There are miles of pristine Florida coast and some of the most breathtaking and tourist-friendly are the beaches of Franklin County, Florida, making them the ideal spot for your summer vacation in Florida.

You'll find sugar-white sand beaches, plenty of great seafood rolling in daily, water sports, shopping, and miles of animal preserves and state parks. Add in incredibly beautiful rental properties and hotels, and some of the most welcoming folks anywhere, and it makes Franklin County an ideal vacation spot on Florida's Gulf coast.

St. George Island

Four miles off the Florida coast, accessible by a massive span of bridge from Apalachicola, St. George Island is a pristine strip of land that offers a unique piece of Florida coast. There are 20 miles of beach on the Gulf side and many more miles of marsh, inlets, and oyster bars on the bay side.

Spend summer vacation at St George Island Florida

St George Island on the Gulfside Photo by Pat Canova

St. George Island is part state park, part resort, but you'll find no high rises, no wild night life, no need to set your alarm clocks. Just a laid back beach life awaits you on the island. You can camp at the State Park, rent a hotel room, rent a home on the beach, reserve a gorgeous villa—the experience can be uniquely yours. Check out Resort Vacation Properties or Collins Vacation Rentals for complete rental information.

The island offers incredible water sports, fishing, boating, and wildlife experiences. The St. George Island State Park includes nine miles of beaches, of which the eastern-most five miles are accessible only by foot. To experience the outdoors on St. George Island, be sure to visit Journeys of St. George Island for kayak rentals, bay fishing trips, off-shore fishing trips, guided boat tours, kayak tours, and kids camps, all offered from their own private dock on the bay.

What's Up in Nearby Apalachicola

Apalachicola, on the mainland, is an historic town, known for its rich past and a still-active seafood industry. It was named one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 2008.

Although you're just minutes from the beaches in St. George Island, you'll find a charming town center, delightful inns, quaint shops, and gourmet food in Apalachicola.

Historic Gibson Inn is ideal for your summer vacation in Florida

Historic Gibson Inn in Apalachicola, FL Photo by Pat Canova

If you're looking for a quiet inn, try The Gibson Inn or Coombs House Inn. Both historic inns offer rooms filled with luxury, comfort, and history. The Gibson Inn houses 30 individualized rooms and features Gormley's at The Gibson Inn for a combination of classic French and modern cuisine. Gormley's is open to the public for dinner daily except Tuesday. Of course, you'll want to start with a platter of Apalachicola oysters served raw on the half shell.

The Coombs House Inn offers 23 guest rooms and beautiful gardens. Guests can enjoy a full home cooked breakfast in the elegant dining room, then make use of the complimentary bicycles, beach umbrellas, towels, and beach chairs to enjoy the Franklin County sunshine. Click here for an article all about The Coombs House Inn.

If you prefer a more traditional hotel experience, the Water Street Hotel & Marina at 329 Water Street offers modern rooms with sleek interiors and all the amenities. The hotel owner also offers 20 slips available for rental if you wish to dock here for the day or the duration of your vacation.

Waterstreet Hotel in Apalachicola is a good option for your summer vacation in Florida

Waterstreet Hotel, Apalachicola, Florida. Photo by Pat Canova

Your day in Apalachicola can be spent exploring the town or perhaps you might want to charter a boat and take to the water. Either way, you won't be disappointed. If you opt to explore the town, be sure to check out the Dixie Theatre at 21 Avenue East. Performances are scheduled throughout the summer months in this historic theatre. Check the schedule online at

The shopping district in downtown Apalachicola is quaint and colorful. One fun shop is Riverlily, located at 78 Commerce Street. Riverlily features lovely soaps, toiletries, jewelry, gifts, and more.

Definitely don't miss The Green Door in Apalachicola, found online at This fun art gallery features the work of artist Amy Friedman and frequently showcases works by guest artists. The gallery is reopening for the summer in its new location at Hays House, located at 48 Avenue D.

If you prefer to spend the day on the water, you might want to contact Book Me A Charter in Apalachicola. They provide inshore and offshore fishing, oystering, and tour guide services.

Check Out Carrabelle

Nearby Carrabelle is not to be forgotten during your summer vacation in Franklin County. The small town is surrounded by nature. In addition to the coast, the massive Tate's Hell State Forest provides major opportunities for exploring the outdoors and experiencing the incredible array of wildlife in Franklin County.

St George Island Florida

St. George Island, Florida. Photo by Pat Canova

If you want to stay in Carrabelle, be sure to try the Old Carrabelle Hotel. There are ten rooms in this 19th century home that's now a quaint inn with a wonderful location in the heart of the town, at 201 Tallahassee Street.

If you prefer private lodging, such as a home or condo, contact Sandy Beach Properties in Carrabelle at 84 Tallahassee Street.

The beautiful outdoors awaits you in Franklin County, Florida. St. George Island's beaches are pristine. The seafood is fresh. The towns are quaint. The fun and a summer vacation in Florida that you will remember for a lifetime awaits.

Getting To Franklin County

Franklin County is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida's panhandle, 80 miles southwest of Tallahassee. The county offers more than 200 miles of mostly undeveloped shoreline including four barrier islands (St. George Island is one of those). The coastal communities of Apalachicola and St. George Island are accessible via US Highway 98. You can reach Franklin County by air through airports in Tallahassee and Panama City.

Most major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta, and United fly into Tallahassee via several connecting cities. The airport in Panama City, about 90 minutes west of Franklin County, provides service on Southwest Airlines.

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