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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. 

Woman in pool float in pool

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! 

indoor pool

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! 

 

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!

Nothing brings together a group like live music—dancing, singing along, and rocking out can turn strangers into friends over the course of just a few hours. As friendly as the Forgotten Coast is, it’s no wonder the area has plenty of hotspots to get your live music fix!

Blue Parrot Oceanfront Café (68-A Gorrie Dr.) offers unrivaled Gulf views to accompany their summer weekend concerts, and this Island staple is pet friendly, so Fido can tag along, too!

Stop by the large, outdoor courtyard at Harry A’s (28 Bayshore Dr.) for live music and karaoke and stay for the mouth-watering seafood offerings on their menu—don’t miss the seared ahi tuna!

At Paddy’s Raw Bar (240 E. 3rd), you can take your live music with fresh Apalachicola Bay oysters and one (or more!) of their sixteen draft beers.

If you’re looking for something more low-key, head over to Sometimes It’s Hotter (112 E. Gulf Beach Dr.) on Thursday evenings for Circle of Friends, a weekly music and cash beer and wine bar event.

Across the Bay are even more options as Apalachicola is home to two fantastic spots. Tamara’s Tapas Bar (73 Market St., Apalachicola)’s motto “Eat, Drink, Bond” rings true with tasty tapas, mouth-watering cocktails, and live music on weekends. Over at Bowery Station (131 Commerce St., Apalachicola), a beer and wine bar with a taste of old Apalach, there’s live music every pumping every night, including Wednesday’s open mic night.

Venturing further along the Forgotten Coast to Carrabelle is one of the area’s mainstays: Harry’s Bar and Package (306 Marine St., Carrabelle). This Carrabelle mainstay has been in operation since 1942 and offers distinctively New Orleans flair in their popular courtyard. The attached Marine Street Grill offers a small but scrumptious selection of sandwiches, salads, and starters. Also in Carrabelle, you’ll find Fathom’s Steam Room and Raw Bar (201 St. James Ave, Carrabelle), where you can enjoy waterfront views as you sip, savor, and sway along to their band du jour.

Wherever you head to hear tunes on the Forgotten Coast, you’re in for a treat. With plenty of island talent and laid back beachy vibes from SGI to Carrabelle and back, there’s no shortage of coastal revelry at these live music hangouts!

For centuries, people have sought out the healing benefits of hot water, and it’s no wonder, as soaking can decrease swelling and inflammation, support sore limbs and improve circulation. While St. George Island may not have been blessed with natural hot springs, we have the next best thing: hot tubs in scenic locations. Here are a few of our favorite properties that include hot tubs!

1 Beach Memory’s 6-person balcony hot tub offers breathtaking views of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but that’s just one of many amenities. This beautiful home, just steps from the sugar-white sand beach, is perfect for the chef in you, with Pro-Series stainless appliances in the kitchen and a fantastic gas grill on the upper level deck. After dinner, play some pool at the 9-foot professional pool table or binge watch to your heart’s content on any of the flat-panel satellite-equipped HDTVs.

Over on the bay, Waterbird Watch is a nature lover’s dream: the whole property has been protected by MosquitoNix, an insect control system safer than DEET, meaning you can enjoy Apalachicola Bay sunsets from the open air porches without even a nibble from a buzzing pest. Beach days are a breeze with the provided chairs and umbrellas, but the screened in pool is perfect for days you want to stay bayside. When you want to unwind after the kids are asleep in the custom-built kids’ bunkroom, a 5-person hot tub, surrounded by the sounds of cicadas and calling birds, awaits you. There’s even a library stocked with birding books to help you identify your neighbors!

The casual coastal décor and open floorplan of Shooting Star offer prototypical beach house vibes. Drop off your things and you’re ready to relax by the private pool or take a stroll down to the beach, which is accessed by a shared walkway. And, after a long day at the beach, rinse off in a private outdoor shower and changing room. The 4-person hot tub at this property is nestled among soaring pine trees and lush greenery, providing a stunning setting for a tranquil soak. An added bonus of this property is the elevator, making the luxurious relaxation accessible to everyone.

Each of these properties include a beach gear credit, and, like all Resort Vacation Property rentals, you don’t have to pack the whole house: They each come with a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, linens and towels, wireless internet, and a starter supply of consumables, like coffee filters and garbage bags.

The Forgotten Coast is an enigma, a place unto itself and unlike any other, a haven for misfits and nonconformists, where those who march to the beat of their own drums can find solace in their peculiarity being matched by their neighbors’. It’s no wonder, then, that the area is home to shopping as unique as its residents. A prime example of the Forgotten Coast’s eclectic flavor is The Tin Shed, home “the most comprehensive maritime collection east of the Mississippi” tucked away in an eponymous shack in downtown Apalachicola.

You might recognize this spot from its iconic Buoy Wall. Aside from being a favorite photo opportunity for tourists and locals alike, it’s also popular with national publications. It was used as a backdrop for a shot in the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and, more recently, was featured in Garden and Gun.

Inside, it’s like a museum where the relics are available for purchase. Everything nautical you can conceptualize is here: buoys, flags, signs, carvings, old charts, and more. You could spend hours perusing and barely scratch the surface. Unlike many souvenir shops, these items are authentic instead of kitsch, each with a long history and distinctive flair, so whatever you purchase is a one-of-a-kind addition to your home. It’s that attention to detail that has made for almost 20 years of success for The Tin Shed—they’ve even provided the decorations for several restaurants across the country!

So swing by The Tin Shed, get a shot of the Buoy Wall, and pick up something special to commemorate your trip. You’re guaranteed to find something as unique as the Forgotten Coast itself in this truly extraordinary shop!

The Tin Shed is located at 170 Water St. in Apalachicola and is open every day from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Resort Vacation Properties is lucky to be able to offer our guests homes that can accommodate up to twenty people. While it’s lots of fun to vacation with a huge crew, sometimes it’s nice to slip away with just your immediate family or a few close friends. For those times, we’re happy to offer a variety of smaller homes. Keep reading for more info on some of our favorites!

With one bedroom, Ocean Mile L-13 is perfect for a romantic vacation for a couple, while the sleeper sofa also makes it an option for small families. This condo is located in the 99-unit 300 Ocean Mile beachfront community, and guests have access to all the amenities of the property during their stay, including two large pools. Multiple boardwalks take you right to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more solace, St. George Island State Park is less than half a mile away!

Stella Di Mare is a favorite for small groups or families. This beautiful beachfront home sleeps six in three bedrooms, including one with two twin-sized beds that are perfect for children. Outside, there’s direct beach access available via a private boardwalk as well as a screened-in porch with a hammock.

Surrounded by lush island greenery, you find Shooting Star, an island retreat suited for seven people to stay in its three bedrooms. Like Stella Di Mare, one of the rooms is ideal for children, with bunk beds and a standalone twin bed. The porch is perfect for enjoying St. George Island’s stunning sunrises and sunsets, while an elevator means that everyone can join in on the fun. This property even includes a private pool and hot tub!

The truly stunning A Glimpse of Heaven is part of the secluded gated community of St. George Plantation. Up to six guests can stay in the three bedrooms, with an additional two on a sleeper sofa. The screened-in private pool features a dolphin fountain with an outdoor summer kitchen and a half bath conveniently located on the ground floor for quick access. When it comes time for sunset, there’s hardly a better view on the island than from the multiple furnished decks at this gem of a home.

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. The properties listed above also include a credit for Free Beach Gear, with choices ranging from bicycles and kayaks to lounge chairs and our signature red-and-white striped beach umbrellas, delivered straight to your door. So kick back and enjoy your low-key vacation—you deserve it!

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!

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