lighthouse with st george island written on image

Last Updated on November 9, 2023 by Dr. Shannon Barrett

Are you dreaming of a serene beach getaway without all the hustle and bustle?

You’re not alone.

After much exploring, we’ve found St. George Island in Florida to be one-of-a-kind paradise that offers over 28 miles of unspoiled sandy beaches.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through all that St. George Island has to offer from major attractions and activities to local delicacies, ensuring your trip is unforgettable. Ready for discovery?.

Key Takeaways

  • St. George Island, Florida is a quiet beach paradise with 28 miles of untouched sandy beaches.
  • The island has unique landscapes like sand dunes covered in sea oats and pine trees. It’s also home to diverse wildlife.
  • Historic landmarks such as the Cape St George Lighthouse and vibrant natural parks add to the charm of this place.
  • Activities include camping at Saint George Island State park, shopping at Island Dog Beach and Surf Shop, or going on fishing tours offered by local charter companies.

Where is St. George Island located?

St. George Island graces the Gulf Coast of North Florida, offering a tranquil getaway steeped in natural beauty.

This serene gem is accessible via a 4-mile long bridge over the sparkling waters of Apalachicola Bay, connecting it to Eastpoint, Florida on the mainland.

Interestingly nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay, St. George Island boasts an idyllic location that balances marine splendors with lush terrestrial charms.

If you’re traveling from Panama City or Tallahassee, expect your journey there to last no more than two hours – quite a short trip for such a grand destination.

Overview of St. George Island, Florida

St. George Island, Florida, is a picturesque and serene barrier island off the Forgotten Coast of Florida.

The island spans 28 miles of unspoiled beaches and clear waters ideal for swimming, fishing or even shelling.

Its rich history dates back to the Muscogee people before European colonists arrived.

The geography entails glorious sand dunes covered in sea oats and pine trees with an abundance of wildlife such as loggerhead sea turtles.

A highlight feature is the Dr.Julian G Bruce St.George Island State Park situated on its eastern side.

Protected by low-density zoning and strict building codes, this quaint beach cottage community remains untouched by high-rise buildings- preserving its natural vista.

Here you’ll find quaint beach cottages to luxury homes that abide by these regulations making it a perfect tranquil vacation spot devoid of over commercialization.

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Physical Characteristics of St. George Island

St. George Island, Florida flaunts 28 miles of unspoiled barrier islands that change with the tide.

Along its length are natural sand dunes sprinkled with a colony of sea oats and towering pine trees, creating an ever-changing canvas of beauty.

The island sustains a variety of vegetation including scrub and slash pine flatwoods which contribute to its lush, green appearance from afar.

With waters clear enough to stir one’s soul and suitable for swimming along the Atlantic Coast, St. George redefines your beach expectations while surviving under strict building codes that protect it from becoming overly developed.

At spots where marshes overtake the land towards Apalachicola Bay, it is quite common to spot local wildlife frolicking in their natural habitat.

Low-density zoning ensures this gem along the Florida Panhandle maintains its beauty.

History of St. George Island

St. George Island carries a history teeming with vibrant and diverse occurrences that shaped its present state.

Its rich past traces back to the Muscogee people who were the island’s original inhabitants before European colonists appeared on its shores.

During the American Civil War, this Florida treasure reached notable importance due to turpentine production for naval stores.

Adding more fame was Cape St. George Lighthouse, acting as a beacon of hope through tumultuous times over decades.

Turning into a new chapter post war, World War II also left noticeable marks in shaping St. George Island’s landscape especially with features like Bob Sikes Cut.

Geography of the Island

Made up of sand dunes sprinkled with sea oats and pine trees, the landscape promises not just an amazing view but also a diverse ecosystem perfect for enthusiastic nature explorers.

On stepping foot on this island, we are enveloped by pristine marshes and clear blue waters of the Gulf Coast.

Our travel around includes sightings of fascinating wildlife hidden in every nook and corner of the 28-mile long stretch, thanks to its strategic geographic location near Apalachicola National Forest—the sole national forest in Florida’s Panhandle.

Major Attractions and Activities in St. George Island

Home to breathtaking landmarks like the historic Cape St George Lighthouse and vibrant natural treasures such as Saint George Island State Park, there’s no shortage of sights and sounds for visitors of all ages.

Saint George Island State Park

Saint George Island State Park offers visitors an unspoiled wildlife experience.

The park is a haven for campers looking to experience Florida’s untouched natural environment up close and personal.

Known for its pristine beaches and trails, Saint George Island State Park has plenty of spaces for exploration.

Guests can engage in activities such as strolling along the nature trails lined with slash pine flatwoods or going beach camping under star-lit skies.

Marine life enthusiasts have frequent opportunities to view dolphins while families are at liberty to unwind within pet-friendly zones around campgrounds, fitted perfectly into this eco-friendly travel arena.

The park also serves as a great spot for fishing enthusiasts who might want to try their hand at catching grouper or snapper found abundantly in these waters from the Gulf Coast line touched by Atlantic cusps.

Just remember that while pets are welcomed guests here too, it’s important they stick around areas where they’re allowed -which includes most places except specifically reserved state-owned beaches.

Bob Sikes Cut

Bob Sikes Cut boasts an impressive view located on St. George Island, Florida.

This cut was built in 1954 to enhance the feeling of remoteness that characterizes this barrier island in the Gulf Coast region.

While fishing is not recommended due to rip-rapped areas, viewing fowl and fauna is a popular activity by many eco-friendly travelers visiting this serene spot nestled between Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Spotting dolphins or loggerhead sea turtles is also often accompanied with leisurely hikes through pine trees over-arching sandy shores.

Today, Bob Sikes Cut serves as a picturesque reminder of nature’s untouched beauty accentuating St. George Island.

Saint George Island Lighthouse, Gift Shop and Museum

white lighthouse with house next to it
St. George Island Lighthouse

As the Saint George Island Lighthouse pierces the Florida skyline at a height of 79 feet, it’s more than just an iconic landmark.

Inside this soaring structure, hundreds of years’ worth of maritime history and tales about St. George Island.

Originally constructed in 1833, Cape St George Lighthouse stands as a content testament to the area’s rich history. The original lighthouse was dismantled to make a second lighthouse. After several storms and rebuilds, the current lighthouse was rebuilt in 2008. You can find more fascinating details about this lighthouse here.

Now it serves not only as an attraction but also provides its visitors with captivating views of the surrounding area from atop its tower.

Beneath this landmark, there is a museum that houses relics and mementos related to lighthouses and maritime life along Florida’s Gulf coast.

Within these walls of preserved charm, you can practically breathe in history while admiring mesmerizing beach views from nearly forty feet above ground level.

Not only do you get to soak in panoramic views from its apex but also dive deep into the past with informative exhibits at its associated museum – a treasure trove for culture and history aficionados.

Right next to it is the charming Gift Shop that complements your visit by offering memorable tokens related to this picturesque coastal getaway.

sign reading lighthouse museum and gift shop

The gift shop offers everything from postcards and t-shirts bearing images of the lighthouse to locally made crafts like traditional Bahamian straw work items.

From nautical knick-knacks to exquisite jewelry pieces, every shelf houses something unique aligned with a serene beach theme.

Island Dog Beach and Surf Shop

green raised two story house with palm trees
Photo: Island Dog Beach and Surf Shop

The Island Dog Beach and Surf Shop is one of area’s prime attractions that appeals to both vacationers and locals alike.

This well-loved shop carries an impressive array of beach gear including surfboards that are available for rent, perfect if you want a taste of surfing in warm waters.

Beyond its basic offerings, what makes the place genuinely stand out is its commitment towards providing exceptional customer service and tailor-made experiences for furry companions too!

Because St. George Island is widely-known as a pet-friendly destination.

It’s common sight to see dogs frolicking by the shore while pet parents browse through fine collection of clothing, gifts, books or relish in gourmet treats offered at the shop.

So next time when you’re planning your island adventure be sure to stop by this shop.

You won’t be disappointed!

Island Charters and Fishing Tours

3 people on a boat at sunset
Photo: Island Charters and Fishing Tours

If you love fishing, check our the Island Charters and Fishing Tours.

They offer a thrilling day of exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.

Both seasoned anglers and even a novice fisherman, fishermen will find an incredible experience hooking a range of fish like grouper, flounder, redfish, snapper, trout, and mullet.

Charter companies supply all fishing gear needed; just bring your enthusiasm for adventure.

If you’re lucky enough to reel in some keepers during these tours, some local restaurants will cook up your catch into mouthwatering dishes – what could taste more satisfying than fresh catch right from ocean to plate?

But if fishing isn’t quite your thing don’t worry – dolphin watching cruises or bird spotting excursions are also offered by many charter services.

Where to eat on St. George Island

St. George Island offers a marvelous spread of eateries perfect to savor fresh local seafood in stunning surroundings.

The Blue Parrot Ocean Front Cafe

Sign on restaurant with a blue parrot that reads blue parrot

The Blue Parrot is a must-visit.

They have delectable seafood, steak, sandwiches, and a riveting beachfront tiki bar.

This restaurant definitely portrays the true spirit of the island.

Paddy’s Raw Bar

outdoor restaurant at night with sign that says paddys raw bar
Photo: Paddy’s Raw Bar

Paddy’s Raw Bar provides an engaging ambience overseeing the bay.

You can enjoy live music, cold brews and of course the famed Apalachicola oysters.

Coffee and Ice Cream

blue building with coffee and ice cream on the outside

A visit to Coffee and Ice Cream can sweeten your day at the beach with their generous scoops of ice cream coupled and delicious coffee.

They are located conveniently inside St. George Island Trading Company.

Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Opportunities

From fishing and boating to wildlife watching, St. George Island offers a plethora of outdoor activities that cater to every adventurer’s desire.

Explore the island on bike trails that wind through lush landscapes or set sail in the Gulf of Mexico for an exciting day at sea.

If you prefer more laid-back adventures, enjoy bird-watching sessions where you can spot species like the bald eagle and dolphin!

Boating and Fishing

An adventure in boating and fishing on the pristine waters surrounding St. George Island offers much excitement to travelers.

Whether you’re a hardcore angler or just looking for some fun while immersing yourself in nature, these activities are truly rewarding experiences that this serene Florida island is famous for providing.

Notably, even novices can secure an impressive haul of fresh seafood such as grouper, flounder, redfish, snapper, trout.

For those who prefer navigating through the scenic surroundings instead of casting a line into them, there’s equipment rental services on the island where paddle boards and kayaks are available.

Wildlife viewing

St. George Island comes alive with an array of wildlife that captures the attention of nature lovers and visitors alike.

Observe loggerhead sea turtles venture onto the beac hes to nest between May and October, a natural spectacle that makes this island so unique.

Capture unforgettable moments as these amazing creatures make their incredible journey from sand to sea.

Just offshore you can spot playful dolphins churning up waves or observe colorful schools of fish darting around coral reefs beneath the water’s surface.

This diverse ecosystem on land and undersea truly allows one to engage fully in wildlife viewing experiences unlike any other destination could offer.

Where to stay

While raised beach houses

Accommodations on St. George Island run the gamut, catering to diverse traveler preferences.

Here are some of the top options:

  1. Beach Cottages: Ideal for those seeking simplicity, these modest houses offer privacy and classic comfort in a serene setting.
  2. Luxury Homes: For those craving extravagance, multimillion-dollar beach homes promise lavish living paired with stunning views.
  3. Inns: Offering a blend between homey comforts and hotel conveniences, inns often exhibit a charming personality of their own.

Day Trips from St. George Island

St. George Island is located near great coastal towns along the Forgotten Coast.

You can take a day trip to many of them.

Port St. Joe

Port St. Joe is about 45 minutes away. It has a great downtown with restaurants and shops. There is also a dog friendly beach with wonderful white sand and calm waves. There are also opportunities for kayaking and biking.


Apalachicola is about 35 minutes by car. They have a charming downtown and a Farmers market on the weekend. This waterfront town has charming restaurants and is great to explore via bike.

Cape San Blas

Cape San Blas has some of the most beautiful beaches along the Forgotten Coast. If you are looking for clear blue water and white sands, take time to see Cape San Blas and visit the state park at the end of the island. It is only about 35 minutes away.


Carrabelle is a quaint waterfront town only 30 minutes from Cape San Blas. Its one of the smaller towns along the Forgotten Coast but it is packed with charm and has a lovely lighthouse and beach.

Final Thoughts

St. George Island offers an idyllic getaway with its stunning beaches and serene settings.

From beautiful beaches to wildlife exploration, there’s something for everyone.

Treat yourself to endless adventures, or simply relish the tranquility this island has in abundance.

An unforgettable vacation experience awaits you at St.George Island!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is St. George Island and where is it located?

St. George Island is a census-designated place (CDP) in Franklin County, Florida, United States, located along the northern Gulf of Mexico near the Apalachicola River.

Are there any historical sites on St. George Island that I can visit?

Yes, you might want to explore John Gorrie State Museum, Camp Gordon Johnston Museum or Negro Fort at Prospect Bluff Historic Sites during your time on the island.

Can one undertake outdoor activities at St.George Island?

Dr.Julian G.Bruce St.George Island State Park offers hiking trails for exploring and bird-watching locates that attract migratory birds all year round.

What kind of accommodations are available at St.George Island?

You’ll find everything from luxury beach homes in gated housing communities like The St.Geroge Plantation to resorts with stunning views of the Red Moon over island beachfront property beach

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Veterinarian/Travel Writer/Digital Nomad

Dr. Shannon Barrett is a veterinarian and digital nomad. She owned a housecall practice, Island Veterinary Care, for over a decade and now travels full time. She lives in different beach towns and then writes travel guides based on her time there. If you’re looking for resources on travel destinations or how to become a digital nomad, then you’ve come to the right place! Love to bring your pets with you? Even better!

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