If you’re staying in Tallahassee for summer classes and looking for activities to fill your weekend calendar, I have the perfect getaway for you.
St. George Island is just under a 2-hour drive from Florida State’s campus, and it’s well worth the 80-mile trip to get there. Grab some of your friends and make a weekend out of it by camping in the state park or going splits on a cute little beach rental for a few nights.
The island is home to Dr. Julian G. Bruce St. George Island State Park, so if you’re really the outdoorsy type and want to be fully immersed in what the island has to offer, you can pay $30.70 and pitch a tent right in the state park. If camping really isn’t your thing, there are plenty of colorful rentals to choose from, and split between a party of 4 or more for a night, I’m sure could fit into a college budget.
This is the best beach trip for college students because beach entry is free on the public access side. If you want a slightly more private beach, entry into the state park is $6 a vehicle and includes access to the less-populated section of the beach.
Once you’ve convinced your friends this trip will be well worth the small price and you’ve packed the car with your cooler and beach chairs, make sure to take off early so you can maximize the hours of tanning. Don’t worry about a lack of sleep because you can fuel your day and pick up a coffee at the Bayside Coffee Company on the island before you hit the sand. You can peruse their menu here.
Once you’ve claimed a spot on the beach and soaked in the sun for a while, you might want to take a walk over to the lighthouse on 2-B East Gulf Beach Drive. Get your steps in while learning a little history lesson from the accompanying museum. If you’re looking to get a workout in or just not the type to sit still and relax, there are kayaks and jet skis for rent, as well as sand volleyball courts on the beach. If you chose the state park beach access, you can fish off the bayside and take a walk along the boardwalk.
After spending all day in the sand, you must head to Blue Parrot Cafe for a sunset meal! They’re known for their world-famous oysters, but all their seafood is locally caught in the Apalachicola Bay and anything on the menu is sure to please the tastebuds. For the post-dinner ‘a little something sweet’ trip, head to Aunt Ebby’s for hand-dipped ice cream cones in all the flavors you could imagine.
Growing up in Tallahassee, this beach day routine was my family’s tradition for years, so it has been tested a multitude of times and fully vetted by me as a surefire way to enjoy and make the most of your 24 hours on this island on Florida’s Forgotten Coast.
Check it out and you could find yourself in the company of Jimmy Buffet or Angelina Jolie, two celebrities rumored to frequent St. George’s beautiful white beaches.
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