Situated just off the Gulf Coast in Northern Florida, St. George Island stretches for over 28 miles. To get to the barrier island, visitors must travel over Apalachicola Bay via the four-mile-long St. George Island Bridge. Known for its quiet, tranquil setting, the island is the perfect destination for a relaxing getaway with the family. Once you settle into your vacation rental in St. George Island, check out this list of the top 12 things to do when visiting St. George Island with kids.

1. Relax on the Beach

The beaches of St. George Island are serene, offering the ideal spot to spread out a beach towel and relax in the sun as you listen to the rolling waves. Read a book from your beach chair while the kids collect seashells, build sandcastles, and swim in the ocean. If your family dog is along, don’t leave him alone at the vacation rental. Pets are allowed on the public beaches here.

2. Take a Tour

Take the whole family on a boat tour to get your sea legs and learn all about St. George Island. Visit Journeys St. George Guide Boat tours for a sunset cruise, and spot a few dolphins while you’re on the water. Captain Jack’s Guide Service offers custom boat tours, so you can choose to fish for flounder, snap some pictures of the bayside, or go whale-watching.

3. Go Shopping

Spend some time checking out the local shops in the area to find souvenirs to take home. Pick up a fun St. George Island T-shirt or hat at Island Dog Beach and Surf Shop. Stop by Jolly Roger Beach Shop on your way to sand to pick up kites, water toys, and anything else you need for a day at the beach. Island Outfitters sells lots of outerwear, as well as unique, knick knacks to remember your trip.

4. Explore a Lighthouse

Leave your vacation rental early for a day of sightseeing, and snap some stunning photos of the family as you visit Cape St. George Lighthouse. Reconstructed in 2008, this lighthouse was originally built in 1833. Stop in at the Keeper’s House Museum and Gift Shop to find out more about the history of the structure, then visit Crooked River Lighthouse near downtown Carrabelle. If the kids aren’t tired out after the 138-step climb to the top, let them play out on the pirate ship-themed jungle gym.

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5. Go out on the Water

When you’re ready for some adventure, head out on the water. Visit St. George Island Beach Chair Rentals to rent boogie boards, skim boards, surfboards, and jet skis. Jolly Roger Beach Shop rents kayaks, or you can try your hand at the standup paddle board with a rental from Island Outfitters. You can even rent motor boats from Journeys of St. George Island, so there’s no shortage of ways to have fun on the waves.

6. Grab a Bite to Eat

Take and break from cooking meals for the family at your vacation rental by stepping out and sampling the cuisine at one of the local restaurants. Take the seafood lovers in your family to Paddy’s Raw Bar, or head to Blue Parrot to enjoy a meal with a beachfront view. For a great burger, head to Doc Myers Island Pub Sports Bar. Save room for dessert; Aunt Ebby’s Ice Cream Shop is a must.

7. Go Fishing

Hit up Island Outfitters for all the fishing gear you need, then head to St. George Island State Park to find a spot. If charters are more your style, you have lots of options. Island Charters takes you to the best fishing spots on St. George Island and Apalachicola Bay, while Bay View Charters of SGI offers room for up to six people to fish for snapper, grouper, king mackerel, and more.

8. Have a Picnic

Make up some sandwiches at your vacation rental, and head to one of the local parks for a picnic with the family. At the center of St. George Island, Lighthouse Park offers picnic pavilions, restrooms, grills, and even a basketball court to keep the kids entertained while you prepare the kabobs. On the east end of the island, the state park has picnic tables, restrooms, snack machines, and nature trails, so you can go for a walk after dinner.

9. Visit a Gallery

If you’re an art buff, don’t leave the island without a stop at Sea Oats Art Gallery. Peruse the various mediums used, from watercolors and oils to ceramics and textiles. Pick out a piece of art crafted by a local artist to display in your own home and remind you the precious memories you made with your family on St. George Island.

10. Check out the Park

When everyone in the family wants to do something different, spend the day at St. George Island State Park. The fishermen of the family can fish off the beach or in the bay for redfish, pompano, or sea trout. Spend the day sunbathing or swimming, or go canoeing. Go for a walk on a nature trail, and find plenty of opportunities for bird watching.

11. Go to a Museum

Learn all about St. George Island with a visit to one of the local museums. Visit the Raney House Museum to learn how Apalachicola contributed to the 1800s cotton trade, or go to the Apalachicola Maritime Museum to book a tour of the island.

12. Ride a Bike

Get out of your vacation rental and burn off some energy with a bike ride. Rent bicycles for the family at Jolly Rogers Beach Shop or Island Adventures, then wake up with the sunrise and explore over 17 miles of paved bicycle paths that the island has to offer.

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