When it’s time to plan for a vacation, it can be difficult to choose between all the options we have at our disposal. Beaches vs. Mountains, Summer vs. Winter, with the Family vs. Friends, and the inevitable Vacation Rentals vs. Hotels. There are lots of facets to consider when making that decision, so read below to get the full guide comparing vacation rentals vs. hotels! 

When you do get ready for your next trip, learn about the benefits of booking direct! Save money from hidden fees on third-party booking platforms, get access to the full inventory of rental properties, and get access to specials, packages, and vacation guides. Check availability and book today!

Vacation Rentals vs. Hotels: What’s the Difference?

Cost

The main thought on most people’s minds when planning out a vacation is, “What is it going to cost me?” Though the cost day-to-day looks cheaper for hotels, one of the perks of staying in a vacation rental vs. hotel is that multi-day vacations become much more cost-effective, especially if you are staying with a group of friends or family! 

Privacy

It doesn’t get much more private than having the house to yourself! You can avoid the packed elevators and parking lots, loud neighbors only separated by a wall, and kids running through the hallways when you stay at a vacation rental. 

Pet-Friendly

When you have a furry family member, sometimes it can be a nightmare trying to figure out where you can stay that will allow you to take them with you on vacation. Even worse, it can be troublesome finding a hotel with a fenced backyard that you have easy access to. On the other hand, we can easily filter our rental properties by the pet-friendly feature, giving a quick and painless way to find out where Fido can spend the night. 

Choice

Hotels can’t offer much in the sense of options, which makes this one of the biggest points when comparing vacation rentals vs. hotels. Unless you’re willing to pay an upcharge for some deluxe suite, any room you get will have the same old layout that you find at any other hotel. Vacation rental companies, like Resort Vacation Properties, can offer you a wide variety of rental homes that let you pick and choose whether you want to be beachside, bayside, poolside, private pool, close to your favorite restaurant, etc. 

Choose a Vacation Rental with Resort Vacation Properties!st. george island vacation rentals vs. hotels

Check out some of the amazing properties that we host on St. George Island! No matter where you stay, you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits that come with a vacation rental home. Most of the homes on our rental list come with a common list of amenities that you can’t find at a typical hotel, like a full kitchen with dishes and utensils, several full bathrooms, a private pool or hot tub, or free access to personal beach gear! Head over to our website to browse our amazing properties, and book now for a low-cost, private, pet-friendly vacation!

Need a break from the hustle and bustle of Music City? Escape to an island retreat nestled in Florida’s Gulf Coast with an exciting, one-day road trip from Nashville to St. George Island! Or, if flying is more your speed, you can hop on a flight to a nearby city and rent a car for the rest. Either way, you can be at the beach in a day!

Start planning your next adventure from Nashville, TN, to St. George Island, FL, and find your perfect oasis at one of our beachfront St. George Island vacation homes!

st. george island forgotten coast vacation guide

How to Get from Nashville to St. George Island

Getting From Nashville, TN, to St. George Island, FL, by Car

Ready for crystal-clear waters and endless white-sand beaches? One of the easiest ways to get from Nashville to St. George Island is by car with about an 8.5-hour drive. Although travel times can vary, the whole ride is pretty much a straight shot on I-65 South until you hit the Big Bend Scenic Byway Coastal Trail, which leads you right into St. George Island.

There are also plenty of stops you can make along the way to break up the trip. Either way, you’ll be dipping your toes into the ocean by the end of the day!

Getting From Nashville, TN, to St. George Island, FL, by Plane

If you’d like to shorten your trip time, there are flights available to areas a few hours outside the island where you can rent a car to make the drive to St. George Island. If you fly non-stop from Nashville International Airport to Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport in Panama City, Florida, the total flight time is around an hour and 15 minutes.

Then, grab your rental car and make the short,  2-hour drive to St. George Island.

2 Stops You Need to Make on Your Road Trip from Nashville to St. George Island

If you’re long overdue for a getaway, it’s time to tap into your outdoorsy side again! Luckily for you, there are many beautiful places to stop along the way on your road trip from Nashville to St. George Island! Once you’re in St. George Island, there are so many outdoor activities you can enjoy, like kayaking, hiking, biking, and paddleboarding!

So, get ready to explore some parts of the country you wouldn’t have otherwise. Add one of these unique spots in Alabama to your road trip from Nashville to St. George Island before it’s time to explore the coast!

Hike the Swampy Lowlands in Perry Lakes Park

Just shy of four hours from Nashville, TN, Perry Lakes Park is a beautiful spot to stretch your legs after the first half of your road trip to St. George Island! With more than 600 acres and four oxbow lakes, formed nearly 150 years ago, it’s a great place to spend time in the serenity of nature. There are also lots of hiking opportunities for you to explore the area!

Take a Cavern Tour at DeSoto Caverns

Another great stop that’s four hours from Nashville, Tennessee, is DeSoto Caverns in Childersburg, Alabama. Located at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, DeSoto Caverns holds one of the largest collections of onyx-marble stalagmites and stalactites in the world! It’s open year-round for you to explore.

Start Planning Your Nashville to St. George Island Getaway

chairs on deck with ocean view

If you’re looking for one of the best beach getaways from Nashville, then look no further! St. George Island is the definition of the perfect beach getaway, with its opportunities to relax and unwind, plan outdoor adventures, perfect year-round weather, and plenty of vacation homes to choose from.

Road trips are the perfect time to bring your pup along on vacation! Book one of our pet-friendly rental homes with beach access and oceanfront views, with a wraparound deck that will let you breathe in the fresh sea air.

Check our availability to start planning your road trip from Nashville to St. George Island today!

New destinations are exciting to explore! Make your first time visiting St. George Island a one-of-a-kind experience with our local tips on the best things to do in St. George Island, Florida. From beautiful, white sand beaches to freshly caught seafood, there are plenty of activities for St. George Island first-timers!

Make sure to check out our free Vacation Guide for more information on what the island has to offer, including more insider tips for your first time visiting St. George Island!

st. george island forgotten coast vacation guide

Top 5 Things to Do Your First Time Visiting St. George Island

Whether you decide to spend your spring break on St. George Island or plan a fall or winter getaway,  our area has plenty to offer your whole family. Some of the top things to do on St. George Island include paddleboarding, fishing, crabbing, biking, and of course, relaxing!

1. Stop in the St. George Island Visitor Center

Once you’ve crossed the island’s scenic bridge,  make the St. George Island Visitor Center your first stop. Located just a few steps from the island’s historic lighthouse, the visitor center is operated by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce and features plenty of free guides to area recreation, including fishing, charters, outfitters, and gear rentals.

2. Discover the Rich History of the Cape St. George Lighthouse Museum and Gift Shop

Climb the 92 wooden spiral stairs to the top of the 89-foot Cape St. George Lighthouse and through a scuttle hole that leads to Lantern Room, which offers a stunning panoramic view of the Gulf Coast and Apalachicola Bay! Afterward, stop in the shop for lighthouse souvenirs, books, jewelry, games, and much more!

3. Spend the Day Soaking in the Sun on the Endless White Sand Beach

Once you’re unpacked and settled in your vacation home, you can start thinking about how much, or little, you want to do during your first time visiting St. George Island. Luckily for you, virtually all Resort Vacation Properties provide guests with free beach gear! You’ll receive a credit that can be used for a wide variety of equipment, including bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, and beach games. Stretch out with your whole family along the 22 miles of pet-friendly coastline and enjoy sunrises and sunsets day in and day out.

4. Take in St. George Island Park’s Unparalleled Beauty

A visit to St. George Island wouldn’t be complete without spending a couple of hours at St. George Island State Park enjoying unparalleled views of both the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay. There are more than 2,000 acres of natural beauty to explore whether you’d like to hike, bike, geo-seek, swim, camp, or fish. It’s the perfect place to take in the scenic glory of this untouched portion of the Florida Coast, photograph wildlife in their natural habitat, or gaze at the nighttime stars.

5. Live a Local and Enjoy Fresh Seafood From One of Our Tasty St. George Island Restaurants

The best thing about staying on a barrier island is the opportunity for fresh seafood every day! A local favorite is Apalachicola oysters which are caught and sold to local restaurants like Paddy’s Raw Bar, Blue Parrot Oceanfront Café, and Up the Creek Raw Bar.

Start Planning Your First Visit to St. George Island

Visit St. George Island and discover all The Forgotten Coast has to offer! As one of the last untouched beaches in the United States, St. George Island is sure to steal your heart. Our St. George Island vacation rentals have everything you need for the ultimate experience, like close proximity to local shops, restaurants, nightlife, grocery stores, and more! Now that you know what to do your first time visiting St. George Island, it’s time to start planning. Browse a complete catalog of our St. George Island rentals to get started!

Dreaming of a destination wedding with white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and bright blue sunny skies? Look no further than St. George Island! Our island off North Florida’s Gulf Coast is the perfect spot for your dream beach wedding. These picture-perfect St. George Island wedding venues will have you daydreaming right up until your special day!

Say “I do!” to one of these stunning St. George Island wedding venues. Then,  start looking for the perfect St. George Island vacation home for your wedding party, family, and friends to stay at!

st. george island vacation guide forgotten coast oysters

6 of the Most Romantic St. George Island Wedding Venues

Your St. George Island Wedding Venue Checklist

Your wedding date will come sooner than you think! Start planning your St. George Island wedding with this helpful checklist.

  1. Start planning early! Florida is a popular destination for weddings, especially on the beach. You should start your planning at least a year in advance. This will give your guests plenty of time to make travel plans as well!
  2. Set a date. The best thing about St. George Island is that the weather is beautiful all year long. Wedding season in Florida lasts from October to May. Many couples avoid outdoor weddings from June through September because of the blistering heat.
  3. Determine the size you’d like. You may be dreaming of an elopement or vow renewal with just you and your special someone in front of a beautiful beach landscape. Maybe you’d like a small ceremony as the sun slowly sets behind you. Maybe you’re thinking about a medium or large-sized ceremony and a reception at a local venue. No matter what type of wedding you have in mind, it may be helpful to turn to a local St. George Island wedding planner to make your dreams come true!
  4. Plan where your wedding party will stay. If your wedding includes travel for the wedding party and guests, you’ll have to let your guests know if they’ll be making their own arrangements or you’ll be hosting them at a vacation rental property. You’ll have to book accommodations well in advance, so you’ll need a list of definite yeses and sort out the maybes to determine how much room you’ll need.
  5. Pick your venue and/or reception hall. George Island is known for its serene ocean views, making it a popular beach destination wedding venue. There are also other wedding venue choices including traditional options like churches and unique options across the bay in Apalachicola.
  6. Get your marriage license. You need a Florida marriage license to get married anywhere on St. George Island. You can get your marriage license at the Franklin County Court with both parties present, valid photo IDs, your Social Security numbers, and the marriage license fee. After both parties read the “Family Law Handbook,” there is no waiting period for out-of-state residents.
  7. Start planning your ceremony! Now that some of the most important decisions are made, you can peruse through local wedding and event businesses to pick everything you need from flowers to food!

The Most Beautiful St. George Island Wedding Venues

wedding signs on the beach

Whether you’re looking to elope or invite everyone you know, St. George Island has some of the most breathtaking Gulf of Mexico views for you and your guests to enjoy!

St. George Island Public Beach

St. George Island boasts 22-miles of pristine white, sandy beaches for you to pick from! The pavilions are booked on a first-come, first-serve basis, in the center of the island, so we recommend planning your ceremony to take place nearby.

The Cape St. George Lighthouse

If you’re dreaming of an intimate ceremony, the Cape St. George Lighthouse’s Lantern Room is an excellent choice. With panoramic views of the Gulf Coast, this small space is available for private events when it’s not open to the public. You can comfortably accommodate 10 of your closest family members and friends with standing room only. The Keeper’s House porch may also be used as part of the ceremony. You can also rent the surrounding park for your special day!

The Cape St. George Lighthouse Public Park

If you’re interested in a unique setting, the picturesque St. George Lighthouse Public Park provides a beautiful backdrop for a wedding ceremony! The county park can’t be reserved, so it may be best to plan your ceremony during a less busy time of the year. There are two beachfront pavilions, available on a first-come, first-served basis and can’t be reserved. However, there are parts of the park that are available for chairs and small tents when coordinated with the Lighthouse Association.

St. George Island State Park

With nine miles of undeveloped white sand beach, why not take advantage of the tranquil views that St. George Island State Park offers? Guests will love the park’s natural setting and stunning views. If you’re interested in using the large, open gazebo for the reception afterward contact the park directly.

Apalachicola Waterfront Wedding Venues

An Apalachicola wedding venue provides a beautiful waterfront backdrop without the mess of sand. The great thing about staying in a St. George Island vacation home is that your guests can take in all the island has to offer and then venture across the Big Bend Scenic Byway Coastal Trail when wedding bells start to chime!

Riverfront Park

Riverfront Park offers a scenic backdrop for your guests to ooh and awe over. Picture you and your loved one saying “I do!” in front of a waterfall fountain while shrimp boats are docked along the Apalachicola River.

Lafayette Park

In the center of the historic home district, Lafayette Park offers a lush landscape, a large pavilion for weddings, picnic tables, and a long fishing pier that juts out into Apalachicola Bay. It’s a perfect location for weddings that spill over into the night. You can dance the night away under the large, lighted gazebo and take a moment to stargaze when your feet begin to tire.

Start Planning Your St. George Island Destination Wedding on the Forgotten Coast

house on beach

It’s time to start talking to one of our Group Event Coordinators to find the perfect location for your destination wedding! We have extra spacious  St. George Island rentals with comfortable, relaxing atmospheres that are perfect for entertaining your guests. Even better, our rentals are close to all the island’s finest attractions. We even have homes located within close proximity to one another if you’d rather spread your wedding party out.

Start planning your destination wedding with our helpful guide to St. George Island wedding venues and be sure to check our availability now so you’ll have the perfect vacation home for your wedding party!

With road trips on the rise, now’s the time to pack your bags, grab your four-legged friend, and set out to explore how fun dog-friendly St. George Island is! With 28 miles of white sandy beach to explore, endless trails, and plenty of dog-friendly restaurants and stores, your pup will be barking for more!

Not only are there endless activities for you and your pup to enjoy in our area, but there are also plenty of dog-friendly rentals on St. George Island! From fenced-in yards to direct beach access, our dog-friendly properties offer amenities to suit all travelers, including four-legged ones!

 

Sit & Stay With Us

St. George Island Dog-Friendly Activities: Play, Pamper, Treat, Repeat

St. George Island Dog-Friendly Rental Homes

Don’t let finding pet-friendly rentals be an issue! At Resort Vacation Properties, we have nearly 200 dog-friendly vacation rentals for you and your family conveniently located throughout various St. George Island neighborhoods. Our St. George Island rentals can accommodate anywhere from four to 19 people, so space will never be an issue. Even better, they’re just a stone’s throw away from the best dog-friendly things to do on the island St. George Island and the surrounding areas host all year long!

Places to Play

St. George Island Public Beach

If you’re planning to spend the day basking in the sun and sand, you’re in luck!  St. George Island offers 22 miles of dog-friendly shoreline. Your only job is to abide by the local Franklin County Ordinance and keep your dog on a leash. Please check dog rules in SGI before venturing out!

Some beach areas restrict dogs, like the East End of the island. The East End of the beach is used only for fishing with a special permit. Other nearby dog-friendly beaches to check out include Carrabelle Beach, Alligator Point, Dog Island, and St. Vincent Island!

St. George Island State Park

Feel free to roam St. George Island State Park with your pup! Dogs are allowed at campground sites, on nature trails, and all paved surfaces throughout the park, as long as they’re well-behaved and kept on a six-foot leash. Make sure to review park guidelines before heading out! The park beach is off-limits for dogs.

The Place to Pamper

After a romp on the beach at St. George Island, your furry best bud might be looking a little windswept. The Pet Stop in Eastpoint is the perfect solution. This full-service pet salon will leave your pooch looking fresh and feeling fine!

The Place for Treats

Don’t worry; we didn’t forget about stopping to get Fido a treat after he’s been such a good boy! Oysterbones in Apalachicola is the spot to stop for a gourmet doggy treat. These treats are packed with calcium! The secret ingredient – you guessed it – crushed oyster shell! Who knew that the beach has so much to offer your four-legged friend?

Not only does Oysterbones know how to treat dogs in the area, but they know how to cool them down, too! After your pup works up a pant at the toy testing area, they can cool down in one of the pools! They also offer a secure space for your four-legged to run and play!

St. George Island Dog-Friendly Restaurants

With the welcoming atmosphere of St. George Island, there are lots of restaurants that let you dine with your dog! There’s no better way to enjoy our area’s beautiful, year-round weather than dining outdoors with your furry friend?

Check out these dog-friendly restaurants on St. George Island:

Beach Pit | St. George Island

Enjoy Texas-style BBQ and fresh seafood in one great place with your pup on the screened-in patio!

BJ’s Pizza & Subs | St. George Island

A fun, family-friendly pizza joint that welcomes four-legged friends on the deck!

Blue Parrot Oceanfront Cafe | St. George Island

If you’re looking for surf and turf with an island drink, then Blue Parrot is for you! They specialize in dishes using fresh, local seafood!

Harry A’s | St. George Island

A casual spot with seafood, steaks, and cocktails that’s perfect for dancing the night away. The outdoor area hosts DJs and live music!

Paddy’s Raw Bar| St. George Island

Live like a local as you enjoy Apalachicola oysters while sitting on the bay!

Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream | St. George Island

Don’t forget to stop for dessert! Aunt Ebby’s guarantees the biggest scoops on the beach!

Even if you decide to venture off the island, there are many other dog-friendly restaurants nearby in Eastpoint and Apalachicola!

St. George Island Dog-Friendly Businesses

Many shops in Eastpoint and Apalachicola encourage owners to bring their dogs with them! Most shops leave a water bowl outside, too, so you don’t have to pack anything extra!

Island Dog Beach & Surf Shop| St. George Island

Shop for unique gifts, beachwear, beach gear, and local art. Pick up craft beer and wine, too!

Island Outfitters | St. George Island

Check out this Pro Shop stocked with outdoor clothing, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards that you can rent or buy!

Jolly Roger Beach Shop | St. George Island

Get everything you need for your beach stay, like towels, sunblock, and snorkel gear. Or stop in to rent a golf cart, bicycle, or fishing pole!

Plan Your Dog-Friendly St. George Island Vacation

Whether you choose to stay beach or bayside, dogs are welcome! Check out these featured properties that offer lots of room for your entire family, your four-legged friend included!

Blue's House on the Beach

Blue’s Dock of the Bay

Steps away from Apalachicola Bay, this home is a fishing family’s paradise! Your pup is sure to enjoy fetching a stick off the dock of the bay!

House on the beach.

Kumquat May
This beachfront home has plenty of room for the whole family! We’ve got you covered with a crib, pack-n-play, high chair, and booster seat for the littlest family members while one large dog crate and two sets of dog bowls (one large and one small) are provided for the furkids!

Hurry! Get the whole family involved and book your stay today!

Book Your Stay