Tucked into the crook of Florida’s Panhandle, St. George Island tops many locals’ list of Florida’s best beaches. A 22-mile-long barrier island located just off the coast, St. George’s is technically part of the long stretch of beaches known as Gulf Islands National Seashore. The island appears to be a mecca for wildlife. In fact, the island’s far eastern end is home to St. George Island State Park, 9 miles of completely undeveloped coastline, where you’ll likely see scores of birds, like black skimmers, nesting amid the island’s rolling sand dunes.
Come early summer, the beach proves attractive to another visitor: loggerhead sea turtles that come ashore to dig nests and lay eggs. At nightfall, the baby sea turtles can be seen making their way toward the water. A number of trails, boardwalks and viewing platforms wind through the park, and make for excellent, easy hiking and wildlife viewing. St. George’s is also an excellent destination for fishing and many charter companies offer daily trips into the surrounding Gulf waters, rich with flounder, trout and redfish.