11 Reasons to Stay in the St. George Island Plantation on Your Next Trip
We are often asked what part of the island is best for a St. George Island beach vacation. Is it the East End? The Gulf Beaches section in the middle of the island? Or the Plantation? While there are benefits to all parts of the island, the Plantation is a very different experience, and I must say when I’m driving down Leisure Ln. I feel like I’m home. At SGI Beach Vacations, we have two homes in the Plantation, Sea Dunes and Sand Dollar. We love the Plantation, and here are the top 11 reasons why you should stay in the Plantation on your next trip to St. George Island.
#1 – Privacy, Privacy, Privacy!
There is nowhere on St. George Island that you can find as much privacy as in the Plantation. Increased vegetation, lower home density and the dunes in many areas allow guests to feel like they are on their own private island. This privacy not only means you’ll rarely see people near your vacation home, it also means you’ll have your own slice of private beach too.
#2 – Bob Sikes Cut for a sunset or a kayak ride
In 1954, the US Army Corp of Engineers dredged the middle of St. George Island severing it in two and creating Little St. George. Check out our blogs on Little St. George here and here. The Cut has some of the best views of the sunset on the whole island. It is also one of the most desirable places to go fishing on the island too. However, the only way to access the Cut is if you are staying in a vacation rental home in the Plantation (or by boat!).
#3 – Two huge pools
While Sand Dollar and Sea Dunes have private pools, there is also the option to check out one of the two huge pools in the Plantation. The Resort pool is located closer to the gate (near the airstrip) and the Clubhouse pool is located closer to the western end of the Plantation. Both pools are maintained the Plantation and are open throughout the day.
#4 - Tennis courts & pickleball
If you can’t go a week without playing tennis, the Plantation is the only place on the island where you can play tennis. The Plantation also sets up pickleball on the tennis courts as well.
#5 – Miles of shaded bike baths
While there are bike paths running from the Cut to the St. George Island State Park, the only place you’ll find shade on those bike paths is in the Plantation. Because of the low density of the Plantation you never have to worry about safety when riding your bike or going for a run.
#6 – The Plantation gym
If tennis, pickleball or running or biking on the bike path aren’t your thing, then there is a small gym located in the Plantation Clubhouse that is open to visitors 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The gym has treadmills, stationary bike, elliptical free weights and machines (Please note that you’ll be required to fill out a waiver firm during your first visit to the gym). While it won’t replace your mega gym from home, it’s good to work off those extra calories from all of the good restaurants around St. George Island.
#7 – Plantation security
While there is rarely any security concern while you’re on any part of St. George Island, the Plantation’s gated community with private security gives you an extra sense of comfort. Why not stay in a gated community during your vacation and feel extra special!
#8 – Natural vegetation
St. George Island is part of the Forgotten Coast, but many people refer to the Plantation as “Old Florida.” The Plantation Homeowners Associate requires homeowners to maintain a natural look and this results in increased vegetation and more of a natural feel than in other parts of the island that have lots completely cleared of vegetation. As mentioned before, this vegetation really helps with privacy in the Plantation.
#9 – Nick’s Hole State Reserve
The private gated community has a unique partnership with the State of Florida that provides access to Nick’s Hole – one of the most pristine maritime forests on the island. The area is accessible for kayaking, hiking and picnicking. In Nick’s Hole you can wind through paths with moss-covered trees and finish with beautiful views of Apalachicola Bay. For a trail map of Nick’s Hole, click here.
#10 – HOA maintenance requirements
Because you are staying in a homeowner’s association, the maintenance requirements ensure that properties are regularly maintained to very high standards. While this can sometimes make things difficult for a homeowner, the vacation rental guest benefits by knowing that the home they are renting is well kept.
#11 – The Plantation's private airstrip
While we’ve never had the experience of utilizing it, we have had a couple of guests that have flown their own plane and parked it at the St. George Island private airstrip. What a cool experience!
To learn more about the Plantation and its amenities, please check out the Plantations’ visitor page. In our view there are only two small reasons that some people choose to stay outside of the Plantation: 1) unfortunately, guests are not allowed to have golf carts in the Plantation so they would be required to stay in the Gulf Beaches section of the island and 2) The Plantation (and the East End) are farther from the center of the island where the restaurants, etc. are located. However, we always believe that getting a slice of heaven all to yourself (like below) always outweighs these small negatives. What do you like about the Plantation? Tell us in the comments section below.