St. George Island is one of four barrier islands in Franklin County. It is the largest and the most developed. St. George Island measures approximately 30 miles in length. The width of this narrow band of sand varies from one-quarter mile to just over a mile. At its peak, the island measures a full 12 feet above sea level. The island is home to about 800 fulltime residents and thousands of seasonal guests. Vacationers can choose from a variety of rental accommodations and there are three motels, an inn, several restaurants, lounges and retail stores and galleries. A bridge and causeway connect the island to mainland, and the recently restored St. George Island Lighthouse greets each arriving guest.
St. George Island is one of the last inhabited, yet unspoiled, sea islands of Florida. The east end of the island is occupied by Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park. The 1800- acre park features picnic areas with bathhouses, boardwalks, observation decks, nature trails and camping facilities. Other portions of the island, particularly the sensitive bay marshes, are owned by the state.
The island offers stretches of beautiful, uncrowded beaches for sunning and shelling, clear gulf waters for swimming and sailing, excellent fishing in the Gulf and the Bay, and pristine marsh and wooded areas for wildlife lovers and birdwatchers.
The history of St. George island is colored with pirates, Indians and shipwrecks. The Creek Indians first inhabited the island as early as 1600s, constructing villages and mounds. The Indians were aggressive traders and commerce flourished from the St. Marks River around and up the Apalachicola River. The arrival of the Europeans to the island in the 1700s sparked intensive struggles between the various European countries for control of this rich Indian territory. Pirate captain William Augustus Bowles (Billy bowlegs) led the Creek Indians in the defense against the Spanish and French in the late 1700s. Legend has it that before Bowlegs died, the pirate captain buried a treasure somewhere on the island. After the Forbes purchase in 1803, commercial sailing traffic increased and lighthouse was built on the west end of the island, which is now Little St. George Island.
St. George Island is home to the largest regional chili cookoff in the U.S. during the first Saturday in March. A benefit for the St. George Island Volunteer Fire Department, the cookoff is combined with an auction. Approximately 3,000-5,000 folks converge on the barrier island for the cause each spring.
Development on the island has been primarily single family residential and the beauty of the land is protected in most areas by low -density zoning and strict building codes. Spectacular sunsets and sparkling waterfront vistas command the highest land values in the area making St. George Island one the region's most sought after investment opportunities. For more information about St. George Island investment properties, call Jerry Thompson or click here.
Located just west of St. George Island (a stone's throw across Bob Sike's Cut). Little St. George Island used to be part of the larger St. George Island. In 1957, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened a permanent pass to shorten the time required for fishing boats to get from Apalachicola to the open Gulf. The island, almost three square miles in area, bends like an arm partially extended. The elbow, known as Cape St. George, was the original site of the St. George Island Lighthouse erected in 1852. The lighthouse, which now sits proudly in the center of the main island, has undergone extensive restoration over the past several years and is one of the most popular stops for visitors. The island is owned by the State of Florida and managed by the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve. It is accessible by boat only and features excellent shelling, shore fishing and nature exploration. Bring your bug spray though!