From the minute we drove across the 4 mile bridge to reach St George Island, the barrier island captivated both of us. This is the forgotten Florida coastline – otherwise unkindly referred to as the “armpit”. Just 10 miles off the coast of Apalachicola and miles away from chain restaurants and flashing signs, utopia beckons.
Wander the deserted beaches with squeaky sugar white sand, discover your own shells, climb a 1850’s lighthouse, enjoy real Florida seafood, fresh as it can be, right off the boat, ride your bike the length of the island, along a separate bike path…. wow, just wow….. Seems like a photo essay would be better than a blog post! So enjoy!
All along white sugar sand dunes help protect against the forces Mother Nature and Mother Ocean conspire to undermine the very island itself.
Look inland and see the inlets and lakes where water weaves a latticework throughout the island.
Ride the 5 mile bike path from the end of the State Park road to the far east end of the island and enjoy even more solitude … and more shells! Be sure to go at low tide. The minute we stepped onto the beach, the water was so clear we spotted rays and skates swimming in the surf along with gazillions of hermit crabs scurrying in the shallow water across the bottom on their way to who knows where.
At the very end, we were surprised to find a few vehicles after seeing the heavy duty locked gate (with a gate marked “Bicycles Only” to the right side). Turns out it’s possible to get a special permit to drive to the end – I think you have to be a fisherman and I have no idea how to get the permit, maybe ask at the Park Ranger office.
Hungry for some local seafood? We enjoyed the Blue Parrot Oceanfront Cafe for a blackened grouper sandwich for lunch (ask for the veggies if you don’t want fries). It was local and pretty tasty.
And good places for mosquitos to hide, probably why they spray the island twice a week during the height of mosquito season.
Hike to what locals told us was the best sunset view on the island – 2 miles from the end of the state park campground (by the playground). It was a good sunset, and a good hike. They warned us to be prepared for mosquitos …. and yes, that is my mosquito screen that we bought for Alaska and didn’t need…
Yes, be prepared for mosquitos if you venture off the beaten paths. But it was still worth every minute!
And don’t forget to climb the lighthouse, go through the lighhouse museum and talk to the locals. We errored in only staying 2 1/2 days, we could easily have enjoyed a week. And we didn’t even get the kayaks off the top of the truck into the water — and the paddling looked phenomenal. Oh well… next time!
Nope, you’ll definitely never want to try and find St George Island… I’m sure if you love beaches, relaxing and not much else (other than a few restaurants and a cool lighthouse), you’ll hate it….. 🙂 Cheers! Jan