St George Island State Park
St George Island is a 22-mile long barrier island that offers miles of undeveloped beaches and ample activities to please the entire family. Clear gulf waters are perfect for boating, swimming, sunbathing, shelling and amazing fishing. Wildlife watching is at it’s peak during the summer months when sea turtles and shore birds are nesting on the beaches. Dolphins are a common sight year-round in both the Gulf and the bayside of the island while American Bald Eagles can frequently be seen in the winter months.
The beautiful 79-foot St George Island Lighthouse stands guard over the center of the island and provides a picturesque backdrop for family fun. Want an even better photo op? Climb the lighthouse’s 92 steps for amazing 360° views of the island and gulf. The Lighthouse has it’s own website for more information on the museum and gift shop.
Nearby Apalachicola is a charming fishing town with amazing seafood restaurants and quaint local shops. Only the freshest local seafood is served here so prepare to have your taste buds thrilled. After-hours activities in town run the gamut of drinks and pool and the local nightclubs to watching the moonrise over the gulf.
The Dr Julian G Bruce St George Island State Park is located on the east end of St George Island. With miles of serene white sand beaches, swimmers and sunbathers will love. The shelling here is also fabulous as well as viewing the local wildlife from dolphins and sand crabs to birds and turtles. There are two boat ramps for shallow draft boats under 26′ or anglers can fish right off the beach. Other fun activities at the park include canoeing, kayaking, cycling, hiking and picnicking in on of the six large pavilions equipped with grills, tables and nearby restrooms.
The park is open 365 days a year from 8am until sundown. The campground features 48 RV or tent sites, 6 sites reserved exclusively for RVs or trailers and two primitive campsites at the end of a 2.5 mile trail or canoe ride. There is a non-refundable $6.70 reservation fee and a nightly camping fee of $24 which includes the water and electric. If you are 65 or older or hold a disability certificate, you are eligible for a 50% discount. If you are planning on just visiting for the day, the admission fees range from $2 to $6 or they have an annual pass.
The entire island including the beaches is very pet-friendly for well-behaved dogs, so the whole crew can enjoy this slice of old Florida. In the state park, however, dogs are not allowed on the beaches or the picnic pavilions so plan accordingly. For more information, please visit FloridaStateParks.org or call 850.927-2111.