Looking for things to do in St George Island Florida? Great! Must See Destinations is your ultimate guide for St George Island. Are you hoping to vacation in Florida but aren’t interested in the chain stores and high rises that spoil the natural beauty of the coast? If so, St. George Island might be the ideal getaway destination for your next trip.
A tranquil beach community that is inhabited yet unspoiled, this barrier island offers a taste of old Florida at its best. It’s quiet, uncrowded, and serene, you also won’t run out of things to do in St. George Island.
This article will guide you through all of the must see destinations this island offers. From fishing and hiking to dolphin tours and live music, this North Florida paradise has it all.
Let’s take a look at some of the best St. George Island attractions and activities that you’ll want to add to your vacation itinerary.
Go to the St George Beach
One of the most obvious St. George Island activities is to spend some time on the beach. There are 22 miles of truly incredible beaches on St. George Island.
Compared to other Florida beaches, you’ll find the beaches of St. George Island to be relatively uncrowded. There isn’t nearly as much development here as there is in other parts of the state, allowing you to enjoy a serene island experience. That being said, some beach spots on the island do tend to be more populated than others.
If you’re planning a day on the beach, you will want to be prepared for rain. This is particularly true in the summer. During the hot months (May-Nov), rainstorms can appear almost out of nowhere. I used to think I had the worst luck vacationing in Florida. Everytime we come, it rains in the afternoon. Then after moving here I realized that is just the summer weather pattern.
It’s also important that you keep an eye out for turtle nests. These adorable reptiles nest along the island during the summer and fall months. If you happen to come across one, it’s important to leave them be.
One awesome thing about this barrier island is that dogs are allowed on the beach here. There are also lots of St. George Island rentals that allow canine friends. Keep an eye out for the rules if you’re visiting a state park, though, as they aren’t always allowed in all areas of these parks.
Cast a Line, Fishing St George
Another popular pastime on St. George Island is fishing. Year-round, you can catch flounder, whiting, and redfish. When it’s 70 degrees out or warmer, you can also snatch sharks, bluefish, pompano, speckled trout, and Spanish mackerel.
Some favorite fishing spots include St. George Island State Park, Old Carrabelle Beach, and Alligator Point Beach.
Go for a Bike Ride
Biking is probably one of the best ways to explore St. George Island. You can hop on the six-mile paved bike trail that runs from the Plantation to the State Park. There are an additional eleven miles of paths elsewhere on the island.
Looking to get away from the pavement a bit? No problem! There are also sandy backroads and forest paths where you can ride a mountain bike.
You don’t have to bring your bicycle from home in order to explore the island on two wheels, either. There are quite a few places where you can rent bikes here, including Jolly Rogers, Island Adventures, Journeys of St. George Island, and Island Outfitters. You can choose to rent a bike just for a few hours, for the entire day, or for the length of your stay.
Explore the Beauty of Nature
St. George Island is a place where you can tap into a slower pace of life. With picturesque beaches and abundant wildlife, this is the perfect destination to experience the bounty of Mother Nature.
Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park
Located on the east side of St. George Island, the Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park is definitely worth a visit. Birdwatchers, anglers, and beachgoers alike will absolutely love it here.
The St. George State Park is known for having the best stargazing in the Panhandle and offering incredible sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you want to hike, fish, boat, camp, kayak, canoe, or swim, you won’t get bored at this Florida State Park.
On the bayside of the island, you can find abundant saltwater fish and wading birds in healthy marshes. There are nature trails that weave through pine forests and vast scrubs.
On the gulf side of the island, you can enjoy miles of white sugar sand beaches and perfect blue water.
The St. George State Park is open from 8 am until sundown every single day of the year. To enter, it costs $6 per vehicle for two to eight people. For single-occupant vehicles, it costs $4.
For visitors entering on foot or by bicycle, the cost of entry is only $2. There is also an additional fee for East End access. Currently, the East End Special Use Area is closed due to damage from Hurricane Michael.
Cape St. George Island State Reserve/Little St. George Island
Located in Apalachicola Bay just to the west of St. George Island, Cape St. George Island State Reserve offers a unique Florida wilderness experience. Now known as Little St. George Island, you can explore several miles of trails and nine miles of undeveloped beaches here.
There aren’t that many opportunities left to witness the original barrier island landscape of Florida. However, Little St. George Island is only accessible by boat, helping it maintain its status as a time capsule of sorts. You are even allowed to camp on the island, but you do have to contact the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve ahead of time.
St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge
St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge sits on the barrier island just off the coast of Apalachicola. The Refuge also includes 86 acres of mainland Florida along 30A as well as Pig Island. St. Vincent Island is only accessible by boat, meaning that you can enjoy a quiet and uncrowded visit if you choose to make the trek.
This is a virtually pristine example of Florida’s barrier island ecology. A haven for endangered species, sea turtles, bald eagles, and red wolves are some of the creatures that call this Refuge home.
Get Out on the Town
St. George Island might not be known as a spring break destination, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great spots to hang out after sunset.
Harry A’s should definitely be on the top of your list if you’re looking for St. George Island nightlife. This is a bar, restaurant, and nightclub that offers a crafty drink menu and delicious seafood dishes. Known for their awesome live entertainment, you can see both local and national performers here.
If you’re looking for other places to grab a drink, check out Blue Parrot, Paddy’s Raw Bar, and the Beach Pit. For a casual sports bar feel, head over to Mango Mike’s.
Paddle Away Your Worries
Another awesome thing to do in St. George Island is to rent a kayak. You can rent one for part of a day, a full day, or even a week. It’s also common for rental properties to offer beach equipment credits that you can choose to use towards renting kayaks.
When you’re paddling the water, you might just come across all kinds of sea life. Jellyfish, dolphins, stingrays, and more inhabit the water surrounding the island.
You can find a number of companies around St. George Island that rent out kayaks. To name a few, there is Jolly Roger, Island Outfitters, and Journeys of St. George Island.
Cruise the Big Bend Scenic Byway
There are six federally designated scenic byways in the Sunshine State, one of which you can hop on right from St. George Island. The Big Bend Scenic Byway links three state parks, a huge national wildlife refuge, historic lighthouses, and quaint fishing villages.
This 220-mile corridor covers both coastal and forest lands in the beautiful eastern part of the Panhandle. In the areas adjacent to the byway, there are more than 2,500 plant species and 300 species of birds.
Are you looking to get off the island a bit and explore the incredible beauty of an underappreciated part of the state? Consider adding the Big Bend Scenic Byway to your itinerary.
Visit the Lighthouse
Probably the most iconic symbol of St. George Island is the lighthouse positioned right in the middle of the island’s gulf coast. The lighthouse had originally stood for more than 150 years. However, in 2005 it toppled into the Gulf of Mexico.
Since then, the pieces of the lighthouse have been recovered. By 2008, the restoration of the lighthouse had been completed.
Visit the St. George Lighthouse for a fascinating history lesson and beautiful scenery. You can even climb up to the top for an incredible view!
Take a Tour
There are bountiful opportunities to explore the barrier island with the help of an expert guide. Whether you head out on a fishing tour, a shelling and sunset cruise, or a St. George Island dolphin tour, this can be a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Gulf.
Head to Apalachicola
Just 20 minutes away from St. George Island, Apalachicola is a sweet little bayfront town. Consider spending a day exploring the shops here before stopping for ice cream at the Apalachicola Chocolate Company.
For book lovers and knitters, there’s a true gem in the form of Downtown Books and Purl. Here you’ll find yarn as well as a hand-curated selection of books.
As far as other things to do in Apalachicola goes, you’ll find museums, parks, theaters, golf courses, and more near this quaint little village.
You Won’t Run Out of Things to Do in St. George Island!
We could go on and on with our list of things to do in St. George Island. While it’s good to set yourself up with some classic vacation activities, make sure you take some time to lay on the beach and relax as well. After all, it’s not every day you find yourself in an island paradise!
Are you looking for more insider info about all of the must-see destinations in Florida? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog!