St. George Island, Florida
This 28-mile-long barrier island off the Florida Panhandle is the sort of place where you can post up for a week with nothing to do and never get bored. It's all empty stretches of white-sand beaches, oyster beds patrolled by redfish, and a village in the dunes that feels more like Cape Cod than north Florida. Rent a house (VRBO has more than 300 listings, ranging from $400 to more than $1,000 per night) and, before unloading the car, pick up a bushel of oysters in Apalachicola and a kayak at Island Outfitters in the main village. If the fishing is slow, paddle across to Little St. George, an uninhabited island to the west, where loggerhead sea turtles waddle ashore during the winter. History buffs will want to climb the 92 steps to the top of St. George Lighthouse, which dates to 1852. Or if that feels too ambitious, simply shuck a few oysters while you fire up the grill. Maybe you mix a Bloody Mary. Maybe not. One thing is for certain: There's no rush.
Getting there: From Tallahassee, drive 90 minutes southwest.