Navigate the Natural Wonders of the Georgia Coast

From Ebenezer Creek to Cumberland Island, the Georgia coast is a nature lover's wonderland.

The rich environment of the Georgia coast is full of places barely touched by people and teeming with wildlife. Set out on your own or take a guided tour to explore these natural and historical attractions found only in Georgia.
  • Eco-Tourism Interest Sites
    Kayak Ebenezer Creek in Savannah, Georgia

Coastal Georgia Eco-Tourism Interest Sites

Ebenezer Creek, Rincon

Kayaking on Ebenezer Creek

Lined with cypress and Tupelo trees, Ebenezer Creek is a scenic black water creek that flows through Effingham County and connects to the Savannah River at the Ebenezer Historic site. Each December the Georgia Conservancy hosts a guided historical tour of the creek. Multiple access points allow for easy going short trips along the creek, or longer full day paddles.

Bull River Cruises - Eco Tours, Savannah

Specializing in ecological education on the water, group tours range from the Savannah River to the barrier islands of the area. Dolphin tours, sunset, nature-based and more cruises are available.

Fort Pulaski National Monument, Savannah

Fort Pulaski in Savannah

Built between 1829 and 1847 on Cockspur Island to guard the sea-approach to Savannah, Fort Pulaski was occupied by Confederate troops during the American Civil War in 1861 and fell to Union forces in April 1862. Daily interpretive programs include guided fort tours, fort orientations, and historic weapons demonstrations.

Tybee Beach Ecology Trips

Lighting Whelk found on a Tybee beach

Join marine biologist Dr. Joe Richardson to learn about the variety of marine life along the Georgia coast. Trips include a variety of activities and topics, including jetty ecology, tide pools, intertidal zone ecology, plant and animal adaptations and identification.

Tybee Island Marine Science Center

Exhibits feature a variety of live animals from coastal Georgia, including fish, reptiles and invertebrates. The center also provides information on marine mammals, sharks, sea turtles, shells from around the world, and environmental issues of the region. 

Cay Creek Wetland Interpretive Center, Liberty County

Stroll the boardwalk through the wetlands to see the transition into a salt water marsh. Sit on the dock overlooking Cay Creek and enjoy the serenity of your surroundings. Birders are welcome to enjoy the 15-foot tower in the wetlands.

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Black-necked Stilts at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Townsend

Located in McIntosh County, this refuge is the inland base for two neighboring barrier island refuges, Blackbeard Island and Wolf Island refuges, both located southeast of Harris Neck. The 2,762-acre site consists of saltwater marsh, grassland, mixed deciduous woods and cropland, attracting many different species of birds. Chosen for its accessibility and bird diversity, Harris Neck is one of 18 sites forming the Colonial Coast Birding Trail.

Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve Visitors Center

Chocolate Plantation on Sapelo Island

Take a four-hour tour to Sapelo Island, including a guided ecological and cultural tour by water and bus. Tour includes visit to the African-American community of Hog Hammock and the Reynold's Mansion.

Fort Frederica National Monument and Bloody Marsh Battle Site, St. Simons

Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe to protect the southern boundary of his new colony of Georgia. Colonists from England, Scotland, and the Germanic states came to Frederica to support this endeavor. Today, the archeological remnants of Frederica are protected by the National Park Service.

St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum

One of only five surviving light towers in Georgia, the restored lighthouse on St. Simons Island remains a navigational aid for traffic entering the St. Simons Sound. Unlike many other operational lights, visitors are welcome to climb the 129 steps to the top. 

Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island

A sea turtle patient at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island

Located in the 250-acre Jekyll Island Historic District, the Georgia Sea Turtle Center offers year-round indoor and outdoor programs and a host of interactive exhibits and experiences. Meet the sea turtle patients, observe the turtle feedings, or take a special behind-the-scenes tour to get a closer look at the patients and their rehabilitation care. Afterward, explore the rest of Jekyll Island, which is largely undeveloped to preserve the critical barrier island ecosystem. Driftwood Beach on the north end of the island is a particular favorite of Jekyll's beaches.

Southern Forest World Inc., Waycross

The role of forestry and wood products in colonial America, early logging in the Okefenokee Swamp, modern techniques of tree farming, the region's wildlife, wood products, and the turpentine and naval stores industries are all included in the exhibits. Visitors can also meet the "Talking Tree" and see Stuckey the Mummified Dog.

Okefenokee Heritage Center, Waycross

At this art center and history museum, exhibits include a 1912 Baldwin steam locomotive with a baggage car, mail car, passenger car, and caboose. There are also exhibits on Native Americans of southeast Georgia, early settlers of the region and the region's African-American heritage.

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Folkston

Kayaking the Okefenokee Swamp

There are three major entrances and two secondary entrances to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, each with its own facilities and special character. From the open, wet "prairies" of the east side to the forested cypress swamps on the west, Okefenokee is a mosaic of habitats, plants and wildlife. Entrance fees are required at each entrance.

Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo

This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface. Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife.

Folkston Funnel Platform

Folkston Funnel Platform

The Folkston Funnel is a double track that serves as the main artery for railroad traffic into and out of Florida. See trains passing on their way to and from Jacksonville, Florida, and listen in to radio traffic between trains.

Woodbine Riverwalk/Nature Trail

View of the Satilla River from the Woodbine Riverwalk

Part of the East Coast Greenway, the Coastal Georgia Greenway and the Rails to Trails Conservancy, the Woodbine Riverwalk starts in downtown Woodbine at Waterfront Park and follows along the edge of the Satilla River before turning south onto a former railroad bed. Enjoy walking, jogging, cycling and bird watching along the 3-mile concrete path through an overhang of trees with a view of historical homes. Along the way, you'll pass a picnic park and fitness trail loop at a former site of a historical 1940's theater.

McIntosh Sugar Mill Park, St. Marys

The historic tabby ruins from the old sugar mill are located in this park. The ruins are believed to have been built in the late 1820s.

Crooked River State Park, St. Marys

Located on southern tip of Georgia's Colonial Coast, this park is the perfect spot for enjoying the intracoastal waterway and maritime forest. The park's nature trail winds through forest and salt marsh, and hikers may see gopher tortoises, fiddler crabs, herons and other birds. A nature center features fish, snakes, turtles and other animals native to coastal Georgia. 

Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island, Georgia

Georgia's largest and southernmost barrier island features pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches and wide marshes that whisper the stories of both man and nature.

Mentioned in this Itinerary