Spanning the 100-mile stretch between Charleston, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida is the Georgia coastline. Clustered around the historic port city of Brunswick are the Golden Isles, a group of four barrier islands including St Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, and Little St Simons Island. Pristine beaches and wilderness areas, colonial maritime history, and a laidback approach to life beckon travelers seeking sunny fun on the Atlantic.
The biggest of the islands is St Simons. The island is an outdoor lover’s paradise, with year round mild climate that means you can make the most of its broad sandy beaches wherever you’re able to head down that way. Golf is probably the most popular sport on the island which boasts 99 holes, is home to a number of pros, and hosts the PGA’s RSM Classic every November. Top attractions include St Simons Lighthouse, the ruins of Fort Frederica dating from the 1740s, and the site of the Bloody Marsh battle where in 1742 British troops defeated the Spanish driving them out of nearby north Florida.
Located to the east of St Simons and connected to it by a causeway is the privately owned resort community of Sea Island where access is restricted to residents and guests of the island’s handful of upscale resorts. Golf is big on this island as well, which is home to three championship courses.
To the north and east of St Simons, this island is only accessible by boat. Privately owned, it is largely undeveloped except for a hunting lodge which hosts no more than 32 guests at any time. An “Important Bird Area” according to the Audubon Society, Little St Simons is an ideal destination for those who want to get away from it all for their vacations.
Owned by the state of Georgia, Jekyll Island is situated midway between Savannah, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida and can be easily reached from Interstate 95. Famed once as a seaside playground for the rich and famous during the late 1800s and early 20th century, today it’s popular for its range of accommodations, outdoor activities and ten miles of beaches. Only a fourth of the island is allowed to be developed. So much of it remains wild and preserves its unique barrier island ecosystem.
As one of the five original ports of entry for the 13 founding American colonies, the city of Brunswick is steeped in history. Its Old Town Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Home to outstanding and impeccably kept architecture, deep maritime traditions, and a thriving arts and gallery scene, Brunswick is a great base for exploring the Golden Isles and the Georgia coast.