Posts

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! 

 

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

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

st george island things to do

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

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

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

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

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

 

You can take your jet ski rental out for: 

30 Minutes 

1 Hour 

Half a Day 

Full Day 

Contact GI Rentals: (850) 927-5150 

art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.