This Is Why You Need to Visit the St. George Island Lighthouse

Every vacation destination has an attraction you can’t miss. On SGI, you won’t want to miss the St. George Island Lighthouse! An incredible history and great views combine for this must-see activity. Now located in the center of our island, it once illuminated the Gulf of Mexico. Come stand in the light of this honored island treasure and learn an important bit of St. George history on your next trip to the Forgotten Coast!
Are you thinking about coming to St. George Island for a vacation? Take a look at our Things to Do page for all of our most trusted businesses and activities! Collins Vacation Rentals has been on the island for more than 40 years, so we know the ins and outs of the Forgotten Coast. Here, you will find more spots like the St. George Island Lighthouse, outdoor activities, local restaurants, and more!
St. George Island Lighthouse History
The St. George Island Lighthouse has become a huge part of our island history . It has seen several reincarnations, making it clear that it has become a beloved symbol of the community over the ages. The first lighthouse was erected in 1833 on the western tip of the island. However, ships found it difficult to see when coming in from the eastern gulf. When storms damaged it in 1846, a new lighthouse was rebuilt on the southern cape. Unfortunately, that lighthouse lasted only three years after its completion. 
The third St. George Island lighthouse, completed in 1852, was much more sturdy. Aside from a stint during the Civil War when the light was turned off to avoid guiding Northern ships, the light remained lit until 1994. Brutal storms attacked the lighthouse repeatedly, so a “Save the Light” campaign began to raise money for renovations. Unfortunately, it ended up collapsing into the Gulf of Mexico in 2005. 
The Current Lighthouse
Because the St. George Island Lighthouse was so important to the community, the newly-established St. George Lighthouse Association worked with the State of Florida DEP to painstakingly salvage the fallen light piece by piece. Volunteers cleaned the old mortar off more than 20,000 of the original bricks so that they could be reused in the reconstruction of the lighthouse! 
Visiting the St. George Island Lighthouse 
Every time someone asks us what to do when visiting our island, we tell them they have to climb the St. George Island Lighthouse. Such a simple activity has so much to offer! Begin your visit in the replica of the original Keeper’s House, located right next to the lighthouse. Here, you can purchase your ticket to climb the light, plus explore the small museum inside. There are artifacts from the original lighthouse and the lightkeepers that once lived there. 
Once you have gotten your ticket, it’s time for the St. George Island Lighthouse climb. 92 steps will take you to the top where you will have to scale a small ladder. Once you are up, you will have a 360-degree view of the island around you! You’ll see everything from your favorite island restaurants to the blue ocean. 
St. George Island Lighthouse Full Moon Climb
If you’re looking for something extra special, consider a Full Moon Climb. Full Moon Climbs are held monthly, and admission includes hors d’oeuvres and sparkling cider. The climb costs just $10 for the general public, but reservations are recommended as space is limited. You’ll get to see the entire island in the moonlight! 
Start Planning Today
It’s time to start planning the vacation of a lifetime on our secluded island. Start by booking your stay at one of our gorgeous homes at Collins Vacation Rentals! Stocked with top-of-the-line amenities and located within convenient drives to many of the area’s top attractions like the St. George Island Lighthouse, our homes are the perfect place for a tranquil island getaway. When you stay with us on beautiful St. George, you can leave your worries at the door knowing that we have thoroughly considered and planned for all of your needs. Have fun and relax without a care in the world! Book your stay today!
 

6 of the Best Places to Go for St. George Island Nightlife

St. George Island is known for its stunning natural beauty, peaceful shores, and excellent seafood restaurants. However, you’ll also find that there are plenty of fun things to do on the island after dark. Whether you’re looking to enjoy late-night dinner or casual drinks with friends, here are some of the best places to go for St. George Island nightlife!  
When the sun sets, St. George Island’s nightlife scene is just heating up. Before you head out for a fun night on the town, make sure to check out our Things to Do page. It’s full of information about our island, including restaurants, bars, fun group activities, and more! It’s a must-have when planning your vacation to St. George Island!
Top 6 Places to Experience St. George Island Nightlife
1. Harry A’s 
When it comes to the best St. George Island nightlife, Harry A’s should be at the top of your list! This restaurant, bar, and nightclub features some of the most delicious seafood you will ever taste as well as a crafty drink menu. Enjoy dinner, order your favorite beverage, and get ready for an energized night of fun!
Harry A’s also offers fabulous live entertainment. Both local and national performers have been known to grace the stage, so check out their website to see who’s playing next. If you’re looking for something more interactive, stop by on one of their karaoke nights and serenade the crowd yourself (Livin’ La Vida Loca, anyone?). On other nights, DJs spin the tunes that make the whole room want to dance the night away.
2. Doc Myers’ Island Pub and Sports Bar
Are you looking to catch the big game? Watch your favorite team play at Doc Myers! This tiki-themed bar offers a casual bar vibe, several TV’s, signature cocktails, cold beer, and tasty pub eats. They also feature an array of exciting entertainment and events almost daily. Stop by for the Happy Hour specials from 4 until 7 p.m., and then stay for live music, karaoke, or trivia. The bar is open every night of the week until midnight. No matter when you visit, it’s always a good time at Doc Myers!
3. Paddy’s Raw Bar
With a motto like “A sunny place for shady people,” you can bet that the folks at Paddy’s Raw Bar know how to have a little fun. It’s located on the Apalachicola Bay, so you can enjoy the view while sipping on one of the sixteen beers they have on tap. Make sure to try “Oyster City,” which is made at the local brewery in Apalachicola, Florida. They also have a great selection of wine and cider.
Paddy’s adds a fun twist to St. George nightlife. They feature live musical acts daily, but if you make your way in on a Monday night, prepare for some group fun – team trivia starts weekly at 7 p.m.! 
4. Blue Parrot
When it comes to the best St. George Island restaurants on the water, no place compares to Blue Parrot! Enjoy dinner and a view while you dine beside the sea. After the sun sets, head to their tiki bar for island-inspired cocktails. Their tropical beverages range from rum runners and daiquiris to mai tais and more. Choose your favorite and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Draft beer and wine are also available! Blue Parrot is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. 
5. The Beach Pit
With a pet-friendly patio and an array of tap beer selections, the Beach Pit is a great place to enjoy a casual evening out. Stop in and try one of the 11 draft beers they have on tap or stay for a Texas-style BBQ dinner. The Beach Pit is open Sundays through Thursdays from 7:30 until 9 p.m., and Fridays through Saturdays from 7:30 until 9:30 p.m.
6. St. George Cantina
If you’re craving a good margarita, begin your evening at St. George Cantina! In addition to authentic Mexican and Latin American dishes, this restaurant is known for its handcrafted cocktails. You can actually taste the fresh-squeezed juices house-made infusions inside these delicious drinks. Enjoy live music in the lounge while you drink and dine. The restaurant is open on Sundays from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Book Your Stay in a Collins Vacation Home
After an exciting evening enjoying the St. George nightlife, rest your head in one of our comfortable vacation rentals. Wake up refreshed in a home full of all the amenities you need for a relaxing getaway. When you stay with us on beautiful St. George Island, you can leave your worries at the door, knowing that we have thoroughly considered and planned for all of your needs. 
Collins Vacation Rentals are conveniently located near all of the best bars, restaurants, and activities on beautiful St. George Island. Whether you prefer a pet-friendly rental, a home with a heated pool, or a beachfront property, we are sure to have the ideal accommodation for your stay. Are you ready for your next trip to paradise? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you start planning a getaway to remember!
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How to Upgrade Your Vacation: Amazing Journeys of St. George Island!

St. George Island has an abundance of outdoor activities to make your next family trip amazing! When you’re trying to choose the right excursion for your family, visit Journeys of St. George Island. It’s the perfect adventure tour company to help plan your daily treks across our stunning island. The friendly, knowledgeable staff are always ready to help you get the most out of your next trip to the Forgotten Coast!
Before you grab your sunglasses and head over to Journeys of St. George Island, make sure you check out our Things to Do page! It’s filled with fun ideas and local outings sure to excite everyone in your family!  
Witness the Natural Beauty of the Forgotten Coast with Journeys of St. George Island
Journeys of St. George Island has everything you need to explore the natural, unblemished landscapes of St. George. Whether you prefer to sightsee by land or by water, the staff at Journeys will get you equipped for your day outdoors. 
For those who want to see the island from the water, there are several options available. See the sunset and watch for dolphins on a guided powerboat tour, or sail over the Apalachicola Bay. If kayaking is more your speed, not to worry! Take a tour with an experienced professional, or have rentals delivered to the door of your Collins Vacation Home.
Those who prefer to look out onto the water from the shore can rent a golf cart to traverse St. George without leaving a heavy carbon footprint. Explore the natural beauty of the island, or visit boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. All golf carts are equipped with all-terrain tires for easy travel across beautiful St. George Island.
Give Your Kids the Perfect Trip with Journeys of St. George Island!
Your little adventurers are more than welcome at Journeys of St. George Island. In fact, there are several programs designed just to make sure your child has a great time on your family trip! Available May through August each year, all kids’ adventures are led by an experienced guide. They even include snacks and drinks!
The Dolphin Encounter tour educates kids with fun facts about these friendly mammals. It even includes a visit to Little St. George Island for a hermit crab race! The Kids’ Fishing Adventure will teach your little angler how to bait, hook, and release the various types of fish swimming around the island. The Critter Swamp Walk is also a fun time for kids. During this trip, they can wade through our swampland, collecting minnows, crabs, and other marine creatures. The guide will help them identify the critters, share a few facts about each one, and then release them back into the estuary. Each adventure educates, gives children an appreciation of nature, and indulges them in a few hours of unforgettable fun! Make sure your kids don’t miss out on these awesome excursions. Take them to Journeys of St. George Island the next time you visit!
Come Relax at a Collins Vacation Home 
After you and your little ones have done a day of exploring with Journeys of St. George Island, come back to one of our gorgeous vacation homes to rest. All Collins Vacation Rentals are complete with the amenities you need to have a peaceful, carefree evening after a day of trekking across our beautiful landscape. Located throughout the island, all of our rentals are near some of the best activities, restaurants, and views available in St. George. Many are just steps away from the beautiful white sand beaches for which the island is known. Let us help you choose the perfect vacation home for you and your family – contact us today! We are looking forward to helping you plan a family trip everyone will love!
Get even more out of your trip to St. George Island. Check out our specials!
Photo Credit: Getty Images / robynleigh

The Ultimate Guide to St. George Island State Park

St. George Island is full of scenic areas and fun activities that will make any vacation here unforgettable. One of our island’s gems you won’t want to miss during your Collins Vacation Rentals getaway is St. George Island State Park. Serene views paired with undisturbed beaches provide the perfect backdrop for some quality time. Discover everything you need to know about the park today!
Are you thinking of a St. George Island getaway? We can help you plan your trip! Collins Vacation Rentals was founded on the island more than 40 years ago, so we are versed in all of the best spots to enjoy during your next vacation. Take a look at our Things to Do page to start planning! Whether you’re looking for more spots like St. George Island State Park or where to go out to eat, you’ll find it here.
What to See at St. George Island State Park
Explore the Incredible Landscape
St. George Island State Park is a 2,023-acre reserve on the east end of St. George Island. The park is a stunning display of the gorgeous nature our island holds. Oak forests, sandy coves, pine trees, and salt marshes are dotted along the landscape. 
The pristine park is best known for its nine miles of unspoiled beaches. Long stretches of white sand and dunes overlook the Gulf of Mexico and the Apalachicola Bay. You’ll definitely want to make it a point to visit this gorgeous area during your stay with Collins Vacation Rentals!
Discover the Native Wildlife
Countless species of wildlife call St. George Island State Park their home. You’ll see several kinds of shorebirds swimming and scavenging along the coast such as snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer, and willet nest. 
You can also expect to share the area with sea turtles. They nest on the island from approximately May 1 to October 31 each year!
Handicap Accessibility 
St. George Island State Park keeps everyone in mind and aims to be as accessible as possible. There are beach wheelchairs available, two Beach Cruiser electric mobility devices, a floating Mobi-Chair, and three mobility mats. You can learn more on their site!
What to Do at St. George Island State Park
Relax on the Sand
Nine miles of pristine coastline at St. George Island State Park means plenty of room for spreading out on the sand. One of our favorite things about our island is that there is so much shore that the beaches are never crowded! Rent some chairs and umbrellas to bring with you, then set up here for the day. 
Go For a Swim 
During the warm months on the Forgotten Coast, ocean water is a welcomed relief from the hot sun. You’ll love taking a dip in the clear water when you visit St. George Island State Park! If you bring the kids, they’ll most likely spend the entire day splashing around. You won’t even have to entertain them like usual!
Cast a Line
Fishing is one of the most relaxing pastimes, and there is plenty of opportunity for it on St. George Island. If you want to cast your line in St. George Island State Park, you’ll have the opportunity to catch flounder, redfish, sea trout, pompano, whiting, and sometimes even Spanish mackerel! Just make sure you have your fishing license. 
Pack a Picnic
Before you make your way over to St. George Island State Park, make sure you stop at the grocery store to get some picnic necessities. At the park, you’ll have your choice of six picnic shelters, each with grills and picnic tables. They can even be reserved if you’re having a large gathering! 
Search for Shells
Shells are some of the best souvenirs to take home on vacation, and St. George Island State Park is an excellent spot to look for them! Stroll the beach and look down at the sand— you are sure to find some. 
Launch a Canoe or Kayak
See SGI from a different perspective when you get out on a kayak or canoe! There are two natural ramps in the park that can launch your craft into the bay. 
Go on a Hike
There’s more to St. George Island State Park than just a beach! There are multiple hiking trails to enjoy here, especially when the winter weather is a little too cold to lay out. Each trailhead is marked by a kiosk so you can easily find them. The trail to Gap Point is 2.5 miles and takes you through pine flatwood forests to the bay, and the East Slough Overlook Trail will bring you across boardwalks lined with benches and information on the resources.
Go Birding
Bring your binoculars to St. George Island State Park! More than 300 species of birds have been documented here, so it’s the perfect place to go birding during your stay at Collins Vacation Rentals. Pelicans and gulls are the most common, but endangered and rare species have also been seen. 
Take the Kids to the Playground
There is a community playground at the camping area that the kids will love. Even if you are not camping, all are welcome. It’s the perfect place to go if the kids have a little energy they need to get rid of. 
Stargaze at Night
When you stay at Collins Vacation Rentals, you’ll notice something about our night sky. It’s filled with stars! Unlike the light pollution in the big cities and towns, our island has some of the darkest skies you have ever experienced. The Gulf of Mexico makes it so we have hardly any light pollution at all, and the closest city is more than 70 miles away. On clear nights, you can see the Milky Way and faint constellations! 
Experience Our Island With Collins Vacation Rentals

St. George Island State Park has something for every kind of nature lover. After you and your family explore the amazing surroundings, you’ll be ready to rest your feet at your Collins Vacation Rental. 
Located throughout St. George Island, our homes come complete with everything you need to have the vacation of a lifetime. Whether you’re searching for a beachfront view or a stunning property on Apalachicola Bay, we have just what you’re searching for. Looking to bring Fido along? View our pet-friendly properties perfect for the whole family! We can’t wait to welcome you to St. George Island!

Top 5 Family-Friendly Events You Need to Experience on St. George Island!

A short drive or boat ride off Florida’s panhandle, St. George Island offers a secluded retreat for you and your family from the hustle and bustle of other tourist destinations in Florida. Natural beauty and wonder surround this barrier island with access to state reserves such as Cape St. George State Reserve, Apalachicola Bay Aquatic Preserve, and Apalachicola National Forest. With all the natural allure, the island coaxes locals and tourists outdoors to appreciate its breathtaking beauty, temperate climate, and sunny beaches. In addition to all of the incredible outdoor activities to enjoy, here are a few of our favorite family-friendly events you can experience during your stay.

A trip to St. George Island can be both relaxing and exciting. With so many activities available, you can alternate lazy days with adventurous excursions, as well as shopping, dining and more. Visit our Things to Do page for insider info on local activities and events!
Top 5 Family-Friendly Events on St. George Island
1. First Day Hike
Start your New Year off island style. The annual First Day Hike allows you and your family to explore the area’s natural surroundings while learning more about St. George Island’s landscape and local sea creatures. The hike lasts about 1.5 hours and ends at the East Slough Overlook Platform. Don’t forget to take your camera to capture the amazing flora and fauna as well as a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico!
2. Apalachicola Farmers Market
Delicious food, live music, and handmade crafts are just some of the things to experience at the Apalachicola Farmers Market on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Let the kids dance and sing while you sample the delicious local fare and pick up fresh vegetables and seafood to prepare for dinner at your vacation rental.
3. Full Moon Climb
While you can visit the Cape St. George Light during the day, the monthly Full Moon Climb is one experience you won’t want to miss. Ascend to the lighthouse’s highest lookout point, which is over 9 stories high, for spectacular views of the sunset and the full moon. Light refreshments are served.
4. Holiday Market
During the holiday season, our barrier island defines the coastal Christmas lifestyle with the Holiday Fresh Market. This annual market, held in early December in front of the Dixie Theater, showcases local businesses offering an array of handcrafted gifts for loved ones.
5. Holiday Lights on the Harbor
If you’re spending the holidays in St. George Island, be sure to attend the Holiday Lights on the Harbor and Boat Parade of Lights in early December. Boats decorated for the season cascade down the Carrabelle River and illuminate the Christmas spirit in the hearts of all who see it.
Start Planning Your Visit to St. George Island
Ready to visit? Collins Vacation Rentals is here to help with your family’s vacation needs. Take a few minutes to browse our properties. You’re sure to find one that suits your needs, whether you’re planning a family reunion, a getaway with friends or a romantic trip for two. What’s more, our local, knowledgeable staff can assist you with recommending local restaurants, shopping around the island, and experiencing all St. George Island has to offer.

5 Family-Friendly Events You Need to Experience on St. George Island

A short drive or boat ride off Florida’s panhandle, St. George Island offers a secluded retreat for you and your family from the hustle and bustle of other tourist destinations in Florida. Natural beauty and wonder surround this barrier island with access to state reserves such as Cape St. George State Reserve, Apalachicola Bay Aquatic Preserve, and Apalachicola National Forest. With all the natural allure, the island coaxes locals and tourists outdoors to appreciate its breathtaking beauty, temperate climate, and sunny beaches. In addition to all of the incredible outdoor activities to enjoy, here are a few of our favorite family-friendly events you can experience during your stay.

A trip to St. George Island can be both relaxing and exciting. With so many activities available, you can alternate lazy days with adventurous excursions, as well as shopping, dining and more. Visit our Things to Do page for insider info on local activities and events!
Top 5 Family-Friendly Events on St. George Island
1. First Day Hike
Start your New Year off island style. The annual First Day Hike allows you and your family to explore the area’s natural surroundings while learning more about St. George Island’s landscape and local sea creatures. The hike lasts about 1.5 hours and ends at the East Slough Overlook Platform. Don’t forget to take your camera to capture the amazing flora and fauna as well as a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Mexico!
2. Apalachicola Farmers Market
Delicious food, live music, and handmade crafts are just some of the things to experience at the Apalachicola Farmers Market on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Let the kids dance and sing while you sample the delicious local fare and pick up fresh vegetables and seafood to prepare for dinner at your vacation rental.
3. Full Moon Climb
While you can visit the Cape St. George Light during the day, the monthly Full Moon Climb is one experience you won’t want to miss. Ascend to the lighthouse’s highest lookout point, which is over 9 stories high, for spectacular views of the sunset and the full moon. Light refreshments are served.
4. Holiday Market
During the holiday season, our barrier island defines the coastal Christmas lifestyle with the Holiday Fresh Market. This annual market, held in early December in front of the Dixie Theater, showcases local businesses offering an array of handcrafted gifts for loved ones.
5. Holiday Lights on the Harbor
If you’re spending the holidays in St. George Island, be sure to attend the Holiday Lights on the Harbor and Boat Parade of Lights in early December. Boats decorated for the season cascade down the Carrabelle River and illuminate the Christmas spirit in the hearts of all who see it.
Start Planning Your Visit to St. George Island
Ready to visit? Collins Vacation Rentals is here to help with your family’s vacation needs. Take a few minutes to browse our properties. You’re sure to find one that suits your needs, whether you’re planning a family reunion, a getaway with friends or a romantic trip for two. What’s more, our local, knowledgeable staff can assist you with recommending local restaurants, shopping around the island, and experiencing all St. George Island has to offer.

A Special Time of Year–Holidays on St. George

You may automatically think summer when you think of St. George Island, but the holiday season is a great time for visiting!
The air is cooler in the winter on SGI–we typically experience that perfect “sweater weather” for most of the season–but not so cold that heavy coats and scarves are a necessity. The day time is perfect for hikes and strolls on the beach, and our roomy rentals offer the perfect place to gather the whole family for holiday meals.

Read a book on the porch while taking in the salty air, and spend the evening with family near the fireplace. SGI will make your holiday season unforgettable!

Best of all, you’ll take advantage of our great low rates!
 

Your Ultimate Guide to the Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off

Florida’s Forgotten Coast is world-famous for its Apalachicola oysters – it’s no secret. If you’re a fan of the seafood delicacy, you won’t want to miss the annual Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off! Held each January at Riverfront Park, the festival features all the oysters you can eat, as well as other delicious cuisine, live music, kids activities, a 5.5K run and more. Come see what it’s all about and start making your plans to attend now!
The Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off is one of many fun things to see and do along Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Make sure to check out our Things to Do page for recommendations about other local events, happenings, and activities. It’s full of great tips to help you plan your stay with Collins Vacation Rentals.
What to Expect at the Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off
The 2020 Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off will be held January 17th and 18th. All the proceeds from the event will go to the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department, so it’s for a great cause. And, there is no entry fee for the Cook-Off! Here is a look at some of the exciting events taking place during the event:
The Silent Auction: On Friday night, you can preview a variety of unique oyster-related items at the festival. Then, return on Saturday and bid on your favorites at the silent auction. This year, there will also be a buy-it-now option. We recommend arriving early to snag all your favorite items!
The Fun Run: Would you like to work up a healthy appetite? Join in on the 5.5K fun run, also affectionately known as the “Half Shell Hustle” on Saturday morning. Everyone gets a T-shirt and medals will be awarded to the winners.
The Food: The food is what you’re here for, right? Plan to spend all day at the Cook-Off and fill up on delicious cuisine. In addition to dining on oysters every possible way you can imagine, you’ll also be able to enjoy shrimp, smoked mullet, hot dogs, hamburgers, local beer and more. 
The Oyster Cook-Off: The main event is the Oyster Cook-Off. If you have a recipe you believe is a ringer, feel free to enter! It’s all in fun and if you land in the top three, you’ll walk away with a trophy and some serious bragging rights! To enter the contest, make sure to register your recipe before January 11, 2020.
Entertainment: From kid’s activities to live music and dancing, the Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off offers fun for the entire family. Bring a chair to sit back and watch all of the fun, or join in the festivities! Check out the festival’s website to see a complete schedule of events. 
Book Your Stay With Collins Vacation Rentals
If you’re searching for accommodations near the Apalachicola Oyster Cook-Off, we invite you to book your stay with Collins Vacation Rentals! We offer a wide array of family-friendly vacation rentals on St. George Island. Known for its uncrowded shorelines and beautiful beaches, our island is just minutes from Apalachicola and the festival. From beachfront cottages and condos to duplexes and spacious luxury homes, we are sure to have the ideal lodging option for your stay. So, what are you waiting for? Browse our rentals and contact us to book your stay today! We can’t wait to welcome you!