St George Island Florida is a 28-mile barrier island located off the coast of the Apalachicola bay. It has long been a favorite of many vacationers for its miles of undeveloped beaches and small town island feel. It is a wonderful place for a relaxing escape!
Since this barrier island is kept mostly undeveloped and in its natural state it is teaming with a variety of wildlife. It is also a popular stopover point for migrating neotropical birds during both the spring and fall. There have been over 300 species sighted on the island. Some of the more common ones seen are ospreys, pelicans, sandpipers, turns, gulls, and eagles. Both the bay side and the gulf side are great for birding. make sure you have binoculars and a good bird identification book with you.
Other wildlife you might encounter if you are fortunate are deer, American alligators, bob cats, river otters, manatees, bottlenose dolphins, and several species of sea turtles.
Hiking: On the far east side of the island In St George Island State Park is a 2.5-mile loop through a pine flatwood forest that is perfect for a leisurely walk in nature. Farther into the park is the 1-mile east slough trail. Here you will find a boardwalk and several wildlife viewing areas and overlooks. There are also, of course, miles and miles of beautiful beaches you can also mender along that offer a beautiful scenic stroll.
Biking: A good bicycle ride is often seen as an iconic beach activity. St George island does not disappoint in this area. Along gulf blvd through the center of the island is a 6.3-mile bike path. It offers an idyllic nonmoterized way to traverse the island and is a great way to visit the many businesses and restaurants here. Parking can be found near the St. George light house which is also a museum. If you continue all the way East you can also ride through the state park which offers an additional 7 miles of bike riding bliss. If you are in need of cooling off after your ride you can enjoy a dip in the beautiful gulf waters or stop over at Aunt Ebby's for some of the most delicious ice cream you will ever taste!
Since the town on St George island is small it's easy to find a perfect place on the beach away from the lights for a night of stargazing or watching meteor showers. Bring a blanket and pack a picnic and spend the night gazing into the infinite heavens while listening to the waves lap the shore. Bring a telescope if you have one. If not binoculars can work in a pinch and are still better than the naked eye. A monthly naked-eye star chart is also a useful tool and can be found often online free of charge. Since there is very little light pollution on the island many are able to see the milky way as well as other fainter constellations.
There is a wide variety of water activities possible on St. George island. a favorite of ours is wading in the surf looking for shells. It may be simple but is wonderfully relaxing and always a delight when you find that rare hard to find specimen. The bayside in particular has fantastic shelling! Another favorite is kayaking the Apalachicola Bay. It is generally calm making it a great choice for both kayaking as well as paddle boarding. The State park on the east side of the island offers 2 bayside boat launches as well as reasonable kayak rentals.
while there are a few hotel options on the island. Most people opt to rent beach cottages or camp in the state park. If you do decide to go with a hotel the St George Inn is a popular choice and its full of southern charm.
If you are looking for somewhere directly on the beach itself try the buccaneer Inn. They offer a beach front stay with a lovely water front view.
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