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Ben Dooley

Member since: 2010
Call Manager
Speaks: english

Great Vacation..St George Plantation on St George Island

27 Reviews
Bedrooms 4
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 4 nights


Florida House Rental Photos and Description

House, 4 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 3 Baths, (Sleeps 8-10)


Welcome to MORNINGSIDE BY THE SEA, sited on a lot filled with natural indigenous vegetation in St. George Plantation. Our beautiful beach is a short, 2-minute stroll along a sandy wooded path with no streets to cross.

Our home is comfortably furnished with one king, two queens, two twins, and one double convertible bed. You will find a real 'home away from home,' with informal, comfortable furnishings, interesting art and artifacts, and a very well-equipped kitchen. An open vaulted-ceilinged kitchen/dining/living area (with fireplace), one bedroom/bath are on the second floor, to take advantage of the Gulf views. This level also has a screened porch for alfresco dining and 'rockin.' The lower level has three additional bedrooms and 2 baths. A large sundeck with reclining lounge chairs may be accessed from two of the bedrooms. All bedrooms are carpeted, while the living areas have heart pine floors. Guests will find 2 TVs, 2 DVD players, wireless internet, free long distance calling, and a CD player/radio. Guests are welcome to enjoy the games, puzzles and books in the home.

Morningside by the Sea is architect-designed to capture cross breezes for fresh air living and sleeping in mild weather.

St. George is a peaceful and beautiful barrier island off Apalachicola, Florida. On the north is Apalachicola Bay (famous for oysters). To the south is the Gulf of Mexico. This is an area very much into eco-ventures, with several local companies providing escorted and self-guided tours into the Apalachicola River/Bay estuary. The Gulf, river and bay offer great boating and fishing opportunities, with local charter companies available to help you plan and achieve your adventure.

St. George Plantation has a pool and tennis courts, usually available to guests. Our uncrowded beach speaks for itself. The sand is white, the water is bottle blue/green, and the shells are (usually) plentiful. The birds, dolphins and ghost crabs are free!

Morningside by the Sea was built in 1991. We think of it as a family home rather than merely an investment. It is used by us and our kids for more than 16 weeks a year. We hope think you will enjoy Morningside as much as we do and fully expect you will soon love this island as much as we do. If you are looking for water slides, amusement piers. goofy golf and high rise living, this is not for you. If you consider vacation a time to enjoy life, family and nature while doing next to nothing then St George is the place to be.



Don't fail to visit St. George State Park at the opposite end of the island. Here you will find dramatic moonscape dunes, secluded beaches and scenic hiking trails. The East Slough Trail can be accessed from the first large picnic shelter area...cross to the north side of the road and follow the wooden walk. Take bug spray! Trail meanders about 1.4 miles through uplands and along and over marshes. at the end you pass through a camping area with 2 small lakes...look for the gators on the far bank. Return to your car by walking the trail in reverse or by walking west on the beach.


The lighthouse in the middle of the island was recently relocated and rebuilt following its 2005 collapse at its original location since 1853 on Little St. George Island to the west. A community effort salvaged the brick and much of the lantern frame. In 2008 it was rebuilt using the original construction plans. Pay a small fee and climb to the top for a great view. Visit the replica of the keepers cottage / museum / gift shop at no charge.


ANERR is in East Point near the mainland end of the bridge from the island. Learn what happens when salt and fresh water meet. No charge but contributions appreciated. Museum, small aquarium and touch tanks. Kids love it! Also pick up information on the ANERR access areas on the island and mainland where you can hike, bird-watch and get great photos.


This 4 mile easy trail has its east trailhead on the north side of US 98 about 8 miles east of East Point. Nice trail in good weather (don't try in wet weather unless you want to wade in real scary water). Nice views of sound and marshes. Beautiful wild flowers in season. Take bug spray! Be sure to find out the origin of the name 'Tate's Hell' from the locals.


This beautiful and historic little town is across two bridges from the island (about 12 miles). Many preserved Victorian and Greek Revival buildings, great restaurants and interesting shops. See the 1907 Gibson Inn Hotel, 1838 Trinity church, Lafayette Park, Maritime Museum and the trail to the river from the parking area at the original ANERR location near Scipio Creek Boat Basin. Also at Scipio Creek is the headquarters St Vincent Island Nat'l Wildlife Refuge where you can obtain passes to visit this undeveloped island. A bit of the 1850's local doctor John Gorrie tried to develop a machine to cool his patients habitually suffering from Malaria every summer. His machine was a failure as air conditions but very successful at making ice (moisture froze on the coils). Today he is credited inventing artificial ice

production...Thank you Dr Gorrie!! See the small museum dedicated to him and his accomplishment.


On route 30 about 10 miles west of Apalach, this is more an institution than a restaurant. In business in the same building for over 80 years. Old time laid back place. I once arrived at 11:30 for lunch and found it closed. I asked the old man sitting on the bench out front if they would be opening. 'Yep, reckin so.' 'When?' 'Well, when they git here.'...My kind of place!


Located on US-98 about 12 miles east of East Point. In the 40's Camp Gordon Johnson near this small town was a major beach assault training center for the US military. Many of the veterans of the Normandy landings trained on the beaches of St George and Dog Islands. Today there is a WW-II museum in town. This is also a big boating and fishing center.


More Details
  • Events Allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Ben Dooley (Property Manager)
Member since: 2010
Call Manager
Speaks: english

About Ben Dooley

Morningside by the sea was built in 1991 on a lot purchased in 1983. We are not exactly newcomers. Three married couples, all from Atlanta, own, love and enjoy Morningside. Their 4 grown children and 3 grandchildren love it too!

Ben Dooley purchased this house in 1992

Why Ben Dooley chose Florida

We chose St. George because it is so 'un-florida'. The island is off the beaten path with a slow pace and a laid-back atmosphere. No highrises, no cars on the beach, no tourist hype, no crowds!

What makes this house unique

We come to St. George for one simple relax and get away from the daily big city grind. We are here to enjoy family and friends, eat lots of (too much on occasion) the world's best seafood and to observe mother nature at her best...and these are the more strenuous activities while here.


based on 27 traveler reviews

Great Vacation..St George Plantation on St George Island
average rating of 4.888889 based on 27 reviews

they thought of it all!

  • 5 of 5

Staying at Morningside by the Sea these past few days was wonderful for my family. We spent most of our time at the beach or at Nick's Hole (on the bay side) fishing and kayaking. The owners have a closet downstairs which has anything you need for your stay....beach umbrellas, beach tent, bikes, crab traps, smoker, grilling tools, electric charcoal starter, etc! The only thing we rented through VayK Gear was the beach wagon to haul all your stuff to the beach. I would caution if you have any physical limitations with stairs that this home would not be for you. The home was very clean and had plenty of linens. If you eat out you must try Paddy's and Blue Marlin....excellent seafood! Also, the fish cleaning station was awesome for cleaning the fish and blue crabs we caught for supper....and washing the sand away or simply cooling down in the outdoor shower was refreshing! On the walls of the home are many pictures and feel like you get a mini history/nature lesson of the island. The shadow box with shells and their names was very creative. I could go on and on....I miss it already!

  • Submitted: Jul 3, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Wow...thanks for all your glowing comments. I guess you liked us!! It seems you found some items in the owner storage room we didn't even know we had! Thanks again and start planning the next trip!
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Celebrated College Graduations

  • 5 of 5

Our family of 7 (3 grown daughters and 2 sons-in-law) stayed at Morningside by the Sea from 5/16/16-5/22/16. It was absolutely perfect for our needs!....plenty of space to spend time together as well as space to retreat to be alone. Kitchen is well stocked, beds and linens are clean and comfortable, and the screened in deck/porch was a great gathering area! Even though the house is not directly on the beach, you can hear the waves rolling in as you sit on the screened deck....a perfect way to begin the morning with a cup of coffee or end the day with a cool drink in hand. St. George Island is the PERFECT PLACE to relax and rejuvenate! Even though there is a short walk to the beach, it is not a deterrent to renting this property. Pods of dolphins can be seen daily! We would definitely stay there again! The people on the island and in Apalachicola are some of the friendliest people we've EVER met! The property owner is VERY easy to work with and is prompt and thorough in answering questions!

Amenities: Bath and kitchen towels (& cloths), sheets, and TP provided. Main grocery is in town (IGA and Piggly Wiggly). LImited groceries can be purchased on St George Island. We recommend stocking up prior to island arrival. Our main focus was to kick back and relax as well as walk on the beach, but there are a couple places on the island where you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, bicycles, etc. Owners have a binder full of information on businesses/things to do in the area. The Plantation portion of the island is a gated community in which you check in at a guard house upon entering the area. In the unlikely event you might need a Walk-In Medical facility, there is not one; so, unfortunately, one of us had to go to the ER in Apalachicola for a non-emergency. Shops in Apalachicola are quaint where you can find some unique items (went there on a rainy day). Again, shop owners/employees are SUPER friendly!

  • Submitted: Jun 14, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Congrats to the grads and thanks for the review. Your enthusiastic and kind comments about Morningside and the Apalach area pretty much says it all and we are in complete agreement! St George is a great place to do mostly nothing...that's why we love it!! Start planning your next trip and get with us as soon as you are ready.
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My Son's Wedding Week

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time at Morningside by the Sea. It was a beautiful home. It had all of the cooking and utinsels needed in a spacious kitchen. The open floor plan and windows made for a beautiful view. It very comfortably slept 8 people and we did have 10 for 2 nights and it worked out fine. The house was exactly as advertised. It was a short shaded walk down a path to the beach. It was our first visit, but it definitely won't be our last.

  • Submitted: Jul 29, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks and we are pleased that you had a good stay at Morningside by the Sea and welcome your expectation of a return trip...hope you can make it soon. Congratulation to the newly weds!
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Great Family Getaway!

  • 5 of 5

My parents, my brother's family of 3 and our family of 5 met at Morningside By the Sea for a week of relaxation. It was perfect for us! The house has a great layout and is very well decorated and stocked. It is a short walk to the beach and we loved being close enough to walk back and forth as we needed to, since we had a couple of younger children who needed naps. The beach is beautiful and even in high season didn't feel crowded. We loved the neighborhood, it was quiet and peaceful. We did wish that check in was earlier, but when we arrived on the island early we stopped by the public beach and had a great time while we waited.

When we started looking for houses to rent there were a couple of options we liked, but one of the major deciding factors was the owner of this house. He was very prompt answering questions, very friendly and helpful. He sent info about the area that he had compiled and made everything easy. Thank you for sharing your home away from home with us!

  • Submitted: Jul 20, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for coming to the island and being our guest at Morningside. We appreciate your patronage and your kind words. I sounds as if you and your family enjoy laid-back St George as much as we do. When can we expect you back?! PS: We also would love to have an earlier check-in, but during the heart of the very busy summer season it is difficult to get all the homes available for rent ready to receive new guests before well into the afternoon.
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Tulsa OK

Back again!

  • 5 of 5

Spent a week at Morningside first week of June. We all came away feeling very relaxed and properly vacationed! The beach is pristine & the house was perfect for our group of 8. If you are looking for a beach that is not crowded, very quiet, beautiful white sand & lots of dolphin watching, this is it. We learned from the last stay to do all grocery shopping in a larger city on the drive in...once on the island there is nothing really available except for a few basic/forgotten things. This is what we love about it! Ben was great...sorry about the lamp ;) Will be back!!

  • Submitted: Jun 22, 2015
  • Stayed: May 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: The Morningside crew appreciates you comments. Glad you had a good vacation and safe trip and glad you came back to SGI. We look forward to your next trip! No problem with the lamp...I think it was one of the original items from when we finished and moved into the house almost 25 years ago so it was probably past its "use by date" anyway.
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Wonderful vacation at Morningside by the Sea!

  • 4 of 5

We greatly enjoyed our stay at Morningside by the Sea. The home was very clean and ready for our arrival. The home had (has) a well-stocked kitchen in terms of utensils, pots, pans, etc. The beds were great and had (has) nice linens. The owner of the unit was a pleasure to deal with as was the rental firm. The beach is a very close walk nearby. I like that the unit is in a gated community; there were never more than 5-6 other people nearby on the beach (first week of April).

This unit is great for families with teenagers who need their own space, or for a couple looking for a romantic getaway. But I wouldn't recommend this unit for families with small children as the two smaller bedrooms are on the 1st floor and the MBR is on the 2nd floor. I would also not recommend this property for older folks (or those with knee problems or other disabilities, etc.) who may have trouble navigating the tight narrow stairwell up to the 2nd floor where the MBR, kitchen, and family room are relocated. A suggestion for the owner would be to dramatically improve the LCD TV (incredibly small, and poor reception) & DVD combo in the family area. The home also has a very nice large screened in porch with a picnic table, rocking chairs, etc. (but again on the 2nd floor). Lots of stair-climbing in this home. But would definitely stay here again!

Just a note that there are no restaurants in the gated community, and only a handful outside the gated community on St. George Island. If you're looking for 'night life' or a wide selection of eateries, St. George isn't the place (4-5 restaurants on the island, plus a Subway sandwich shop). But if you're looking for a quaint small mostly undeveloped community where everyone is friendly and you can feel safe, then I highly suggest St. George Island!

  • Submitted: Apr 8, 2015
  • Stayed: Mar 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for being our guest. Glad you enjoyed your stay and look forward to having you a\back. As we have age and become "old" we agree completely that the steps can be difficult for us "old" folks. We built the house to meet the flood insurance requirements (house must be elevated) and placed the living area on the upper level to get the best views. Of course we were 24 years younger at the time! When we built in 1991 a 25" big box TV was state of the art. Today the ideal place for the TV is such that a larger unit just doesn't fit. We have discussed hanging a larger screen above the fireplace, but that would displace some original art work by one of the locals. Also agree with the TV reception. We arrived the day after you left and the reception on some channels is really bad. We have placed a call to the mom and pop cable company that serves the Plantation and they have promised to take a look...we will see. Also agree that SGI is not the place for a lot of excitement...that's what we like about this island the most! It's a great place to go when you don't want to do anything.
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3 0


Nearest Airport
75 Miles
Panama City Regional or Tallahassee
Nearest Golf
20 Miles
St James Bay Golf Club near Carabelle
Nearest Motorway
9 Miles
US 98
Car: necessary

Morningside is located In St George Plantation. Our VRBO guests have access to owner storage room for use of bikes, floats, beach umbrellas, etc. Guests also have access to Plantation pool, fitness center and tennis courts. Further afield on the Island don't miss the Lighthouse and Lighthouse Museum or St George Island State Park at the opposite (east) end of the Island. You also may find the Apalachicola National Estuarine Reserve (Headquarters and museum/aquarium near mainland end of bridge to the island) access areas on the island interesting for hiking, marsh views and bird watching.

On the mainland, see Apalachicola! It is a beautiful and historic little riverfront town with many historic buildings and sites, good restaurants and shopping and friendly residents who are always willing to be helpful.


Rates & Availability

St George Island House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
HIGH rate 2016
May 29 2016 - Aug 6 2016
4 night minimum stay
MID rate 2016
Aug 7 2016 - Nov 27 2016
3 night minimum stay
LOW rate 2016
Nov 28 2016 - Dec 16 2016
3 night minimum stay
MID rate 2016
Dec 17 2016 - Jan 2 2017
3 night minimum stay
LOW rate
Jan 3 2017 - Feb 26 2017
3 night minimum stay
MID rate 2017
Feb 27 2017 - Mar 12 2017
3 night minimum stay
HIGH rate 2017
Mar 13 2017 - Apr 16 2017
4 night minimum stay
MID rate 2017
Apr 17 2017 - May 21 2017
3 night minimum stay
HIGH rate 2017
May 22 2017 - Aug 6 2017
4 night minimum stay
MID rate 2017
Aug 7 2017 - Nov 26 2017
3 night minimum stay
LOW rate 2017
Nov 27 2017 - Dec 17 2017
3 night minimum stay
MID rate 2017
Dec 18 2017 - Jan 2 2018
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Tax Rate 9.0%

RENT FOR LESS THAN 1 WK: HIGH 4n=$1598, 5n=$1795, 6n=$1935...MID 3n=$930, 4n=$1220, 5n=$1370, 6n=$1470...LOW 3n=$725, 4n=$950, 5n=$1065, 6n=$1150
DISCOUNTS: 9/6/3mo adv booking=15%/10%/5% off, repeat guests 5% off, 2 wk rent = 1.8 x 1 wk rental
MONTH 2016: Dec & Feb=$2223 / Sept, Nov, March=$2505 (add approx. 4% for 2017)
RENTAL WEEK: Sunday to Sunday (other turn dates possible)
TAX: Add 9% to rent



Please contact owner for a reliable rental quote, payment information and cancellation and refund policy.

Ben or 404 683 3290

Manager's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the manager or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Florida House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1600 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Beach View ...
  • Ocean View
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Covered Parking ...
  • Free Long Distance
  • Garage ...
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
    Bathroom 3 -
  • 2 baths have tub/shower, 1 bath has shower only. There is also an outdoor shower with hot and cold water.
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • King size beds (1), Queen size Beds (2), Twin or Single Beds (2), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1)
  • Books ...
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • VCR
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Porch / Veranda ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 1 bicycles
  • Events Allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • botanical garden
  • health/beauty spa
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing

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