Instead of having to clean your home from top to bottom before inviting all your relatives over for Thanksgiving dinner, why not take the feast elsewhere? Experience a St. George Island Thanksgiving with your family in the perfect beachfront vacation rental. If there’s anything that can make a dinner with the in-laws better, it’s a relaxing beach! Leave behind the frosty temperatures for somewhere a little more mild like the Forgotten Coast of Florida. 

And, for more great plans to include in your Thanksgiving week on the Gulf Coast, make sure to unlock our free Vacation Guide. We’ve included a list of our favorite restaurants, outdoor recreation, shopping, and museums around St. George Island, Apalachicola Bay, and Carrabelle so that you’ll have a memorable time on the Forgotten Coast!

 

plan your trip st george island

 

Your St. George Island Thanksgiving Guide 

Our island is known for its laidback nature, and not many businesses will be open on Thanksgiving Day. But, that just means you’ll have the opportunity to spend your time cooking up a feast and making memories cooking your meal together! 

If cooking is not your thing, The Owl Café, The Franklin at the Gibson Inn, Blue Parrot, and Doc Myers Island Pub are known to offer holiday menus but check with them before heading there. 

Pick a Fully Equipped Kitchen to Cook Your Feast In

st george island rental full kitchen

Resort Vacation Properties offers the best St. George Island vacation rentals, including pet-friendly and family-sized properties – perfect for your next family reunion! Browse through our selection of nearly 300 incredible properties, filtering by your preferred amenities. 

Vacation rentals like Aisle of Palms include top-notch gourmet kitchens fully equipped with all the upscale amenities you need to cook your feast, like commercial-grade refrigerators, stainless appliances, and granite counters. 

Aisle of Palms offers ample counter space for preparing food, a dining table with a beautiful oceanfront view, and an extra table that could even double as the infamous kids’ table! 

property dining table

Then, unwind and enjoy the rest of your afternoon hanging out around the heated pool or taking the private boardwalk onto the beach with complimentary beach gear!

Nearby Grocery Stores to Gather Your Ingredients From 

Luckily, our SGI vacation rentals are spread throughout the island, so they’re not only close to all the attractions but also the grocery stores! See our list of nearby grocery stores, grocery delivery services, and liquor stores (for when you need that extra buzz!) on St. George Island. 

Some of our favorite places to shop for food include Big Top Market, Grocery GalsPiggly Wiggly Express, or Island Time Delivery. 

What Else Is There to Do During Thanksgiving Week on St. George Island? 

St. George Island may not be the shopping mecca for Black Friday shopping. It’s actually quite the opposite and is the perfect place to go when you’re trying to escape that type of chaos. 

This year, for Black Friday, try hunting for seashells over deals! It’s the best way to take the headache out of a (usually) chaotic holiday week. But, if you choose to support our small local businesses, check out these cool little shops on St. George Island and Apalachicola Bay! 

Plus, Saturday just so happens to be Shop Local Saturday! 

aisle of palms dining tableBook Your St. George Island Thanksgiving Vacation on the Gulf Coast Now! 

The holidays will be here before you know it. So, what are you waiting for – Christmas? Don’t let Thanksgiving fly by before getting the chance to go on a little family vacay.

Check our availability and book your favorite rental while you can! 

The 4th of July is always the highlight of our summer season, and there’s no better place to celebrate our nation’s spirit of freedom and independence than St. George Island! With over twenty-five miles of white sand beaches, a plethora of fun-filled activities, and top-notch vacation rentals, we have everything you need for the ultimate Independence Day experience. Keep reading to learn how you can make the most out of your 4th of July on St. George Island 

When you’re searching for your home away from home for your St. George Island summer vacation, look no further than Resort Vacation Properties. All of our private vacation rentals feature excellent amenities so you can feel at home.  

View Our Properties 

All About the 4th of July on St. George Island 

There’s nothing quite like celebrating the 4th of July on St. George Island. The fun-filled festivities we associate with America’s birthday are accompanied by the red of the sunset, the white of the sand, and the blue of the ocean. Check out our favorite ways to spend Independence Day! 

Annual 4th of July Parade 

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, everyone is welcome to join the annual 4th of July Parade on St. George Island. This one-of-a-kind event features elaborately decorated boats and golf carts and a friendly water gun fight. Be sure to dress to impress, join in the fun, and walk the streets with the rest of the parade.  

Fireworks Display 

A 4th of July celebration wouldn’t be anything without a mesmerizing firework show! After the parade, keep the fun times rolling and head to the beach behind the Blue Parrot Grill. This exciting celebration features live music, specialty cocktails, and delicious seafood. When the sun sets, claim your spot in the sand and watch the dazzling fireworks display light up the sky.  

Apalachicola Independence Eve 

Are you anxiously awaiting the celebrations on July 4th? Start your amusement early with the Apalachicola Independence Eve celebration on July 3rd at Riverfront Park. The event begins at 5 p.m. and offers live music, food trucks, a parade, an ice cream social, a veterans’ tribute, and a stunning fireworks display over the Apalachicola River. This annual tradition welcomes golf carts, bicycles, and even patriotic pups!  

Enjoy the Great Outdoors 

If you prefer to enjoy the holiday by reconnecting with nature and family, head to Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State ParkThis is an outstanding spot for kayakingfishing, and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico’s pristine waters. Don’t forget to pack a picnic!   

Yellow House with Palm TreesStay With Resort Vacation Properties

When you’re looking for the best vacation rentals on St. George Island, look no further than Resort Vacation Properties. We proudly offer a variety of vacation rentals in different sizes and locations to meet your needs. With fully-equipped kitchens and breathtaking views, you’re sure to feel at home in one of our properties. Browse our wide selection of St. George Island vacation rentals and book your 4th of July getaway today!  

Browse Our Vacation Rentals 

Spring Break is a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of schools being out to string together quite a few days for an adventure. But many of us across the country wince at the thought of trying to relax with toes in the sand and the sounds of the surf in our ears during Spring Break. Because many Florida beaches are overrun with high school and college students who, while as welcome to enjoy area sands as we are, don’t necessarily do so calmly or quietly.

But St. George Island is the perfect location for Spring Break, for a number of reasons. First, it’s primarily a place for families, so many of the students bent on cutting loose head for other coastal towns. That keeps the beautiful sandy beaches free from huge crowds, and the negatives associated with them.

Which doesn’t mean it’s a time for isolation, either. Just like in other peak times, the businesses around St. George Island and the Forgotten Coast are open and ready to welcome their guests. Which means live music, art events, great food, and the sense of community that makes our coast the very best.

Plus, the weather in the early spring is ideal on the island, usually breaking into the 70s, making for pleasant sun-kissed days and cool nights where a fire in the fire pit is still a great idea, as is stargazing. And many of the homes we offer through Resort Vacation Properties can include a hot tub or heated pool, so you can enjoy a little dip in your swimsuit day or night!

Another major benefit to Spring Break vacations on the island is all of the incredible outdoor activities St. George provides. On any given day visitors can enjoy fishing — offshore and inland — kayaking, hiking, bicycling, window shopping and more, all within a few minutes’ drive. And there are several wildlife preserves, including St. George Island State Park and the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve across the bay, where birding and other observations help you revel in the natural diversity of the area.

Finally, one of the best and most underestimated pleasures of Spring Breaking on St. George Island is the ability to stay in. Our properties offer all you need to prepare an exquisite meal, especially with fresh seafood a short drive away and nearby stores offering all the fresh ingredients you need. And you can host an incredible movie night or even a get-together with neighbors, should you feel so inspired. Our homes have great decks, outdoor barbecue areas, and a host of gaming opportunities, all within sight or a short walk of the waterfront.

This Spring Break, the question shouldn’t be “Why should we?” but “Why shouldn’t we?” The entire island awaits you and the entire family, with all the positives and none of the negatives. To make it work, all we need is you.

It’s National Lighthouse Day!

Did you know that there is a National Lighthouse Day? It’s celebrated on August 7th each year, and is rooted in a 1789 Act of Congress. Although the St. George Island Lighthouse isn’t quite that old, it’s still a part of this important past.

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

On August 7, 1789, Congress passed an Act that provided for the establishment and support of lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers. These help commerce and navigation, but also help improve public enjoyment of the nation’s waterways and coasts.

National Lighthouse Day was officially designated in 1989, recognizing the 200th anniversary of the signing of the 1789 Act and of the first Federal lighthouse being commissioned.

The original 1789 Act read:

An Act for the Establishment and support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

That all expenses which shall accrue from and after the fifteenth day of August one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, in the necessary support, maintenance and repairs of all lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers erected, placed, or sunk before the passing of this act, at the entrance of, or within any bay, inlet, harbor, or port of the United States, for rendering the navigation thereof easy and safe, shall be defrayed out of the treasury of the United States: Provided nevertheless, That none of the said expenses shall continue to be so defrayed by the United States, after the expiration of one year from the day aforesaid, unless such lighthouses, beacons, buoys and public piers, shall in the mean time be ceded to and vested in the United States, by the state or states respectively in which the same may be, together with the lands and tenements thereunto belonging, and together with the jurisdiction of the same.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That a lighthouse shall be erected near the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, at such place, when ceded to the United States in manner aforesaid, as the President of the United States shall direct.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to provide by contracts, which shall be approved by the President of the United States, for building a lighthouse near the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, and for rebuilding when necessary, and keeping in good repair, the lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and public piers in the several States, and for furnishing the same with all necessary supplies; and also to agree for the salaries, wages, or hire of the person or persons appointed by the President, for the superintendence and care of the same.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That all pilots in the bays, inlets, rivers, harbors and ports of the United States, shall continue to be regulated in conformity with the existing laws of the States respectively wherein such pilots may be, or with such laws as the States may respectively hereafter enact for the purpose, until further legislative provision shall be made by Congress.  Approved: August 7, 1789

Origins of National Lighthouse Day:

Although we love and cherish our local lighthouses the Cape St. George Light and the Crooked River Lighthouse, National Lighthouse Day originated much farther north – in Rhode Island, in fact. There, Senator John H. Chafee sponsored a joint resolution in Congress on April 28, 1988, to designate August 7, 1989 as “National Lighthouse Day,” proclaiming that the resolution “Designates August 7, 1989, as National Lighthouse Day and calls for lighthouse grounds, where feasible, to be open to the public.” The resolution passed quickly, emerging from the Senate on July 26, 1988, and coming through Congress (sponsored by Rep. William J. Hughes, New Jersey) on October 21. Two weeks later, on November 5, 1988, President Ronald Reagan applied his “John Hancock,” and the Bill became law. The first National Lighthouse Day was observed on the 200th Anniversary of the original act, August 7, 1989.

Carrabelle Lighthouse

Carrabelle Lighthouse, FL

In Recognition of National Lighthouse Day – Hon. William J. Hughes

HON. WILLIAM J. HUGHES
in the House of Representatives
WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 1989

Mr. HUGHES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to call attention to a special occasion which communities all across America will be celebrating next week. August 7, 1989, marks the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Lighthouse Act and the commissioning of the first Federal lighthouse in the United States.

In honor of those events, I was proud to sponsor a resolution last year which designated August 7, 1989, as National Lighthouse Day. The celebration next week will provide some long overdue recognition for the important role which lighthouses played in the history of our country, and the values of safety, heroism, and American ingenuity which they represent. At the same time, I am hopeful that it will encourage communities and citizens groups around the country to rededicate themselves to the protection and restoration of these historic structures.

As America continues its technological progress into the 21st century, it becomes easy to forget the wholesomeness and serenity of preindustrial establishments such as lighthouses. The history they provide gives us the opportunity to step back in time and learn more about our country. The contributions they made to our society, from protecting our coasts to guiding our sailors, should continue to be appreciated and remembered.

I am proud to point out that there are three restored lighthouses in my congressional district in southern New Jersey. These three, the Cape May Point lighthouse, the Finns Point lighthouse, and the Hereford Inlet lighthouse, contribute greatly to New Jersey’s beautiful coastline.

The Cape May Point lighthouse, which was first lit on October 31, 1859, was reopened to the public in 1988 after being closed for 50 years. Today, with restoration virtually complete, its light once again shines bright, giving comfort to seamen nearly 19 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Hereford Inlet lighthouse was built in 1874 and is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture. Under restoration since 1982, it continues to provide North Wildwood with a valuable monument to Cape May County’s maritime history.

Last, the Finns Point lighthouse, located in Pennsville, is a 113-year-old marvel. It served as an aid to navigation along the Delaware River from 1877 until 1950, when the river channel was enlarged and deepened.

Unfortunately, not every lighthouse is as lucky as these to have been adopted by a local citizens group or community. Many have fallen into disrepair and desperately need support. For this reason, I have been pleased to join with other Members of Congress in sponsoring legislation to establish the National Bicentennial Lighthouse Fund in order to provide Federal assistance for local lighthouse restoration efforts.

Mr. Speaker, the National Lighthouse Day celebration on August 7, 1989, will indeed be a special event. I hope it further rejuvenates the spirit of these maritime institutions and the impressive restoration efforts which are now taking place in the many communities. It is important that future generations have the opportunity to learn more about and appreciate the unique role which lighthouses played in helping to build our great Nation. I hope that everyone will join me in supporting this effort in the months and years ahead. —

Today…

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

St. George Island, Cape St. George Light

However, the National Lighthouse Day designation was, it turns out, only official for that one anniversary in 1989. Although lighthouses and lighthouse lovers around the country celebrate annually, Congress has yet to permanently designate August 7th as a recurring date to observe the importance of what the Lighthouse Foundation refers to as “America’s lighthouse heritage.”

In 2013, twenty-four years after the 1989 observation, a Senate Resolution passed that made August 7, 2013 “National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day,” but again this was only a single-year designation. As the Lighthouse Foundation notes, “Over the past couple of decades, lighthouse leaders from around the country have worked tirelessly to convince Congress to permanently designate August 7 as National Lighthouse Day on America’s calendar, and though unsuccessful to date, those noble efforts continue. However, even without official recognition from Congress, the nationwide lighthouse community continues to ‘keep the flame of our rich lighthouse heritage burning bright. Each year, August 7 is celebrated as National Lighthouse Day, with lighthouse groups offering the general public a host of fun-learning activities to enjoy – including tours, cruises and presentations that pay special tribute to America’s lighthouses and their grand history.”

Here on St. George Island, we’re lucky to have a magnificent lighthouse to see and love every day of the year, and dedicated folks to protect and preserve it even without official Congressional designation. It’s a beacon for the Island, a piece of Apalachicola Bay history preserved for everyone to enjoy, and easily the best view around. So come on out next time you’re down, stop by the Lighthouse museum, and admire the majesty of the Cape St. George Light.

Winter at the beach brings a quiet serenity that’s perfectly suited to the introspection of a New Year’s resolution, the reawakening of the early spring, even the romance of Valentine’s Day.

No matter what you’re celebrating, you won’t find a more perfect place to toast the sunset – or the sunrise (hey, we don’t judge) – than St. George Island on Florida’s Forgotten Coast.

I can certainly recommend a few places to find a quiet place with a view of the Gulf, but honestly you’d have a harder time finding a place that doesn’t sparkle with coastal magic.

  • Up the Stairs in Apalachicola, an upscale, quiet dining location to get away from the bustling crowds (21+ only).
  • Gormley’s at the Gibson, set in the Historic Gibson Inn in downtown Apalachicola.
  • Apalachicola Ice Company, where you can enjoy a beer and some live music in the courtyard
  • Bowery Station, complete with outdoor beer garden and live music.

Of course, these are just a few of your options. All along Highway 98 – otherwise known as the Big Bend Scenic Byway Coastal Trail – you’ll find a string of quaint, small towns that feel like you’ve stepped back in time to old Florida: from Port St. Joe to St. George Island, Apalachicola and Carrabelle. Each one offers its own unique selection of bars and restaurants that are peppered with patios, balconies, verandas, terraces and decks perfect for you to behold the sunset, the surf or just the people walking by.

And if you really want to get away from the crowds, grab a bottle of bubbly and settle in somewhere cozy on St. George Island. You can drink a toast to new beginnings with someone you love. Our selection of rental homes is rife with decks and patios ideal for reflecting on all that the new year holds in the glint of a perfectly blush-colored sunset set to the melodies of rolling waves. Cheers!

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 celebrating the Fourth of July at the beach. The hot dogs, cold beers, and all around good times we associate with America’s birthday are accompanied by the red of the sunset, the white of the sand, and the blue of the ocean. Apalachicola Bay residents love the holiday so much we celebrate for two days! Here are our favorite ways to spend Independence Day:

If you’re like us and can’t wait for the Fourth, head across the Bay to Apalachicola for the 6th Annual Independence Eve celebration on July 3! The party kicks off at 5 P.M. at Downtown’s Riverfront Park with food, beverages, a parade, and kids’ activities while musical guests Johnny and the Loveseats, featuring Voice contestant Johnny Hayes, rock out on the main stage. The evening finishes with a bang as a fireworks show illuminates the beautiful Apalachicola River.

For the holiday itself, there’s no better place to be than St. George Island! The annual parade welcomes anyone (including visitors!) with a costume or decorated vehicles and encourages all to join in the fun with water guns. Get your golf cart decorated, your trailers hooked up, and your squirt guns filled!

The St. George Island 4th of July Parade will start at 10:00 am in front of The Beach Pit on W. Pine Ave.
The route will proceed east down Pine Avenue, passing Paddy’s Raw Bar and turning right (south) on 3rd St. East.  It will turn right again on E. Gulf Beach Drive to head west and complete the route! Line-up starts at 9:30, with roll-out at 10:00 am sharp. Be safe and we’ll see you there!

Later in the day is the fireworks show, lighting up the sky and reflecting vibrant sparkles of color upon the water and sand. Our favorite spot to watch the show is from the deck at Blue Parrot Oceanfront Cafe where you can enhance the fireworks with a yummy seafood dinner, specialty cocktails, and live music.

And if you’d rather spend the Fourth of July celebrating America’s natural splendor, look no further than Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park—the go-to spot for kayaking, fishing, and swimming in the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The park closes at sundown, so you have all day to play in the sun, sand, and surf!

Check out our available listings for a home-away-from-home to retreat to once the Fourth of July festivities have ended! Our vacation rentals selection is accessible here.

Few things are as American as apple pie, making it the quintessential dessert for your Fourth of July celebration. But who wants to be stuck in the kitchen while everyone else plays outside in the surf and sand?

That’s where this Rustic Apple Tart recipe comes in. It has all the flavor of the iconic American classic with a fraction of the fuss, meaning you’re out of the kitchen and into those waves before you can say, “Give me liberty or give me death!”

Serve warm, or at room temperature, with your favorite vanilla, cinnamon, or caramel ice cream. Pro tip: it pairs perfectly with fireworks!

 

Rustic Apple Tart

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith or Golden Delicious (or a mix of both), peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 package)

1 egg, beaten

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 cup apricot preserves or apple jelly, melted with 1 tablespoon water.

 

Instructions:

  1. Allow pie crust to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Toss apples, sugar, and optional cinnamon.
  4. Roll or stretch crust to slightly larger than in the package, to about 14

inches. Place crust on parchment paper on a pie pan.

  1. Arrange apple slices in a an overlapping spiral in the middle of the pie

crust, leaving about three inches of crust all around. Fold crust edges,

covering the outside edges of apples. Brush crust with beaten egg and

sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

  1. Bake tart at 400 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, until apples are tender

and golden. Cover edges of crust with strips of foil, if necessary, to

prevent burning, near the end of bake time.

  1. Brush apples with melted preserves. Cool and serve.