New Pickleball Court on St. George Island

 

Are you visiting the Forgotten Coast and looking for pickleball courts in Franklin County, FL? We are excited to announce that St. George Island has joined the Pickleball craze!

Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines tennis, ping pong, and badminton and is the fastest growing sport in America. Pickleball is played in singles or doubles matches, and many larger areas around the country have pickleball leagues.

In the center of St. George Island, you’ll find a pickleball court beside the lighthouse. Courtesy of the St. George Island Civic Club’s donation, the basketball court doubles as a pickleball court. Visitors interested in playing pickleball are welcome to borrow the net, balls, and paddles free of charge from the St. George Island Visitors center. The court and equipment are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

There are other pickleball courts in our area though they offer limited access. The gated community of St. George Plantation has three new regulation standard pickleball courts. Many who rent vacation homes in the St. George Plantation will have access to these pickleball courts. However, the use of these courts is subject to the St. George Plantation amenities rules. Those interested in playing pickleball in St. George Plantation should contact the owner of their vacation rental for more information.

Loggerheads and Greens Are Coming to St. George Island

 

Loggerheads and Greens Are Coming to St. George Island

EASTPOINT, Fla. — Summer sea turtle season is right around the corner. Starting in May, sea turtles—including loggerhead sea turtles, green sea turtles and, very rarely, leatherback sea turtles—will come ashore on Florida’s coastlines and barrier islands to nest. A lucky few visitors and residents might catch a glimpse of these mothers-to-be during their brief return to shore.

Perhaps a more common summertime scene for folks in Franklin County is the St. George Island Volunteer Turtle Patrol. Easily identified by their emblematic ocean-blue shirts, this volunteer group from Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) scouts the beaches in search of fresh turtle tracks to observe and chart. They are often seen up to their elbows in the sand or hauling flagging tape to the next nest in need of marking.

This patrol is a long-established and well-known part of Apalachicola NERR’s sea turtle monitoring program. Sea turtles aren’t coming home only to St. George Island (SGI) to nest; their second-favorite stretch of Franklin County is the 9 miles of undeveloped beach on Little St. George Island (LSGI), which lies between St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge and SGI.

 

Fabulous Fishing

Whether you’re reel rookie or an angling pro, St. George Island is every fisherman and fisherwoman’s wonderland. When you throw out a line in the bay, you can expect to land sheepshead, speckled trout, flounder, whiting, redfish and tripletail. If you’re fishing in the Gulf, get ready to hook up with snapper, grouper, amberjack, sea bass, mackerel, mahi-mahi, cobia and sharks. Here at St. George Island, there are plentiful inshore and offshore fishing opportunities. Cast a rod from the shore, skim the flats, or venture out to deeper water with a charter boat captain. Our island is home to several bait and tackle shops as well as two public boat ramps. Several businesses on St. George Island rent kayaks, paddle boards and boats for adventurous anglers. Not ready to go at it alone? Charter a fishing excursion with one of our experienced fishing and tour guides.

The Raney House Museum Apalachicola

The Raney House Museum Apalachicola
 

Built in 1838 for cotton commission merchant David Greenway Raney, this Greek Revival mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes. The museum contains furniture, documents and artifacts of the 19th century. It is open to the public 1:00 pm–4:00 pm Sunday – Friday; and 10:00 am–4:00 pm on Saturdays. Admission is free.

128 Market Street
Apalachicola, Florida 32320

Website: Visit Website

Phone: 850-653-1700

 

 

sea beach footprints steps

Florida’s Forgotten Coast is back in business, and we offer some of most breathtaking and uncrowded beaches in the Sunshine State! If you’re on the hunt for a laidback beach destination with plenty of elbow room and tons of outdoor activities, St. George Island (SGI) is the place to be.

Ranked time and again as one of the best beaches in the country, this beautiful 22-mile barrier island is home to the most pristine coastline in the Florida panhandle. You won’t find high rises or noisy crowds of tourists here. Just sugar white sand, fresh air and the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico. And here’s some news that will really get tails wagging: Most of St. George Island’s beaches are pet-friendly, which means your furry friends can tag along for the trip!

To top it off, St. George Island offers a wide range of outdoor adventures the whole family can enjoy. Here are a few of our favorites:

Calling all cyclists! Home to miles of paved bike paths, St. George Island is a dream-come-true for bike enthusiasts. In addition to the paved paths, there are heaps of back roads and sandy trails where you can coast along the Gulf and bay side of the island. Whether you bring your own bike or rent one from a local shop, you’re certain to get a great workout and plenty of fresh air.

Even better, St. George Island offers an extremely safe biking environment for riders of all ages. The St. George Island Bike Path is a public paved recreational path that runs six miles paralleling Gulf Beach Drive, the island’s main road. This path is a great way to get around the island and visit shops, restaurants and other local businesses. Explore the island via the path and ride all the way to St. George Island State Park. There, you can park your bike and pick up the hiking trails. Which brings us to our next outdoor activity…

Hiking

Hiking at Bald Point State ParkReady to hit the trails? You’re in luck! There are loads of hiking opportunities across Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Here on the island, St. George Island State Park spans nine miles of undeveloped beaches and high dunes, surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay. Inside the state park, hikers can hit the two-mile marked trail along the bayside. There is also a series of trails and boardwalks throughout the park, which offer exceptional wildlife sighting opportunities. Be sure to bring your binos and a camera! During your trek, you may spot raccoons, ghost crabs, loggerhead turtles, eagles and a variety of other birds.

Paddling

St. George Island PaddlingWhether you prefer SUP, canoeing or kayaking, St. George Island is every type of paddler’s paradise. No matter what floats your boat, you’re certain to have an memorable paddling adventure here.

Grab your paddles and hit the Gulf or Apalachicola Bay for peace and quiet, spectacular sights and a great workout. During your journey, keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of cool critters—from dolphins and manatees to rare sea birds and turtles. If you don’t have your own paddleboard or kayak, no worries! There are a number of shops on the island offering kayaks, canoes and paddle board rentals.

Fishing

Fishing on the Forgotten CoastWhether you’re a first-time fisher or an experienced angler, you’ll get hooked on St. George Island in no time. There are so many productive inshore and offshore fishing spots here. Plus, the island is home to several bait and tackle shops as well as two public boat ramps.

Whether you cast a rod from the beach, a pier, a kayak or motor boat, you’re certain to be rewarded with an incredible catch. Want a whole boatload of fish? Book a charter fishing excursion with one of our experienced local guides for a truly unforgettable adventure.

St. George Island is bursting with awesome outdoor activities for the whole family!

Things To Do On St. George Island

Things To Do On St. George Island
 

Whether you’re searching for a romantic weekend getaway, a family-friendly vacation or a peaceful place to nest for snow bird season, look no further. Here at St. George Island, there’s something for everyone!

Shop Till You Drop
If you’re in the mood for a shopping spree, you’re in luck. St. George Island features an array of art galleries, boutiques and charming shops brimming with beachwear, handmade treasures, jewelry and unique gifts. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, you’re certain to find a special souvenir or keepsake to take home.

Pet Paradise
Pack up your pooch and head on down to St. George Island for a doggone good time! No bones about it, St. George Island is the perfect doggie destination. In fact, our island is one of the few pet-friendly beaches in Florida. Many of our vacation homes, stores and restaurants welcome four-legged visitors with open arms. There are plenty of pet-friendly accommodations for you and your furry friend. Camp at the State Park, rent a hotel room, or reserve a villa or spacious home on the bay, beach or somewhere in-between.

Fabulous Fishing
Whether you’re reel rookie or an angling pro, St. George Island is every fisherman and fisherwoman’s wonderland. When you throw out a line in the bay, you can expect to land sheepshead, speckled trout, flounder, whiting, redfish and tripletail. If you’re fishing in the Gulf, get ready to hook up with snapper, grouper, amberjack, sea bass, mackerel, mahi-mahi, cobia and sharks. Here at St. George Island, there are plentiful inshore and offshore fishing opportunities. Cast a rod from the shore, skim the flats, or venture out to deeper water with a charter boat captain. Our island is home to several bait and tackle shops as well as two public boat ramps. Several businesses on St. George Island rent kayaks, paddle boards and boats for adventurous anglers. Not ready to go at it alone? Charter a fishing excursion with one of our experienced fishing and tour guides.

Delicious Dining
Ready for a bite to eat? St. George Island offers a variety of restaurants featuring fresh local seafood. Enjoy beachfront dining overlooking the gulf or stop by a casual bayside eatery for cocktails and delicious pub fare. Worn out from a long day of adventures? Order dinner or lunch from our island pizzeria. If you prefer to cook up your own meal at your vacation rental, we’ve got you covered! St. George Island’s two grocery stores carry everything you need, including specialty and gourmet items you wouldn’t expect to find.

Biking Adventures
Whether you choose to rent a bicycle in one of our local shops or bring your own, you’ll enjoy miles of bike paths here at St. George Island. Our island features a six-mile paved path that parallels Gulf Beach Drive, the island’s main road. Explore the island and ride all the way to St. George Island State Park. At the park, you can pick up hiking trails and explore its peaceful dunes, forest and marshes, all teeming with local wildlife!

Family-Friendly Fun
Here at St. George Island, there are countless things to do for families of all ages. Rent a boat or charter a trip to explore the bay and nearby islands. Go fishing inshore or offshore or rent a kayak or paddle board. Take a hike at our state park and enjoy a little bird-watching or stargazing. In early summer, if you walk the beach at dawn, you may get a glimpse of nesting sea turtles. Don’t forget to stop at the visitor center and get a closeup look at our historic lighthouse, the Cape St. George Light.

Nature’s Delights
St. George Island is a dream destination for nature lovers. At St. George Island State Park, nestled on the eastern end of our island, visitors can explore nine miles of undeveloped shoreline, majestic dunes, a bay forest and salt marshes. The State Park offers a series of peaceful hiking trails, boardwalks and observation platforms.

Don’t forget your binoculars! Birding is a popular activity on St. George Island. You might encounter one of the many migratory birds that use St. George Island as a stopover on their journey. There have even been rare appearances by a flamingo and a snowy owl.

Beginning in early summer, loggerhead sea turtles come ashore to dig their nests and lay eggs along the beach. The hatchlings emerge at night and crawl to the gulf, guided by light of the moon. During the summer nesting season, we ask visitors to help these baby turtles make it safely to sea by removing all items from the beach, filling in any man-made holes in the sand and turning of all outdoor lights.

Nightlife & Events
Throughout the year, St. George Island showcases a variety of live music in several venues. The island is also home to a number of events, including the annual Chili Charity Cook-Off each March. This tasty annual event attracts more than 5,000 chili enthusiasts to the island. In the summer and fall, our music charity event, Rock By the Sea Festival, brings the region’s best musicians together to raise money for charity.

With so many things to do and see, St. George Island Florida is the perfect vacation destination for everyone.

St. George Island Ranks as a Favorite Destination for Families

St. George Island Ranks as a Favorite Destination for Families
 

Year after year, St. George Island ranks as one of the greatest destinations for families—and of course 2020 is no different! In a recent article called, “12 Best Vacations for Families,” TripstoDiscover.com included St. George Island near the top of the list.
“If you and your family are looking to immerse yourself in some of Florida’s most tranquil landscapes visit St. George Island,” suggests writer Charity De Souza. “Escape the crowds at this Northwest Florida gem nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, where the entire family will enjoy climbing the 92 steps up Cape Saint George Lighthouse for beautiful views of the island, taking a scenic bike ride along the 17 miles of paved bike paths and can enjoy a peaceful picnic at the undeveloped beaches on St. George Island State Park.”