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Beaches on St. George Island: 1st Timer's Guide

Discover the best beaches on St. George Island with this guide. From pristine white sands to crystal clear waters, find your slice of paradise.

Micaela Koremblit
MicaelaMarketing Manager
Beaches on St. George Island: 1st Timer's Guide

St. George Island is the best beach destination in the entire nation, according to Dr. Beach and his annual list of America’s Best Beaches for 2023. This narrow, curved barrier island sits in the placid waters of Florida’s protected Gulf of Mexico, featuring nine miles of uninterrupted white sugar sand, public beach access, and turquoise waters. 

But that alone did not land St. George’s Island on all the “best beach” lists year after year. It’s the rare combination of family-owned businesses, lack of development encroaching on the pristine shores, and the abundance of attractions in the area that can keep you and the whole family endlessly entertained.

SGI is a spectacularly beautiful escape and a true testament to beach tourism done right in the Florida panhandle. Here on ‘Forgotten Coast’, travelers can sleep in luxury at one of our premium beachfront vacation rentals, packed full of amenities like a private wading pool, hot tub, and even your own golf cart. 

After you’ve settled into the easiest decision you’ve made on your SGI getaway, you can  explore the 22 miles of beaches well-rested. This guide will break the island’s sands into small pieces and help you determine which slice of the island’s near continuous beach is best for your vacation. 

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Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Best for: Birding & Nature

Near the mouth of the Apalachicola River, this is the best area to spot birds and other wildlife, both marine and otherwise, while on vacation. Ghost crabs popping in and out of their sandy holes hide from predatory shorebirds. This reserve is actually much bigger than this little spot on St. George’s island and stretches back upriver onto the mainland.

Shell Point Cove

Best for: Shelling

Hoping to partake in some serious shelling? This Florida’s Forgotten Coast beach is the one to hit for beachcombing. The rugged coastline here doesn’t leave much in terms of beach lazing, but it’s great for an early morning or late afternoon stroll.

Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park

Best for: Impeccable Beauty

This particular beach has won a hearty amount of “Best Beach in America” accolades. Clocking in at 9 miles of uninterrupted sandy delight, this Eastpoint beach is probably the most beautiful on the list. It’s also the second-longest beach park in all of Florida. During the daytime, you can enjoy all the usual beach activities, swimming, fishing, pet walking, and strolling the boardwalk.

This isolated section of the island is popular with stargazers, leaving the fading lights of the small St. George’s Island center behind to have unobstructed sky views after dark. It’s also the go-to spot for nature lovers and hikers hoping to walk the 2.5-mile nature trail through pine forests and native coastal scrub. 

This park beach does have an entrance fee to keep it a clean and well-maintained beach access area.

Cape St. George Island State Reserve (Lutz Beach)

Best for: Complete Privacy

Butted up against St. Vincent Island, this reserve is the furthest western point of St. George’s. It’s only accessible by boat.

This section of the island is not your typical beach break. It’s far less frequented by beach-goers (even though it still has a spectacular white sand beach) and is most popular in the soft light of early morning (or sunset) when bird-watchers and fishermen are out and about taking advantage of the reserve’s abundant marine life. 

If you’re lucky, you can also spot Green and Loggerhead sea turtles nesting during certain seasons near the calm, clear waters of Apalachicola Bay.

St. George Island Public Beach

Best for: Families

Sitting in the shadow of Cape St George Lighthouse, this is the island’s most well-known and popular beach. Walk the boardwalk out from the “city” to the long wide-open expanse of beach and join the many families sprawled in the sugar-white sand. 

The water clarity here is good, not great, concealing an abundance of tropical fish and if you’re lucky, sea turtles. This section of public beach is most popular with families, making it a perfect place to swim, kayak, and fish from the shore. You’ll also notice that it’s pet-friendly and popular for early morning strollers out bird watching.

This is the closest beach to all the best bars and restaurants on St. George Island.

East End Fishing Beach

Best For: Fishing

You guessed it. This beach is for fishing. Pretty much exclusively. It’s not going to win any awards as a pristine beach fit for a tropical getaway. But it is a great place to partake in a fun Florida pastime and score some good flounder or redfish on the end of your pole.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love the wide array of things to do outside on St George Island.

Unit Four Beach

Best For: Tranquility

A hidden bayside gem with hiking trails and freshwater pools. This beach has little to no amenities and resources for families, but it’s great for lovers of nature. 

You can explore the salt marshes for oysters and other mollusks, watch the skies for endangered seabirds like eagles and osprey, and enjoy the untouched tropical environment of the Florida Gulf.

Other Nearby Beaches Worth Visiting

These Florida beaches are not on St. George’s Island. But they are noteworthy Gulf Coast beaches and just a short drive away from it.

Carrabelle Beach

Another super popular beach on the mainland of Florida. Covered in soft white sand with calm waters. This is the standard for all beaches in the area and Carrabelle Beach lives up to the high expectations. For a more off-the-grid experience, head here. It’s located just up the road and swaps the picnic benches and families for couples, sunset spots, and natural beauty.

Alligator Point Beach

A local’s favorite. This mainland beach is pretty quiet as far as Florida beaches go. Fishermen will enjoy the superb diversity of species in the water. Trout, Redfish, Pompano, and Tarpan are all frequently caught in the area. Beach-goers will be pleased with the soft fine sand and calm waters.

Bald Point State Park

Nearby Alligator Point, Bald Point State Park, and a small beach with parking just off Highway 98. Here you can sunbathe and fish, but the swimming is below average. This is because of the river runoff and high density of marine life that leaves the shoreline looking a little murky and uninviting to beachgoers. Take note, there is a fee to enter. 

Tahiti Beach (St. Vincent Island)

Sitting between Alligator Point and Cape San Blas, St Vincent Island is one of the closest islands to St. George’s. It’s also a massive wildlife refuge and requires a boat to access it. This keeps the majority of the tourists at bay. So, if you’re searching for solitude, this aptly named beach resembling its Polynesian island namesake is the perfect place for you.

Dog Island Beach

Welcome to Dog Island. The smallest and least accessible of the Gulf Coast barrier islands. Because it takes a little work to get to, its pristine beaches and surrounding nature feel untouched. 

For intrepid tourists with access to a boat, you can hike to the secluded Dog Island Beach on the island for shelling, crabbing, and soaking in the clearest undisturbed waters of any beach on this list.

Find Paradise on St. George Island

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We have rentals galore. Come stay with us! Our vacation homes are known for inspiring views, natural scenery, convenient locations, and luxury amenities. 

This little Floridian island is perfect for a romantic vacation, a working holiday, or fun for the whole family. Let St. George’s Island, Florida, entice you with its world-class beaches and array of fun activities for the whole family.

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