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Located off the Florida panhandle, St. George Island is the perfect tropical getaway and close to home. A hidden gem among the many attractions on the expansive Florida coast, St. George Island offers beautiful beaches, wonderful fishing, swimming, turtle watching and more. Many people think of Florida as nothing short of perfect, but we do have high and low seasons. Before packing your bags and heading to St. George Island, be sure that you are ready for island weather.

Year-Round Relaxation

Part of being relaxed on your vacation to St. George Island is dressing for the weather. The year-round low is 42 degrees in January, but there have been record temperatures as low as 9 degrees. The year-round high for island weather is 91 degrees in July, with record temperatures getting up to 103 degrees in August. It is best to bring layers so that you can be warm when out fishing in the morning, comfortable when hiking the dunes in the afternoon, and just right for watching the sunset from your beach vacation rental.

Summer Rains

Florida has amazing weather almost all year round though some seasons are better than others. June through November is hurricane season, with August and September being the months most prone to heavy rains and strong winds. When it comes to being safe on the island, always be sure to check the weather before you travel and each day when you are here.

Island Weather Safety Tips

If you find that you are visiting St. George Island during inclement weather, it is important to stay safe. As a general rule, do not stay outside during heavy rains. If you have been out hiking or cycling, return to shelter and let the rain pass. If you have been out fishing and the tide turns, cut your lines and come back to your vacation rental. The tide is always stronger than you think, and no fish is worth putting yourself in danger.

If the winds pick up and the rains beat down, seek shelter. Low-lying areas are the most dangerous. If an evacuation warning has been called, follow directions and posted routes to leave the island. If you are in your room, stay away from windows, turn off electronics but keep the radio on for updates. Be ready for anything by keeping a supply kit handy stocked with waters, granola bars, a first aid kit, flashlights and a copy of important phone numbers.

St. George Island is a wonderful place to get away to. Being ready for island weather means you will have a fantastic time, rain or shine.

Everyone needs a vacation once in a while, even your pets. However, most families find it difficult to take their pets along with them whenever they do go on vacation. Few vacation properties allow pets, after all. Fortunately, we do provide pet-friendly rentals here on St. George Island, which means that you can finally take them on vacation with you.

You’ll find plenty of things around the island that you can do with your pet as well. For example, St. George Island is one of the few areas in Florida that allows pets on their beaches. This means that you can take your dog for a run in the sand or even a swim in the ocean!

Hanging out at the beach isn’t your only option either. You can take your pet with you on a hike through the St. George Island State Park or take them for a short hour-long drive to either Apalachicola National Forest or Tate’s Hell Swamp to explore the gorgeous natural surroundings up there. If you’d rather stick around your vacation spot, then you’ll find that there are many biking paths that wind through the communities on the island that you can use to walk or run your dog.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you to bring your pet along, there are also a number of shops on the island that are also pet-friendly. There’s even a local pet boutique called Oysterbones within 20 minutes of the island where you can pick up a few gourmet doggy treats!

If you’re tired of leaving your pet behind while on vacation, then come to St. George Island, FL! For more information about our pet-friendly rentals, contact us at Resort Vacation Properties today.

The ability to take your pet with you on vacation to St. George Island, FL is what draws many visitors to our pet-friendly rentals. However, a lot of people aren’t used to being able to take their pets with them on vacation and therefore aren’t aware that there are additional pet safety tips that they should follow. The following are important pet safety tips for the beach and around the island that you should keep in mind while on vacation with your pet on St. George Island:

  • Make sure your pet stays hydrated and that you allow it plenty of opportunities to rest in the shade. It can get quite warm out here on the beaches, which means that it will be easier for your pet to get overheated and dehydrated if you don’t pay attention.
  • If you’re taking your pet for a walk on the pet-friendly beaches, then be on the lookout for sand spurs. If your pet begins limping, odds are one got stuck in its paw.
  • Keep an eye out for potential hazards. Your pet may try to eat a washed-up sea creature, a piece of garbage lying on the beach or even the bait on a fishing hook.
  • Watch out for traffic around the island.
  • Watch out for wildlife in the bushes and on the trails. There are some feral and semi-wild cats living on the island that dogs may try to chase as well.

If you’re planning on going on vacation to St. George Island with your pet, be sure to follow these safety tips. For information about our pet-friendly rentals on St. George Island, FL, be sure to contact us at Resort Vacation Properties today.

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!

When thirst-quenching brews come down to St. George Island, you can bet a memorable event is approaching on the Forgotten Coast. The best part? The ticket sales for your unlimited tastings on April 29, 2017, will benefit the Franklin County Humane Society. Sample  some of the best brews in the country to benefit our four-legged friends! Here are a few of the liquid liaisons coming to the SGI Brewfest to look out for:

First Magnitude Brewing 

First Magnitude comes straight out of Gator Country. The Gainesville-based brewery pays homage to their Sunshine State origins with names like Saltwater Intrusion Gose, which includes a salty-sour balance reminiscent of your best beach memories, and Drift English Mild, an English-style mild ale named after the countless opportunities for river excursions throughout Florida.

Idlyll Hounds Brewery 

Santa Rosa Beach’s local brewery encourages you to “Beach. Beer. Repeat.” And what better mantra to embrace for the 2nd Annual SGI Brewfest? Their hop-heavy Slizard IPA uses a big boost of citrusy hops to invoke the spring sunshine into every sip. No doubt that with a dog logo and a solid appreciation for Florida’s beaches, Idyll Hounds Brewery’s appearance at our island’s day-long beer-tasting event is kismet.

GrassLands Brewing Company 

Back for round two of beers, beach, and a big time, Tallahassee’s GrassLands Brewing Company will be on hand to serve up their creative craft beers to thirsty beachcombers. GrassLands embodies a beer-with-heart attitude, even allotting each Sunday in their taproom to a community-focused initiative called “Let’s Get Beer With Friends.” GrassLands welcomes everyone to drop by and imbibe in their wholly unique offerings. Fingers and toes crossed that they bring their newest brews—the Dill Pickle Boomtown Gose and the Snakeweiss Muscadine Berliner—beachside for the festival!

Lake Tribe Brewing Company 

This Tallahassee brewery was born out of lakeside campfires and camaraderie. The moniker Lake Tribe Brewing was inspired by the founders’ former YMCA Indian Guides tribe name. Though Indian Guides are no longer in existence, the impact of the organization had quite an impact. The Lake Tribe, a diverse crew of father and sons (several of which were integral to the founding of Lake Tribe Brewing and all of whom share a common passion for incredible craft beer) shared a love of the great outdoors and quality time spent among family. It is this familial bond and pastoral appreciation that continues to inspire the brewery’s vast selections. Be sure to check out Lake Tribe’s Red Cloud IPA. With earthy, hop-forward notes that feel reminiscent of a stroll through the woods, you’ll find yourself one step close to mother nature enjoying this scarlet-hued brew.

Tally Brewing

Sunshine State fave Tally Brewing Company will make their way over from Tallahassee to share liquefied springtime in their SGI Lemon Ginger Gose, a light sipper with a ginger-citrus sparkle reminiscent of gorgeous St. George Island itself. And if you missed the boat on getting your Girl Scout cookies this year, Tally Brewing has something to satiate your sweet tooth while quenching your thirst. Their decadent Thin Mint Milk Stout is certain to be a beer for all seasons and one you won’t want to miss at the festival!

 

See you at Paddy’s on Saturday!

Franklin County, home of St. George Island, is the only county in Florida to allow dogs to go free on the beach, making it the perfect vacation spot for travelers who want to bring along a four-legged beachcomber. With all the fun in the sun, surf, and sand, your pooch will work up an appetite, so some healthy treats (and plenty of fresh water!) are a must. Here are our picks to keep Fido full for a day of adventure!

For a treat unique to Franklin County, stop by Oysterbones in Apalachicola. Their treats—also called Oysterbones— provide your pup with extra calcium with their secret ingredient of crushed oyster shell, a delicacy among Apalachicola’s canine community. An added bonus? This store is a doggy’s dream—the toy testing area has pools for cooling off in, as well as a secure space to run and play.

Another great option for treats is Orijen Original Free-Dried Dog Treats, which are made only from cage-free chicken and turkey or wild-caught flounder. The flavor and nutrition are locked into these high protein treats with a gentle freeze-drying process. These doggy snacks are perfect for pups with food allergies, as they’re made from meat and nothing else.

If a day at the beach proves to be pant-worthy for your pooch, try Isle of Dogs 100% Natural Chillout Dog Treats. Crafted with lavender and lemon balm, they help calm pups down with a flavorful blend of whole grains, apples, sweet potatoes, and flax seeds.

And, after a romp on the beach at St. George Island, your furry best bud might be looking a little windswept. Selina’s Pro Groom in Apalachicola is the perfect solution. Celebrating its 25th year in business, this full-service pet salon will leave your pooch looking fresh and feeling fine!

Few things are as romantic as a beach sunset with your sweetheart. The sun slips beneath the horizon, the waves roll up on the shore, reflecting the brilliant hues of the last light of day, and—all at once—time seems to stand still. It’s hard not to feel like a love-struck teenager again in those magic hours between day and night, especially in a place as striking as St. George Island, so we’ve gathered our favorite romance spots for sunset seekers.

A classic sunset date is, of course, dinner. On St. George Island, it’s never a matter of choosing whether or not to witness the stunning water surrounding you, but rather choosing between the Gulf of Mexico or Apalachicola Bay. The view from The Blue Parrot’s patio is unparalleled for the Gulf, whereas Paddy’s Raw Bar offers stunning sunsets over the Bay. Back on the mainland in Apalachicola, the no-children policy at Up The Stairs makes it a great spot for a quiet, romantic night out, and their balcony offers a stunning view of downtown and the river.

Another romantic option is a sunset picnic. Pick up some local-caught steamed shrimp (and maybe a bottle of wine!) from the Piggly Wiggly or SGI Fresh Market and then stroll down to the beach. There are plenty of picnic facilities on the public beach, but we recommend doing as the locals do by bringing a blanket or towel. Aside from more options for location, sitting in the sand offers the opportunity to cuddle up and sneak a kiss.

While viewing the sunset from land is always lovely, you can attain a truly magical vantage point from the water. If your honey is on the adventurous side, consider renting a kayak from Journeys of St. George Island or St. George Island Outfitters for an evening on the Forgotten Coast you’ll remember forever.

Located in the middle of the Island, the Cape St. George Lighthouse has become an iconic landmark for St. George Island and the Forgotten Coast as a whole. This defining piece of architecture has a history just as remarkable as the views offered from its summit.

The Island’s original lighthouse was built in 1833 on the western tip of St. George. However, its location was difficult for ships coming from the east to see, so in 1846 it was determined that a new location would be sought out. The following year, Congress appropriated $8,000 to build a new lighthouse two miles to the southeast, repurposing many of the materials from the 1833 lighthouse in the process.

The second light would only last three years. After it was destroyed by a hurricane, construction began on a third structure—a lighthouse “built to last,” with a new location further inland and a foundation of pine pilings driven deeply into the sand in addition to cement walls made tapering from four feet at the bottom to two feet at the top. And last it did—for 153 years.

The next century brought change throughout the world and eventually to the Island’s little lighthouse; in 1949 the Coast Guard replaced the Fresnel lens with an automated light, eliminating the need for lighthouse keepers. Later in the century, the lighthouse bore the brunt of some devastating hurricanes. Hurricane Andrew changed the landscape of the St. George by reclaiming a large part of the surrounding beach in 1992, and three years later, Hurricane Opal moved the lighthouse from its foundation, giving it what would temporarily become its signature lean.

The community rallied around its beloved landmark, raising over $200,000 and restoring it to its former glory by 2002. However, by the spring of 2005, the waters of the Gulf of Mexico had once again reclaimed the structure. In October of that year, the lighthouse collapsed into the Gulf, ending its sesquicentennial watch over the Gulf of Mexico.

Thanks to the efforts of the St. George Lighthouse Association, a reconstruction occurred at the center of the Island. The St. George Lighthouse we know today opened in 2008, followed by a museum and gift shop in a replica of the Keeper’s House in 2011. You can now climb to the top of the lighthouse any day of the week except Thursday from 10 AM (Noon on Sunday) until 5 PM, or join in on the monthly full moon climb.

Spring break marks the beginning of beach season, full of some of our favorite things—sun on the skin, inhaling the sea breeze, and squeezing sand between our toes. In prepping for a day at the beach, snacks are an important aspect to consider. However, it can be all-too-easy to derail your beach body diet with the temptations of unhealthy treats. Here we’ve compiled three of our favorites snack options that are certain to keep you full, satisfied, and focused on the most important part of any (and every) St. George Island beach getaway: having unforgettable experiences on the Forgotten Coast!

Trail Mix

Trail mix is a staple snack food, and for good reason. It’s packable, can be adapted for almost any allergy or preference, and, most importantly, it’s delicious! Our version focuses on getting lots of vitamins and minerals that support weight loss, such as vitamin A, protein, fiber and calcium. For an added treat, roast the almonds with a little sea salt first to cull out their filling flavors.

Ingredients:

½ cup dried apricot

½ cup dried mango

½ cup almonds

½ walnuts

½ dark chocolate chips

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a one-gallon zipper bag. Shake to mix. Toss into your beach bag. GO!

Baked Kale Chips    

Every healthy diet should be full of lots of kale—it’s tasty and so good for you! An easy way to enjoy it on the go is with kale chips. These homemade kale chips are high in fiber and low in sodium, making them a perfectly delicious answer to traditional chips.

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp chili powder (optional)

1 tsp olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Tear leaves from stems into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and chili powder. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges are brown. Let cool before enjoying.

Fruit Kebabs

Fruit is a great way to fill up with a boost of fiber, and fruit kebabs make portion control a breeze. Simply pick your favorite fruits (we suggest cantaloupe, which has metabolism-boosting vitamin A and a high water content, and berries, which are low in sugar and high in fiber, but the fun part of these is that they’re completely customizable to your tastes) and slide them onto 4-inch skewers, and you’re done! As an added bonus, the skewers make it easy to dip in Greek yogurt, which will provide a blast of probiotics to help maintain a taut tummy.

Whether you’re so Irish you have Guinness pumping through your veins or you just love a good brew, St. Patrick’s Day at Paddy’s Raw Bar is exactly where you need to be this year on St. George Island. All things Irish come to 240 E. 3rd Street in Eastpoint on March 17th!

Paddy’s goes totally green for St. Patty’s! Green cups, four-leaf clover décor, Irish music and—of course—green beer! Beginning at 11am, the Emerald Isle takes over St. George Island. Paddy’s will serve up the island countryman’s corned beef and cabbage with Irish music going full force from 2pm to 6pm. Live music will pour from an incredible lineup right along with the chartreuse-hued beers ALL DAY LONG. Let the luck o’ the Irish right into your soul at Paddy’s this St. Patty’s Day!

You’ll find good food, great folks, and the greenest celebration the Island’s ever seen on Friday, March 17th, 2017! Have a raucous good time on gorgeous St. George’s most happening hangout until the clock strikes midnight!

Erin Go Braugh, baby! Have a shucking good time at Paddy’s Raw Bar this St. Patrick’s Day!

Check out our available beach and bayside rentals NOW so you can feel like you’ve found your own personal pot o’ gold when it comes to comfy living quarters just down the street from the Paddy’s party! For more info about the place to be for St. Patrick’s Day, visit the Paddy’s Facebook page here.