florida. Request your copy to take with you during your trip!

st george island things to do

Where St. George Island Jet Ski Rentals Meet Waterfront Tiki Bar 

Get your transportation for the day at the Jetski Hut! This jet ski rental company is conveniently located right next to Blue Parrot Oceanfront Café. After a couple of hours of St. George Island jet-skiing around the beach, you can return your jet ski and treat yourself to lunch and a drink! 

Things to Know About The Jet Ski Hut on St. George Island 

Although we have beautiful weather all year-round in Florida, you would have to come during the spring and summer months between March through early October to take advantage of this sweet opportunity. 

You can find this jet ski rental company right on the beach daily between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Choose how long you’d like your water adventures to last before using either cash or card for your rental purchase. 


You can take your jet ski rental out for: 

30 Minutes 

1 Hour 

Half a Day 

Full Day 

Contact GI Rentals: (850) 927-5150 


Refuel Yourself With a Meal at Blue Parrot Oceanfront Café & Tiki Bar 

Indulge in the freshest local seafood and certified black Angus steaks to find out why Blue Parrot is one of our favorite St. George Island restaurants and bars. 

Eating at this restaurant is a must during your St. George Island vacay not only because of the delicious food, but it also has the best location right on the beach, accompanied by a fun, laidback atmosphere. 

Sit at the outdoor café and take in a warm summer breeze as you enjoy your lunch or dinner. A few of their top menu items include local flavors like smoked yellowfin tuna dip as an appetizer or their world-famous seafood platter for an entrée. This is a must for the seafood lover in your group because it contains grouper, shrimp, oysters, sea scallops, and a crab cake! Seafood City, for sure! 

Shooting for a little buzz? Try a fruity cocktail like their frozen mango daiquiri, a margarita, or a cold beer from their Blue Parrot Tiki Bar! 

Pro Tip: Try the St. George Island Breeze for a refreshing blend of citrus juice with cherry-infused vodka. Our favorite! 

Unwind After a Beach Day at the Best St. George Island, FL, Vacation Rental St. George vacation rental home on beach

So many of our returning guests make their St. George Island vacation an annual tradition because of the fun beach memories and a wide variety of outdoor activities and water sports our area offers. Plus, we always aim to offer our guests the best hospitality and services so that you have the best vacation! 

All the sand, sun, water, and drinks can really drain you, but you’ll realize it was all worth it when you enjoy the best night’s rest in your Resort Vacation Properties vacation rental. 

Browse our selection of beautiful intimate or family-sized rentals near the beach for the ultimate adrenaline-inducing vacation on the Forgotten Coast!