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Golden Isles & the Atlantic Coast

Georgia’s coast stretches for 100 miles from South Carolina all way to Florida. The main attractions are the 4 charming barrier islands known as the Golden Isles; Brunswick, the main town of the area which traces its roots back to when George Washington christened it as one of the five original entry ports and the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Wilderness area.

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Why should I visit Golden Isles & the Atlantic Coast?

St Simons Island is the largest of these islands and rises to the dizzying heights of 20 feet above sea level. Beautiful marshland and ancient oaks dripping in Spanish moss are the background for challenging golf courses, friendly inns and luxurious resorts. Visit old plantations and previous slave quarters, great beaches and the Bloody Marsh National Monument where the British defeated the Spanish in 1742 ending their claim to Georgia during the War of Jenkins’ Ear.


Sea Island is a small private island accessible by a causeway from St. Simons Island. Sea Island is the home of two of the top 10 resorts in the Continental U.S. with four Forbes 5* experiences: the exclusive Cloister Resort, the Lodge which is one the prestigious Relais & Chateaux properties as well as   three championship golf courses, tennis courts and beach club.


Little St Simons Island is only accessible by boat from St Simons. Its 10,000 acres is mostly taken up by The Lodge on Little St Simons Island a glorious eco-resort sleeping just 32 people.


Jekyll Island is a state park, very quiet with beautiful beaches boasting dunes one side and open on the other; lots of history and wildlife. Alligators abound and are welcomed as they keep down the racoons and foxes which in turn helps to protect the sea turtles and shorebirds. Turtles nest from April to June and hatch in August. The Jekyll Island Club Hotel was once the winter home to some of America’s most influential families: the Morgan’s, Pulitzer’s and the Vanderbilt’s were amongst the visitors. Thankfully for us, it is now a very comfortable hotel. Jekyll was also the setting for the first transatlantic telephone call and the first meeting of the Federal Reserve.


TIP - Visit the Georgian Sea Turtle Centre and Driftwood Beach at low tide.


Cumberland Island, a short ferry ride from St. Mary or Fernandina Beach, is the most southerly of Georgia's Sea Islands, indeed it is only a few miles north of Florida.  The entire island is a National Forest:  36,000 acres of pristine maritime forests, wild beaches, saltwater marshes and freshwater lakes.  Watch a dizzying array of birds, fiddler crabs cleaning up the decaying vegetation and the racoons dining on the crabs. Cumberland is not only attractive to wildlife; humans have lived here for thousands of years.  Middens are clues to the early Timucuan people and there are remains showing much of Cumberland's later colourful history. It is best to stay at the Greyfield Inn on this magical island but if this is not possible, do take a guided tour to discover the historic homes, see the wild horses and explore the maritime forests.


St Marys is only a few miles north of Florida and is a good mix of heritage homes such as Orange Hall, modern museums like the Submarine Museum as well as all sorts of outdoor activities:  kayaking, cycling and themed train excursions are just a few ideas. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Swamp is only an hour inland and well worth a visit. Known as the "Land of Trembling Earth" it is one of the most well-preserved intact freshwater wetlands in the world. Options include canoeing through the swamp, walking the boardwalk, taking a guided boat tour looking for black bears, otters and alligators or even camping in the park.


St Augustine, just over the border in Florida, is considered the oldest, continually occupied European founded city in America.  Cobbled streets shaded by moss-covered live oaks and palm trees lead to the 17th century Fort Castillo de San Marco.

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