10 Must-Dos on the Georgia Coast

  • Leopold's Ice Cream

Poolside at the King and Prince Resort
Poolside at the King and Prince Resort

1.Soak up some sun on St. Simons Island: Grab your SPF 30 because with six swimming pools occupying approximately 30,000 square feet of oceanfront property, The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort is a sunshine lover’s dream. Whether you’re in the mood for poolside lounging or building sandcastles, the King & Prince Resort has it all.

2. Discover hidden history on Sapelo: Explore this fascinating island full of history with the guidance of JR Grovner, a direct descendant of slaves brought to Sapelo in the early 1800s to work the plantations. JR will show you Native American shell mounds, tabby ruins of an old French estate, Nannygoat Beach, the newly restored Sapelo Lighthouse and moreo n his Sapelo Sights Tour. Keep in mind that Sapelo Island is reachable only by airplane or boat, with the primary ferry coming from the Sapelo Island Visitors Center in McIntosh County. Ferry reservations are required.

3. Take it slow in Savannah: Looking for a unique tour experience? Look no further than Savannah Slow Ride, a 100% pedal-powered, 15-person bicycle tour that will take you through historic Downtown Savannah. They offer tours of all sorts, including a pub crawl, church crawl, history crawl, “Spirits Will Make Your Skin Crawl” and a “Shop and Ride Crawl.” Have a small group? Don’t worry. Savannah Slow Ride offers daily “mix ‘n match” rides for smaller groups.

4. Take time for tea on Jekyll Island: The famous Jekyll Island Club Hotel has been entertaining guests of the highest caliber since the turn of the century, including J.P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, Joseph Pulitzer and more. You, too, can feel like one of the social elite when you attend Victorian tea, served every day from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Grand Dining Room. Lace gloves optional.

5. Drive over the Sidney Lanier Bridge: At 7,780 feet long and 486 feet tall, the Sidney Lanier Bridge is Georgia’s tallest cable-stayed bridge and the 76th largest cable-stayed bridge in the world! Built to provide easy access to the Golden Isles from Interstate 95, this mammoth bridge has become a tourist attraction in and of itself. Keep this bridge in mind when planning your route to the Coast.

6. Conquer Fort Pulaski: Get a taste of what life was like during the Civil War when you tour the Fort Pulaski Historic Monument on Tybee Island. The monument, with its drawbridges and ditches, is a fine example of military architecture. Don’t forget to explore the salt marshes and upland areas around the monument—these areas are known to be home to wildlife such as loggerhead sea turtles, manatees and bald eagles!

7. Tour Jekyll Island on two wheels: There really is no better way to explore Jekyll Island than by bicycle. With more than 20 miles of biking trails that take you through the maritime forest, around the National Landmark Historic District and along the beach, Jekyll Island is a dream for bicycle enthusiasts. Even novice bikers will find these trails enjoyable and easy to navigate. You can bring your own bike or rent one from the Jekyll Island Bike Rental shop.

8. Hang out with horses on Cumberland Island: Looking for an escape? Take a trip to Georgia’s Cumberland Island, where you’ll find no phones or roads, only 17 miles of pristine white beaches and the wildlife that calls the island home, including beautiful feral horses. If you’re looking for an adventure, I suggest camping on Cumberland Island. Not a camper? Stay in the sleepy beach town of St. Marys (I love the Spencer House Inn Bed & Breakfast), which is only a short ferry ride to Cumberland Island.

9.  Paddle down the Altamaha: Known as one of “The World’s Last Great Places,” the Altamaha River offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with wildlife (including dolphins, manatee and alligators) as well as the chance to kayak through black-water swamps of cypress knees and giant old growth forests. Explore the river on a half-day excursion, or make it a camping/kayaking adventure with the help of Altamaha Coastal Tours in Darien.

10. Satisfy your sweet tooth in Savannah: Leopold’s Ice Cream has been a part of Savannah history since 1919, when the Leopold brothers opened their own ice cream parlor on the corner of Gwinnett and Habersham streets. Today, Leopold’s is open on East Broughton Street and serves up ice cream, sundaes, salads, sandwiches and more delicious fare every single day of the week. My go-to Leopold’s treat? Chocolate chip ice cream on a sugar cone. Delicious!


Lauren Cleland

Lauren Cleland loves ice cold sweet tea, anything peach flavored, channeling Scarlett O’Hara in her daily life and sharing the wonders of her beloved Georgia with all of you!

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